Houston Pound Oops-Kills Treasured Family Pet

When Karen Lopez went out of town and learned her dog Red had accidentally escaped her yard and been taken to Houston’s BARC shelter, she reacted as many of us probably would.  She contacted the shelter immediately on September 25 – the same day Red was impounded.  She assured the shelter her beloved family member was wanted and she would be picking him up as soon as she returned to Houston on October 1.  She gave her contact information just in case the shelter needed to reach her for any reason.

I can imagine Ms. Lopez might have felt relieved to know Red was in a safe haven and not possibly getting into trouble somewhere.  It wasn’t as good as him being home, but it was the next best thing.  Or at least it should have been.

But when Ms. Lopez tried to redeem her pet on October 1, a supervisor told her BARC had killed Red on September 29, as soon as the mandatory stray holding period had expired.  Oops.  A heartbroken Ms. Lopez told the supervisor that Red was not a stray, that she had called to claim him and that the city had taken her contact information as Red’s owner.

“He had no reason, no explanation but he did say they had failed to look at the police report and that (they thought) he was a stray,” Lopez said.

BARC says Red had bite marks on his face and the stray hold was up.  So kill, obviously.

BARC investigated itself in the matter and has reportedly instituted changes in “the way personnel communicates with medical staff and 311 operators, who usually handle calls from people reporting stray dogs and owners looking for their pets.”   These changes are aimed at avoiding additional oops-killings of owned pets.  Who knows, maybe they’ll help.  Or maybe BARC could stop using killing as its default and start doing its job to shelter animals.  Bite marks and stray status, erroneous or not, should not be an automatic death sentence.  Pets are family.  Shelters such as BARC need to start treating them that way.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

33 thoughts on “Houston Pound Oops-Kills Treasured Family Pet

  1. My sympathy to this woman, who did all the right things and lost her beloved pet anyway. How do these places continue to oops-kill pets, say what they think they should say, and go right on with the killing?
    If this was a no kill shelter, true shelter, this never would have happened.
    It’s not rocket science. STOP THE KILLING

  2. All my sympathies to the family of this beloved pet.. I do have one question though.. JUST HOW MANY OOPS! KILLINGS ARE THERE GOING TO BE before someone WAKES UP AND SMELLS THE DANG COFFEE? This is absolutely irresponsible and just plain wrong! What does it take to tag an animal that belongs to someone and is on their way to pick it up? I just can’t for the life of me understand it! It keeps on happening… and happening.. and happening.. and there HAS to be a way to STOP this stupidity!! I KNOW they are NOT THAT BUSY that they can’t fix this! I’m beginning to think they are doing it on purpose! Again, my deepest sympathy to the family of this precious member of your family. I know how this must feel.. It has to feel as if someone just plain out murdered your baby just because they could get away with it by saying OOPS!! Well, OOPS doesn’t cut it!! OOPS doesn’t bring your baby back to you.. Like db said.. it’s NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!! TAG THE ANIMAL !! PUT IT IN A SPECIAL PLACE WHERE IT IS SAFE AND NOT TO BE MURDERED!

    1. That “SPECIAL PLACE WHERE IT IS SAFE AND NOT TO BE MURDERED!” should be the entire shelter. The fact that it’s not is the problem. Until shelter directors start doing their jobs to actually shelter animals, oops-killings will continue.

      1. You’re right my dear. The definition of a Shelter is just that. A SAFE place that affords protection and care and NEVER the fear of being murdered. I was wrong in the way I worded that sentence. I know sometimes I get so upset at these so called SHELTERS that I word things wrong. Please forgive me for my mistake.. now that was an OOPS.. killing an animal is NOT an OOPS!! IF they are truly Shelters, then MAKE it a shelter.. if it’s a POUND, then call it a pound! Let’s just call it exactly what it is.. These directors just make me sick. They call it a SHELTER just to get the money that a Shelter would bring in by being called a Shelter and not a POUND.. Sometimes I wonder just how much money these directors make for lying their butts off to get the money.. And it does NOT even go to care for the animals that are supposedly in their CARE.. and that’s just it.. they don’t CARE. about the animals that is.. they care about how much money they can bring in to put in the pockets of the powers that be….. sickening bunch!! They will get their time in front of the almighty and it could be sooner than they think. They need to wake up before it’s too late.. God’s revenge is the best revenge and if we’re lucky, he just might let us watch them get what’s coming to them. Again, I apologize for the error in my statement. :) God Bless you for having the GUTS to have this blog and giving us a place to vent our opinions on the stupidity of these kinds of people.

  3. Sorry but there is no such thing as an OOPS Killing. There IS laziness, incompetence, stupidity (BARC has been around for YEARS and they’re just now communicating between the operators and the kennels???), and quite frequently illiterates working with the animals who can’t read the tags even when they’re properly marked.

    1. You are right! Laziness, incompetence, stupidity and lack of compassion and commitment to the animals in their “care”!

      1. It just goes to show you that there are people employed there that backgrounds have not been checked, references have not been checked, they just hire any old anything off the street that they think might not say a word about the conditions in the pound and won’t think twice about taking the life of a living breathing animal whether it belongs in someone’s family or not. It’s a sorry state of affairs when this happens. The people that oversee the pound have no heart, soul nor even care what happens to the animals nor their owners. They think they won’t sue, so they just do whatever they want to and call it an “accident”… accident or “OOPS” my ass! It’s simply NOT CARING!!

  4. This exact same thing happened a couple years ago. A woman’s dog got loose. BARC didn’t even bother to call the owner even though the dog had name tags on his collar. Miraculously, the woman found her dog online and called to say that she was on her way to BARC. Yet, BARC killed her dog before she could get there. In that case, BARC investigated itself and supposedly changed procedures so this would never happen again. Yea, right.

    BARC had a 57% KILL RATE in 2012….. BARC Killed or Lost 14,700 animals in 2012 alone….. that is over 40 animals KILLED OR LOST by BARC every single day of the year. It is not an “accident” when a pound kills that many animals every single day. It is a lack of leadership that consistently refuses to put programs into place that would save all healthy and treatable pets. Mayor Parker promised Houstonians many times since 2009 that she would do everything in her power to transition Houston to a No Kill community, yet BARC’s Kill Rates have risen every single year since she has been in office. She has not done one thing to even attempt to save more lives. It is business as usual. Issue a nice press release that they have “investigated themselves” and promised that they have fixed the issue. It is all BS. Nothing has changed.

    Houstonians have the opportunity to change leadership in Houston on November 5th. I, for one, am going to take that opportunity to make changes that will save more lives. I urge every Houstonian to do the same.

  5. Are you people that unaware and ignorant? I am so sorry for this lady…and my post is more towards you imbecile people who think we can make BARC a no kill shelter. Do you know there is an estimated 1.5 million homeless animals… In wait for it…Houston alone. I work w rescues and do not condone euthanizing but what in the hell are they supposed to do when 175 animals get dumped in two days to a filled shelter that’s already putting two to a cage to take a few more? Please please give me an answer because rescues are full and broke trying to care for the ones they can save. Shut your mouth if you do t understand. Spay and Neuter should be your message so these shelters are filled to the max.

    1. To Gabby: We aren’t talking about the ones that get dumped.. we are talking about the ones that get a call on and people are on their way to pick them up but they get MURDERED anyway! THIS is what is so deplorable!! They just need to pay attention to which dogs they are killing! Killing a dog that is on it’s way out the door is much different than killing one that has been there for a while. I agree that people should spay/neuter their animals.. especially in a large city like Houston..but again, I say this is about paying ATTENTION to what you are doing.. This is unreasonable and simply uncaring .. they should at least do their due diligence before they murder these animals.

    2. Gabby,
      1) you are spouting off numbers that have no basis in reality. Where do you come up with 1.5 MILLION homeless animals in Houston? People have been spouting this number (and raising it) for several months now. But, I have yet to receive an answer as to where you all came up with this number. It seems that someone pulled this number out of the air and now everyone is repeating it.
      The last reliable data that we have shows that the five kill shelters in Houston/Harris County were killing 80,000 animals per year. But, you actually think that there are NINETEEN TIMES that many animals roaming the streets? I don’t.
      2) You claim that you do not condone “euthanizing” in one breath, but in the next you absolutely DO condone it even when BARC kills an owned pet.
      3) You obviously have done absolutely no research at all regarding what has actually stopped sheltering killing because if you had, you would know that s/n alone has NEVER, EVER, EVER stopped shelter killing. To continue to say that it is the only way, is simply stupid and irresponsible.
      4) There are now over 180 No Kill communities…. meaning they have OPEN ADMISSION animal control facilities that are saving 90% or MORE of all animals. That is FIVE HUNDRED+ cities and towns that are NO KILL. Yet, you actually believe that Houston’s pound has a good excuse to continue killing?… And that they have a good excuse to KILL an OWNED PET?? Seriously? That is what I call imbecilic and moronic reasoning—and that it is coming from a “rescuer” makes it all the more repulsive.

      People like you who continually make excuses for killing are only helping to continue shelter killing. Unfortunately, there are people like you in every city claiming that the pounds can’t stop killing. FORTUNATELY, you all are being proven wrong every single day.

  6. Okay, this is obviously a true “mistake” but one that did cost a dog’s life and I would be upset, also at this huge error. And I’d work to institute more safeguards, that I now hope BARC has in place. HOWEVER, I’m hoping a voice of reason will be heard here and not just be another ad hominum attack on high intake or open intake shelters, again. And remember, that many rescuers have “lost” dogs–due to not having collars with ID tags (or microchips)–and dogs escaping out of their foster’s (or their own) yard, dogs injured, dogs that get ill, and on and on, etc. Those issues, too, are an “oops” tragic mistakes, but yet many focus choose their laser-like focus on attacking shelters. Animal shelters do provide food, water, shelter (in one of the other definition’s sense) to animals and the ones that do not provide adequate care, that should be addressed, obviously.

    And most shelters, like BARC, do try to adopt out most of their animals. And BARC has a huge email network (and online) to try and get out as many as possible to adopters, its fosters and rescue groups, too. (NO, I do not work there. I am too busy in animal rescue and human charitable endeavors, to work). And many of the BARC volunteer email network recipients, also facebook and email out, as well with decent success. But the reality is, that we just have too many dogs/cats of ALL types in the first place, than there are “qualified” adopters (and qualifications are way too low, according to many in the know). Not counting those that would “consider” adopting ONLY want certain sizes, shapes, breeds, ages, etc. It may be good PR for some anti-shelter organizations to focus on shelter’s “kill rates” rather than the shelter’s INTAKE numbers or their TYPE of animals they have as either owner turn-ins, strays, bred with puppy mill or cruelty seizures, etc., (which are often high rates of pits and pit mixes) or the age, size and/or condition of the animals (such as: HW positive, emaciated, have mange, ringworm, injuries, skin conditions and other illnesses, injuries or behavioral issues).

    But pointing the “blame” for high euthanasia rates, simply on the higher numbers euthanized in higher intake or open intake shelters, rather than the high numbers they have adopted/fostered/rescued out, and not looking at any reasonable “why” beyond the anti-shelter chang—“Stop shelter killing! Shelter’s must be at fault!” is obviously taking the “blame” away from the math, not myth, of shelter overpopulation and what adopters WANT. If this is a forum only for attacking higher intake or open intake shelters for euthanasia rates higher than “10%” (and counting mistakes, like those that result in euthanasia), then I’m sure you won’t want to hear anything but attacks on them, I thought I’d offer some dose of reality and true fairness, here.

    1. “And I’d work to institute more safeguards, that I now hope BARC has in place. ”

      Don’t get your hopes up. Nothing will change until someone sues their asses off. Ethics play no role in this equation, only money/consequences will effect change.

      “And remember, that many rescuers have “lost” dogs–due to not having collars with ID tags (or microchips)–and dogs escaping out of their foster’s (or their own) yard, dogs injured, dogs that get ill, and on and on, etc.”

      Safe to say that none of them accidentally held them down and stuck a needle full of poison into their hearts, though. So I’m going to have to say that “accidents happen” and “oops killing” are not comparable.

      “And most shelters, like BARC, do try to adopt out most of their animals. ”

      No, they don’t. Many (most) shelters rely on whatever volunteers can manage, including “urgent” lists, but they do NOT actively work to make animals more adoptable or to market those animals effectively. “Dies Thursday” is not marketing. It’s a threat.

      “But the reality is, that we just have too many dogs/cats of ALL types in the first place, than there are “qualified” adopters”

      Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. I mean, ahem, please stop believing and spreading this falsehood. The reason more people aren’t adopting from shelters is because shelters operate the way they do. The failing isn’t in the “adopters”, it’s in the shelter system.

      ” It may be good PR for some anti-shelter organizations to focus on shelter’s “kill rates” rather than the shelter’s INTAKE numbers or their TYPE ”

      Yeah, that “PR” is really raking in the bucks for “anti-shelter organizations”. People are angry about shelters killing animals, full stop.

      “But pointing the “blame” for high euthanasia rates, simply on the higher numbers euthanized in higher intake or open intake shelters, rather than the high numbers they have adopted/fostered/rescued out, and not looking at any reasonable “why” beyond the anti-shelter chang—”Stop shelter killing! Shelter’s must be at fault!” is obviously taking the “blame” away from the math, not myth, of shelter overpopulation and what adopters WANT.”

      Ok, let’s look at my local shelter, shall we? They’ve been very proud of their adoption rates for the last few years. More than 90% of dogs entering this shelter leave alive. Yay. Very good. And they’ve ridden high on that statistic for a while, now. But the statistic they leave out is the one that says that less than 50% of cats entering this shelter leave alive. They kill more than half of the cats there. Why? Because no one knows that they have cats. They are never up on Petfinder (dogs are) and they’re not advertised in any way, shape, or form. Why not? Because “they’ve always done it this way” and they “stand on their success”.

      So, do I blame the shelter, or the community for not adopting more cats? Or do I just chalk it up to this particular community loves dogs much more than they love cats – after all, that’s what the shelter statistics indicate, right? Just not enough cat adopters. Got to kill the kitties. That’s the way it goes, tough nuggets, kitties.

      What you’re doing here is called enabling. You excuse the shelter killing (and I’m not anti-euthanasia, I’m anti-killing, which is different, despite the fact that you choose to use the two words interchangeably) and try to place the blame on the irresponsible public rather than where it belongs. I refer you to Christie Keith’s article – http://www.doggedblog.com/doggedblog/2013/02/know-the-opposition-why-are-you-blaming-the-shelters.html

      “If this is a forum only for attacking higher intake or open intake shelters for euthanasia rates higher than “10%” (and counting mistakes, like those that result in euthanasia), then I’m sure you won’t want to hear anything but attacks on them, I thought I’d offer some dose of reality and true fairness, here.”

      How “fair” is it that animals continue to suffer and die in shelters for the simple reason that the leadership at the shelter has failed them? The reality is that killing is easy for these people and it shouldn’t be. The reality is that they consider animals as cogs in the system, nothing more. The reality is that this dog is not going to be the last to die in a shelter even though he had an owner and a home and steps taken to try to recover him safely. Because killing is the norm. It’s part of day to day business. And that’s what needs to change.

      This is a forum for shelter reform. As long as killing is the norm in a shelter, “oops” killings will continue to happen.

    2. Sharon, this has happened before. It was reported on Fox 26 a couple years ago, and BARC then claimed that they “investigated themselves” and instituted new procedures so it would never happen again.

      It happened to me when I offered to pull several cats to foster. BARC killed those cats before I could even drive up there because no one cared enough to check the computer to see if they were on hold, before KILLING healthy cats and kittens. Again, BARC claimed to investigate themselves and enact procedures so it would never happen again.

      “Change Agent”, Gerry Fusco claimed that he had instituted procedures that incidents like this would never happen.

      But it continues to happen. The reason is that BARC does not, and has never had, leadership who actually cares about saving lives, and who is willing to work hard to do so. Four years ago, Annise Parker promised that she would do everything in power to transition Houston to a No Kill city. But, BARC’s kill rates have risen every year. The reason is that instead of putting proper leadership at BARC who would actually work to raise the save rates, she left the same, ineffectual management in place.

      You cannot continue to do the same things over and over again, and expect a different result.

    3. Sharon , look around and you’ll see that there are way too many “OOPS” killings. and by that I mean that these people were ON THEIR WAY TO PICK UP THEIR DOGS and in that short of time their dogs were murdered. THOSE are OOPS killings and there are WAY too many of them. It’s like they do it on purpose. I’ve seen way too many of them to have them called OOPS killings.. I only know if it were MY dog and it were killed while I was on the way to pick it up, before I left that pound, a pound of flesh would come home with me! I might go to jail , but that animal is a part of my family. It’s like if my CHILD were to go missing and someone just decided to kill it while I was on the way to pick it up.. and yes. I would go to jail over my dog. But like I said, a pound or two of flesh of the person that sent my dog to be murdered would come with me. That’s a FACT!

  7. Dallas is trying to go No Kill, San Antonio is trying to go No Kill. They have both had improvements in LRR (although not as fast as some would like, actually, many would like). Houston shelters seems to love to pay lip service to idea of No Kill, then actually implement policies that will cost more lives. Houston is Texas’s Memphis, which is a damn shame, because there is plenty of money in Houston too. They have some of the best art collections in Texas and oil. Plenty of oil. Thank god for people like Bett, who fight the tough fight with a officials who don’t care and shelter directors committed to killing.

  8. What we need to do is shut these shitholes down and fund rescues run by true animal advocates. I’d love to know my taxpayer money was funding a true rescue, instead of these places where the staff obviously couldn’t give a rat’s fanny about the animals. This is unacceptable. Someone should be fired over this, but I can’t imagine there was even a reprimand, since this seems to be their common practice.

    1. Holden, no one will be fired. Even when BARC broke their own ordinance last year, and killed a dog before the 3 day, city mandated, stray hold period, nothing happened. A vet was recorded saying that the dog was killed because he had “sore feet”. http://www.examiner.com/article/apathy-while-killing

      But nothing happened. No repercussions whatsoever.

      This is one of the problems. There is no oversight whatsoever. The inmates run the asylum. They investigate themselves and report to themselves. The only time employees have been fired is when advocates kept their atrocities in the media CONSTANTLY and constantly complained to city council After months of this, Bill White finally hired the “change agent” who managed to fire over 70 truly HORRIBLE employees —many of whom took pleasure in TORTURING shelter pets at BARC.

      What other system do you know of that runs like this? This is why we absolutely need shelter reform laws at the state and local levels. Enough is enough.

  9. You are being asked to login because subo711@aol.com is used by an account you are not logged into now.

    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to Houston Pound Oops-Kills Treasured Family Pet :
    First, again, this mistake at BARC is bad when an owned and wanted animal is mistakenly euthanized (not tortured, not tormented, not slaughtered–humanely euthanized–which means “good death” in Greek, not “must be deemed “not adoptable” by a self-professed NK “expert” in order to qualify)

    This commentator above, says that no one has told her how a rescue group helping animals came up with that number of stray/roaming animals and 1.5 million and says that means that there are 19 times on the street, what’s then in the shelters. I say this, if the number out there, is only 19 times of what is in the shelter, then I think that estimate of 1.5 million homeless/stray/roaming may be too low. That’s troublesome, all right.

    Anybody really in rescue (and I don’t mean breeders who occasionally rescue to make themselves feel better about their “career”- who are in denial of scientific math and further, actual conditions for many of the animals being bred–because they have to be, it’s their business to make money off the wombs of animals), understands what Gabby is saying here–that when there are too many animals coming into shelters as strays, owner turn-ins, seized from cruelty, found by the public, etc., then we simply don’t have enough people (let alone, “good” adopters) coming into the shelters to take them all–or rescues to then, to turn around, go to great expense and time and effort to desperately, adopt them all out. And are they slammed for their “marketing”? No, of course not. The focus is shelter-bashing.

    And for letting public know through “marketing”–the public DOES know that there are many shelters they can adopt from from billboards, radio/TV/newspaper/other publications, if they want to adopt–and see shelters (and rescues) at many off-site adoption sites, events, petfinder, word-of-mouth, facebook, emails, too. That’s not the issue of shelters not doing enough to let people know they have animals to adopt, and not just drop off. And what about the breed, size, age, behavior or health and cost of treatment and time, for the animal? We’re supposed to ask taxpayers to keep every type, age, size, breed & breed mix, of all the stray/abandoned/abused/roaming animals out there in a shelter–indefinitely until “marketed” more by that shelter? Regardless of their condition, injury, illness (some acquired in shelters) and mental conditions resulting from boarding too long, etc.

    And finding “good” adopters that go to shelters to adopt, as it is? Sorry, but a good percentage (we need an estimate for that, too) are proven bad–dumped animals with BARC chips in them, and from other shelters, too, “re-homed” (good word for a bad practice) on Craig’s List (good Lord) of these now “free” or “bring offer” or “$10″ to home, and not really caring for how they treat or others will treat animals in every manner, possible– I have news for you–a bad home is worse than humane euthanasia in the shelter. And that should matter and be part of any math equation.

    Should shelters improve? YES! Should rescuers improve (and institute some rules, too, since facebook and emails about about bad/ignorant/unknowledgeable fosters/adopters/rescuers)? YES! Should humans (including adopters) become educated with their head and their heart, about why we don’t need to be creating more animals that we’ve proven we really can’t find enough good homes for, when too many are out there, as it is, and don’t even “get” what proper treatment of an animal really is? YES!

    To anyone who claims that all we have to do, is NOT to limit creating more animals at all, but merely “marketing” them better at shelters, just so shelters will stop euthanizing as the focus of their life, give me a break. Some of us are not only well educated, but we are compassionate and not out to bash and find every fault we can with shelters, as our laser-like focus and avocation (or vocation). We actually want to reduce suffering first and finding good homes.

    Greater education on importance of not breeding, but spaying/neutering and proper treatment of animals–from birth, to death.

      1. YesBiscuit, I think it is the former in your inability to comprehend, as you and your cohorts blaming shelters for the numbers of animals out there not adopted out (at a proposed “90%” in order to fit “No Kill” self-proposed standard), but euthanized, and not even worrying about the greater numbers out on the street who never make it into a shelter, perhaps does show a lack of enough synaptic connections firing on all cylinders, for sure.

      2. YesBiscuit, you seem on this blog, to have a one track-mind, “Stop Shelter Killing!” and have simple answers for that, that are not so successful, nor humane, which is my main concern and responses geared towards.

        I don’t know how intelligent you are, and won’t imply anything, either, I’m very saddened that spreading such “info” that you are, is hurting the very people who really need to do their work to help great numbers of animals, and hurting animals with misinformation process, obviously.

        That gives me great concern and I guess for all sentient beings, and must be wasting time with hope against hope, that you (or others with similar focus) might think twice about what and why, your focus is not on all animals and all the suffering conditions they go through, anywhere, in any place and condition, but just those animals in shelters who will be (hopefully, humanely) euthanized.

      3. I know, right? I’m so DOGS AND CATS HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE-ish.

        Again, take your concern trolling elsewhere. Final warning.

      4. I don’t know what you mean by “trolling,” (will google this, if I don’t know what you mean, exactly) as this post of yours was on facebook and I’m merely responding to the commentary and generic shelter attacks, that’s all. If you are an “animals have rights” (to live, etc.) person, then that’s more against what other breeders do not agree with you on, beyond just breeding ad infinitum, as you may know. And quality of life, according to those that believe they have rights, has to matter, sometimes more than “just to live/exist” under certain conditions and limitations if you are into supporting those rights, right?

        Regardless, I must get off this thread, no worries, because I am using a friend’s computer, and I’m supposed to be working with her on some rescues that she has here at her house (some are from shelters) and so I really must not be taking all this time that I have already responding to a designed-to-bash shelters and support breeders and No Kill agenda points of view, blog.

        Off to saving lives and qualities of lives to continue with getting personally attacked, along with whomever else you want to go after, rather than saving quality of lives, along with lives, sorry.

    1. “I have news for you–a bad home is worse than humane euthanasia in the shelter.”

      My Lab would disagree with this. He had two “bad homes” that we know of before coming to me. And his second one? They gave him away to me for free.

      And he spent the rest of his life in a good home. Loved. Happy. Well.

      You would have had him killed before he could get to me. You’re trying to “save” animals by killing them. That’s PeTAspeak and it’s offensive.

      1. Sharon has been fighting No Kill efforts for years. She wrote me an “anonymous” email back in 2009 claiming that “No Kill is not a realistic goal”. 4 years later, and literally more than 100 communities have reached those No Kill goals during that time, and yet she still fights No Kill efforts and us. She claims that we should not “bash” the very “shelters” and people who are doing the killing. Yea, let’s all just stand by and accept wholesale slaughter as a fact of life, even when the contrary is staring you right in the face….. because that has worked so well in the past.

        It is mind boggling that a person, who claims to be a rescuer, is so bent on fighting those who are trying to stop the killing. Even when we can see that No Kill is working, over and over and over, they still fight us and support the cretins that are slaughtering tens of thousands of adoptable pets. It is truly mind boggling.

    2. I know this person is banned, but I felt the need to respond anyone in hopes that they might perhaps read it.

      I’m responding as a person who used to share the same thought pattern…who used to blame the public for failing to spay/neuter, for letting their pets roam without a collar/chip, for having outdoor cats, etc. etc. etc. I’m also responding as a person who has volunteered and worked for both shelters and rescue groups, as well as having fostered MANY strays who came through my local veterinary hospital.

      So I hope perhaps that knowing this, and knowing that I WAS you, you might be more willing to listen. And if not you, then someone else reading perhaps.

      Blaming the public is the easy road. It feels good, and it absolves you of trying to do better. But we blame the public because they have failed in their responsibility toward their pet, correct? Yet we then fail in that responsibility ourselves…we have no right to lecture when it is our failing that leads to the animal’s death. The shelter is not in fact responsible for every homeless pet on the planet, so in that respect…the oft-quoted ‘millions of homeless pets’- does not matter. They are responsible for the animals in front of them.

      The two shelters near my home have no weekend hours, charge very high fees, do not maintain an online presence with photos of adoptable animals, and PROUDLY euthanize rather than allow animals to be adopted to anyone who does not meet their laundry list. I would be turned away from those shelters, and ANYONE who knows me and my pets would vouch that I am a responsible pet owner who would go to the ends of the earth for them. But because my cat is not vaccinated for medical reasons, they would rather kill a cat then let me adopt one.

      Does that make sense to you? Yet that same shelter uses THE EXACT SAME EXCUSES as every other. Their 90% kill rate for cats IS NOT THEIR FAULT. These shelters are doing EVERYTHING wrong, but they’ve been provided an easy out by people like you…and the person I used to be…and they’ve taken it and run with it. It is a toxic mindset that accepts failure as a positive outcome. Death is failure, no matter how ‘kind’ that death supposedly is.

      And every shelter that is failing increases the load on the shelters that ARE doing the right things. When every shelter/rescue in the country is doing the right thing and actually trying to adopt out animals, then (and ONLY then) would they have the right to blame the public. But that is far from the case, and letting the shelters blame others for the poor choices they make means nothing will ever improve. Are there bad owners out there? Absolutely. But a bad pet owner might at most effect a few dozen pets (and typically less than a handful.) A bad shelter can effect THOUSANDS…so why in the world are we focusing on the bad owners instead of the bad shelters? That’s just plain ineffective.

      Sincerely, I ask you to look around you. Visit the websites of local shelters and look at their policies. Look through the archives at this website and read about the policies of the shelters mentioned. Think about how many animals those failed policies are effecting…how many they are KILLING. It’s as if I started walking around swinging my arms wildly while in a crowd, then blamed inattentive people for walking into my fist. Should they have been paying more attention? Sure. Just like pet owners should be s/n, chipping, etc. But that doesn’t absolve me of the responsibility of not being an asshole in the first place, and nothing the public does or does not do absolves a shelter from putting into practice effective policies.

      1. Thank You, Biscuit.. I think that most of these people have gotten so far off the topic of the conversation to start with. The whole thing was about a cherished family pet being murdered before the family could get to the pound to pick it up. This is more than an OOPS.. it’s an outrage. I am so  happy that I live in a small town that has 2 very loving ladies that run our POUND. and yes they are a POUND.. not a shelter.. but they are more like a shelter than a pound. They hardly ever have to kill an animal and when they do, I know in my heart both of them cry for days. They would NEVER do anything like these people did.  Even being such a huge pound that it is in Houston, they could have done better than this. It’s inexcusable behavior and should be dealt with accordingly.  They should be fired. No questions asked except for one.. Did you have the family of this animal coming to pick it up? And if the answer is yes, then they should be fired as they are only there for a paycheck.   These people can call you every name  in the book but as for me, my mindset is as yours is. This is wrong. Just simply wrong and something needs to be done about it. It just seems to me that if you have a call on a pet that you have in your facility that actually belongs to a family, that family should be given at the least 24 hours to come pick it up or send a representative of the family’s choosing to pick it up with the correct identification and the knowledge of the pound that they are coming and what identification they should show.  There are plenty of ways to get this animal back to it’s owners without killing it “mistakenly”.. mistakenly  my butt. this was NOT a mistake or an “OOPS”..  it was just a bit more than the workers cared to deal with at the time. Probably because it wasn’t in their job description and they have no feeling whatsoever for the animals or their owners.  Just my 2 cents worth.. but I’m on YOUR side.  Take care and keep up your good work. If all of us did at least part of what you do to get the word out there, maybe something can be done about making all pounds into NO KILL SHELTERS!  What a wonderful world this would be! Thank you again for all that you do.  For the animals.. for all of us who care. God Bless……..          “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened”                               Kathie

  10. I’m standing by my previous statement! Fire the ones involved in the “oops killing.” Once this example is in effect, I’ll bet there will less oops killings!

  11. Isabel, we’ve seen this happen over and over at Houston’s pound. Even though the mayor promised us that she would do everything in her power to transition Houston to a No Kill city, she has done nothing. In fact, BARC’s kill rates have gone up every year for 3 years. She has never fired anyone for BS like this.

    The only way that we will get leadership at BARC who actually cares about saving lives is to vote for Mayoral and city council candidates who actually care about this issue. That is one reason that I created No Kill Texas Advocates (www.NoKillTexasAdvocates.org). We have sent questionnaires to all of the candidates in an attempt to learn the candidates stances’ on sheltering issues like this. We also plan to endorse those candidates that we feel we actually work to make a difference. If you live in Houston, please check out No Kill Texas Advocates’ website before you go to the voting booth, and please pass it on to your friends and family.

    Local elections generally have a very lower voter turnout. If all animal lovers banded together and voted for those candidates who care about animal sheltering issues, we could stop incidents like this from happening again.

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