Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why do some people never learn from history?

This is an excerpt from the Dallas Morning News' article about the current situation at Dallas Animal Services. The speaker: Skip Trimble.

As long as thousands of dogs and cats are picked up and put down every year, trouble will return to the shelter, he suggested. It is an all-but-certain outgrowth of the job's difficulty.

What Dallas must do, advocates agree, is put more focus on enforcing spay-and-neuter and registration ordinances, along with laws that are already on the books to promote responsible pet ownership.

That's more difficult than just running animals through the shelter. But the dividends would be greater, Trimble said.

"If there are fewer animals entering the shelter, you are going to be able to give each individual animal better care and attention while they are there. You are going to have a better chance of them leaving the shelter," he said.

So...even though the spay/neuter and registration ordinances have been consistent failures in other cities, Skip keeps preaching it, blaming the public for the never-decreasing kill rate at DAS.

The scenario isn't difficult to understand. You treat people as if they're naughty children, then accuse them of complicity in the daily killing at DAS, and they get pissed off.

Here is an excerpt from the Web site www.thenokillnation.com that describes Skip & Co's collective blind spot much better than I can. I've edited it a bit for space:

Those of us who work or volunteer in animal welfare for cats and dogs hear the same complaints over and over again from shelter staff (stated with disbelief and disgust):

“Why do so many people consider dogs and cats disposable? Why do so many deadbeat dog and cat owners relinquish their pets to shelters or never bother looking for their lost pets – which, in turn, has led to a system that kills about 4–5 million unwanted homeless pets a year in this country? Why do so many people neglect and/or abuse dogs and cats?”

I hear this a lot at shelters and rescue organizations, and I see firsthand how doing this public service and “dirty work” poisons the staff at shelters against each and every person in the “evil public” who walks through the their doors. Even people coming in to adopt may be treated as representatives of those deadbeat owners — given the third degree and put through tests and hoops to see if they will be allowed to adopt an animal that, in all likelihood, will die in the shelter if not adopted soon enough to escape illness or madness.

I see how these negative attitudes lead to more of that self-fulfilling prophesy of more unwanted animals, more killing, more restrictiveness, more policies and procedures that block animals from finding new homes or getting owners to keep those pets. It’s a vicious cycle that could be tempered with some compassion and understanding toward people by people. Because of the negativity and blame game, we are working less and less toward trying to talk to people on a human level and tap into their capacity for humane compassion for animals.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Web-savvy volunteer needed by MAC

This isn't a message from the Metroplex Animal Coalition ...I'm just wondering why they still list Kent Robertson as a member of their Advisory Board.


Didn't a MAC member manage the Feral Friends Web site for a while?

At long, long, long, long (whew) last...

Somehow, the Dallas Morning News' Rudolph Bush managed to lay his hands on the HSUS' Shelter Evaluation for Dallas Animal Services. Here's a link and an excerpt:

Humane Society report sharply criticizes Dallas Animal Services

4:20 PM Mon, Nov 29, 2010
Rudolph Bush/Reporter

Dallas animal service employees feel alienated from supervisors and managers, lack a "cooperative spirit" and must daily face dueling goals laid out by the City Council and the city's Animal Shelter Commission, according to a 120-report by the Humane Society of the United States.

I have yet to read the entire, 120-page report. I'm still plowing through it. However, the HSUS' mention that the City Council and Animal Shelter Commission had set up "dueling goals" for DAS caught my eye.

Remember, some members of the Animal Shelter Commission* are ALSO part of the Metroplex Animal Coalition, aka MAC - the folks who allegedly raised the $25 grand for the HSUS evaluation bill. And then there are the Commission members who are card-carrying members of PETA. Perhaps the report's contents held up the report's release.

Think about it. $25,000 is a big price to pay for any report...especially one that bites you in the ass by saying you're not nearly as wonderful as you think you are. Sort of like that story about the emperor's new clothes.

* To see a list of members of the Animal Shelter Commission, click on the Board Members by Board link. I fear you'll have to download a large PDF, but the Shelter Commission is one of the first boards listed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tyrone McGill's brilliant career

This 2004 article from the Dallas Observer should have warned us what we had to look forward to when McGill began managing Dallas Animal Services.