TZI: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Can I see some ID?
Can I see some ID?

The troubling Target Zero Institute, one of the sham “no kill” consultants that participates in the war on cats, is being called on the carpet by a no kill advocate in Huntsville, AL. At issue are the do-nothing tactics and general fakiness of the group:

Target Zero is actually a nonprofit called First Coast No More Homeless Pets which is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The name of the organization has flip-flopped in the last few years but it was last changed from Target Zero to FCNMHP in May of 2014; it has received numerous grants over the years, two of the largest being from the Best Friends Animal Society (a 2012 grant for $340,000 and a 2013 grant for $280,000).
Target Zero was in Huntsville in early September of 2014. We found out in early March of 2015 that the City had signed a contract with Target Zero on January 15, 2015. When I contacted Cameron Moore of Target Zero in March of 2015 to inquire about plans moving forward, I was told that a Town Hall meeting would be held at some point. Beyond that, there were no specific plans shared with me during our hour-long phone conversation. When I expressed the opinion of our coalition that the city should make a commitment to become a no kill community in order to obtain an in-kind commitment from the public, I was told this position is “silly.”
Target Zero has yet to become visible in this community, to hold a Town Hall meeting here or to otherwise inform the public of how it plans to make ours a no kill community.

As a backdrop to the Huntsville fraud, the shelter in the city of Jacksonville, TZI’s home base, is in disarray. The division chief is quitting her job while under investigation for falsifying records to make it look like the facility has achieved “no kill”:

The city’s inspector general confirmed Thursday that the chief of Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services Division who resigned Wednesday is under investigation.
Nikki Harris’ resignation came a month after at least two whistleblowers made allegations that the shelter was being mismanaged and possibly putting animals’ lives in danger.
Harris personnel file shows that she came to ACPS from First Coast No More Homeless Pets in 2013. She was appointed chief the next year and given a salary of $90,000.

Gee, I’d like to keep a salary that size too, if I had one. Although I’d be inclined to actually do my job in order to keep the salary – not kill animals and lie about it. But I guess I’m “silly” too.

The emperor will presumably continue to show off his invisible clothes. The question is, how much longer must the animals being victimized by this chicanery, especially cats, wait for Best Friends, the Jacksonville Humane Society and the other enablers to start protecting their interests.  Because waiting is lethal.

(Thanks Brie and Clarice for the links.)

7 thoughts on “TZI: The Emperor Has No Clothes

  1. Don’t they…vet these places before they give them hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or, if they don’t meet the terms of the grant, they can take the money back? Because…damn. That’s a whole lotta cash to be throwing at someone who doesn’t even pretend to have their act together.

  2. I feel badly for No Kill Huntsville, which did the work, yet is now being ignored in favor of an outside consultancy whose chief characteristic is its vagueness (and its promotion of terrible cat policies). Many local officials seem poorly educated about this issue — with an added problem when they give the impression they would rather work with anybody except the folks in their own community who pointed out the problem AND the solution.

  3. I’ve been riding BFAS over the contradiction re: their motto, “SAVE THEM ALL” & their “partners” in NYC , the NYCACC, killing them all, or most anyway….

  4. Also in their magazine, BFAS makes L.A. look like Disneyland for pets even though nearly 60% of all cats in L.A. “shelters” are murdered, which makes “No kill L.A. by 2017” unlikely

  5. I think the hardest part for me, and the members of my group, is that we were making a degree of headway when TZ came on scene. It was like we were standing outside the mayor’s door and someone showed up, shoved us aside and said, “move over. We’ve got this. We’re experts. And we are free.” Figuratively, of course.

    We are less focused on people and names of programs than on results. If I thought for a minute that what TZ is selling would lead us to the same destination, that would be great. It does not. The city now has tacit permission to strive for a percentage as opposed to a culture of life-saving and to take years to do it with a focus not on the shelter itself but on forces outside the shelter. When I talked to a shelter director in a major city south of here and learned our city was being touted as a success story in a “we can do this for you too!” way, I just got mad and it led to my blog entry.

    I fully expect some blow back from this and I’m fine with that. Do not come into our community, act like you can fix us, do very little, leave and then stand on our backs to seek more work. We are light years ahead of the other Fellow Cities. But it is possible we will progress no further.

    We want the city to commit to no longer destroy healthy and treatable pets. Period. We don’t care if the LRR is 98% in a month and 88% the next month, provided that no legitimately savable animals died. We think it entirely reasonable for the city to commit to this standard before asking the public to make an in-kind commitment of their time, money and energy. We know of many people who say they will volunteer at the shelter on the day the city commits and not one day sooner. They simply will not be complicit in the killing. And that includes members of my group.

  6. What really gets me is that the people involved claim to have created “zero” or No Kill communities, but when you look closer at the numbers, you find out that this is not true. In fact, I read that Pizano’s “shelter” had a 80% KILL rate before animal lovers essentially forced her out. She was so bad that she got booted out, but now she is teaching others how to end shelter killing? Seriously?

    Also, a few of us have found a lot of flat out lies on their website. They list cities or entire states as “zero” i.e. No Kill, but they actually weren’t. And when some of us would ask questions about their claims on Facebook, our questions were mostly deleted and we were banned from commenting on their page. So much for their so called “transparency”.

    Also, they have cities like Austin posted on their website making it look like they were responsible for Austin being No Kill. Yet, they weren’t involved at all. In fact, I don’t believe TZI was even in existence when Austin reached 90%+ Save Rates.

    I’ve seen a lot a false information coming from that organization that makes me very suspicious. There seems to be a whole lot of false information and false promises that allow kill shelters to continue killing for years to come, while city governments get a free pass to do nothing for years. And the only thing animal lovers have to hold onto is their promises that 5 years down the road they might reach “zero”. How many “5 year plans” has New York had now? 3 or 4?

    This seems mostly like a money making scam to me, that comes at the expense of shelter pets’ lives.

  7. Wonder if the Greensboro NC/Davidson Co. NC Coalition for Animals was taking lessons from these people? The whole issue of outside ‘groups’ (companies) taking over and running public shelters is not working – the PUBLIC tax dollars goes to manage ‘Animal Control Shelters’, and should be administered by the City/County. Let privatization stay private and let them run their own facilities.

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