Monday, October 31, 2011

Running scared, or DCAP's co-option dance begins

Earlier today, I listened to Nathan Winograd's October 30 interview on Animal Wise Radio. It's available as a free, downloadable podcast.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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

Dallas Companion Animal Project: Ouch, ouch and ouch

Since Jody Jones was brought in to run Dallas Animal Services (DAS) a few months ago, I decided to take a wait and see attitude to see how she planned to manage.

Recently I have decided that she might as well have stayed in Richmond.

The bottom feeders at Dallas City Hall, especially the ones in the Animal Shelter Commission, have already got this no-kill Dallas thing wrapped up. (Not really, but this is what they want you to think.) They've named themselves the Dallas Companion Animal Project. Let's call them DCAP for short.

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.

To my mind, if you're in bed with the THLN and HSUS, there is absolutely no way you can make no-kill become a reality. But DCAP insists this is true.

DCAP's Facebook page proudly links to THLN, HSUS, and similar "hidden-agenda" organizations. Ouch One.

Winograd not only noticed that DCAP's Rebecca Poling borrowed an outdated quote of his; he was sufficiently outraged to write to the major of Dallas and to point this out in detail. He also made his letter public.

Here an excerpt from his letter, in which Nathan eats Rebecca's lunch one more time: 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.

But even though Nathan's letter has been public knowledge for several days, DCAP has not had the courtesy (or the brains) to remove his quote from any of their materials.

Here is Ouch Three. Even if the previous has not convinced you of the disingenuous nature of DCAP, this may.

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 and look up these:

you will see that they're taken. NOT by a group, but by an individual. And they are not in use.

Here's a screen shot of one of them, courtesy of

My guess is that she is busting a gut to sabotage the real No Kill Dallas group - the group that Nathan Winograd actually supports. Because if she can do this, she can keep the spotlight on herself. You can read about this group and find out how to volunteer at the No Kill Dallas Facebook page.

Does anyone care to hazard a guess as to what's wrong with Rebecca? For someone who pretends to love animals, her actions betray her at every step.

But here is the ultimate bad news: while Rebecca busies herself with her egocentric activities and confuses a growing number of newcomers to no-kill, Dallas Animal Services keeps killing more and more animals. Every day.