39 thoughts on “Open Thread

      1. No…. but it made me wonder if this person had any pets.. God I hope not. Shirley needs to delete the post. forgot about needing to be animal related. forgive me.. I’m old

  1. And the article says this guy was shocked that he was found guilty of animal cruelty? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  2. Once again the cracks in Austin’s “no kill” facade are showing. AAC is too full and is no longer taking in any more animals, and their spokesperson is not so subtly implying that they may start killing for space.


    “‘We have no space left’ [AAC spokeswoman Fraga] said, and healthy, adoptable animals run the risk of being euthanized…

    The Animal Center is considered a no-kill shelter because at least 90 percent of the animals brought in are spared, Fraga said.

    But, she added, the shelter environment for any animal is risky, especially when the conditions are overcrowded.”

    1. Time to run an adoption event and see if the “irresponsible public” will step up again. They usually do!

    2. Wait, you’re upset that they’re taking steps to deal with the overcrowding? They’re waiving adoption fees to get animals out. Surely that’s a good thing?

      1. Yes, waiving adoption fees is great, and it’s something they should be doing more often, since they’re almost always running at capacity. The problem is that their spokesperson is essentially threatening to kill for space if people don’t step up and adopt. If they kill even one healthy/treatable animal for space, then that’s not no kill. IMO even threatening to kill for space is not compatible with the tenets of no kill.

      2. “IMO even threatening to kill for space is not compatible with the tenets of no kill.”

        Agreed. It’s a crap way to do it and it’s a sucky message to give to the people. They certainly need to handle it differently.

      3. Yep, they really do need to find a different way to handle overcrowding. They pulled this same nonsense last year, and they actually did kill for space and then threaten to kill *more* animals if people didn’t adopt enough. http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/austin-in-crisis/

        This is also part of the reason I have a huge problem with using only live release rate to claim no kill status. In May 2012 Austin’s live release rate was right at 90%. But that sure as hell ain’t what no kill is about!

    3. The “cracks” in this community are not a No Kill façade. In 2008, Austin killed more than 9000 homeless pets. Last year, about 10% of the 2008 rate. One week does not negate the work they did to get where they are. Or the work that community does every day. This community ran into a similar issue last year. And they found a way to get through. I hope and look forward to them doing that again.
      Remember this facility is trying to be No Kill. But the city only mandates they cannot kill if there are any empty cages. With the help of rescues and Austin Pets Alive! They have maintained the 90% in 2012. So don’t confuse the municipal shelters with the whole rescue community, and don’t look and dote for No Kill failures unless you are rooting for the death of homeless pets.

      1. I am quite aware that they had a similar issue last year, and that several animals were killed for space. That’s not no kill. Then when it happened again this year (which hey, maybe they could have predicted and prepared for?) they threatened to kill again. That is not no kill, regardless of the 90% live release rate.

        I am absolutely not condemning the Austin rescue community. The rescues, especially APA, are doing far more than their share. That does not change the fact that when AAC kills for space or threatens to do so, it proves that they are not committed to no kill. When the main municipal shelter is not committed to no kill, the community has a problem. I have no idea what your last sentence means, but if you’re saying that pointing out no kill bullshit means you’re in favor of killing animals, that’s just dumb.

      2. I agree with you Sarah – threatening to kill animals is not consistent with a belief in protecting the lives of shelter pets. I was very disappointed when Austin Animal Center did it last year and I am equally disappointed to see they are turning away owner surrenders now. I hope they don’t kill any shelter pets but they are harming the community by not taking in owner surrenders right now. I am watching the situation.

        On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM, YesBiscuit!

      3. It’s not very clear, is it? I think they’re saying the crisis is over and they’ll grudgingly accept owner surrenders. But remember, the shelter isn’t a safe place to surrender a pet!

      4. Are you local Sarah? Could you give them a call and get a definitive answer? I was looking around the website for anything to clarify but couldn’t find anything.

      5. Sarah, I think we are in agreement. But I felt someone not knowing the community could have been misled into thinking that Austin, as a whole community was some façade when it came to No Kill. Austin is an excellent example of what can happen in a community where a few people stand up (the folks in and affiliated with APA for instance) get together and really change the world. And when Austin burps, the anti No Kill trolls come out of the woodwork and start announcing the proof that No Kill fails because Austin had a challenging week (this Austin story was used against No kill Colorado this weekend in the Denver post article I linked below). I don’t think a shelter should ever threaten to kill homeless pets as a public awareness announcement, but I hate to see people take advantage of that city when any one thing goes wrong. Austin’s current state should be a goal for most metro areas in the U.S.

        Denver Post article where the comments use Austin as an example that No kill will not work:

      6. I think we’re mostly in agreement, and I absolutely didn’t mean to imply that no kill is failing Austin or that it can’t ever work. We’re so close, but I’m very disappointed with the way AAC has handled this challenge. I’m disappointed that they didn’t plan for it – looking at their numbers for the last 3 years, there’s clearly an enormous increase in the number of cats coming in each May, and they should have done something proactively to prevent the overcrowding rather than wait until it became a crisis. I’m disappointed that they threatened to kill animals for space, I’m disappointed that they stopped taking owner surrenders, and I’m disappointed that even with the crisis past they’re still telling people that the shelter isn’t a safe place to surrender an animal and it’s not their job to handle owner surrenders.

  3. Healdsburg Animal Shelter in California is threatening to kill pets to save money –

    Meanwhile, also this week, the director of Sonoma Co. ACC resigned, and the ACC & Sonoma Humane Society announced an agreement to transfer pets from ACC to the HS –

    1. Sonoma County ACC just signed on for the “Just One Day” pledge as “now and forever,” as well.

  4. The Yavapai Humane Society in Prescott, AZ, is considering mandatory S/N for all pit bulls.

    Here is the original article seeking emailed comments from the public:

    Here is the follow-up after comment period ended:

    I wrote an emphatic email against mandatory S/N and for better access to low cost S/N. A couple of my points are in a FB comment I made on their page.
    My FB comment, in summary:

    “Do I believe people should willingly spay/neuter their animals? Absolutely. But mandatory S/N doesn’t prevent animal abuse, and it certainly doesn’t encourage compliance with the laws if you are already breaking them. It doesn’t matter what breed or species you are dealing with. The only way this is enforceable is during licensing of the animal. If people don’t license their pit bull, they won’t be obligated to get it spayed/neutered. The proposal only keeps honest people honest – just like most of these unenforceable ordinances.”

    This is an animal shelter that says, “Since applying the No-Kill Ethic at YHS we have seen a remarkable change in our community. Thank you everyone for your support!”

    Pretty sure BSL and MSN are NOT part of the No-Kill ethic.


    1. BSL and MSN are not part of the No Kill Equation. Is YHS claiming to be applying some other “no kill ethic”? And if so, what is it?

      1. Sorry, my words “Pretty sure” were meant in an annoyed, sarcastic way. ;)

        YHS has a barn cat program for Ferals, works with a very large rescue network, has a very large foster and volunteer base, and has frequent adoption specials. In summary, though, the director says that healthy and treatable animals will not be killed because of lack of resources or care.

        When they are at capacity, they have a waiting list for owner surrenders, which keeps their shelter down. Nothing on their website mentions exceptions for emergencies tho. They are very transparent with statistics and post their LRR and kill rates monthly. They apply the “no-kill” ethic, but are not a “no-kill” shelter, as the director says, although they have maintained a LRR >93% for quite a long time. I worry that it’s because it would hold them to a higher standard.

        In his article for MSN of pit bulls, he tries to say that it will protect the dogs and people. I feel that more of the dogs will either be hid away from the public eye if this is enacted or be discarded. Basically, this community has proven that no-kill works, though, so it’s obviously not a real “overpopulation” issue. It just isn’t right to me.

      2. There is a mountain of evidence showing that MSN is a failure. Basically just look at everywhere it’s been tried. What is the director’s proposal for those who can’t afford to neuter their Pitbulls – break apart the family?

      3. That’s what I’m afraid will end up happening. He uses San Francisco’s MSN of pit bulls as his example of “successful” MSN, so I don’t know if he will try to follow their “methods” or not. He proposed this asinine idea without even explaining how it would be enforced, implemented, etc.

        Hopefully he will come to his senses and change his mind.

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