Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Ever since the Dallas Companion Animal Project (DCAP) was launched, the hopeful kept hoping that things would change at Dallas Animal Services (DAS). But look who's chairing DCAP:
Rebecca Poling, the Chair of the Task Force OPPOSED lifesaving legislation in Texas which would have banned the cruel gas chamber, mandated collaboration between Texas pounds and rescue organizations by making it illegal to kill animals when qualified rescues were willing to save them, required transparency in how taxpayer monies were spent by requiring shelters to make their statistics public, and would have made it illegal for shelters to kill animals based on arbitrary criteria.
In addition, Poling’s tenure on the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission has been marked by staggering neglect and abuse at Dallas Animal Services, which is not only underscored by the fact that the agency routinely and needlessly puts to death tens of thousands of animals every year (24,793 of the 34,399 animals it took in), but allowed a cat to starve to death within its walls, while every single employee looked the other way at his cries for help. In short, you cannot create a true and authentic blueprint for No Kill success by empanelling a Task Force chaired by a person who has no track record of success and who opposes the very approach necessary to end the killing of savable animals.
You can keep hoping this will change. But they won't. I am willing to bet any sum of money on this.
Since DCAP came into existence, Poling and Co. have done nothing of value. Instead, they recycle old stories online at Facebook and the Net while kissing each other's bottoms until they're soda-cracker white. And since she has no real news to publish, Poling has recently begun to resort to publishing pretty photos of her friends, complete with their arms around their pets. The photo ops are getting downright nauseating.
Perhaps Poling should show us what's really going on at DAS. This is what is going on every day as DCAP pursues nothing of value:
(Note: This photo is from several years ago. The photo my ex took some 15 years ago was considerably worse. Animals were stacked in wire containers and some smaller bodies were falling out of the sides. She took it while visiting the now-closed DAS Forney Road shelter.)
But none of this is changing anything down at DAS. The killing goes on, day in and day out. Or, as Bruce Campbell would say,
"You ain't leading nothing but Jack and shit. And Jack left town."
At least the public is no longer banned from pointing out how the No-Kill Equation has worked in other cities and counties. Or are we?
From the DCAP Facebook page:
Also, please note - months of research has been conducting up to this point, so while we appreciate the sentiment, general comments like "look at what Richmond did", keep in mind that we've already researched Austin, Richmond, San Antonio, San Francisco, and many, many more.
From the DCAP Web site:
If you’ve got a suggestion, please let us know. We’re looking for specific programs and initiatives that have been used successfully in other areas, lessons learned from personal experiences, and unique, “outside the box” ideas that we may not have seen before. We want your input.
So...what are we waiting for?
Nathan Winograd described DCAP's real agenda - that of preserving the status quo, while only giving lip service to no-kill - accurately in his book Redemption. Specifically, the chapter Co-option.
Winograd also wrote a letter to the mayor of Dallas everything we need to know to stop the killing here in his blog - several months ago.
Does anyone know if our mayor ever responded to the letter?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This is from the DCAP Facebook page (not verbatim, I fixed their typos - repairs are in red font. No words were deleted where I inserted "are not welcome" but that's the jist):
Some places have published comprehensive guides with details of how they achieved no-kill, too. Washoe County has published a PDF guide for how they went no-kill during a time when Nevada's economy was tanking. Here's a link their Web site. The link to the How We Did It PDF is small - look in the left-hand margin for it. I recommend it.
- Poling and Co. want to take credit for suggestions.
- If anyone posts an unworkable suggestion, the DCAP folks can feel superior.
- Poling and Co. are doing exactly what Nathan Winograd described: pretend to want to go no-kill when all they're doing is pacifying the public for as long as they can. In the meantime, they can carry on with their committee-sitting, keeping their hands clean while they pass the blame to the public and the killing continues. (Task force chairperson has already told us she doesn't do "hands-on" stuff any more.)
This is because it's swallowed up by a survey-taking app called Survey Monkey. You enter your suggestion, hit the Submit button and it's gone - so DCAP can take the credit or, more probably, trash it.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Can anyone tell me what either of these women have ever done to implement no-kill anywhere? The DCAP Web site doesn't. When you click on their photos, all you get is a larger version. So you can admire their dental work.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
During the interview, Winograd referred to the "Co-option" chapter of his first book Redemption. He saw the Dallas Companion Animal Project (DCAP) coming a long time ago, because this sort of reaction is not uncommon. It's happened in other cities.
Here's how co-option works. It's a three-step process.
- The folks who did nothing to stop killing in the past begin to get nervous, as more of the public insist that the shelter gets rid of bad management and stops killing the majority of animals in its care.
- Eventually, these folks decide that the only way they can hang on to power is to begin to start tossing the phrase "no kill" around. This will buy them some time. For example, they'll probably begin to classify many more animals as "unadoptable". This cunning little math trick will immediately increase the numbers of "adoptable" animals that aren't killed. Easy!
- However, this charade, combined with the others in store for us, won't fool us forever. When their failure eventually becomes obvious, the DCAP task force won't be blamed. Nor will they be held accountable. Instead, the public will be blamed for the killing again, as they were before the task force was formed.
DCAP's Rebecca Poling, is refreshingly honest about her unsuitability to chair this task force. If you read her "About Me" page here, you'll get the drift. For example, she admits she isn't involved in any "hands on" rescue any more. She's not lazy - she's "focusing on the big picture". And she thinks we need tons of unenforceable laws to keep the "stupid" members of the public in line.
And where are these brilliant plans to reduce shelter killing? Not for our eyes. DCAP's Facebook page and Web site have NO details of what the task force is planning to do to reduce euthanasia rates, even though Poling knew it was coming way back in May (see previous post).
Instead, DCAP's Web presence is nothing more than pages of cheerful mutual masturbation, thanking other shelters for joining the Project. Here are some examples from the DCAP Facebook page:
Welcome A Different Breed as a new Animal Advocacy Partner! Thank you for your support!
More new Animal Advocacy Partners... thanks Take me Home Pet Rescue for joining the Dallas Companion Animal Project!!
A big shout out to Paws in the City for joining us as an Animal Advocacy Partner. Your support is appreciated!
French Bulldogs are in the house via Short Mugs Rescue Squad! Thank you for joining us as an Animal Advocacy Partner!To be fair, not 100% of the Facebook messages are suckups. I think some of the shelters who are now "Animal Advocacy Partners", whatever that means, mean well.
Occasionally, someone will dare disagree with this rubbish - including those who have been truly successful with the No-Kill Equation. But any message they post will be deleted in minutes.
They are also occasionally told to fuck off and not post any more. Here's an example:
Asking Poling and Co. to be accountable is kind of like asking Wayne Pacelle to be honest about the HSUS's fundraising efforts. (And since the HSUS reports have done nothing to improve things at Dallas Animal Services, can we have our $50,000 back?)
I feel sorry for many of the shelters who are joining, as they're ready to do what needs to be done to make Dallas a no-kill city. Instead, they'll eventually realize that DCAP's message hasn't changed - just the name.
In the meantime, the killers at Dallas Animal Services and in Dallas City Hall will continue to kill the majority of animals they take in, while they continue to tell us to shut up and let them do what they want to do behind closed doors, without accountability.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Seems that the committee-sitters have decided to retain their links to the folks who helped them kill the Companion Animal Protection Act earlier this year - namely, THLN, HSUS and similar - while attempting to pass off their mysterious plans for a no-kill Dallas as Nathan Winograd's No-Kill Equation.
Someone NOT involved with No-Kill Dallas (a group separate from DCAP, and supported by Nathan Winograd) has wandered over and registered every usable No Kill Dallas Web address. If you visit Register.com and look up these:
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
From a St Paul, MN newspaper - click on the first sentence to be taken to the complete story.
With feral cats roaming their North St. Paul neighborhood, the couple trapped the wild felines, took them to be sterilized and vaccinated, and then released them back into the city.
City officials, though, say the couple was breaking city animal laws.
In April, North St. Paul charged Doug Edge, 45, with two misdemeanors: failing to have a cat license and allowing domestic animals to run at large. Edge faces a fine and up to 90 days in jail.
"I'll go to jail before I pay that fine," he said.
****************************************************The No-Kill Advocacy Center (visit their Facebook page by clicking here) has begun a letter-writing campaign to St. Paul's Mayor, Mike Kuehn, in defense of Doug Edge. Here's the mayor's contact information:
North St. Paul, MN 55109
Monday, June 27, 2011
I need to find out who that new Committee member is.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Robin Robertson Starr, chief executive officer, Richmond SPCA
Richard Avanzino, president, Maddie’s Fund
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, city of Richmond
Jody Jones, shelter manager, Richmond Animal Care & Control
Sunday, June 12, 2011
However, while we wait for the next Animal Shelter Commission meeting and perhaps an appearance from Ms. Jones, we can still rely on the old guard to make us wonder.
Recently I switched my already-spoiled cat Natasha to the Blue Buffalo brand of cat food. While I don't mind the price, I prefer to buy the larger sized bag so my pet-sitter won't have to go out and find it when I'm out of town. Petsmart is the only place near my condo that sells this brand consistently and in larger bags.
Earlier today I was picking up some cat food at the Petsmart on Greenville Avenue just north of Lovers Lane and Central Market. As usual I stopped by the adoption center to see who the SPCA had taken in recently.
In the past, the SPCA often didn't bother to keep this adoption center at capacity, but these days they seem to be trying harder.
At about this time, I noticed a smallish pit bull being picked up from the Petsmart boarding area next to the adoption center. The volunteers for a rescue group that had set up mobile adoptions in the aisle nearby were petting the dog and making a general fuss over her. She was enjoying the attention and so was her owner.
Suddenly I saw a short woman half-drag the dog away, hissing "Not her!". The dog's owner looked confused but didn't protest. The rescue group volunteers shrugged. The hissing woman continued out the door, with the pit on a leash and the sheepish owner not far behind.
The dog looked sad. I think she'd been enjoying the petting.
The whole incident was really strange. I mean, who wouldn't want their dog to be admired? And the dog had no signs of mange or anything similar, so there shouldn't have been any reason for anyone not to pet her.
Suddenly I recognized the "Not her" woman. It was Rebecca Kornblum from the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission. I've mentioned her before on this blog; she always appears to be unhappy about something or another. I have yet to ever see her smile during a Commission meeting.
I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of the "Not her!" remark. Does anyone care to guess?
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
But after taking a look at today's Yes Biscuit! blog, I discovered that the citizens of other cities have it worse. Take a look at the goings-on at the Memphis Animal Shelter in Tennessee.
I hate using the word "shelter", as most of the animals don't get any at MAS. Instead, they have a few days (or hours) of ill-treatment and fear before they almost always die, usually for no good reason except that their time is up or they've been judged unadoptable.
Perhaps the most upsetting thing about MAS is that the management actually has webcams in the shelter. If you can stand it, you can surf the MAS webcams and watch the almost daily outrages carried out by the employees. Animals are dragged on choke poles and handled like garbage.
But here's the real icing on the cake: when an on-line petition was delivered to a Memphis councilwoman - a petition describing the daily horrors at MAS - she literally responded with:
I had to read the email over a couple of times. The first time, I literally couldn't believe the response, from a Janis Fullilove. (more like fulla shit, imo)
Read the petition, and Janis' smartass response, here.
And if you have some time to waste, try a Google search for Janis Fullilove. Between her DUI arrests, other arrests, numerous 911 calls to report alleged domestic violence, pole dancing during a party for the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (WTF?) and stint in rehab, she has little to recommend her as a public servant.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
But I was reading the East Lake Pet Orphanage's newsletter yesterday and - WTF! I spotted Kent.
Here's the scary bit: He now RUNS East Lake Pet Orphanage. Whatever happened to the concept of background checks?
While I'm not familiar with how ELPO is run, I've not heard anything bad about it either. They claim to be no-kill, and I haven't received any information to challenge this. And their mission statement is careful NOT to bash other rescues. So maybe this is a job that doesn't require analytical thought processes from Kent. Or much else.
If you need proof, here's a photo from the newsletter:
Friday, May 13, 2011
"...they will continue to lie to the public, claiming they are doing all they can to save lives; even as they have shown they will do whatever is necessary to defend their ability to kill animals and to protect that ability for others, even in the face of readily available lifesaving alternatives they simply refuse to implement."
It will not be possible to re-introduce this bill to the Texas Legislature for another two years. The THLN's opposition to this was based on their claim that they weren't consulted (why should they be? Isn't public support more than sufficient?) suggest that now they have 24 months to craft something. But I'm betting the rent that they won't.
* I do not plan to spell out THLN's name any more, as I literally feel ill when describing this snotty little pack of sycophants and control freaks as "humane". Even though I didn't name them.
Monday, May 9, 2011
The postscript is especially annoying to me, as I doubt the chimps, burros and bobcats want to be bothered by a pack of naive gawkers. A sanctuary's supposed to provide some peace and quiet for animals, not turn them into roadside attractions. But where there's Wayne, there's a pitch for donations.
May 6, 2011
My Book Signing Event is May 14
Please join me as part of a national conversation about the protection of animals in our society. I've put my 25 years of work, experience and hopes into a book -- and I will be giving a public reading and signing next Saturday, May 14, at Barnes & Noble in Tyler, Texas, at 5:00 p.m. I look forward to seeing you at this event for "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them."
In the meantime, you can watch this video from the book tour and check out the feedback.
I do hope you will join me next Saturday -- please RSVP on Facebook and help spread the word.
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
P.S. Also, tour the new Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center next Saturday, May 14, and meet rescued chimps, burros and bobcats at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Half Shell's Oyster Bar and Grill has a monthly event called 1st Tuesday, which a portion of the entire day's proceeds will be donated to a local nonprofit. May 3rd's event features Texas Pawprints.
It's easy to pitch in - just show up at Half Shell's Snider Plaza location (near SMU) and chow down any time from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. 15% of the day's proceeds will go to support Texas Pawprints. Or more probably, go toward their vet bills. If memory serves correct, almost all rescue groups go into the red during puppy and kitten season.
Look for the wait staff with the cool logo on their t-shirts.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I devoutly hope that the local fearmongers who oppose No-Kill and HB 3450 will sit up and take notice.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
"They (Ed: CAPA requirements) require training and resources - things we don't have right now."
"No matter how hard the employees try or how many hours they work, there won't be time to walk them all, exercise them all, play with them all, bathe them all, clean up after them all, love on them all - there will barely be time to feed them all."
(Perhaps if the committee-sitters would drag themselves down to DAS and actually DO some of this type of thing...sigh.)
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The receipient of the smackdown was Keep The Status Quo advocate Rebecca Poling. She never responded to Winograd's Facebook remarks.
Being stuck in yet another airport this afternoon, I decided to surf around and see if I could find any related postings regarding this altercation. Although Poling never replied to Winograd's comments on Facebook, perhaps she had elsewhere.
While I didn't find anything recent, I did find a snarky anti-Winograd remark posted by Poling almost two years ago, in May 2009. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page, to the comments section.
The main article is about Nathan Winograd's book Redemption. Ms. Poling either didn't read the book, or she needed help with the big words. As her comment is:
Wow - Nathan just keeps taking credit for more and more doesn't he?*
I don't know why Ms. Poling made this remark. Maybe she just needed help with the big words in Redemption. Or, more probably, she never read the book. Maybe Stacy Smith told her not to.
Maybe she's just annoyed because Winograd refuses to blame the public for high euthanasia rates. You know, like like Skippy and the THLN sycophants continue doing, year after year after tired year...
* While it's possible that someone else pretended to be Poling and posted this, I doubt it. One has to register/log in to post in Yahoo.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
When you visit the HSUS Web site, there is absolutely no mention of HB 3450. Instead, the Texas legal alerts page looks like this:
However, this is a tidy little cover for what's really going on behind the scenes.
The state director for the HSUS in Texas, Nicole Paquette, has been busy sending out e-mails to gather opposition to HB 3450. Thankfully, at least one person saw these e-mails, figured out what was going on, and decided to "out" Nicole.
Click here to check out these e-mails in PDF format, courtesy of Nathan Winograd.
She's already rounded up several so-called animal lovers who agreed to meet with her to discuss HB 3450, including two you may have heard of:
James Bias of the SPCA
Monica Hardy of the THLN
For everyone who's serious about supporting HB 3450, it looks like it's time for the gloves to come off, and for as many of us to expose the HSUS and THLN for what they really stand for.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Instead, the opposition comes from so-called "animal lovers" who aren't ashamed to stoop to fear-mongering to keep the situation as horrific as is today.
Here in Dallas, the opponents boil down to two types:
1. Fanatics who don't believe in the idea of companion animals, and blindly follow PETA and similar groups. There are at least two of these scary people sitting on the Animal Shelter Commission. These people are shit-scared of the No Kill movement and act as if the bubonic plague's come to town.
2. The committee-sitters who consider themselves smarter than the rest of us. Some have adopted a disturbingly parental outlook to their superiority over their neighbors, and even quote their own parents when telling the rest of us what idiots we are. All of them have formed tight little cliques whose only real purpose is to control their domain, whether it be a suburban rescue or one of Dallas' many (too many, in my opinion) "coalitions". Bringing down the shameful euthanasia rate is not their problem, as it's too easy to continue to blame the population with their tired old rhetoric.
Nathan Winograd describes these people thus:
... there are those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Those who will reject the No Kill Equation because it requires them to work hard, rather than sit in their office all day with their feet up on their desk. People like the disgraced, removed former Austin Texas shelter director, Dorinda Pulliam, who killed over 100,000 animals in the course of her sordid career because of nothing more than uncaring and laziness.
This group also includes the government bureaucrats who would rather protect under-performing shirkers, than hold them accountable. (FP Note: does this remind anyone else of the Trimble/Robertson/McGill saga? Although to describe Tyrone McGill as simply under-performing is to do him an undeserved kindness.)
And, of course, the Wayne Pacelles of the world who climbed the ladder of personal “success” (but I would argue, historical infamy) by catering to his killing colleagues, rather than defending the animals he pledged himself to protect as the leader of a large national animal protection organization.
For those who support HB 3450, why don't we take this opportunity to do a double tap*? In addition to ensuring that CAPA is passed, we can also start to change things at Dallas City Hall by insisting that it's time to clean house.
* Fans of Zombieland will recognize this strategy; it describes ensuring that a zombie is 100% dead by shooting it twice. Don't be chintzy with your shotgun shells, it helps keep you from turning into a human Happy Meal.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
If you just want to post a test comment, I won't mind. Honest.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
When I leave a comment, I type in the comment and then hit Preview, NOT Comment. Blogger asks me what sort of identity I want to use, I sign in, and then I can hit Comment and it publishes.
I have looked at other blog hosts to find one with more user-friendly Comment features. But Wordpress insists that all commenters have a Wordpress account. I liked the looks of Squarespace, but it's not free. :(
If anyone else knows how to get Blogger Comments to work for everyone, or can suggest another blog host, please let me know. I admit I don't often check the email account associated with this blog but I'll do so more often.
Take a look here. Scroll down to the bottom...and voila! Plenty of people with plenty of examples of how CAPA (HB 3450) is working. You know, like making shelter managers take responsibility and EARN their salaries. (This is an idea that scares the pants off the Animal Shelter Commission members. They prefer to chat about whether the Jumbotron at the shelter works and shit like that.)
Regarding the author's suggestion we check out a site called No Kill No Harm, I had to laugh when I got to the site. Why is she recommending it? It's not like DAS is actually following a single suggestion (although Lt Walton, the interim manager, has done a better job than the last two combined).
But hey, talk is cheap and so is Web access, and it only takes seconds to find a Web site that props up your argument. Anything's easier than serious journalistic research.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Here is an excerpt:
Ms. Poling claims that the reason that Dallas' animal control “shelter” kills 23,000 of the 30,000 animals that enter its doors every year is because of “irresponsible people" but we have research that proves that this is not true.
This sort of attitude - branding the public as "irresponsible", and therefore responsible for the actions of a shelter that is not held responsible for its actions - is, well, stupid. It's the same blame-game attitude that helped bring in the 2008 animal ordinances.
According to the committee-sitters, people here in Dallas are too stupid to figure out how many pets they can handle, so this must be dictated. Or that those who own intact animals owe the city a big fat stinkin' registration fee as punishment for their decision not to spay or neuter their pet. (It doesn't matter that the owner may have a legitimate reason not to do so.)
Consequently, it's no surprise that, according to the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission, local pet registrations decreased in 2010. And hardly any owners of intact pets have paid the blackmail fee.
Treating the public like juvenile delinquents, while you get comfy on your committee-sitting butts, is no way to save animals. Neither is telling the public to shut up and keep accepting the same useless methods that ensure we continue to kill the majority of animals that end up at Dallas Animal Services.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
BTW, the link to the Alley Cat Allies Facebook page is here. So if these screen shots don't make sense, you may want to look at this page first if you can. It's a posting from Alley Cat Allies, encouraging people in Texas to support HB 3450. Lots of comments, including this one by Rebecca Poling.
Nathan Winograd spotted it and added his two cents' worth:
Others decided to exercise their right to comment afterward:
I checked the entire list of comments, and there was nothing else posted by Messrs Poling or Winograd. Not yet, anyway.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I'm not going to identify the author, as the article was a shameful masterpiece of fear-mongering. Instead of doing what a real journalist would do - take a look at similar bills that have passed in other states, like Hayden's Law* in California - she insisted that passage of this bill would result in hell on earth for shelter animals.
Here's an excerpt:
Legislating that shelters hold every impounded animal five days, whether there is room for them or not, will result in further over-crowding of our already over-stuffed, understaffed, and under-funded municipal shelters.
She conveniently forgot to mention that if the city hadn't passed certain pet limit and registration laws in 2008 - laws that have crashed and burned time and time again - many would-be rescuers wouldn't be worried about a DAS raid if they pulled one or two additional animals from the municipal shelter.
She even suggests we send some money to THLN to support them. WTF? (Yes, I know I promised to stop mentioning THLN, but this suggestion was too ridiculous to let slide.)
All I can suggest to this author is:
Your refusal to research different methods of animal management, or to think for yourself, tells us that you only care about your own PR.
And while you're at it, go tell the employees at Dallas Animal Services that you're going to do your best to ensure that they continue to kill almost 80% of animals in their care, day in and day out.
You never took that compassion crap seriously, did you?
Excuse me while I find an Alka-Seltzer.
* Since its passage, Hayden's Law has not resulted in the hellish scenario dreamed up by Miss Be Careful What You Wish For. While it hasn't solved every shelter problem overnight, it has contributed to increased cooperation between shelters and rescue groups, and more animals saved.
Last night I received an e-mail from a reader who decided to run a background check on McGill. It's not bad news, really, he didn't unearth a criminal record. Seems that McGill is still a licensed Texas Code Enforcement Officer. At least until the end of April.
This means that, as long as we never let him near an animal, he can start to actually earn his $66K per annum. Here is allegedly what a Code Enforcement Officer does:
About Code Enforcement - Scope of Practice
Code Enforcement is the inspection, improvement, and rehabilitation of environmental hazards in public and private premises by determining the presence of fire or health hazards, nuisance violations, unsafe building conditions, and violations of any fire, health, or building regulation, statute, or ordinance.
I can think of many taxpayers who would be happy for Tyrone to spend his days in unsafe buildings. May I have a show of hands (and paws)?
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Clarification to Position Statement on HB 3450
We would like to thank our supporters for all of the feedback and attention to our position on this bill. We would also like to clarify what seems to be gross misunderstandings and misrepresentations of THLN's position on HB 3450.
Dang. First we're pains in the neck, now we're gross.
First and foremost, as stated in our original position statement, THLN is 100% SUPPORTIVE of the intended good of the bill.
The Bill is well-meaning and has many admirable goals, goals that we support fully as an organization. However, as is currently written, there is significant potential for serious animal welfare problems that people may not fully understand.
Yes, we're all dumber than you, esp. those without law degrees.
By mandating many of the Bill's standards for all shelters of all sizes statewide there is profound likelihood for unintended negative consequences for the animals that all of us are trying to help.
THLN has received numerous statements of concern from private and public shelters, and animal care and control organizations regarding the unintended consequences which would result from HB 3450 as currently written.
Would you care sharing even 1% of these "statements of concern"? No need to identify the shelter or organization. Otherwise, some of us will think you might be making this stuff up.
Given the compact timeframe for this year’s session (less than two months left) and the numerous stakeholders involved, we standby our original statement that we believe it is impractical to expect to resolve the complex issues created in time to craft a comprehensive bill that all affected parties can sign on to, and that will truly benefit the animals.
Well, continuing to kill and gas animals won't benefit them at all. And you're asking us to shut up and behave for TWO more years.
The impact to the well being (sp?) of animals is at the core of our values. All bills must have the input of affected stakeholders to measure the true outcome and effectiveness of each bill. Currently, HB 3450 does not have the full input of all parties that work in animal welfare. Intent alone does not create good policy.
Inaction does not create ANY policy, nor does it affect positive change. You know, like fewer dead animals.
We are hopeful that all concerned parties can work together to craft a bill that has the capability for true change and reform for the animals of Texas. If the animal welfare community can come together with a consensus to move forward in the time frame left, THLN will fully support that effort.
Being hopeful works about as well as intent when it comes to creating good policy - or change, for that matter.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
From the blog O is for Onward:
But not everyone who claims to love animals was happy about the bill. A group that calls itself THLN, or “Keep on Gassing” the “Texas Humane Legislation Network,” immediately expressed its opposition to the bill on the grounds that (1) the bill was too long (an evidently impenetrable 30 double-spaced pages), (2) THLN itself did not write it, and (3) the Texas animal shelters (you know, the ones gassing our pets as you read this), which THLN calls the “true stakeholders,” evidently did not support being forcibly reformed. Thus, THLN has urged its members to fight the bill for at least two years so that shelter directors can keep on gassing chew on it for a while. The group has deemed the public’s reaction to its indefensible position inconvenient, or, to use its exact words, a “pain in the neck.”
The "pain in the neck" line is direct from a gmail that THLN's Cile Holloway sent to another THLN member - and ALSO sent to the very person she was describing. Thankfully the "pain in the neck" did not take Cile's comment lying down. I enjoyed her response.
Read it all here, backwards of course. Start from the bottom up.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Winograd is not a mealy-mouthed individual. Here is an excerpt on his take on the THLN's stance:
"Calling for shelters to continue gassing animals, to continue killing in the face of a rescue alternative, and more, THLN’s position reveals sour grapes, stunning hubris, and a serious case of misplaced priorities."
Winograd's entire March 29 blog entry regarding the THLN is well worth a read.
And, if you haven't already figured it out, the folks at THLN are seriously in bed with the HSUS. A cursory glance at the THLN Web site confirms this. One of their top members, Skip Trimble, is holder of a PETA Activist Award - an award he downplays when anyone asks him about it. I guess he has it tucked under his bed along with Kent Robertson.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Seems that the THLN folks oppose this bill, as they didn't get the chance to talk it to death first. Awwwww...
Here's an excerpt from their Web site.
It is THLN’s belief that it would be more productive to defer this legislation to the 2013 legislative session so it can be fully reviewed and discussed by the entire Texas animal welfare community. This will give all stakeholders the opportunity to debate the issues, offer their ideas as to solutions to the problems addressed and to determine how to best achieve the solutions sought by the bill – whether through statewide legislation or local ordinances or incentives.
THLN recommends that consideration of this bill be postponed and the entire Texas animal welfare community, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Animal Control Association, the Texas Municipal League and other interested parties work together during the interim period with the goal of bringing a comprehensive and well thought through bill next session that can be supported and endorsed by all stakeholders.
This all sounds nice, but who's going to actually arrange that "interested parties work together"? They left out that part. And why should we wait until 2013 to introduce a major strategy that could reduce the killing in shelters?
Also, unless they're keeping it a secret, THLN has spent zero time researching how well this sort of legislation has fared in other states. Houston's No Kill folks have done so:
CAPA is modeled after a similar law which has been in effect in California since 1998. An analysis of that law found that sending animals to non-profit animal rescue organizations saved the City and County of San Francisco $486,480 in publicly funded animal control costs. CAPA saves taxpayer money by mandating public-private partnerships that not only reduce expenses associated with having to care for, then kill and dispose of an animal, but which transfers expenses from taxpayers to private philanthropy.
Last but certainly not least, THLN has completely overlooked the fact that morale might improve in city shelters if the employees didn't spend so much time killing animals. This, in itself, is sufficient reason to pass this legislation.
But then research and empathy might cut into the THLN members' committee-sitting time. Can't have that happen, can we?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
HB 3450 was introduced by State Rep. Jessica Farrar.
To support the act, visit the Houston No-Kill Web site.
I have copied the following directly from the Yes! Biscuit blog, as the author has done a bang-up job of outline the act's provisions. They include:
* Shelters can no longer kill pets when an adopter or rescue group is willing to take them.
* Shelters can no longer kill savable pets at the owner’s request.
* Shelters can no longer kill owner surrendered pets immediately upon intake.
* Shelters can no longer kill pets when the facility has empty cages/kennels or when the pet can share a cage/kennel with another pet.
* Shelters can no longer kill pets when a foster home is available.
* Shelters can no longer kill nursing litters of puppies and kittens impounded without their mama unless they have exhausted all avenues of rescue and foster care, documented these efforts, certified in writing why the shelter itself can not provide care for the litter at present and what’s being done to change that situation. Said certification must be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.
* Shelters can no longer refuse to adopt out pets based on arbitrary criteria such as breed, age or color.
* Before a shelter can kill a dog with confirmed parvo or a cat with confirmed panleukopenia, a licensed vet must certify in writing that the pet’s prognosis is poor, even with treatment. Said certification must be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.
* Any agency – public or private – which kills pets must seek out and maintain a list of rescue groups willing to take pets and adopt them out. The agency must contact each group on the list who is willing to take the type of pet the agency wishes to kill before killing the pet.
* When shelters do kill pets, it must be done by IV injection after sedation (with limited exceptions made for IP injections and heartstick on unconscious pets under the direction of a licensed vet). Shelters can no longer kill pets in view of other pets.
* All municipal shelters must provide low cost spay-neuter programs to the public, volunteer opportunities, and pet retention programs.
* Shelters – both public and private – must report their stats monthly and those reports shall be available for public inspection upon request for at least 3 years.
Now - let's see if our local committee-sitters will support this act.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
For anyone who's wondering, I have made donations to the animal rescue, and two "people" nonprofits, including Americares.
Charity Navigator is a good place to check out the nonprofits currently working in Japan.
(Uh-oh...the HSUS' international arm has a 1-star rating at Charity Navigator. The report describes the division as being in "deep financial trouble". The HSUS is wallowing in money, so what's going on here?)
Monday, March 14, 2011
Here are some links:
Arkbark has a Paypal donation site. You can view the Paypal pages in English - click on the pull-down at the top right to toggle between Japanese and English. But you'll have to convert Japanese yen to your currency on another page. Here's a currency converter link:
If you donate 2,000 yen, it comes out to US$24 and change.
Another group is actually three groups: HEART-Tokushima, Animal Friends Niigata and Japan Cat Network. Here is their blog and donation link:
The Chipin donation widget wasn't working for me yesterday, but the donations have increased since then, so I am assuming heavy traffic is causing the problems with Chipin. (It may go to Paypal, anyway; Chipin can be redirected.)
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I haven't done any research into this - yet...
The alleged author, Rep. Will Hartnett, has a black sense of humor in my opinion. Check out this clause:
(3) order the animal humanely destroyed if the court decides that the best interests of the animal or that the public health and safety would be served by doing so.
Since when is being killed in an animal's best interests? Sheesh.
(Rep. Hartnett may be attempting some damage control, as his plans to sell off Parrie Haynes Ranch as a means to help pay off the state's big fat deficit are not making any Texas Parks supporters happy.)
Since the RPOA* has already accurately described the true aim of HB 963 - to eradicate the appeals process for anyone accused of cruelty - I've reproduced their observations here.
This is an attempt to make the appeals cost prohibitive and force the owner to relinquish ownership of his animals to shelters for resale.
Just because an owner is accused of cruelty does not mean in every case the authorities got it right. It is an attempt to prevent an appeal without changing the statute to not allow appeals. The proposed law would require the owner to pay 150% of the “estimated” costs, again attempting to prevent any appeals.
One section is to ensure that not all of the appeals are trial de novo in County Court. This bill is supported by the HSUS and Texas Humane Legislation Network that opposed appeals altogether and said they would be back this session to overturn Rep. Mark Homer’s bill in 2009 that granted the right of appeal again.
It will likely have the support of humane shelters that stand to benefit and which were opposed to appeals including SPCA of North Texas, Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society, and other similar corporations.
* Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
Monday, February 28, 2011
This three-day seminar is back, but even with cutesy marketing, it won't get us any closer to being a No-Kill state. Instead, it'll the same old same old, with a big emphasis on how to efficiently push paper, hassle rescuers you don't like, and be a better bureaucrat. Perfect for those hoping for a career in committee-sitting. And of course, the HSUS and Texas Humane Legislation Network will somehow "sponsor" something.
And if memory serves correctly, some Dallas Animal Services employees got to spend three days in Austin last year attending the 2010 Texas Unites conference. This is the same Dallas Animal Services that distinguished itself in so many ways during the rest of 2010.
Anyway, here are your choices. You can fork out $200 (not including accommodation at the Renaissance Hotel, that's $109 a night extra) and do Texas Unites for three days, or you can pay $19.95 and attend Nathan Winograd's Building A No-Kill Community seminar. True, Austin offers visitors a bit more than Houston, and the Renaissance is nice. Building a No-Kill Community will be held in the auditorium of a law school. No open bar or opportunities to schmooze with your fellow committee-sitters (sigh). But it all depends on your priorities, I guess.
Building A No-Kill Community is being held on a Saturday - this means we office drones can go without taking time off. (I'm already paid up.) If you're doing the entire Texas Unites, you'll need to take a day off. But at least you get to spend the weekend in Austin.
Texas Unites wins one award: the Incredibly Bad Taste distinction. One seminar subject - prosecuting animal control officers for animal cruelty - is literally called Animal Control Officers Gone Wild. Like there's anything funny or sexy about the subject.