Houston, TX – In response to my public information request, I recently received intake and outcome records from BARC (Houston’s animal control) . Considering all of the rosy Press Releases and statements from the Mayor and Alfred Moran, I actually expected BARC’s kill rate would have decreased since last year. Sadly, I was mistaken.
BARC’s records show that for January through June 2012, BARC’s kill rate was 57.90%.
That is up from 56.20% in 2011.
It is also up from 55.33% in 2010.
So, despite Annise Parker’s promises to citizens that she would do everything in her power to transition Houston to a No Kill community, the truth is that during the entire time that she has been Mayor, BARC’s kill rate has steadily risen….. every single year.
In addition, BARC’s Return to Owner rate is a measly 7%. The Return to Owner rate has consistently stayed around 7% for the entire period of time that Parker and Alfred Moran have been in charge of BARC. This is despite the fact that Nathan Winograd, the international No Kill sheltering expert, gave BARC and City of Houston leaders detailed instructions on how to create a successful Return to Owner program…. 3 YEARS ago. I noticed that BARC’s report has no category listed for animals returned in the field. Considering the Animal Control Officer notes that I found and reported here, I suppose it should not be a shock that BARC is not trying to return animals to their owners in the field. It is despicable, but not surprising.
There really is no excuse for refusing to implement a Return to Owner program. It could literally keep thousands of animals from entering BARC. It would not cost BARC extra money to have Animal Control Officers knock on doors and try to find the owners of stray animals out in the field instead of taking them to BARC. In fact, it would save money if thousands less animals entered BARC. Nathan Winograd has said that “one of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims”. I calculated that if BARC worked as hard on this program as animal control does in Reno, NV, BARC would SAVE over 8,000 more lives and it would also save over $970,000 every year. As I said, there really is not excuse that this program has not been implemented at BARC, 3 full years after Winograd gave BARC and City of Houston detailed instructions.
Alfred Moran and his spin doctors are busy telling everyone how great BARC is doing, but the fact is that BARC’s kill rate has steadily risen since he and Parker have been in charge. All the whitewash and pretty pictures does not change this fact.
The question is, when will Annise Parker keep her promise? When will she hire someone who will actually work hard to save lives, instead of just spinning out more fanciful tall tales?
You should ask her these questions. She is your elected official. Click here for her contact information.
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The high kill rate is pathetic, and the way these innocent animals are literally abused and starved while in the shelter is horrifying. How can any American city behave with such disregard to the most innocent, loving, kind living beings in our modern society? Who are we as Humans if we ignore our mandate to be caretakers of this Earth?