Houston SPCA killed Tanner even though his original rescue group begged to save him

Houston, TX – The senseless and monstrous “policies” of some kill shelters never cease to amaze and shock  me.   The below story, which I’ve posted word for word, was recently posted on Facebook (here) by a rescue group.   Unfortunately, I’ve heard stories just like this before.   A friend called me last year with an almost identical story, and other people have posted similar stories online.   


“We were contacted by the Houston SPCA on February 6th. They had a cat that was brought in microchipped to All God’s Creatures.  We microchip our animals for this very reason in case they do end up at a shelter or lost.

I was ready to go pick him up, but was told there was a 6 day stray hold by Candice (manager) at the SPCA.  Plus, she wanted the name of the adopter so she could contact her if she wanted him back or not. Not realizing how the SPCA Houston works, I gave them Tanners adopters name and phone number.

The following week (Feb 8-12th) I called numerous times to find out the status. Finally, getting a return call from Candice, she said that she had not been able to reach the adopter but wanted to continue to try being that she was off on Friday 12th.

Monday comes and I start calling the SPCA, again. This time, I get a return call from Keisha Shaw (2/17), another manager at the Houston SPCA.  She leaves a voice message stating that the adopter has been contacted and has come to pick up Tanner. I was thrilled (or so I thought).

February 22nd, I call the adopter to see how Tanner was doing, now that he was back home. SHE SAID HE WAS AT THE SPCA.

I was livid, now! Still having the [voicemail] on my phone from Keisha Shaw saying he was picked up by the adopter, I wanted to know what was going on. According to Candice, the case about Tanner was between the SPCA and the OWNER (adopter) not me. The owner did not want Tanner back because they had told her that he had become sick. I said then, that I would come pick him up. Candice stated that I needed to talk to Keisha Shaw, whom conveniently was not there that day.

The next day when speaking to Keisha Shaw, she said it’s not All God’s Creatures cat.  I questioned about why she said that he was picked up by the adopter. Her comment was she only said that the owned had been contacted. I guess she had forgotten that she had left that message on my phone.

All this being said, I can presume that he is no longer alive, but the SPCA Houston will not tell us anything because he is not “our cat,” according to them.  If only the SPCA did what all the other shelters (Baytown Animal Control, CAPS, LA Humane Society, Woodville Animal Shelter, etc.) do when they come across an animal microchipped to a rescue. They should have released him to us and let us contact the adopter. Tanner might still be with us and not have gotten sick being at the SPCA so long. Unfortunately, we will never know, thanks to the Houston SPCA.”

Because the Houston SPCA lies about their Save Rates, many people believe that it is a No Kill facility.  But the fact is that the Houston SPCA is a high kill facility.  The last time that they were honest with the public, their KILL RATE was 65%.  Former employees have told me that they believe their current Kill Rate is around 85%!   This is despite the fact that they had $36 MILLION is assets in 2014 and they are a Limited Admission facility–meaning they can say no to intakes when they get full.  

Considering how many pets the Houston SPCA kills, logic would dictate that such a facility would BEG rescue groups to take animals from them so that they do not “have” to kill them.   

But, logic goes out the window when dealing with slaughterhouses like the Houston SPCA.

As this story, and other stories show, the Houston SPCA actually refuses to return a lost cat back to the rescue group that originally adopted him out even though the rescue group’s contact information is listed on the cat’s microchip!   

The Houston SPCA would literally rather kill Tanner than return him to the rescue group who repeatedly called and begged to get Tanner back to safety.   

And the Houston SPCA is so insistent on killing a wanted pet that their employees even LIE.   Keisha Shaw, a manager at the Houston SPCA, left a voice mail message for All God’s Creatures (AGC) that Tanner’s adopter had picked up Tanner.    But when AGC called the adopter to check on Tanner, Tanner’s adopter said that she did NOT retrieve Tanner from the Houston SPCA.  

When AGC called the Houston SPCA to ask why they had lied about Tanner being picked up, Keisha Shaw lied again and said she never said the adopter picked up Tanner.   But AGC still had Ms. Shaw’s voicemail message proving otherwise.  

Click here to listen to Keisha Shaw’s voicemail.    Listen to Keisha Shaw lie and state two times that “the owner came in for the cat”.  

It is mind boggling to any rational person to wonder what purpose was served by lying to All God’s Creatures telling them that Tanner’s owner had picked him up from the Houston SPCA.   The Houston SPCA is a HIGH KILL facility, yet it seems that they lied for sole purpose of keeping Tanner so that they could kill him rather than return him to the rescue group who originally adopted him out, and who begged to get him back.  

In my opinion, only MONSTERS would do such horrific act.  In no way, shape or form is this a “shelter”. 

As a foster mom, and as a human being with a conscience, my heart breaks for All God’s Creatures knowing that one of their own was callously and needlessly killed by the Houston SPCA while AGC begged to get him back. 

Tanner’s death was entirely avoidable. 

AGC’s director wrote “I have shed many tears since this past Monday when I spoke to the adopter and found out that Tanner was not with her.  Tears of sadness for Tanner and tears because I was so angry with the SPCA.”


If you donate to the Houston SPCA, THIS is exactly what your donations pay for.  

Learn the truth about this slaughterhouse and pass it on to your animal loving friends and family.    More stories about this house of horrors are posted on No Kill Houston’s website here.     


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4 responses

  1. Bett, why are we not moving to close BARC and HCAS – we have to start changing this horrific environment – I just don’t understand…… we stand still while others wring their hands, saying “we can’t save them all”. I am so weary of all of this. Isn’t there some physical action we can take? Why don’t we close the road leading to BARC with volunteers??? Thanks Robin K. Hunt


    • I’m sick and tired of it too. But standing in the road would not end it. 1) there are too many kill shelters in Houston to cover them all; 2) we all have to work so could not do it forever. One thing we can do to raise awareness about what is really going on. I have received countless emails from people who donated, or worse yet, took a homeless pet to the Houston SPCA thinking that they were helping the animal. They found out too late that they probably took that animal to their death. I believe that Houstonians, and donors, deserve to know the whole truth.

      Second, people could contact the Houston SPCA and their board members, through mail, email or their social media sites and tell them that animal lovers oppose their high kill methods and will not financially support such an organization. They are driven by money, so hit them in the area that they care about.

      Third, if/when shelter reform legislation is introduced at either the local or state level, we all need to contact our local or state politicians and WHOLEHARTEDLY support it.

      No Kill Houston got Texas CAPA filed at the state level a few years ago, and ALL of the kill shelters and animal control associations fought it, so we could not get it passed. (http://www.nokillhouston.org/legislation/texas-capa/)

      Kill shelters do not want laws that actually protect shelter pets, but that is exactly what is needed. There are very few laws concerning shelters, and most of the laws concern only govt run pounds. Most laws do not apply to “non-profit kill shelters” such as the Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society or CAP. And the laws that we currently have do not actually protect the lives of shelter pets. These facilities can kill as many animals as they want, and they do not even have to report how many animals they save or kill. They can do behind closed doors and then lie about it.

      This story, and so many other horror stories prove that we desperately need shelter reform laws that protect the lives of shelter pets, and transparency laws that force shelters to be honest with the public.


  2. Why didn’t you just return the lie to Houston and go in as an adopter and get the cat rather than press the issue and lose the cat altogether? That would have been the easiest way to get around doofus’ like that!


    • Mindy, the Houston SPCA lied to the rescue group. First, they said that they were going to hold the cat for 6 days waiting for the owner (the stray hold is only 3 days in Houston and the Houston SPCA, is not even supposed to take in strays anyway–so lots of issues there). Second, the lied again saying that the owner had picked up the cat. Several days went by before the rescue group called the owner and found that she had never picked up the cat. The Houston SPCA told her that Tanner had become sick while at the Houston SPCA. The told her that he had Panleuk, which is almost always fatal. This does not make sense to me though because when I’ve had kittens that got Pankleuk, they were fine one minute and laying on the floor dead or near death the next. There is no sick period like with other diseases. It is also highly contagious. This makes us doubt that the truthfulness of their claim.

      By the time that the rescue group found out that the Houston SPCA had lied about the owner picking Tanner up, the Houston SPCA had killed him. Personally, I think they killed him earlier and lied to the owner, scaring her into not picking him up.


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