Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why re-invent the no-kill wheel?

In addition to a ridiculous advisory board - two photogenic women with NO experience with no-kill - DCAP continues to make nice with the ignorant Dallas public via their Web site.

We are invited to make suggestions about how Dallas to become no-kill through an online suggestion box at the DCAP Web site. However, we are not allowed to discuss examples of shelters, groups and cities who have already become no-kill. Seems the DCAP task force thinks that Dallas is so fucked up that we can't learn from other cities. Why not? What's the difference?

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):

Also, please note - months of research have been conducted up to this point, so while we appreciate the sentiment, general comments like "look at what Richmond did" are not welcome, Keep in mind that we've already researched Austin, Richmond, San Antonio, San Francisco, and many, many more.

The idea to move forward with a cooperative, “new breed” of no kill task force was conceived by Rebecca Poling and Mary Spencer back in May, and presented to the Animal Shelter Commission in June.

Clever way to buy some time, Rebecca and Mary!

And if you're wondering who Mary Spencer is, here's what the DCAP site says:

Mary Spencer is the former founder, co-owner and President of The Spencer Company, the seventh largest furniture dealership and the seventeenth largest woman-owned business in North Texas.

Maybe Mary's going to buy DAS staff Barcaloungers so they can be comfy when administering the phenobarbitol.

If DCAP had really researched other groups, they wouldn't need to ask the public what to do. These and other groups - like Seagoville - can tell DCAP all they need to know in half an hour. Network with other groups, work hard, publicize your adoption events, ask your community to help, be nice to your volunteers, and don't be snobs.

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.

So why is DCAP taking this time-wasting, unnecessary approach, reinventing the wheel when we have plenty of wheels ready to help? Here are my guesses - readers are invited to add their own in Comments:

  1. Poling and Co. want to take credit for suggestions.
  2. If anyone posts an unworkable suggestion, the DCAP folks can feel superior.
  3. 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.)

I considered posting a polite, sensible suggestion at the DCAP site. However, I will never know what happened to it. Neither will anyone else.

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.

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned forums?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DCAP's Advisory Board: Is this a joke?

I decided to check out the Dallas Companion Animal Project's Web site today.

As expected, it's published absolutely nothing about successful no-kill shelters. Instead, they're collecting friends with the same juvenile enthusiasm as an SMU freshman pledging a sorority.

Take a look at their Advisory Board. I'm still scratching my head about this, trying to figure it out:

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.

So far, all I can remember is that Elba Garcia supported the 2008 animal legislation. You know, the one with unenforceable pet limit laws and big fat registration fees for unaltered animals. The legislation that made Mark and Lynn Gideon spend thousands on attorney fees as they were over the six pet limit. You know - the stupid laws.

But Dr. Garcia did get a big fat lick on the butt from the Texas Animal Control Association. TACA gave Dr. Garcia a Presidential Citation in 2008. Who cares of TACA opposed the Companion Animal Protection Act? Who cares if TACA supports kill shelters?

Jocelyn White is equally mystifying. She's on the SPCA board but seems to concentrate on fundraising. But again, absolutely no experience with no-kill, although she can help you shop yourself into insurmountable credit card debt.

And Jocelyn has three pugs. She describes one as "rescued" at one site, but at another Web site she says all three are rescues. Why not shelter mutts, Jocelyn? Couldn't find any that matched your interior decor?