Get It Together, Mobile

Oh Mobile, what are we going to do with you?

Kitten pictured on the Mobile Animal Shelter page for lost and found cats.

Built in 1967, the animal shelter in Mobile, Alabama “is hidden next to the city’s public works facility and a historic cemetery” which sounds like a delightful outing the whole family would enjoy.

Following the death of Pebbles, a dog who strangled to death on a tether in apparent violation of a city ordinance, animal advocates spoke at the city council meeting yesterday. Citing the need for a larger, modern shelter facility, adequate staffing and enforcement to help the number of animals in need in the city, and a rise in loose “feral dogs”, advocates demanded action and transparency.

The response from city officials was underwhelming:

Councilwomen Bess Rich and Gina Gregory suggested the city consider aligning itself with local veterinarians to assist the city in obtaining licensing fees whenever a pet owner brings their animals with them for rabies shots.


Lawrence Battiste, the city’s director of public safety, said the issues are “economic and employment,” and that Animal Control work is a “thankless job.” He said Animal Control officers, whenever responding to an urgent call, are often treated with hostility.

Oh dear. So the animal control officers aren’t doing their jobs, maybe because the city doesn’t pay them a living wage (starting pay in Mobile is less than $14 per hour) or maybe because people being cited aren’t thanking them (?) so let’s make the private vets act as snitches and fee collectors. Way to discourage pet owners from getting their dogs vaccinated against rabies. That should help the feral dog situation a lot. Somehow.

And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, this guy:

Councilman Fred Richardson said he would like to see an oversight committee consisting of neighborhood activists who would serve as the “ears and eyes” on issues of neglect and abuse.

Oversight committee – the death knell of meaningful change since politics was invented. Never mind the fact that a “neighborhood activist” reported Pebbles the tethered dog while she was still alive. Instead of trying to pass the work on to taxpayers, the people being paid by taxpayers need to do their jobs.

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