Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seagoville shelter makes the news

Even though Jonnie "Never Miss a Photo Op" England is mentioned - does she spend her days stalking TV reporters? - this WFAA article proves how any shelter can embrace No-Kill if they really want to.

I devoutly hope that the local fearmongers who oppose No-Kill and HB 3450 will sit up and take notice.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There's a lesson for Dallas waiting in Seagoville...if the committee-sitters will listen.

The folks on the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission who oppose HB 3450 have produced lots of lame-ass excuses for their belief that CAPA would not work here in Dallas. Here are a couple of their excuses:

"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.)

However, the tiny shelter in Seagoville, Texas - one with a tiny fraction of the resources/funding that Dallas squanders on crap like HSUS reports - is doing very well in the No-Kill arena.

Here is a recent article about the Seagoville Shelter, and how they're succeeding despite the convictions of the fear-mongering, self-described "experts" in Big Kill Big D.

I visited the shelter about three months ago when they were just getting started. The HB 3450 opponents at Dallas City Hall need to visit. It is in a tiny building. It started out with no real employees, no real funding. But No-Kill is how they're running it.

During my visit, Sgt Bailey, the Seagoville policeman involved in the shelter, told me that "I am not in the business of killing animals." He's not sitting on some useless committee and quarreling about who does the paperwork. He's saving animals by dedication and a belief that it's possible. So are the unpaid volunteers at Seagoville. They've decided to reject killing. I personally think this fearless attitude deserves many props and kudos.

While in the shelter, I also noticed that the elderly gas chamber at Seagoville had been turned into a filing cabinet.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some interesting Poling/Winograd trivia

Recently, Facebook readers following HB 3450 were treated to a smackdown administered by No-Kill advocate Nathan Winograd. (See my blog post of April 12.)

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?*

The only problem with this is that, in Redemption, Winograd isn't taking credit for the tenets of No Kill. Instead, he's simply presenting his argument and the requirements for No Kill in a clear format.

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

The HSUS: Fighting HB 3450 in secret

Even though the HSUS' official stance on the Texas Companion Animal Act - HB 3450 - is that they don't have one, this is yet another whopper. Like their previous lies, this one makes the truth sound like Alice in Wonderland.

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

Why would a so-called animal lover oppose HB 3450?

Whenever I read the latest news about HB 3450 (CAPA), I am always surprised by the opposition to this bill. The opposition doesn't come from the grumpy neighbor who traps stray cats and hauls them down to Animal Control to be killed. Perhaps those who don't own pets, or care about them, aren't opposing the bill because of the possibility of saving some taxpayer money.

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

Comment format twiddled

If you've had difficulty leaving comments in the past, I've gone into my blog settings and changed the format. According to the Google blog nerds, this one's more user-friendly across the board.

If you just want to post a test comment, I won't mind. Honest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Not quite a ninja

Problems with leaving comments

I understand that some readers have difficulties leaving comments. I apologize for this; however, I don't know how to fix it.

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.

Hey, look! Comments!

I can only assume that the THLN folks are reading this blog, as when I went to check out the comments section at, I was pleasantly surprised. They weren't being moderated, ie., deleted if they made the author look anything else than a compassionate genius.

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

Not all writers resort to lies...

... in fact, the author of the Houston Animal Shelters section, Bett Sundermeyer, has done her journalistic homework when it comes to HB 3450.

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

Nathan and Rebecca: showdown at the Facebook corral

This was just forwarded to me. Maybe I need to consider a Facebook page, as I had to ask someone here at the office to sign in so I could see all of this.

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

Be careful what you wish for, Dallas

A certain Dallas writer published a real winner today. In her opinion, those who support HB 3450 should remember her mother's comment "Be careful what you wish for", ad nauseum.

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.

Career suggestions for Tyrone McGill

A lot of people are rightfully pissed off because our former Animal Services Manager, Tyrone McGill, is sitting around collecting full pay while awaiting trial for felony animal cruelty. (I don't think I need to reiterate this story, but if you missed it, details are here.)

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

THLN obfuscates; calls it a "clarification"

This is taken verbatim from THLN's Facebook page. I think it's on their Web site as well. I've added my own cynical comments which are in italics.

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 THLN to the rest of us: you're a pain

Others have noticed THLN's boneheaded opposition to HB 3450 - and THLN's Cile Holloway's opinion of those who disagree with them.

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.