11 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Los Angeles is considering raising the cat limit from 3 to 5. There will be a hearing on Feb. 17.

  2. For a wonderful story that goes with the uncaptioned photo Shirley posted, click on the “300” below the picture. Some of the comments are good also.

    Thanks, Shirley. I needed something calming this morning.

  3. Some weeks back, I left a long comment about Douglas Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home,” which explained why it’s the loss of native plants — which support native insects that birds need to eat — that caused the loss of native birds. Tallamy is no fan of cats, but his work nevertheless puts the blame squarely where it belongs, on habitat loss, and is a great corrective to the fanatical blaming of cats for the decline of birds.

    About half of this NY Times piece is about a recent presentation by Tallamy, and it’s a nice (and very brief) introduction to his work.


  4. If you lived in this city which is trying to transition from high kill and no kill and you read this article, what would you think? Would you be more focused on the progress or would you be concerned about sustainability? This is an honest question. I have been in the trenches here for years, I have very strong opinions about the city’s decisions and refusals and I need to work to see this from the perspective of the tax paying citizen so I don’t lose sight of the end goal: a time when the city commits to no longer destroy healthy and treatable pets.


    1. I don’t live anywhere near Huntsville, but here’s my reaction as a regular pet-owner who believes in No Kill.

      I was thinking positive thoughts until I got to this section:

      “While Huntsville is working with a national animal welfare group to become a ‘no kill’ city within three years, the shelter for now selectively euthanizes pets to make room for new arrivals.

      “According to the shelter’s annual report, 1,500 dogs and cats were destroyed in 2014. Just over a third — 528 pets – were considered too sickly or too aggressive to be offered for adoption.

      ” ‘We have some really nasty dogs come through here,’ said Buchan. ‘We won’t adopt out a pet that we feel might kill or injure another pet or a person.’

      “The other 972 pets destroyed last year were healthy or had a treatable condition, such as a broken leg or kennel cough. That total includes owner-requested euthanasia.”

      I read this as:

      The shelter carries out displacement killing. They kill healthy and treatable animals. They also declare animals too sick to be saved — a declaration made by many shelters that don’t want to provide medical care for the animals in question, even when treatment would be successful. I don’t know if that’s going on, but when displacement killing is acknowledged to be happening, I’d wonder.

      They declare animals too aggressive to be saved, too, and we know that many shelter animals declared aggressive are not — they are stressed by the shelter, have no outlet for their energy, or are fearful or untrained. So I would wonder if this shelter had a behavioral rehabilitation program or playgroups for dogs. And how they do their assessments, and who does them. Hopefully not the same person who characterizes some dogs as “nasty” and then orders them killed.

      Also, I don’t believe that owner-requested euthanasia should be carried out on demand, as sometimes that might be economic euthanasia. I believe there should be a fund to help with medical expenses for owners who can’t afford treatment that will save the pet’s life. In some cases, the owner might relinquish the pet. The outcome for the pet should be the same in either case: medical treatment, followed by a good home, either the original home or a new home.

      So while the shelter has come an impressively long way in a short time, if I lived in Huntsville, I would have a lot of questions. My focus would definitely be on the need to make further progress immediately.

      One person’s take . . . I hope this addresses what you were asking. Thank you for your work!

      1. Thank you for your comments, Karen. They do help. I think it is likely that most of our public will read the article, say the shelter is doing a great job and call the mission done. We have serious reservations about some of the programs being used to save lives. And in the end, our biggest issue is the city’s failure to draw a line in the sand and just no longer destroy healthy and treatable pets. The group the city is working with does not focus on that type of culture, is more focused on a statistic and has no proven track record to stand on.

        At this point, we are being very careful about our public comments and working to use the progress to create a public expectation that tax dollars will not be used to destroy savable animals. We can do little about the failed or misguided programs in place since the city really cares not one bit what we think or what we promote.

        We worked to be catalysts for change and now that some change has taken place, we now must shift to simply keeping the city honest be reporting facts and telling people how their money is being used.

        Again – thanks.

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