The Odessa pound in Texas is a mess. The pound’s outrageous recent history includes needlessly killing a beloved pet while blaming the owner, banning rescuers without reasonable cause and violating their First Amendment rights. Although the police department in charge of the pound does not make its statistics available to the public on its website, one area rescuer cites a kill rate of nearly 85% and claims “6 or 7″ dogs are housed in each kennel. A petition seeking improvements at the pound has collected more than 5800 signatures to date. The Odessa American reports the pound killed 5,442 animals in the first 10 months of 2013, deeming all but 353 of them unadoptable.
How does the city of Odessa deal with this level of incompetence and corruption in its employees? By giving them raises, of course. In October 2013, a vote to give city employees a 5% pay raise was approved and last week, city council approved another raise of at least 2% at its public meeting. In attendance was one Lori Baker, who told city council the Odessa pound employees needed to start cleaning cages and providing actual shelter to animals in need:
“I have a problem with you giving raises to people who are not doing their job,” Baker said.
There, she said it.
Thank you Ms. Baker for speaking out and advocating for animals at the pound. I hope more people will be inspired to speak up at the next city council meeting on February 11. Otherwise I fear at the rate things are going, the city council might just start handing out envelopes of cash to the pet killers at the Odessa pound.
(Thank you Clarice for the link.)