Dallas Pound Tries Out a “You Think You Hate Us Now? Just Wait!” Stance

When the public won’t stop clamoring for their public animal shelter to do the job they’re paying them for, the only reasonable thing to do is punish the public.  That’s the approach the long-troubled Dallas pound is taking in a briefing posted this week to the city’s website.  Among the proposed punishments:

  • Slap pet owners who fail to license, fail to keep a rabies tag on their pets at all times, or fail at some other horrible thing with criminal fines and civil fines.  If they can’t pay, sue them.
  • Impound pets belonging to anyone who hasn’t gotten them neutered and hasn’t bought a special permit.
  • Eliminate holding period protections for cats picked up outdoors.
  • Eliminate holding period protections for dogs picked up from areas “with high incidence of injury by animals”.
dasdog

A dog for adoption at Dallas Animal Services, as shown on PetFinder.

What’s that you say?  You are a taxpayer and if your cat or dog gets lost and impounded by Dallas Animal Services, you want the chance to reclaim him and you don’t want pound staff disposing of him as they see fit before you even get home from work?

You don’t see how increasing impounds and breaking up families by imposing hefty fines many owners won’t be able to pay qualifies as “sheltering”?

You sound like a troublemaker.  We have punishments for you.

DAS killed more than 9000 dogs last year.  But don’t worry, that’s “the hard part of the job.”  I guess thinking up ways to increase intake and take pets out of homes is the easy part.  Good going DAS.

(Thanks Nathan.)

 

 

The War on Cats: Hawaii Edition

You don’t have to be nationally recognized as a feline behavior expert to know that if you box up a cat, take him to a pet killing facility and leave him surrounded by the smells and sounds of despair and death, the cat is not going to be in the mood to play tea party.  Any cat owner could tell you this.  So one would think that people working in an animal shelter would know this fo shizzle.  And yet DOT DOT DOT.

A good Samaritan named Alexis Boyett took in a stray cat, named her Pesh, fed, tamed, played with and loved her for six months and had her spayed.  When Ms. Boyett felt Pesh was ready for a permanent home, she called the Hawaii Island Humane Society in Keaau to inquire about surrendering a cat for adoption. She felt reassured after speaking with shelter staff and made the very difficult decision to take Pesh to the shelter so she could get the permanent home she deserved.

Ms. Boyett says she made it “very clear” to shelter staff that there was no way she wanted Pesh to be killed. If killing became a consideration, she told them to call her and she would pick Pesh up. She tearfully said goodbye, leaving Pesh’s favorite toys with her, believing Pesh would be sheltered.

Shortly after Ms. Boyett left, staff at the Hawaii Island Humane Society killed Pesh. No one bothered to call Ms. Boyett. In fact, it was she who called the shelter the next day to find out how Pesh was doing only to find out the cat was dead. She was given no reason for the killing. Then the local paper got involved:

In a statement to the Tribune-Herald, HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker said Pesh’s “behavior did not meet socialization standards.”

HIHS evaluates and tests arriving animals “as soon as possible,” Whitaker said in the statement, and feral cats and “cats that are not socialized” are euthanized “as soon as practicable,” contingent on staff availability.

So basically, despite all standards of care and common sense, the Hawaii Island Humane Society forces newly impounded, scared cats out of their cages as soon as a cat death sentencer becomes available, requires the cats to play tea party and when they don’t, kills them as soon as a cat killer becomes available.  And going by the stats, a cat killer seems to be available pretty regularly:

Statistics show HIHS, an open-admission shelter that accepts all animals regardless of breed, age or other factors, euthanized about 80 percent of its 6,568 cats in 2015.

But(t):

[A]t least 75 percent were feral or “unhealthy,” the society reports[.]

Like Pesh, I guess.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society holds a nearly $2 million AC contract with the county.  That contract reportedly does not specify any holding period.  So it’s a pretty sweet get cat/deem feral/kill/collect $2 million scam they got going there.  I wonder how the local taxpayers enjoy being defrauded by this “humane society”.

Speaking of which, the newspaper reached out to Inga Gibson, Hawaii state director of the Humane Society of the United States, one of the major players trying to reduce/eliminate holding periods for shelter cats nationwide:

She thinks Boyett’s incident could be a learning opportunity and a chance to make changes.

“We need public trust and confidence in the local shelters,” Gibson said. “So we encourage shelters to always be evaluating and reevaluating their policy or protocols. Regardless of the details, should something have been done different to prevent this?

Just to be clear, the “details” of this case, which Gibson so readily dismisses, involve the needless killing of a loved cat who had a safe place to go. But yeah, let’s have a beer summit and discuss whether something should have been done differently. Because I mean, the place is killing 80% of its cats as quickly as they can get them from the front door to the kill room so you know, it’s a head-scratcher.

And while yammering rhetorical, Gibson takes time to spank the good Samaritan:

And Boyett relinquished her legal rights to Pesh when she surrendered her, Gibson said.

“It’s standard practice. When someone surrenders, they won’t be contacted,” she said. “That’s why (surrendering) is a pretty serious decision.”

Yeah I hate the way that lady took in a stray cat even though she couldn’t keep her long term, got her spayed, took care of her and taught her that human beings are nice then flippantly made a call to the shelter to verify the cat would be put up for adoption, packed up her toys and brought her to a place she thought was a safe haven so she could find a permanent home. Only a terribly insincere person would do all those things.  Thanks for pointing that out, HSUS.

(Thanks Anne for posting this link in the Open Thread.)

War on Cats: Mt. Juliet, TN Edition

The city animal shelter in Mt. Juliet, TN falls under the police department’s management.  And police chief James Hambrick recently responded to local residents’ concerns by making some changes.  The good news:  The shelter will now be open to the public for 4 hours a day, 3 days a week.  It was previously an appointment-only facility.  The bad news:  Most cats in need of shelter services will be turned away (with exceptions being made for injured cats).  The reasons:

Chief Hambrick told News 2, cats take twice as much work to clean up after.

Stupid slobby cats.

“We listened to citizens’ concerns and we also prioritized our resources,” Hambrick explained.

Ah, so it’s a matter of resources. Or not:

What’s more, he said that if the city gave him more money he would promptly use it to amp up his police force.
“Our men and women are being killed out here,” he told the commissioners. “We’re dealing with some serious issues out here and that’s not to minimize cats, but let’s put this in the proper perspective.”

You guys, Mt. Juliet police officers are dropping like flies out there. And the amount of time it takes to scoop litter boxes (which happens to be twice the amount of time needed to scoop dog kennels) makes them targets. That’s obvious to everyone, I hope. A choice must be made between sheltering cats and amping up the police force because those are the only two possible things and we can’t have both.  This is serious and not to minimize cats but I mean, fuck cats, am I right?

Animal advocates attended the board of commissioners’ meeting this week to ask the city to overturn the police chief’s decision.  I guess those people just really hate police officers.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Lost Pets in Michigan Lose State Protection

The distressingly bad and wealthy Michigan InHumane has been trying for years to get legislation changed to reduce and eliminate mandatory holding periods for lost pets in shelters.  (And when MHS hasn’t gotten its way, it just blatantly ignores the law.)  Its current proposed bill is terrible.

mi hb4915

Portion of terrible HB 4915 in Michigan.

Unfortunately, the state department of agriculture recently caved on the issue and announced it will no longer enforce the law regarding mandatory holding periods in shelters.

Meanwhile, Michigan rescue groups continue to import shelter pets from the south, citing “no pressing need” to help locally.

If you are a Michigan resident, please take action to protect lost pets from being abandoned or killed by your local shelter before their owners have a chance to find them.

(Thanks Clarice.)

The War on Cats: Chicago Edition

Cat ID #A125956 at the Chicago pound, kisted as lost, as shown on PetHarbor

Cat ID #A125956 at the Chicago pound, listed under “Lost Pets”, as shown on PetHarbor.

In November 2014, the Chicago city council approved an ordinance which reduced the mandatory holding period for stray animals at Chicago Animal Care and Control. Stray dogs of unknown ownership now only get three days for their owners to find them. Stray cats of unknown ownership now get zero days. Litters of puppies aged four months and younger of unknown ownership (as well as their dams) also get zero days. Here are two relevant snippets from the ordinance, which can be read in full here:

chicago ordinance1

chicago ordinance2

At that time, Brad Powers, the assistant director at CACC, used the word “perfect” in describing the ordinance to local media:

“Based on analysis of best practices, and recommendation from a variety of shelter experts we think this ordinance strikes the perfect balance between giving a pet owner enough time to look for their lost pet, and giving the stray animal a better chance to be rescued or adopted,” Powers said.

To clarify, when it comes to lost cats, he’s saying that zero days is the perfect amount of time to give owners to find their family members. Now you know where you stand, cat owners.

But assurances were reportedly given that despite the language within the ordinance, animals would not be killed before five days:

When the city initially reached out to PAWS Chicago, one of multiple humane groups it consulted, about the change, founder and chair Paula Fasseas said the rescue organization’s first concern was that this move not increase or speed the number of animals being euthanized by the city, a concern that had been echoed in earlier city hearings on the matter. Those rules—that an animal brought into CACC cannot be euthanized for at least five days—Fasseas was assured, would not be changed.

Sounds like a slippery slope to me.

And a final GFY to cat owners from Fasseas:

For pet owners concerned the shorter hold could mean their lost animals would be at risk of being adopted by another family, Fasseas says the ordinance’s passage has the added benefit of encouraging microchipping, a practice she calls “critical.”

“[I]f owners are upset because the cat’s not being held for five days, then they should microchip their cat.”

And if you don’t like being poor, you should get a job as a banking executive you slouch.

In its recent newsletter sent to rescuers, CACC states that stray cats won’t be held:

Portion of the Chicago ACC newsletter that was recently sent to rescue groups.

Portion of the Chicago ACC newsletter that was recently sent to rescue groups.

CACC makes no mention of the promise that cats of unknown ownership won’t be killed before five days.  Slope, so slippery.

Chicago is the latest city to treat cats like second class pets by refusing to grant them equal protections as are provided to dogs.  And by extension, cat owners are treated as second class citizens with so-called animal welfare experts decreeing they must not love their pets as much as dog owners love theirs.  This is an unconscionable view and all those promoting it are diminishing pet owners’ rights.

The city employees at the Chicago pound need to do their jobs and protect lost pets from being harmed while their owners look for them – including the harm caused by breaking up families.  Shame on the city of Chicago for enacting this destructive ordinance and shame on CACC for failing to advocate for the lost pets in their care.

(Thank you Susan and Mary for sending me info on this story.)