Nobody at the Dallas Pound Forced to Do Anything Ever

Dog ID #847991 at the Dalls pound, as posted on PetHarbor.com

Dog ID #847991 at the Dallas pound, as posted on PetHarbor.com

The NBC affiliate in Dallas recently ran a story with the headline “Overload Forces Shelter To Euthanize Dozens of Pets” which needs to be stomped on. Get on your heavy boots.

Overload. This makes it sound as if intake has skyrocketed at the Dallas pound recently and Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up with all the chocolates coming down the line. In reality, the pound’s intake numbers have been down slightly in comparison with 2013 for the months of January through May. While June did see an increase over the 2013 numbers, it was only 32 additional animals in a facility that takes in roughly 2000 animals every month. Clearly “overload” is not the proper word to characterize the pound’s population – maybe “usual load” would be more accurate.

Forces. I hate to see this word used when describing why shelters kill animals. I hate it so much, I think we need to nuke it from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure. Nobody ever in the history of the known universe has been forced to kill a shelter pet. By the same token tragically, nobody who works in a shelter has ever been forced to do their job of sheltering animals. There is no way to force anyone to do their job any more than they can be forced to kill. They have to want to do it. Which says it all when you look at what they choose to do when it comes to sheltering vs. killing.

Shelter. Wrong. The Dallas pound has killed approximately half the pets who have come through its front doors this year. This is not a safe haven. Animals are not being protected from harm at the Dallas pound but in fact the opposite – they are being subjected to the ultimate form of violence by those paid to shelter them.

Euthanize. If you went to journalism school, you may already know how to use a dictionary. If not, crack one open now. Euthanasia, or “good death” is the appropriate word to describe ending the suffering of a pet deemed medically hopeless by a veterinarian. Killing friendly, healthy, happy dogs and cats for convenience instead of doing the hard work of sheltering them is not “euthanasia”.  It’s killing. Own it.

Dozens of Pets. This puts a picture in the reader’s mind of some number of shelter animals who were killed, relatively small in comparison to the thousands being taken in by the pound every month. A minor tragedy, if you will. The truth is, in May and June of this year, the Dallas pound killed 3274 animals. Sure, there are dozens of pets being killed but that’s happening every single day of the week. The mountain of dead animals being needlessly killed at the Dallas pound is staggering and characterizing it as dozens is misleading.

Here’s your headline:

Usual Load of Animals Results in Usual Outcome at Dallas Pound: Needless Killing of Thousands of Happy Pets.

There, I fixed it.

(Thanks Mike for the link and the stats.)

Leave a comment

13 Comments

  1. FixCharlotte

     /  July 29, 2014

    If only the press could buy a clue, or even borrow one.

    Reply
    • They know what is going on there. They are doing the politically correct version (Lying ) of the story.They are censored by local politicians . They did a story here on closing down the inner loop. A friend did a interview with them as he was against it. When the story aired the news station only put those who were for the closing because that was what the city wanted. None that were against it were on the air.

      Reply
  2. mikken

     /  July 29, 2014

    And, BTW, we’re doing nothing to change these numbers next week, next month, or next year. It’s just how things go here because we’re totally cool with it.

    Reply
    • Why change when you have the local media to apologise for you and justify your failures? Plus, change sounds like work.

      Reply
  3. sarahjaneb

     /  July 29, 2014

    If shelter workers are “urging pet lovers to consider adopting” then why do they show fewer than 200 animals available for adoption on PetHarbor?

    Reply
  4. “There. I fixed it.” I actually laughed at that, which makes me feel a *little* bad. I’m going to copy your ‘Euthanize’ paragraph to rerun when I see people saying “we euthanized for space..” if that’s ok by you. It’s perfect.

    Reply
  5. Shirley, I posted your entire blog on this atrocious bit of journalism as a comment on the Dallas NBC affiliate’s website. What a crock!

    Reply
  6. Janet Gill

     /  July 29, 2014

    Great commentary, as usual! You definitely fixed it and I hope Dallas is listening. It’s time for pounds everywhere to own their killings and to stop hiding behind the words “euthanasia” and “put to sleep.” Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Check out this group. They have “a plan” to create a no kill USA. https://www.facebook.com/nokillcoalition

    Reply
  8. Reminds me of when the newly hired Operations Manager decided to save lives by halving the available the cages with no foster program in place. I hope to dear heaven that others don’t follow suit – http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Articles/Shelter_Veterinarian_Takes_on_Challenge.html

    Reply
    • db

       /  July 31, 2014

      677 adoptions in a city the size of Dallas? I surely wouldn’t be all that proud of that.

      Reply
  9. Don’t they know the meaning of the word shelter! They couldn’t pay me enough to kill these poor animals! You have to be heartless to work at a killing shelter! No kill shelters exist and there is no excuse for those who prefer killing!

    Reply

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