Humane organization gives award to person responsible for the deaths of ten of thousands of pets

Houston, TX – I recently ran across the below photo.  The caption congratulates “Sherry Ferguson from the Houston Humane Society who was recognized for her hard work fighting animal cruelty”. The recognition came from the Texas Humane Legislative Network (THLN).

fergusonaward3

The Houston “Humane” Society  is a facility that KILLS 89%* of all pets entering their doors, according to their last reported Save Rate.  

In other words, nearly 9 out of 10 pets that enter the Houston “Humane” Society are KILLED.  

I’ve previously written about the Houston “Humane” Society killing a beautiful little lost dog before the city mandated 3 day stray hold period expired, and in spite of the fact that a woman begged to save her.

bellakilledbyhhs1

I’ve also written about the fact that the Houston “Humane” Society kills ALL dogs that they claim are “Pit Bulls” i.e. they kill dogs that have white fur on their necks like Bella below. 

Bella-HM

The last time that the Houston “Humane” Society was somewhat transparent with their intake and outcome numbers, they reported killing more than 15,300 pets in one year.   If the Houston Humane Society has been killing the same number of pets every year since that time, that means more than 237,000 pets have been killed by the Houston “Humane” Society, under Sherry Ferguson’s direction.

And if the Houston Humane Society has been killing the same number of pets since Sherry Ferguson was hired in 1984, they have killed more than 489,600 pets under her direction.   

Let that sink in ….. 489,600+ pets KILLED by the Houston “Humane” Society under Sherry Ferguson’s direction.  

Of course, that number could be much higher now.

For a humane organization to give an award to the person who has been responsible for that kind of mass killing of animals is truly mind boggling to me.   Even though THLN fought against the Companion Animal Protection Act (a state law that would have saved thousands, if not millions, of Texas shelter pets every year), this macabre “award” still stuns me.

I do not understand how any person, or any organization that claims to be “humane”, gets to the point where they give awards to people who have been responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of animals instead of working to protect those animals’ lives.   

Thousands, if not millions, of animal lovers were outraged when they learned that a vet killed a cat named Tiger. 

Millions of people were outraged when they learned that a dentist killed a lion named Cecil.  

Where is the outrage among animal lovers and “humane” organizations when a person kills tens of thousands of shelter pets every year for decades?  Shouldn’t we expect more from the people who are paid to care for shelter pets?   Shouldn’t we expect shelter directors to, you know, actually “shelter” pets not kill them?  

Killing is the ultimate form of animal cruelty because it is a cruelty than animals can never come back from.  They can come back from other forms of cruelty and go on to live happy lives.  We saw this with Michael Vick victims who went on to live with families after their horrendous ordeal.  But, pets cannot recover after being killed.  

So then why would a “humane” organization give an award to the person who has carried out the absolute antithesis of “fighting animal cruelty” by perpetuating the worst form of cruelty herself hundreds of thousands of times for decades?    

Let’s think of this another way:  If Child Protective Services took children from cruel or abusive situations, then turned around and killed those children, would we congratulate them? Would we call that being rescued?  Would anyone claim that CPS had worked to fight against cruelty to those children?  Would any other child-protective organization give those killers an award for “fighting cruelty to children”?   Of course not.  

The animals have no voice.   We have to be their voice.   We must stand up for what is right, and we must fight against what is wrong.  We must have the strength of character to stand up to “friends” and “humane” organizations and say “Killing pets when there are life saving alternatives is wrong and it must end.”***   

We must protect shelter pets with our voices by constantly demanding better from shelter leadership.  And we must protect pets with our wallets by not funding kill shelters, or their defenders.

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*According to the Mayor’s Task Force report. I have asked the Houston “Humane” Society to voluntarily provide their current intake and outcome numbers, but they refuse.  I have to assume that their kill rates are currently just as high, or higher now.  If their kill rates had dropped, I have to assume that they would gladly provide information to show their improvement.

** The Houston “Humane” Society is Limited Admission, meaning they can say no to intakes when they get full. 

***The solution to end shelter killing has been know for more than 15 years.  It is working in 200+ Open Admission shelters, serving 500+ cities and towns.  It works everywhere when shelter leadership comprehensively implements it. 

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Houston Humane Society; not humane after all

*This is a reprint of my article that appeared on Examiner.com.   Examiner.com has shut down its website, and articles are no longer accessible, so I am moving my articles to my blog site here. 

(Originally printed December 8, 2011)  Houston, TX-  I recently received a disturbing from a heartbroken woman. I’m printing her email below exactly as she wrote it (except for removing a rescue group’s name) because it so clearly illustrates the serious issues plaguing so called “shelters” that are costing thousands of animals their lives.

“I made a terrible horrible mistake. I found a beautiful black and tan healthy Cocker Spaniel mix with a red collar no tags on an extremely busy road very close to the Humane Society. Stupidly I thought the best way for her to be found by her owners was to take her to the HUMANE Society. I told them I would be back to get her with the group I foster with (___) on day 3 which I was told she would be evaluated. I have 5 dogs, 2 which are fosters. I was not prepared to take her home. It takes some time to get these things worked out. So, when I called today I was told I would have to adopt. I said I was pulling her through a rescue and we could handle any treatments and neutering. She said they wouldn’t do that. I asked if she was still there. Did her owners come and find her? She said couldn’t give out that info. I said I am trying to help this dog what is your problem. Isn’t this the HUMANE Society? She said you signed a contract. She said this about 5 times. After about 15 minutes of this crap, she finally told me they had already euthanized her. This dog was sweet and fat and beautiful and obviously someone’s dog. When I took her through the clinic part 4 people said how cute she was. They did not even give her 2.5 days. Even BARC gives them 3 full days and allows rescue groups to take the dogs. They were not interested at all in me trying to come and get her. In fact, she pretty much discouraged me trying to help this dog in any way. This is just so wrong. I am sick that I did this. Please write about this in your news paper. I thought i was helping this dog to reunite with her people and I killed her. Never in a million years would I have thought they would euthanize this dog. Jennifer __”

bellakilledbyhhs

Jennifer is a kind hearted person who tried to help Bella*, a little lost dog that she found on the side of a busy street*.  Jennifer did what most people think is the best thing to do when they find a lost or stray pet…. she took Bella to an animal shelter. After all, animal shelters are supposed to be just that… shelters. They are supposed to be a place of refuge and safe havens where shelter workers work hard to make sure that lost animals find their way back home and homeless pets find new homes.

And Jennifer did more than the average person who finds a lost or homeless pet. She didn’t just drop Bella off and expect the shelter to do all of the work. No, she told the Houston Humane Society (HHS) that if Bella’s owner did not find her during the 3 day hold period, she would pull Bella from the shelter, through a rescue group, and foster her in her own home while she tried to find Bella’s owner herself. Jennifer talked at length with a HHS employee regarding the exact date and time that Bella’s 3 day hold would expire. The only thing that the Houston Humane Society had to do was hold Bella for 72 hours and hope that her family thought of looking for her there.

Jennifer took Bella to the Houston Humane Society on November 1 at 10:00 am. She was told that Bella’s 3 day hold period would expire on November 4 at 10:00 am. But, when Jennifer called HHS on November 3 at 3:00 pm to make arrangements to pick up Bella the following day, she was horrified to discover that the Houston Humane Society had already killed her. How long did the HHS wait before they killed Bella? Did they kill her the same day, as soon as Jennifer left the building? We don’t know exactly when the Houston Humane Society killed Bella because they consistently refuse to be honest with the public and release their intake and outcome records. However, we do know that Houston Humane Society killed Bella before Jennifer called to check on her, which was within 53 hours, or barely over 2 days.

Now a little dog, who was obviously someone’s loved lost pet, is dead and Jennifer blames herself for taking her to this “shelter”. But it is not Jennifer’s fault that Bella was killed. Jennifer, and thousands of other people, have been told that shelters are doing everything that they can to save animals. People believe that everyone who works at an animal shelter works hard to save their lives. They believe the “shelters’” claims that they do not want to kill animals, but they have no choice because the so called “irresponsible public” forces them to kill animals. Many people are not aware that some “shelters” are hiding hideously dark and nefarious secrets.

Of course, “shelters” like the Houston Humane Society do not tell the public or donors that they are actually little more than assembly lines of death, killing thousands of healthy and treatable, adoptable and even owned pets, even when alternatives are standing right in front of them. And unfortunately, it took the Houston Humane Society’s killing of an innocent little lost dog, to make Jennifer painfully aware of the reality of what is really going on at the Houston Humane Society.

It is despicable and immoral that a self-proclaimed “animal shelter” and “humane society” would kill an obviously owned, healthy pet within 53 hours, especially when a rescuer was begging to save her. Bella’s owner is probably still searching for her believing that she might one day return home. Bella’s family will probably never know that she even entered Houston Humane Society because Houston Humane Society could not be bothered to care for Bella long enough for her owner’s to find her. HHS could not be bothered to even offer Bella for adoption. And Houston Humane Society could not be bothered to try to find a foster home or rescue group to take Bella instead of killing her.

To make matters worse, Houston Humane Society didn’t even have to lift a finger to find a foster home because a rescue group had already offered to save Bella. But the Houston Humane Society couldn’t be bothered to hold her for the full 3 day hold period.

Houston Humane Society couldn’t even be bothered to call Jennifer and tell her that they planned to kill Bella before her 3 day hold expired to give Jennifer a chance to pick up Bella earlier. No, the Houston Humane Society killed Bella even when alternatives were beating down their door begging to save her life. How many thousands of animals have suffered the same fate as Bella at this so called “shelter”?

The above is not the definition of an animal shelter. This is a revolving door of death where thousands of animals go in, but only ELEVEN PERCENT of them make it out alive. **

And to add insult to injury, Houston Humane Society charged Jennifer $20 to leave Bella there. (Reminder: Jennifer was a Good Samaritan just trying to help another person’s lost pet.) In addition, when Jennifer called back to make arrangements to pull Bella through a rescue group, Houston Humane Society told her that she would have to adopt Bella in order to get her out of Houston Humane Society alive (this was before she discovered that Houston Humane Society had already killed Bella).

According to the Houston Humane Society’s website, their adoption fees for dogs range from $90 to $200. This means that, in addition to the $20 that Jennifer paid to leave a lost dog at a “shelter”, she would also be required to pay another $95 – $200 for the “privilege” of rescuing that same dog 3 days later from a “shelter” that is killing 89% of all animals entering their doors.

In addition, according to the citizen reviews on the websites here and here, it appears that Houston Humane Society does an incredibly horrible job at encouraging adoptions and has atrocious customer service, both of which are significantly important factors in getting animals out of shelters alive. In fact, after reading these reviews, it appears that most of their rules or procedures are geared towards making sure that animals never leave Houston Humane Society alive.  It is no wonder that only 11% of animals make it out of the Houston Humane Society alive.

In addition to the above issues, “According to Texas statutes, shelters like the Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA, Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) or any other mom and pop shelter, do not have the legal right to impound animals, without a contract with a local government.” said Zandra Anderson, Houston trial attorney and founder of the Texas Dog Commission. The Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA and CAP do not have government contracts for animal control duties in Houston. In fact, the city of Houston and Harris County both operate their own animal control facilities. (I also recently sent a public information request to the city of Houston asking for all contracts with Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA and CAP. The city of Houston reported that there are none.)

The above means that the only animals that the Houston Humane Society, Houston SPCA and CAP have the legal authority to admit to their “shelters” are those relinquished by their owners. Admitting strays and lost pets, whether from a citizen who drops them off or whether the “shelters” pick up strays themselves, is impounding animals and they do not have the legal right to impound animals. So these facilities are breaking the law every time that they take in any animal, other than an owner relinquished pet.

The above is true regardless of whether the “shelter” forces a citizen sign a bogus “contract” such as the contract that Jennifer was forced to sign in order to leave Bella at the HHS. Anderson states that “Someone who finds an animal at large, a stray, is not the legal owner of that animal so does not have any ownership rights to convey to a private shelter. Any document that a finder of a stray animal signs purporting to extinguish ownership rights or to convey them, is worthless since this person has no rights to transfer or give up.”

I previously wrote an article asking what right these so called “shelters” have to kill animals. Texas has anti-cruelty laws prohibiting people from killing companion animals, but if some people get together and proclaim themselves a “shelter”, they suddenly have the right to kill companion animals any time that they choose? Obviously, laws in Texas that would actually protect animals from being killed by “shelters”, when alternatives exist, are non-existent. Every heartbreaking story like Jennifer’s that I hear, and I hear a lot of them, makes it abundantly clear that animals desperately need legal protections from the very institutions that proclaim themselves shelters or “humane” societies.

The Companion Animal Protection (CAPA) would provide such protections for shelter animals. CAPAwas filed in the Texas state legislature earlier this year. It was supported by animal lovers and rescuers because of stories like Jennifer’s, and equally repulsive stories, that are coming out of kill shelters far too often. It should come as no surprise to learn that Sherry Ferguson, the director of the Houston Humane Society, opposed Texas CAPA. After all, if Texas had shelter reform laws like CAPA, then Ferguson could not kill thousands of pets each year behind closed doors and in secret. Just like any other business which has the power over life and death, Ferguson would be required by law to be transparent with the public. But Ferguson does not want that.

If Texas CAPA had passed, Ferguson could no longer kill a pet after only 53 hours. She would be required by law to hold a pet longer to give the owner a fighting chance of finding and reclaiming his or her lost pet. But Ferguson does not want that.

If Texas CAPA had passed, Ferguson could no longer kill a pet when a qualified rescue group offered to save that pet, as in Bella’s case. But Ferguson does not want that.

If Texas CAPA had passed, Ferguson could no longer kill animals for arbitrary reasons such as color, breed or age. But Ferguson does not want that. No, she wants to continue to kill all Pit Bulls, or Pit mixes, that enter the Houston Humane Society’s doors, instead of adopting them out.

If Texas CAPA had passed, Ferguson would have to stop blaming the public for the fact that the Houston Humane Society, under her direction, kills 89% of all animals entering their doors and has done so for decades. Ferguson would have to face the fact that the Houston Humane Society does very little to save lives, and in fact hampers the life saving efforts of the community. But Ferguson does not want that.

If Texas CAPA had passed, more people might discover that the Houston Humane Society is not really humane after all, and Ferguson does not want that.

*We don’t know this dog’s real name since she was killed by Houston Humane Society before her owners could be found, but I’m going to call her Bella for this article. (See more pictures of her in the Slideshow posted on this article. If you, or anyone you know, has lost a dog fitting “Bella’s” description, in the Almeda Genoa area, please contact me.

**According the 2005 Mayor’s Task Force Report. This was the last time that the Houston Humane Society was transparent with the public. At that time, they were killing 89% of all animals entering their doors. They were even killing animals from other cities and counties FOR A FEE. That’s right, the Houston Humane Society was taking money to kill animals for others. They may still being doing this today. We don’t know if they still are because they currently refuse to be transparent with the public and produce their intake and outcome records.

***Earlier this year, the HHS told Texas state representative, Jessica Farrar that they were designing their own reports and didn’t want it to conflict with state laws. They “said” that this was the reason that they were opposed to Texas CAPA. I’ve looked at their website, and 8 months after their statement, they have yet to post any intake and outcome reports on their website. They continue to hide the number of animals that they are saving or killing from the community. So much for honesty, even when they are talking to a Texas state representative.

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Will Houston shelters join the rest of the nation and stop killing for Just One Day?

JODL

Houston, TX – Just One Day is a national event in which organizers ask animal shelters across the country to stop killing on June 11 of every year.  Thousands of groups, across the nation, take part. And the results have been dramatic.  One shelter with high rates of killing stayed open for 11 hours.  Roughly 100 animals found homes, one every seven minutes the shelter was open, its most successful adoption day ever.

Another shelter opened on a day it was normally closed and placed 231 animals as a result. In still another, the director of animal control who once said that he would not hesitate to kill every community cat in the world, reported that, “The parking lot has been full since 10:00 this morning, it continues to be full. I’ve never seen so many people come out here all at one time, in one day.”

In an Arizona animal control shelter, 88 out of 100 dogs and 28 out of 30 cats were adopted by 11 am. In another community, they ran out of animals.

Yet another reported staff crying….. because they had never seen so many animals going out the front door in the loving arms of families.

For many of these shelters, it was a watershed moment. Not just because animals who would have normally been killed were saved, but because of the valuable lessons hundreds of traditional shelters across the country learned.  

One of the primary goals of the Just One Day campaign is to not only save animals through adoption on June 11, it is to get shelters resistant to the principles of the No Kill model of sheltering — of marketing animals, of asking the public for help, of being open for adoptions at times that are more convenient for the working public and families, of using the media to save lives and of partnering with rescue groups — to commit to trying these ways of operating.

JODMap

So far, 95 shelters in Texas, such as Friends For Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization – Houston have made the pledge.

Open Admission facilities such as Houston’s animal control facility, BARC, Pearland Pets – Animal Servicesand League City Animal Shelter have taken the pledge.

However, Limited Admission facilities such as Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society and Citizens for Animal Protection have NOT pledged to stop killing shelter pets for JUST ONE DAY.  

I have to ask why not? Shouldn’t the animal loving public and donors EXPECT them to join the nation and work to stop killing shelter pets?

Will you ask them to take the pledge?

They can take the pledge here:http://bit.ly/1sw5aq0

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Please Stop Serving the Kool-Aid

Re-printed with permission by Paw4Change

I genuinely do not seek out conflict. I am not one of those people who thrives on crisis and seeks to create drama. I know that my belief system causes me to be in conflict with others. I understand that is unavoidable. You cannot be vocal about your beliefs in the midst of people who do not agree and expect that we will all just get along without a degree of friction.

I’ve been in conflict with volunteers at high kill animal shelters for a very long time. A lot of people think I’m intolerant and I’m perfectly fine with that because I am intolerant when it comes to having my tax dollars and donations used to kill healthy and treatable animals. Although people from outside animal welfare circles may presume that we all stand for the same thing, that we all champion the cause of saving lives, that is not always the case.  As was said by one of my mentors during a radio interview last November.  No.  We cannot hug it out and just all get along.  We are two separate factions of people and we often share little in common in terms of what we value.

If you are a volunteer at an animal shelter that routinely and systematically destroys healthy and treatable pets, I will applaud you for your efforts to help animals based on a few conditions. I want you to educate yourself on programs being used across the country to save shelter pets. I want you to question why it is that the shelter in which you volunteer destroys animals when other places across the country are saving animals.  I want you to voice your protests over the destruction of animals which could and should be saved.  I want you to speak loudly and with a sense of urgency when you know that animals in the shelter have veterinary care delayed or denied, get sick due to lack of vaccinations and proper cleaning protocols or are allowed to kill each other because they were not properly housed or supervised.  I consider those acts to be criminal in nature because they amount to neglect and cruelty even if they take place inside a public building.  If you think you can do good from working inside the shelter, by all means continue to do so.

If you are a volunteer at an animal shelter that routinely and systematically destroys healthy and treatable pets and you remain silent, go along to get along or, worse yet, you defend the killing of healthy and treatable animals, you are an enabler. You are helping to perpetuate the destruction of the very animals you say you want to help. You may tell yourself that you are doing good because you are helping to care for animals in their last hours, as if their death is some foregone conclusion. That may be the case for animals which are suffering or which are so sick that they simply cannot be saved. But do not sugar coat your volunteerism and make it seem like you are rendering compassion and love to a healthy and treatable animal which is about to be destroyed for no good reason at all. And believe me, there is no good reason for that animal to be destroyed in spite of what you may have been told.

I have heard volunteers say that people who advocate for animals outside of the shelter are not “in the trenches,” do not see what they see and are part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution.  But, here’s the thing. I am working to save the lives of animals by resolving systemic issues.  I would no more set foot in a high kill shelter than I would help hunt coyotes or work in a stockyard. I do not need to be in the shelter to know that what takes place there is wrong.  I know I cannot be there because then I, too, would be complicit in the killing.

And to those volunteers who think it is appropriate to defend killing savable shelter pets, I say this: you are not only part of the problem but you are actively working to prevent the solution.

 

It has been said that some in the sheltering industry have “drunk the Kool-Aid.” That they are so close to the destruction of animals that they simply cannot see any other way to think or function.  That they believe that animals simply must die and that they are performing some morbid public service.  If you volunteer in a shelter, please.  Focus on helping animals and advocating for them from inside the system.  

Just don’t serve the Kool-Aid.

Animal shelter

Read more on this topic here:  Can’t We All Get Along, by Nathan Winograd

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One Step Forward….

Houston, TX – I recently wrote a blog regarding Bella, a dog that the Houston “Humane” Society claimed should be killed because of the way she looked i.e. she had white fur on her neck so she must be a Pit Bull (click here to read the blog).  

Bella-HM

Bella, in her new home

While posting the blog on Facebook, I wrote that 3 “shelters” within Houston’s city limits refused to adopt dogs that someone claimed was a Pit Bull or Pit mix* meaning all of those dogs were automatically killed if a rescue group could not pull them to safety i.e. Houston SPCA, Houston “Humane” Society and Harris County Animal Control.  

But, that list has recently changed.  Harris County Animal Control confirmed that there Harris County Commissioners voted to end the breed discrimination at that facility meaning they now adopt out “Pit Bull” type dogs, along with other friendly dogs. 

This is good news!    

Yes, Harris County AC still appears to be a high kill facility, but at least all dogs will now get a shot at adoption.  And in fact, someone commented on my Facebook page that she had just adopted a dog from Harris County AC that had been labeled a Pit Bull.

So, this is one step forward for Harris County Animal Control and for Pit Bull type dogs entering that facility. 

Now both Houston’s city pound and Harris County’s pound adopt out Pit Bull type dogs, but tragically two of Houston’s Limited Admission “shelters” i.e Houston SPCA and Houston Humane Society remain in the dark ages of “catch and kill sheltering” still refuse to adopt out any dog that one of their employees claims is a Pit Bull or mix, meaning those dogs are killed . **

Riley

Riley, a dog that the Houston SPCA said is a Pit Bull mix and should be killed

I congratulate the 2 pounds for being more progressive than the Houston SPCA and Houston “Humane” Society on this issue.  

I also ask people to consider which practices better represent your values as an animal lover.  We should support only the facilities which represent our values, and continue to demand only the best practices known when it comes to sheltering our homeless pets.

Petie

Petie, the “Pit Bull” with The Little Rascals

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*”‘Pit Bull’ is not a breed of dog.  It is, according to a leading advocacy organization, “a catch-all term used to describe a continually expanding incoherent group of dogs, including pure-bred dogs and mixed-breed dogs. A ‘Pit Bull’ is any dog an animal control officer, shelter worker, dog trainer, politician, dog owner, police officer, newspaper reporter or anyone else says is a ‘Pit Bull.’”

** Studies show that shelter workers mis-identify dog breeds up to 87% of the time. 

 

 

The top insane reason to kill a dog

Houston, TX – Last month, a woman named Nikki emailed me about a dog named Bella. Bella had been taken to the Houston Humane Society as a stray by an unknown man.  Nikki had lined up a home for Bella with a wonderful family and personal friend, but the Houston “Humane” Society refused to allow Bella to be adopted.  

Bella

Bella

The Houston “Humane” Society’s excuse for not allowing Bellas to be adopted was that they claimed that Bella had some Pit Bull in her DNA.  That was it.  No behaviorial tests… someone just claimed that Bella was part Pit Bull. The Houston “Humane” Society intended to KILL Bella if an approved rescue group could not be found to rescue Bella from the Houston “Humane” Society.

The Houston “Humane” Society had not bothered to do any DNA testing on Bella to verify that Bella had some Pit Bull in her before announcing that she would be killed.  No, some employee just looked at Bella and decided to slap that label on her based on no facts whatsoever.
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Studies have shown shelter employees mis-identify dog breeds up to 87% of the time. Yet kill shelters, like the  Houston “Humane” Society, continue to place breed labels on dogs and then use those labels as an excuse to kill perfectly wonderful, healthy and treatable, and adoptable pets.  

In fact, the Houston “Humane” Society is extremely good at making up excuses to kill pets as the last time that they were transparent with their numbers, their KILL rate was a monstrous 89%!   

I posted Nikki’s plea to save Bella on Facebook.  Ninety people commented and most were shocked to learn of the  Houston “Humane” Society’s horrific and deadly procedures.   

Some people called the Houston “Humane” Society and asked about Bella. One concerned citizen was told that animals are “evaluated by certified technicians” at the Houston “Humane” Society.

When asked if the Houston “Humane” Society performs DNA tests before deciding to kill dogs, the Houston “Humane” Society stated “No.  It is based on pure observation and visual examination”.   The Houston “Humane” Society employee also said that they do not do a DNA test because the tests usually show that the dog is a mix of some other breed like German Shepherd  

So, the Houston “Humane” Society knows that the DNA test will show other breeds besides Pit Bull and that is exactly why they do not perform them.  Because DNA tests would prove they are lying about the breed label their “certified technicians” have wrongly assigned to a dog, and DNA tests will prove that the Houston “Humane” Society is killing dogs for absolutely no reason.

But the insanity at the Houston “Humane” Society gets even more insane as the Houston “Humane” Society employee also stated that the “certified technician” looks at the length of the dog’s fur and color and that “Pit Bulls usually have some white on their necks”.

So there it is.  The most insane reason I have ever heard to kill dogs.  And I have heard a lot of insane reasons for killing from kill shelters over the years…. but this one tops the list as the most insane i.e.  white fur on their necks”. 

So, all those people working in DNA labs, running scientific tests to determine the breeds of various dogs, have apparently been wasting their time.  They can quit all that wacky scientifically proven testing and just ask the Houston “Humane” Society’s “certified technicians” to look for white fur on dogs’ necks. 

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My 7lb dog, Riley… with white fur on his neck.  Heaven forbid he ever get into the hands of the Houston “Humane” Society or they might kill him.

And even if Bella was a Pittie, so what?  Multiple studies, including one done by the CDC, prove that a dog’s breed is not an indicator of behavior.  Make no mistake, this is just an excuse to kill adoptable dogs.  There is absolutely no good reason to kill Bella and thousands of dogs just like her. 

The Houston “Humane” Society makes up ridiculous excuses like this so they can make false claims to the public that they save all “adoptable” pets…… then claim that dogs like Bella are not adoptable and kill them.

So, the next time someone says “shelters do not want to kill”, remember this story.   Bella’s story absolutely proves that some kill shelters DO want to kill, and they CHOOSE to kill perfectly adoptable pets even when people beg to save them.  And they do this every day of the year.

Petie

Petie, the “Pit Bull” with the small children from the Little Rascals show.

After many days, with hundreds of people working to find a rescue group that could save Bella, a rescue group did pull Bella.  Bella was then adopted from the rescue group by the family that originally offered to adopt her…. but who were turned down by the Houston “Humane” Society.

Below are pictures of Bella with her new brother.  

This is the dog that the Houston “Humane” Society said must be killed.

Bella-HM

Bella-HM2-2

Notice that Bella’s tail is wagging so fast that it is a blur…

I am very glad that animal lovers pulled together to save Bella, however I am angry and very disappointed that it took so much work, over so many days, just to save a dog from a facility that claims to be a shelter and calls itself “humane“.   It should not be that difficult to save a dog from a shelter. 

I am also sickened knowing that there are many more dogs who have been, and will continue to be, killed by Houston “Humane” Society simply because of a label that someone made up.  

I do not call this sheltering pets.  This is more like a slaughterhouse than a shelter.

Shelters that truly care about saving lives, work hard to save ALL lives.  

Real shelters do not kill animals because of the way the animals look…. or if the animals have white on their necks.  

If you donate to the Houston “Humane” Society, or any other facility with this repulsive, deadly rule, such as Houston SPCA or Harris County animal control, this is what your donations pay for.  

Your donations are being used to kill perfectly adoptable pets even when others beg to save them. 

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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Will you support No Kill efforts?

KittensatBARC

Houston, TX – No Kill Houston is an advocacy group who is working to transform Houston to a No Kill community. This is no easy task since Houston has the distinction of having 5 kill shelters that are killing approximately 80,000 shelter pets each year.   There are now approximately 500 cities and town who have become No Kill communities, meaning their Open Admission pounds and shelters are saving 90% to 99% of all animals entering their doors.   No Kill Houston wants this for Houston.  We know that it is possible, but we need the support and advocacy of Houston animal lovers to move the No Kill goal forward in Houston.

Since Houston is a huge city of over 1 million people and is spread out over 600 square miles, it is extremely tough to try to reach all Houstonians to educate them regarding what is going on in Houston “shelters” and also educate them on how Houston can end the killing of shelter pets.

2015 is an election year for mayor and city council positions, so it is a critical time to raise awareness about how the right LEADERSHIP in Houston could make all the difference in the lives of Houston shelters pets. If we animal lovers band together, I have no doubt that we can swing the elections, and elect people who will actually work to transform Houston to a No Kill city. 

No Kill Houston is currently running photo contest/fund raiser which will allow them to do more “advertising” in 2015 to reach more animal lovers.  The top 13 photos with the most votes will be featured on the cover and pages of No Kill Houston’s 2015 calendar.  Entering the contest is only a $5 donation and votes are a $1 each donation. If you want to make sure that your pet is shown in the calendar, you may also “Reserve a Day” meaning your pet’s picture will be shown on the day that you choose.   Donations are tax deductibleClick here to go to the contest web page.

If you do not want to enter the contest, but do want to make a donation to support No Kill efforts, you can do so by clicking here.  Please donate generously.

No Kill Houston is also allowing rescue groups and animal friendly businesses the opportunity to market their organizations on the pages of their calendar.   The sponsor’s name, logo, website address and/or any other requested information will be listed across the bottom of a calendar page below the winning monthly photo.   To sponsor one month in the calendar is only a donation of $125 for 501(c)(3)s or $225 for businesses. (Individuals may also sponsor a month at the non-profit rate).

If you are interested in this marketing/sponsorship opportunity, please email No Kill Houston at NoKillHouston@yahoo.com ASAP as the contest ends on January 1st at midnight.  Calendars will be shipped out in early January and sold at various events.

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BTW: If you are considering a donation to local or national animal related charity, I would strongly suggest that you do some research first.   I say this as someone who has, in the past, donated to, and volunteered for, local shelters thinking they were No Kill shelters, but found out later that they were actually high kill shelters.  Just because an organization may have the word “animal”, “humane”, “protection”, “ethical”, “prevention of cruelty” or “shelter” in their name does NOT mean that they are actually working to save animals.  There are a lot of frauds out there, and in the past, I have been duped by some of them as well.

Houston has five kill shelters/pounds.  Many people believe that the 3 limited admission “non-profit shelters” i.e Houston SPCA, Houston Humane Society and Citizens for Animals Protection (CAP) are No Kill.  They are NOT.  Far from it. The kill rates of these 3 facilities are as high or even higher than Houston’s high kill pound (BARC) or Harris county’s high kill pound.

I would never tell anyone to not adopt from these facilities.  Obviously, the animals there need out. Their lives depend on it.  However, be aware that if you send them money, that money could very well be used to buy the poisons they use to kill animals.

Perhaps do a Google search with the charity’s name & the word “kill”. You might be shocked at what you find.  Or, check No Kill Houston’s site.  There is a lot of information there about what these “shelters” are actually doing.

Or read this blog regarding CAP;

Or read this page about the Houston SPCA;

Or read this blog about the Houston Humane Society;

And or this page.

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If you are considering donating to a national animal related charity such as HSUS, ASPCA or PETA, please do some research as well.  I have personally donated my hard earned dollars to PETA and ASPCA only to find out later that they fight against everything I believe in.  Not only that, they are kill shelters as well.  Also, although the HSUS claims to “rescue” various animals, they actually have no shelter.  And the HSUS has historically fought against No Kill efforts.  They have fought hard to kill some animals such as the victims rescued from Michael Vick’s house of horrors.  These organizations rake in millions of dollars in donations, but do little to nothing to actually help pets.

You can start your research about these national organizations here.

bulldog laughing at another dog dressed up with clown wig

In the meantime, have some fun and enter No Kill Houston’s photo contest.   Your companion may just become a 2015 calendar Pin Up!  Click here to enter and vote in the contest!

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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”.

Kitten2-042 (Small)

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.

Tortie224

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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