A city council member in Dallas is calling on officials to shoot lost and homeless dogs from helicopter gunships. According to Council Member Rickey Callahan:

“They bring in guys with helicopters and all that to go after wild hogs,” he said. “We ought to be doing thusly with feral animals.”

Dallas Animal Services has long failed in its mission. Five years ago, amid complaints about high rates of killing, the news broke that every single employee at the pound allowed a cat who was stuck in the wall to starve to death.  Since then, despite that a city appointed task force promised a No Kill community, the shelter is still killing over half the animals. Recently, they unveiled yet another plan doomed to fail: put their logo and contact info on the animal control vans, conduct a marketing campaign to encourage “responsible pet ownership,” hire more staff, and either help employees cope with the stress of “killing” or outsource the killing to someone else.

It is these failures which are fueling reactionary responses, perpetuating the false notion that there is no humane, life-affirming manner of addressing animal homelessness when shelters across the nation, including many such shelters in Texas, have unequivocally proven otherwise.

Austin, TX, is saving 95%. Williamson County, TX, is saving 95%. Seagoville, TX, is saving 99%. There’s more: the Texas cities of Kirby, Georgetown, Pflugerville,The Colony, Taylor and Rockwall also report a save rate above 90%. In doing so, they are providing lost and homeless animals the love, care, and compassion that they deserve and which is their birthright. Dallas should do what they do. Rather than learn from the success of others, at least one official in Dallas is proposing shooting them from helicopters instead.

While Americans across the nation consider dogs beloved and cherished members of their families, a Dallas official is seeking to declare open season upon them.

While science has demonstrated that dogs have the intellect of human toddlers, that they are capable of the same emotions, including love and empathy, which demands that they be treated with respect and given a helping hand when needed, Dallas is talking about causing these animals great fear, suffering and ultimately, death.

While the children of Austin, Texas are being taught by their local shelter that animals matter, that we have a duty to care for them, that love and compassion must guide our actions, a city council member wants them to witness their government gunning these animals down in cold blood.

It boggles the compassionate mind.

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