What if They Ordered a Mass Killing and Nobody Came?

I received this e-mail. It is from the animal control officer for the City of Ferris (TX):

On the morning of July 7, 2009 I was called into my immediate supervisor’s office and handed a form entitled Expectations of Animal Control Function City of Ferris. I was required to sign this. I asked my immediate supervisor does this mean I need to go down to the shelter and kill everything. His response was “yes”. I responded “I would not do this, if that is going to cost me my job then so be it”. “I will not go down to the shelter and just start euthanizing everything”. When I returned to the shelter I contacted a few people who have helped out with posting and rescuing. Then it was a huge mass of people showing up, calling, interviewing me, and emails were flying. All of the 26 animals in the shelter at this time did leave the shelter safely… To date… $ 10,000.00 in adoption fees have been received by the City of Ferris since I started this job. I would like to know how the euthanization of these animals would have been cost effective for the City.

The article is here.

Your American Animal Shelter

YesBiscuit broke the story in May of a family dog killed by an uncaring bureaucrat at the Walker County shelter within minutes of arrival. Per Yes Biscuit:

A lost Boxer wearing a collar was found Tuesday by a couple of good Samaritans who brought the dog to the shelter in Walker Co, AL at 4:00. The relieved owner was waiting to redeem the dog the next morning prior to the shelter’s opening.

The dog was already dead. When confronted, the shelter’s director claimed the dog was aggressive. It was a lie.

Click here for the video of the surveillance tapes which show a very gently dog being brought in by an elderly couple. A very gentle dog walking to the back with shelter staff. And the dog being wheeled out in a garbage bag just minutes later.

Once again, while the Humane Society of the United States assures us that everyone in animal sheltering has “a passion for and are dedicated to the mutual goal of saving animals’ lives” and PETA says blaming shelters for killing is like blaming hospitals for sickness, Boost’s family in Walker County AL knows better. The shelter manager needlessly killed their dog within minutes of arriving and lied about it to cover up the crime.

This is YOUR American animal shelter. The one that blames YOU for the killing.

Another One Joins the Club

I received the following e-mail from the new Executive Director of an agency which contracts for animal control sheltering services in the South. I am not patting myself on the back here. It is important because it sheds light on how important leadership is and how much of an impact we can make by providing the information people need to see through the fog of deceit which has institutionalized the paradigm of killing and which blinds people to the possibilities for lifesaving.


[Our community] has always operated as a traditional pound/humane society and was proud of their old school policies. A board member picked up your book as a joke so she could see the “other side’s” arguments so they could know how to respond to them. The funny thing is that it completely changed her view point and she then made all the other board members read the book as well.

With a fire in their belly to make a change they called me to consult with them on how to take your ideas and implement them. I was able to arrange for a ticket to your conference in Washington DC for the board president and that was all it took. They offered me the position soon after I met with them and now I get to help a community stop the killing. I am so excited about being able to make this major change and you are the reason I get to do this amazing work here.

Sadly, some people are not open to change and they must be removed. But this board member was. The others were. And the new director certainly is.


Get the book. Spread the word. Change the world. Click here.

What’s in a Dog?

A just released study in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science analyzed DNA samples of dogs adopted from shelters. The dogs in this study were of unknown parentage. They then compared the DNA results with what breeds the dogs were identified as by the shelters.

I’ve not read the actual study, just a summary by one of the authors who writes that,

In 87.5% of the adopted dogs, breeds were identified by DNA analyses that were not proposed by the adoption agencies.

So much for “I know a Pit Bull when I see one”-based breed discriminatory legislation. Read kcdogblog’s commentary on why it is time “to end the madness” by clicking here.

Citation: V. Voith, E. Ingram, K Mitsouras, et al, “Comparison of Adoption Agency Identification and DNA Breed Identification of Dogs,” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, July 2009.

The Cost of Saving Lives

Many cities and counties are teetering on the economic edge and are cutting back services across the board. Tragically, distraught animal lovers are being told by their elected officials that “it is less expensive to kill an animal than to house and feed that animal until adoption.” Read my response to that in “The cost of saving lives” by clicking here.

This is the second in a series of articles analyzing how the economy is impacting shelter life and death rates. The first article, “Is the economy killing California’s shelter animals” is available by clicking here.

Houston BARC Recruiting

Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation & Care is hiring. The City of Houston is now accepting applications for staff veterinarian, veterinary technician, senior animal care technician, senior customer service clerk, administration manager, animal control supervisor, and more. For a full list of available positions and information/application links, click here.

Please note: I am posting this as a courtesy for Houston BARC because both the animals and animal lovers in the city want and deserve people with a passion for saving lives in these positions. In addition, the importance of having No Kill advocates working in shelters cannot be overstated. While I am working with the City on a very generalized report on conditions and recommendations for their facility, BARC is not a No Kill facility and has not yet demonstrated its full commitment to becoming a No Kill facility.