Gerry Fusco’s $208,000 consulting contract is on the city council agenda for Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

On August 3rd, city councilmember, Jarvis Johnson, told citizens that this contract would not be up for a vote until September. Apparently, they are trying to slip this contract through under the radar and at tax payer’s expense.

We intend to continue OPPOSING this contract as we do not believe Mr. Fusco has the background necessary to be able to turn BARC around. He has no idea what it takes to run a successful shelter (i.e. one where the kill rate and inhumane treatment actually drop). And, we don’t believe Mr. Fusco could ever turn around BARC if he won’t admit that MANY of BARC’s employees need to go. The employees who have abused animals cannot be rehabilitated enough to be good employees and the good employees will continue to be drug down to their level. BARC will never be able to pull itself out of the mire if these employees are not removed. In addition, $208,000 is a huge waste of our tax dollars for someone with absolutely NO experience in the subject.

We encourage everyone to FAX and CALL the mayor and all city council tonight and OPPOSE this contract. If you can only call a few council members, we recommend calling Pam Holm, Anne Clutterbuck, Ed Gonzales, Jolanda Jones, Sue Lovell, Jarvis Johnson–and whoever your own personal city council member is. Let them know that you DO NOT want Fusco but also let them know what you DO want i.e. someone who actually knows how to drop the kill rate. We do NOT need yet another consultant, facilitator or friend of the Mayor with absolutely NO idea how to drop the kill rate.

We have the report from MCV and we have the Mayor’s 2005 Task Force Report. We already know what, and who, many of the problems are. What BARC needs is a Bureau Chief who knows the strategies necessary to drop the kill rate and eliminate the inhumane treatment. Bonnie Ford is that person. The city needs to hire Bonnie Ford as Bureau Chief and save the $208,000 for programs that Bonnie can use to drop the kill rate, such as renting offsite adoption sites all over the city in highly visible locations; free spay/neuter services especially in low income neighborhoods; programs and services that keep pets in their homes instead of dumped at the shelter; a TNR program. All of these things have been PROVEN to drop the kill rate. Houston does not have to re-create the wheel. We can copy what other successful No Kill cities and counties are doing, but, Houston MUST HIRE PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO GET THERE.

All contact info for the Mayor and city council is on No Kill Houston’s website. There is also a link to find out who your city council person is. A form letter is also on our website if you need help with your letter. Make sure you remind this person that YOU VOTE.