Houston, TX – Just One Day is a nationwide campaign which occurs every year on June 11th. It is a day that shelters nationwide are asked to explore and experiment with alternatives to killing shelter pets. These are alternatives that have already been proven successful in 200+ communities.
In 2014, roughly 1,200 organizations pledged to participate in the Just One Day campaign. They put down their “euthanasia needles” and picked up cameras instead, to photograph and market animals. They reached out to rescue groups, hosted adoption events, stayed open for extended hours, and asked their communities to help them empty the shelters. Roughly 10,000 animals were adopted that day across the nation.
Houston’s pound (BARC) took the pledge to stop killing for Just One Day in 2014. They posted their promise to not kill pets on their blog and they convinced Proler Southwest/Sims Metal Management to sponsor them based on their promise.
BARC promised the media that they would not kill any savable pets on June 11th. The city of Houston sent out a Press Release promising Houstonians that they would not kill savable pets that day.
BARC management promised everyone that they would not kill healthy and treatable pets for Just One Day, but they lied.
In fact, BARC killed THIRTY innocent lives that day. That’s right, THIRTY! That is roughly 6 pets killed by BARC every single hour that BARC was open that day.
Let that sink in a minute……
BARC killed SIX pets every single hour that they were open. That means that BARC killed 1 pet every ten minutes!
That is literally an assembly line of death — on the day that BARC promised everyone that they would not kill at all.*
Of the 54 animals that left BARC that day, BARC sent more than half of them out in body bags.
- Only 11 pets were adopted that day;
- 5 were transferred;
- 5 were TNR’d; and
- 1 was fostered.
- BARC did not bother to update the kennel cards for 2 dogs, so who knows what happened to them? Considering, the mass slaughter that day, I would bet money that BARC killed them as well. See the kennel cards for “outcomes” that day here.
Instead of killing 30 pets, BARC’s leadership could have picked up a phone and called rescue groups and foster parents to help pull more pets to safety. They could have called the media to help garner more of the public’s help in getting those 30 pets out alive.
BARC leadership could have gotten on their computers and MARKETED those animals.
BARC leadership could have organized dozens of adoption events all over Houston’s 600 square miles, like this one in which over 400 BARC animals were adopted.
There are dozens of alternatives that BARC’s leadership could have taken that day instead of KILLING 30 pets.
When I first looked at the kennel cards of all of the innocent lives that BARC/City of Houston snuffed out that day, I felt sick. I can still hardly look at those precious faces without tearing up.
But, now I am FURIOUS. I am furious at the lies and senseless killing. And I am furious that my tax dollars are used to enable massacres like this. I am furious that when Annise Parker first ran for mayor, she promised to “do everything in her power to transition Houston to No Kill community” but those promises have been nothing more than lip service. For the 5 YEARS that she has been in office, she has done squat to keep her promises. During that time, over TEN THOUSAND animals have been killed by BARC EVERY YEAR. And in those 5 years that she has allowed BARC to continue killing, HUNDREDS of other Open Admission pounds and shelters have stopped killing. In fact, there are over 200 communities with Open Admission, pounds and shelter, all over the country, saving 90% to 99% now. Most of them achieved their successes after Annise Parker made her No Kill promises to Houstonians.
In fact, the newest Open Admission shelter to join the No Kill club is The Humane Society of Fremont County CO. That shelter used to kill over 50% of all animals in their care, just like BARC. But, several months ago, they hired new leadership. They hired Doug Rae, who is a hard working and compassionate leader and who is dedicated to saving lives. Do you know what happened?
Fremont County killed ZERO animals in December. That is right, ZERO. Doug Rae’s leadership transformed a shelter that was killing 50% to one than killed 0%, within a few months.
So, while Annise Parker take pictures for her “Pet of the Week” PR stunt — and while many of those same “Pets of the Week” then end up on BARC’s death row — shelters all over the country have worked hard to implement the programs and services that allowed them to stop killing.
Yes, BARC’s Save rate has increased slightly in 2013 and 2014, and an increased save rate is nice. However, the miniscule increase in saving lives is revolting!
What kind of person, who has the power to hire employees who would end shelter killing, instead does nothing year after year after year? Why isn’t this travesty at the top of her “to do” list? It’s not like ending shelter killing is a secret. Nathan Winograd gave the city of Houston a step by step guide in 2009. The only thing Annise Parker has to do is hire shelter leadership, like Fremont County did, who will actually work hard to rigorously implement all of the programs and services of the No Kill model of sheltering.
So, why does Annise Parker continue to do nothing to end pet killing in Houston?
If we all do not demand that the city hire a shelter manager who will end the killing, nothing is likely to change. We’ve seen this for 5 years. Citizens must be the driving force for change for the animals. That is why I am asking you to demand better from Annise Parker and Houston’s city council. You can find their contact information listed here. Calling them is best, but letters and email are good too. If you have trouble coming up with talking points, you can find some on this petition. You can also sign the petition which will send an email to the mayor and city council.
But, please do not let this be the last time that you speak out for the animal’s in Houston’s pound.
*As a result of BARC and the city of Houston’s lies, BARC has been removed from the Just One Day website.
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