ImageIn less than 1 week, we will elect a new Mayor, new City Council members and a new City Controller. This election is critical for the 80,000+ pets who will enter Houston/Harris County shelters next year. We must elect representatives who will work to drop Houston’s appallingly high kill rate by using methods that have been PROVEN to stop the killing.

We must identify those candidates who are not only compassionate to animal issues but we also need leaders who will take the time to research what is being done in other successful No Kill shelters. We do not need politicians who are reactionary and will propose more punitive laws that only punish pet owners and will cause kill rates to rise (as we have seen in the recent past). This only shifts the focus and blame of killing on the public instead of laying blame where it belongs….. squarely on the shelters that are still killing.

We are fortunate that Houston does not have to “re-create the wheel”. We don’t have to wonder what will work to stop the killing. There are cities all over the US and Canada, including open admission shelters, who have STOPPED THE KILLING ENTIRELY. We can copy their successful strategies. I met and learned from some of the directors of these successful No Kill shelters this past weekend. They are not killing ANY healthy or treatable pets. Our city leaders must, must become educated on the programs that have stopped the killing in other cities and they must work to put THESE programs in place in Houston. Nothing else will stop the killing.

Questionnaires were sent to all candidates regarding animal and BARC issues. Those who have responded are posted on our website ( and we will continue posting new responses right up until election day. (A link is on the bottom right side of our website). Please review these responses CAREFULLY. Pay particular attention to those candidates who propose MORE PUNITIVE LAWS such as mandatory spay/neuter laws. Houston does not need this type of legislation that will only cause kill rates to RISE. Out of all of the Directors of the successful No Kill shelters who spoke last weekend, not a single one of them supported mandatory spay/neuter laws. NOT ONE. Yet all of these shelters were still successfully saving all healthy and treatable pets. In addition, Nathan Winograd, one of the most successful No Kill shelter directors, and the leading expert on successful No Kill sheltering, also vehemently opposes mandatory spay/neuter laws. Please keep this in mind as you review the candidates responses.

I have listed several links below so you can become more educated on this topic yourself. I know mandatory spay/neuter laws may sound like the answer to all of our prayers, but they are not. Please become informed. The 80,000 pets who may die in Houston shelters next year are depending on us to make informed decisions. 

1.   The Dark Side of Mandatory Licensing and Neuter Laws:   Why Punitive Legislation Fails.

2.  L.A.’s euthanasia rates increased 31% following their passage of mandatory spay / neuter law:

3.  When it comes to spay/neuter, income tells the story:

4.   Mandatory Spay/Neuter Success? Not Remotely:

5.   The Best Animal Control Program in North America

6.  Mandatory Spay/Neuter Fails:

7.  Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws -A Failure Everywhere:

8.   Forced Spay-Neuter laws don’t save lives or tax payer money

9.  Forced Spay/Neuter update – Shifting the Costs of Killing:


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