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.


Suzette Watkins said...

Good quote from Jonnie England, "If the mindset is 'catch, cage and kill,' everything is doomed." Too bad, Jonnie didn't voice this opinion louder when on the Commission. Maybe now she will.
Thanks Feline P, for providing the info. I would have missed it.

Feline Provocateur said...

I don't think Jonnie England will ever allow this idea to proceed, as long as she and the other ex- and current Shelter Commission members keep chanting the HSUS mantra. Waving the threat of more shelter killing over our heads is something the HSUS can use for fund-raising.

It's also something Those In Power can blame on the public. We didn't spay, neuter, or register. We allowed breeders to live. So we're to blame for the killing.

Anonymous said...

She said it on the Commission, those that do talk on the commission have all used it, and Elba Garcia said it when they were fighting to make the bad ordinance here...its their mantra I think. They think it "sounds catchie" and it would appear to be what they really are out to DO.....

Anonymous said...

One more thing, here, if they want to get a bad law passed STATEWIDE they need someone to blame it on....those "nasty old greeders" and all that money they make (NOT) and those people who show dogs are not the problem, few, if any, make anything off a pup for a pet, they seek to get them in good, forever homes with the right family; with N/S contracts and a return clause so they don't even go to breed rescue if something untoward happens and they have to find a home, they have a home with the breeder. The law passed in Dallas in 2008 made them criminals if they had to take one back for any reason. No one ever thinks they will have to return one, but I have always pointed out to them, if, the BIG IF, something happens there is a safety net for the animal!

Rosebud75093 said...

Actually, it WAS a mantra for Elba. She repeated time and time and time again. In council chambers, and to our faces in her office. Catch, cage, kill. Catch, cage, kill. It never ended. It was as bad as Skip's damn "babies floating down the river" and "turning off the faucet" metaphors. It's all about "sound bites" in politics.

And Suzette, I used to a long time ago, be a fan of Jonnie's. That ended with the Dallas Ordinances. She was NO voice against the "catch, cage, kill" philosophy. Never ONCE did I hear her speak out about that. And the vitriol she spits at commission meetings, is beyond all comprehension. If someone is out of compliance, she insists that animals not be given up "in lieu" of the citation or fine (regardless of situation)...but that they be TAKEN IN ADDITION! "CITE THEM, FINE THEM, TAKE THE ANIMAL", might more accurately describe Jonnie's mantra. It was a "take NO prisoners" attitude with the public. Whatever the issue was, she wanted to be sure the citizen was cited and fined to the max. And if there was any reason that could be found for impounding the dog, great...but no fines would be waived for doing so.

Anonymous said...

I saw somewhere the other day that J.E. spends her days looking for animals loose and has equipment, food, etc. to catch them and "save" them....that gave me pause to think for sure, I watch but other than "normal" things I keep in my vehicle I don't just look for animals on the streets and try to "run them down" 24/7/365.