The Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area in Texas hides many of the animals impounded by the facility. When a citizen contacted the organization in July expressing concern over this practice, Amanda Craig, president of the HS of the New Braunfels Area, responded with an explanation. This is a portion of that response:
I have to assume, due to the content of your email, that your knowledge and opinion of our shelter have been influenced by the No Kill New Braunfels group. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things and invite you to be a part of our future success.
The only animals that are not photographed are the stray animals that are still on hold, animals who enter the shelter in such poor medical condition that they cannot be treated, animals that enter the shelter that are too aggressive for adoption and feral cats. I will elaborate on the “stray hold” policy. When strays enter our shelter they are “held” for 3 business days minimum. During that time they may not be put up for adoption or presented to the public via photographs/internet. The reason for this is that, in the past, there have been issues with people “shopping” our stray area. The reason that people do this is to look for a pure bred and/or intact dog to breed or fight in order to make a profit. You see, if an “owner” claims a dog the fee is typically much less than the adoption fee so it is financially beneficial for these corrupt individuals to claim a stray as their own rather than buy or adopt if they can manage to get away with it. However, during that hold time, if an owner comes in who has legitimately lost a dog, we will happily show them every single kennel in our stray hold area in hopes that we can reunite them with their dog. Based on the level of detail that a person can give about the dog they claim to have lost, we are able to determine if they are truly missing a companion animal or if they are simply “shopping”.
Shorter: No Kill New Braunfels sucks and here’s a bunch of baloney we made up so we don’t have to do our jobs.
For the month of July, when that e-mail was written, the HS of the New Braunfels Area took in 359 dogs and cats, hid an unknown number of them and killed 243 – a kill rate of approximately 68%. But of course, better off dead than living with PET SHOPPERS. Because you know all the evil people in the world are posing as lost pet owners and looking to adopt an animal off death row in the New Braunfels pound. That’s common knowledge.
But alas, No Kill New Braunfels keeps the ball rolling and stays focused on lifesaving with this recent newspaper ad:
How ya like me now, bitchez?
(Thanks Linda for info on this story.)
11 thoughts on “TX Pound Gets Huffy When Local Advocates Ask Them to Stop Hiding and Killing Pets”
Bottom line is if they did decent adoption screening, then people would not be able to “shop” for pets. They are just throwing out the old “why we have to kill them” excuses. Another question is how people are supposed to know their lost/missing pet is there if they won’t let people search or they won’t post photos?
And what are their requirements for “real owners” to prove they are not “shoppers”? What about the by-their-determination stray and feral cats? She didn’t address them.
And how are their hours? My shelter, for example, has NO evening/nighttime hours – how is a working person supposed to know whether or not their pet is at the shelter during the hold period?
No, sorry, this simply doesn’t fly. There’s NO WAY to truly know if a cat is feral or just fearful in a shelter environment. I’ve seen a cat who was DANGEROUS, like really scary dangerous in the shelter be claimed by his owner – an elderly woman who knew that the cat “didn’t do well with strangers”, but had been living with this beast for years and said that he was just fine at home with people he knew. This cat actually bit through the humane officer’s bite gloves and had to have his cage covered or he lunged violently with blood-curdling snarls at anyone coming near. Staff were actually hiding in other rooms when he was transferred into a carrier for fear he’d get loose.
And I’ve seen feral cats hunker down and go into “shut down” mode where people think “oh, it’s just a scared kitty” and even pet and handle them when really, it’s a FERAL kitty who is coping with the stress as best he can.
So don’t you dare tell me that you know which cats are feral and which ones aren’t in a shelter environment. Especially not within the first 24 hours…
So…this place seems to actively discourage RTOs when RTOs are the EASIEST way to get an animal out of the shelter alive (or even prevent that animal from entering the shelter with chip scans and postings from the field). But hey, I guess they’re better off dead than with “shoppers”, right?
And you know what? We have a woman who is a dog flipper skulking around on our local lost/found pets FB pages. She makes a new identity every week or so and the admins do their best to block her, but they know she’s out there, so they warn people – when you find an animal, make sure that the person claiming that animal is the owner. Do they have a photo of the animal? Do they have vet records? License records. ANYTHING that would make you think that yes, this animal belongs to this person.
They also recommend that you tell people claiming lost pets that you’re going to take a picture of their driver’s license or other ID for the record.
It’s not hard and you can weed out the scammers often just by letting them know that you’re not just handing the animal over when they knock on your door.
If private citizens can manage this (and they have been on our list ever since this crazy dog flipper has come to light), why can’t a shelter?
There are lots of easier, cheaper ways to get a pet than to try to claim one that is not yours. First of all, to claim a pet at this shelter, you have to show proof of ownership. Anyone who has a “valuable” pet is going to have proof of ownership. These days, everyone has at least a picture of their pet on their phone. To claim a pet, you have to pay an impoundment fee (Unneutered dog or cat $ 35.00, Neutered dog or cat $20.00), and daily shelter boarding fees (set by the NB Humane Society). You also have to pay for a rabies shot and a city license (assuming you don’t have these because the dog or cat is not yours). And then there are all the citations you could get for “pet at large”, “no proof of rabies vaccination”, “no city license”, etc.
Opening up the stray hold areas at this shelter so anyone can see all the animals and posting photos online will HELP families find lost pets. The benefits to citizens and our community’s lost & stray pets far outweigh the risks, which are very manageable!
The “public” is not the enemy.
The public IS the enemy when they want you to do your job competently and compassionately and you…don’t.
So, if after the three day holding period is up, do they rush to get a photo up so anyone (like those mythical ‘shoppers’) can see it, and do they move the animal to the area where anyone entering the building can see it, or do they dawdle around and then after another unspecified number of days, decide that the animal just gets killed because no one asked about it? What’s the criteria for actually getting a photo taken and on the site?
The answers to those questions are not known because the taxpayer-funded New Braunfels Humane Society won’t release any information about the pets in their care. The intake records would need to be examined. Just by checking their web site adoptable pet listings, it’s very clear that they don’t add new pets on a regular basis :(
Nearly 100 animals were killed over the weekend at New Braunfels Humane Society due to a distemper outbreak.
The director is telling the community to vaccinate when obviously she herself doesn’t vaccinate otherwise “one dog and one cat” could not possibly cause 100 animals in the pound to get so sick they “had to” be killed. I’m sure the locals are thrilled to get pet care advice from a hypocritical dog and cat killer.
Some happy news—the New Braunfels Humane Society shelter director has agreed to let us (No-Kill New Braunfels) photograph and share info about pets on the euth list to try to find ways to save them!!! This is a huge step toward making New Braunfels TX no-kill! Woo Hoo!