Roswell: Some People Just Don’t Get It

The city of Roswell, New Mexico, whose mayor Dennis Kintigh may be under alien mind control, has an ordinance stating that lost and homeless animals must be killed after 7 days at the shelter, regardless of how many cages sit empty.  Animal advocates have called for an end to that policy but the mayor and the police chief have refused, in the most gleeful sounding ways.  But now the city is planning to hire someone new to run the shelter and will begin accepting bids for the position on July 28.  Major reform may be within reach:

“If they want to keep animals longer, they can,” Kintigh said.

That’s because the shelter is getting new management. The city will take applications, and rescue groups will be included.

“The idea is those that have a passion for caring for animals would step up and provide a level of care and service that those that don’t have the passion wouldn’t be able to provide,” Kintigh said.

Note the they – just one side-eye short of those people.  At issue is management of the public shelter paid for by taxpayers in the city this mayor runs.  Where is he coming up with this they notion?  If the mayor is not invested in his own community’s shelter, why would anyone else?

As a reminder, the primary complaint is that management needlessly kills animals they have resources to shelter – because they can.  It would seem that the only thing the current management has a passion for is killing animals.  Regardless, the mayor’s assertion that people who don’t care passionately about animals are unable to perform the same quality of work as those who do is ludicrous.  He’s giving a pass to animal killers for not doing their jobs because of some perceived lack of ability.

First off, many people who work for a living do not have a passion for bagging groceries, driving a cab, buffing floors or what have you.  That’s why they call it work.  We do it for a paycheck and if we want to keep those paychecks coming, we do it well.  I have never worked for a boss who told me it was fine to be a total slack ass because hey, if you don’t feel it, you just don’t.  Secondly, human beings have free will and can choose to feel empathy for the animals entrusted to their care.  Just because management in Roswell has chosen not to do so in no way excuses the needless killing of shelter pets.

I hope Roswell is able to attract a compassionate manager for its shelter.  I hope that not every decent candidate looks at the job opening and thinks they would not work for that mayor for love or money.  I fear that the applicants who would think working under this ready-made-excuse-mayor sounds appealing would not be the type to buck the system and institute meaningful reform at the shelter.  I also question whether the mayor is truly willing to allow for major changes.  Maybe if they do their work quietly and don’t cause a fuss.

(Thanks Karen for the Open Thread link.)

6 thoughts on “Roswell: Some People Just Don’t Get It

  1. I have been following news on the Roswell pound and am waiting for an update on the investigation into the 33 complaints filed against Dr. Leandro Gutierrez. As far as I can discover, he is still working there.

    I hope this is not an empty gesture by the city to silence their critics. A compassionate group is needed and the mayor needs to be silenced. If no bids are accepted, the gloating will be unbearable.

  2. Color me skeptical of any real changes for the better happening there. Because “they” sounds like other people – other people who are not OUR people whom we back unreservedly when they kill pets because it’s convenient.

    I think it’s time for the mayor et al to find new jobbie jobs. Like…something they’re passionate about…can’t remember what a professional jerk face makes in the way of salary, though.

  3. I actually read this situation in a potentially positive light, especially in view of the update Clarice links to. It seems like the animal advocates have won:

    — They’ll get a new shelter director, whom they will help choose.
    — That person will be able to change the law requiring the needless killing of animals at the shelter, and it’s pretty obvious the city will go along with the change.
    — The vet accused of causing so much suffering is gone, and may even face disciplinary action from his peers.
    — The mayor clearly realizes he doesn’t have the right feels, and is making room for those who do . . . and he’s not calling them crazy, he’s inviting them to the table.

    My hope is that the new person will institute all the right changes, and will tactfully give credit both to the animal advocates and to the mayor and police chief, so everybody ends up feeling good and the changes can become permanent.

    So to me, this is a big win, and kudos to both sides. Congrats to the animal advocates of Roswell, and congrats to the mayor for doing — however begrudgingly — what very, very few public officials ever do: admitting that things need to change, admitting too that he personally doesn’t know how to do that, and making a space for somebody who does know.

  4. I read all the above comments above and find them truly inspiring! I really home the new manager is a true animal lover and makes the much needed changes!

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