Mayor Bill White used a BARC related announcement last week as an opportunity to take one last shot at animal advocates before he leaves Houston to run for governor of Texas. In his statement (see below) he showed his ignorance of who the animal advocates really are, and his ignorance of who his constituents are and have been—the very same constituents who will be eligible to vote when he runs for governor next year.
White stated that “Talk is cheap and advocates come a dime a dozen“….. “real advocates are those who are willing to donate both their treasure and their time to accomplishing the goal that they seek”. Since White, and some of his minions, seem to be clueless as to whom the animal advocates really are, let me enlighten them and readers. Every person who has written a letter, emailed, faxed and/or called White and city council members regarding BARC are the very same people who are volunteering their time to try to save animals from being killed at BARC. They do it by volunteering at BARC, or at various events and projects around the city. They also do it by trying to educate White and city council regarding the inhumane treatment, high disease rate and high kill rate at BARC. They have been trying to enlighten White regarding how other cities have stopped the killing altogether so that White could have stopped it in Houston as well. But White only criticized or ignored the true experts who have stopped the killing, those that could have taught White how to do it too.
In addition, the advocates White references are the very same people who have been spending exorbitant amounts of their own “treasure” by fostering BARC animals or running rescue organizations that pull animals out of BARC to safety. Personally, I have fostered many, many cats and kittens from BARC over the last few years. Considering I’ve been spending $80 per week on food and litter the last 6-8 months, I would estimate that I’ve spent $3,000+ on food and litter alone this year. That doesn’t include the thousands of dollars I’ve spent getting BARC animals spayed/neutered and trying to get them well after they became sick at BARC (because of BARC’s own poor disease prevention procedures).
This also doesn’t take into consideration the incredibly high emotional toll of holding tiny kittens while they die one by one, until the entire litter is dead, from what “should” have been a very curable upper respiratory infection. They instead died because no one at BARC bothered to give the mother or kittens medicine while at BARC even though it was obvious they were very ill. My story is not isolated. It is similar to all the other advocates who have contacted White this year and for the past 6 years White has been in office.
So Bill, tell us how much “treasure” does it take to meet your standards? And, please tell the advocates exactly how much “time and treasure” you have personally spent helping BARC animals or Houston’s homeless animals? In the past, you couldn’t even be bothered to sit at the city council table until advocates finished their one and half minute speech. One and half MINUTES… not a lot of your time that could have helped save animal lives years ago.
Perhaps you should become more educated on who the advocates really are. After all, we are not limited to Houston. We live all over Texas and yes, we talk to each other.
There is one thing that I do agree with you about and that is “talk is cheap”. Just because you pop in for a photo op after ignoring BARC issues for 5 years, 11 months and 18 days doesn’t mean we believe you actually get it now.
Bill White uses BARC to criticize advocates and plug his campaign
I would encourage those to whom I’ve passed the baton to use words that I’ve used in many other contexts, whether it be with our parks, our libraries, our historical preservations, our building of our arts and cultural institutions. Talk is cheap and advocates come a dime a dozen. Ooh, did I just say that? I did. And there’s a role for advocacy. But real advocates are those who are willing to donate both their treasure and their time to accomplishing the goal that they seek. They’re not so into taking credit as they are taking individual responsibility for making sure change takes place.