Dallas

Dog is trapped in Dallas. He has a six in 10 chance of being killed.

Dallas Animal Services (DAS) already kills better than one out of every two animals who enter the shelter and recently announced it will round up even more. Apologists for the pound’s director are falling all over themselves to avoid admitting the obvious: most of the animals rounded up are going to be killed. They write how they “hope” they will be adopted or how they “hope” they will be transported somewhere or how they “hope” that the large, national groups will step in to help. But this is nothing more than willful blindness. Dallas Animal Services is where hope and the animals go to die.

How do we know? Past experience for one. DAS has a long history of killing in the face of alternatives, even with rescue groups en route. Even a “bucket full of kittens” who just needed TLC. Even allowing a cat to starve to death in its facility. One city council member even suggested shooting strays from helicopter gunships.

Second, the Public Records Act of Texas. A local advocate asked for all records of outcomes for animals seized as a result of the round up campaign: 66 animals have so far been impounded. Only 7 were adopted, 4 were reclaimed by their families, and rescue groups stepped in to save 15 which DAS intended to kill. The majority, 58%, DAS did kill. So far, Dallas taxpayers have spent $33,000 to do so, money DAS could have used to either find them homes (or, since they seem to have little interest in that, to sterilize hundreds of them instead).

But if you criticize the shelter for killing, you will be vilified on the Facebook page of the shelter’s “social media coordinator.” Name calling – such as referring to a rescuer as a “skank” – and fantasizing about rescuers getting mauled – that their faces get “chewed off” – is encouraged by city officials.

And if you try to do the job Dallas Animal Services is being paid to do but doesn’t – in other words, if you show compassion to a stray, hungry animal and feed him or her – you will be considered guilty of “littering” and subject to citation and prosecution by DAS.

Tragically, Houston has also announced it is going to follow Dallas’ lead and round up (and kill) dogs.

Compare Dallas and Houston to Austin, which is saving 95% and as high as 97% of animals.

(Note: Some people criticized my past suggestion that Dallas should sterilize and release dogs IF they are not going to find them homes and IF they are going to kill them instead. Since they are killing six out of 10 of them, I believe that sterilization and release is the better and more humane approach).

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