Ding Dong, the witch is dead!

Ding dong, the witch is dead!  The wicked witch is dead!  

Randy Wallace, with Fox 26 news, reported that Dawn Blackmar has retired as Director of Harris County animal control…. and all over Texas rescuers, and animal lovers, are rejoicing.

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A person who directed the torture and deaths of hundreds of thousands of helpless animals, during her decades long tenure, is finally gone. 

This is a good day for lost and homeless animals in Harris County, Texas!

Personally, I am THRILLED that Blackmar is out.  Some of the most horrific stories of abuse that I have ever heard have come from Blackmar’s vile leadership of Harris County animal control.   For those who are unfamiliar with Dawn Blackmar and the House of Horrors that she ran in Harris County, please read my blog here.

Nathan Winograd also gave Blackmar his Phyllis Wright “award” for being one of the worst of the worst in the entire country;  someone who epitomizes everything that is wrong with our broken animal “shelter” system.  Considering the horrific shape our sheltering system is in, that is saying a lot and Blackmar beat out a lot of heinous people to win.  Winograd even dedicated a page in his new book, Friendly Fire, to the atrocities at Harris County animal control.

You would be hard pressed to find a facility in the entire country with a worse reputation than Harris County animal control under Dawn Blackmar’s direction. 

So, today is a good day and I am celebrating.

But we all need to remember that, even after the Harris County Attorney’s investigation confirmed that Blackmar and her employees had been committing absolutely heinous and torturous acts against helpless animals;  and that she and her employees, had been breaking state humane laws for YEARS, the Harris County Commissioners did nothing.   The Commissioners allowed Blackmar to keep her job for over a year, and they allowed her to retire from that job.   I am assuming that she will receive a nice, fat pension from Harris County in payment for her decades of running the animal version of Auschwitz.

Folks, these are our ELECTED officials who have done nothing while humane laws were broken in the most horrific ways imaginable by county employees, and it is our tax dollars that is paying for it.  

We all should remember this when we go the voting booth in November to vote for County Commissioners.

And, although we are celebrating today, if the past at other kill shelters is a guide, the Harris County Commissioners are not likely to hire someone with a better track record than Blackmar.   What we have seen is city and county officials who hire the same types of people over and over again.  They hire people with experience in high kill shelters who just continue the slaughter.

We cannot sit by and wait for this to happen in Harris County again.  

We must tell County Commissioners that we expect them to hire someone who will allow Harris County join the other 200+ communities (and counting) who are saving 90% to 98% of all animals

We must tell them that killing 89% of all animals is not acceptable.

We must tell them that we are voters and this matters to us.  

We must continue telling them this until they do what is right, and hire a leader who is dedicated to saving lives.   Only this will turn around Harris County animal control.

The contact information for your County Commissioners is listed here.

Thank you for standing up for the animals.

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Rescuers, your input is needed to convince Texas legislators to save lives

ATTENTION TEXAS ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS!!!  A version of the Companion Animal Rescue Act may be filed in Texas this session.

If passed, this bill would make it illegal for an animal shelter to kill an animal if either:
(1) a qualified rescue group is willing to save it, or
(2) a qualified adopter is willing to adopt it.

One of the things that opponents of the bill (i.e. kill shelters and their supporters) have said is that shelters NEVER turn down qualified rescue groups in Texas.   I know, for a fact, that this is a lie.   I have seen this happen dozens and dozens of times over the last few years.  In fact, I have written about this very thing many times here.

I know that any dog that remotely looks like a Pit Bull is particularly vulnerable as they are many times denied adoption, and killed more often, simply because of the way they look.  The Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society and Harris County animal control all have policies to NOT adopt out dogs that “look” like Pit Bulls or Pit mixes.

The “shelters” choose to kill them all instead.

Also, I know that the kill shelters are lying to legislators because BARC (Houston’s animal control), killed animals that I, myself, offered to save.  I placed Holds on animals because I had found homes for them, but BARC killed them before I could travel there to get them.   I was told that BARC employees did not bother to check the computer for Holds before killing animals.

A sweet, healthy cat killed by BARC even though I had found a home for her and placed a "Hold" on her.

A sweet, healthy cat killed by BARC even though I had found a home for her and placed a “Hold” on her.

Also, a kitten that I had put on Hold somehow “vanished” from BARC before I could return for her.  I was told that BARC “could not find her”.  This was just a day or two after I took the below picture of her.   I have since learned that “cannot find” usually means “already killed”.

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A sweet, healthy kitten allegedly “lost” by BARC even though I found a home for her and placed her on “Hold”.

I was told that a third cat, an adult Tortie Point Siamese, that I had also placed on Hold, could not be found in her kennel either.   Luckily, dedicated volunteers were at BARC that day and searched the facility for the cat.   She was located sitting in a kennel outside of the Kill Room, next in line to be killed.  On top of her kennel was the kennel card for a 6 week old, solid black kitten.   So, not only did the shelter employees not bother to check the computer for Holds, they couldn’t even be bothered to verify that they had the correct animal.

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Although, I had found a home for this cat, and placed a Hold on her, she was found in a kennel outside of the Kill Room with the kennel card of a 6 week old, solid black kitten. Shelter employees didn’t even bother to verify that they had the correct kennel card and animal before carting her off to the kill room.

RESCUE GROUPS, your input is needed to help get this bill passed to make these actions illegal.  It is vital that legislators  hear from you so that they know how often animals are killed that we have offered to save.   I know you have war stories just like I do.

If this has happened to you, or someone you know, please contact Ryan Clinton  ASAP at Ryan@FixAustin.org.  You can also contact him through his Facebook page.

Time is of the essence, as there is only a short window of time to convince legislators to file this bill.  If it is not filed within the next few months, it will be 2 more years before anyone can try again.

I realize that some rescuers are afraid of speaking publically about their experiences for fear of being banned by those kill shelters so, at your request, your identifying information will be kept confidential.

Thank you for standing up for the animals.

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