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. 

Riley12-2015

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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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.   

Tanner

“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.”

Tanner

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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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.

scam alert yellow sign - rectangle sign

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.

CarMagnet3

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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The deadly PETA-Houston SPCA connection

Houston, TX – PETA has been getting a lot of criticism lately, especially in the last few weeks, as people become aware of PETA’s UNethical, inhumane, deceitful and reprehensible practice of killing the vast majority of the helpless animals that fall prey to PETA.   Nathan Winograd’s books and recent Huffington Post article have raised awareness to new levels.  This is a good thing.   People deserve to know the truth about the “non-profits” that they support.   Several years ago I too was fooled by PETA and used to donate to them monthly.   I am sickened to now know that my donations were probably used to kill adoptable animals instead of save them.

I have previously written about another high kill facility, the Houston SPCA.  The Houston SPCA’s KILL rate was 65% the last time that they were honest and released their records to the public, and they had an adoption rate of only 25%.  Current and former employees have said that they believe that the Houston’s SPCA’s KILL rate is currently as high as 80%!    The Houston SPCA killed over 20,500 in 2004 alone.   According to reports coming from the public and former employees and volunteers, I assume that they have killed as many animals or more each year since then.

Although PETA has killed “only” around 2,000 animals per in the last 11 years (29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals in the last 11 years), their KILL rate is consistently a shocking 90% or higher and has reached as high as 97%.  

PETA and the Houston SPCA have a lot in common:  

  • Both are multi-million dollar “non-profit” organizations;
  • Both are funded by good hearted people who have been fooled into believing that their donations are helping to save lives;
  • Both claim to “rescue” animals yet kill the vast majority that end up in their clutches;  
  • Both are nothing short of slaughterhouses.  

There is another deadly connection between PETA and the Houston SPCA.

PETA and the Houston SPCA have actually teamed up to carry out their better dead than fed style of “rescue”.

Below is an article I wrote on Examiner.com in February, 2011.  Since I have new subscribers on this blog who may not have seen it, I am re-printing it below.

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February 2011 – As I have written previously, I am no fan of PeTA i.e. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  Their fight against life saving No Kill efforts is both mindboggling and infuriating.  In the past, PeTA has even taken time out of their busy killing schedule to attack and oppose No Kill efforts in Houston.

As background, in 2008, Houstonians began demanding No Kill reform in Houston’s city funded shelter BARC.  We were astonished when PeTA, a self proclaimed “animal rights” organization, began attacking our efforts (click the link and scroll down to “No kill shelters are no good”) and attacked Nathan Winograd (see Winograd’s  response here.)

At that time, No Kill Houston was a new and small organization, so we reached out to the national “humane” organizations and asked for help in combating PeTA’s killing agenda in Houston.  The only national organization that responded to my requests for help, besides Nathan Winograd of the national No Kill Advocacy Center,  was Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals and Primarily Primates sanctuary in San Antonio.

During one of our conversations, Priscilla told me a very disturbing story regarding PeTA and the Houston SPCA.   In light of the questionable raids of late and the Houston SPCA’s refusal to make a commitment to life saving, this story seems particularly pertinent.

On October 13, 2006, before Friends of Animals took over the Primarily Primates sanctuary, PeTA caused the Texas Attorney General to raid the sanctuary.  PeTa had collected allegations from a former disgruntled employee and a volunteer with a vendetta.  Both had made connections with PeTA and allowed them onto the sanctuary’s property.  They schemed to shoot videos to cast the sanctuary in the worst possible light and then turned it over to the Attorney General.

Granted, there were weakness at the sanctuary since the founder and director at that time was in trouble with alcohol.   But, PeTA’s goal was not to help the sanctuary or the animals. No, instead they wanted to dismantle the sanctuary. Once dismantled they could force the sale of the valuable land and they already had several buyers lined up, ready to cash in.

A judge in Austin appointed a receiver for the sanctuary that had been recommended by PeTA.   Before Priscilla could hire attorneys in Austin, that receiver was installed along with a large group of PeTA employees and volunteers.   Priscilla remembers that they were “a deplorable mess of incompetent people — directed by a receiver intent on shutting the sanctuary down to follow PeTA’s agenda.”

The receiver later admitted to the sending away, and to the deaths, of 336 sanctuary residents.   Two hundred of those animals had been rounded up and trucked 200 miles to the Houston SPCA during the first week that the receiver arrived.   This included dogs, guinea hens, Canadian geese, several ponies, a 27-year-old horse, chickens and more. “It was a stroke of evil.”

Friends of Animals wrote, faxed and telephoned the Houston SPCA to ask about the confiscated animals, but the Houston SPCA was not cooperative.  Feral says that “the Houston SPCA treated Friends of Animals as though we were criminals.”

Priscilla further laments “I am sure the Houston SPCA killed all of the confiscated animals as fast as possible.   It breaks my heart to think of the killing and how heartless they were. The horse… how could a horse grazing on the property be dispatched to the flipping Houston SPCA — a kill center that answers to no one.   And the chickens, free-roaming birds … every peacock they could catch.   What hope did they have?   Our several feral cats escaped these goons and so did male peacocks.”

In late April 2007, the Texas Attorney General dismissed all allegations against the sanctuary and asked Priscilla to head up the Board of Primarily Primates.  A settlement was fashioned much to PeTA’s chagrin.   But it was too late for the 336 victims of the PeTA/Houston SPCA “raid”.   Two hundred animals had been captured and taken away, never to be seen again. The Houston SPCA never responded to requests regarding their fate, so we have to assume that they are dead.  The other 136 animals disappeared – many of them dead as well.

PeTA had also “confiscated” primates which were then trucked from the sanctuary to exhibits and zoos.   Primarily Primates did get a few of the primates back, as well as a Longhorn steer in May 2007.   Some of the primates had been sent to two other sanctuaries in Texas and it was decided that it was in the primates’ best interest to leave them there. (More details on this story are at the bottom of this article).

For several years, it has puzzled me why animals that were seized in a San Antonio sanctuary were shipped 200 miles to the Houston SPCA, a high kill shelter.  San Antonio has shelters and so do many other cities much closer than Houston.  I never doubted this story, but the circumstances have always puzzled me.

I recently ran across some information that sheds more light on the situation and bonds the Houston SPCA and PeTA together more tightly.

It seems that Houston SPCA director, Patty Mercer and PeTa director, Ingrid Newkirk are both on the board of Ruby McKibben Foundation for the Protection of Animals.  (Also note that Houston Humane Society director, Sherry Ferguson [89% KILL rate], is also a board member.)

So, it would appear that Newkirk and Mercer have bonded and joined together to carry out raids which ultimately cause the deaths of many of the unlucky animals involved.  And why wouldn’t they be buddies?  After all, they both run high kill “shelters”.

In light of the questionable raids, and the ghastly outcomes for many of the animals, the PeTA – Houston SPCA connection is a very disturbing connection indeed.

You can read more about PeTA’s attacks on Primarily Primates here:

* Wallace Swett of Primarily Primates Denounces PETA’s Continuing Attacks on Primarily Primates 

* Cumulative cost of PETA-funded lawsuits against Primarily Primates may reach $1 million

* Will the animals at Primarily Primates survive PETA’s single-minded determination to destroy this sanctuary along with the lives of hundreds of abused animals who want only peace and refuge?

* PeTA: End your lawsuit against PRIMARILY PRIMATES!

* Help stop the assault on Primarily Primates

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Houston SPCA continues to kill loving, adoptable pets

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Houston, TX –  Many people believe that the Houston SPCA is a No Kill shelter, or that they are “working as hard as they can” to place as many animals as possible, or that they kill only truly “unadoptable” pets.  They repeatedly advertise that they place “100% of all of their healthy and behaviorally sound animals“.  To a lot of people, this sounds like they are a No Kill shelter, so, you might be shocked to learn what the Houston SPCA says is “unadoptable” and therefore should be killed.

Contrary to their advertisements and proclamations, the Houston SPCA is actually a high kill shelter, with a 65% KILL rate the last time that they were honest with the public.   Obviously, they are very good at hiding the truth from the donating public.  Animal lovers watch Animal Cops or see the nice press releases showing a “rescue”, however they never see what goes on behind closed doors, once the cameras go off.   Below is an example of what is really going on at the Houston SPCA.

I ran across this story posted by “Anne” on a complaint website. Anne’s story absolutely broke my heart.   I’m posting it in its entirety below (I edited only with line breaks or indents to make it easier to read).

“On Saturday March 23rd, 2013 I was faced with a difficult decision.  I had to give up my 2 yr old Neutered male Domestic short hair cat.  I recently had to take a job that is 90% travel.  After having a friend look after my baby boy for a month, she stated that she couldn’t do it anymore because she already had a full plate of responsibilities.  I searched and searched for a solution but to no avail. 

I saved My Valentino from The Pasadena Animal Control & Adoption (where I was an A.C.O. ) .   I returned there hoping that they may be able to find him a happy home or perhaps a foster parent for a short period.  They couldn’t accept him because they were at capacity.  I had two days to find a solution. 

I reluctantly chose HSPCA as a solution.

I will never regret another decision more in my life!  I cried the whole way there dreading the separation, i promised Valentino that this was the best thing and that they will find him a home ( i wholeheartedly believed this ).  

Upon my arrival ( i had an appointment ) the staff (Jasmine) was insensitively joking with other staff (while i was bawling my eyes out) making me wait 20 mins.  She finally called me up to the counter and began taking my information.  I told her everything i could think of about Valentino, how he’s really a cat dog, he loves to play fetch and get his belly scratched, showed her pictures of his funny sleeping poses. 

She was putting me at ease by telling me that she could see that he was highly adoptable.  I filled out the paper work, she even told me that i can send the pics i had so they could put them on his profile for the adoption site.

I said my goodbyes, tears streaming down my face i turned and walked out wondering what wonderful family or person would choose Valentino.  I left the next day to return to my job, and checked the website hourly.  I checked into Monday still no Valentino.  I began to worry that he wasn’t up on the site, so i asked a friend to call and see if they could find out what was going on. 

While waiting for them to get back to me, i received a TXT message from an unfamiliar number that read ” HSPCA just called, your cat was PTSed ( Put To Sleep ) for being aggressive”.

My heart sank my world turned upside down. The thought of that happening (even as a former Animal Control Officer who knows thoroughly how shelters work ) never crossed my mind.  I know my cat, he has never been aggressive, even under duress he was never aggressive, never during baths did he scratch or bite.  He was the most patient cat I ever saw.  He acted more like a dog than a feline, perhaps because the first year he was with me, he was constantly pal-ing around with my female Boxer Lucy. 

I can’t even describe how stupid and guilty I feel for entrusting an organization such as HSPCA (who claims to love and care for animals) with someone that meant so much and was so dear to me.  I feel like I let him down completely and must live with this for the rest of my life.  While he was just another number to the HSPCA.

Please, if you have an animal that you truly care about and can’t care for or keep anymore, please exhaust all other options before turning them into some shelter, and especially HSPCA.  They will lie to you and kill your animal with some bogus reason.”

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Valentino, a beloved pet, before he was killed by the Houston SPCA

So, the Houston SPCA killed yet another adoptable pet.   They took Valentino on Saturday and he was dead by Monday.  How long did they wait before killing Valentino?   A day?  An hour?  Was Anne even out of the parking lot before the Houston SPCA killed Valentino?

Valentino was, by his owner’s account, a calm, laid back cat that even got along with dogs.   If he was “aggressive” as the HSPCA claims (which I highly doubt), did no one at the Houston SPCA think that maybe Valentino was stressed because he was in an unfamiliar place away from everything and everyone that he had ever known?   I’m sure he could smell death permeating from every corner.  That is enough to stress any animal.

The Houston SPCA is a 30+ MILLION dollar organization, yet we know that they couldn’t be bothered to spend a little extra time and a little extra money on what was probably a terrified and confused cat.   The Houston SPCA could not wait even 48 hours to see if this so-called “aggressive” cat would calm down with time.   They did not place him in a foster home or with a rescue group, where he could have gotten more one on one attention in a calmer environment.

And the Houston SPCA did not bother to call Anne to tell her that Valentino was at risk of being killed.  They did not even give her the chance to retrieve Valentino before killing him.   Anne and Valentino deserved a phone call, at the very least.

No, instead the Houston SPCA charged Anne a fee to rehome Valentino and lied to her face.   The Houston SPCA told Anne that Valentino was highly adoptable and even told her to send more pictures to them for their website, perpetuating the farce that they would use the pictures to help find Valentino a new home.

Instead Valentino was dead within 48 hours, killed by the Houston SPCA.

Anne’s story is just one of thousands (more stories like this are posted here)

**If you donate to the Houston SPCA, THIS is what your donations support.**

Do not let Valentino’s death be in vain.   Please stand up for the animals who will enter the Houston SPCA. 

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Tell the Houston SPCA that you will no longer support them as long as they continue killing adoptable pets.  Tell all of your animal loving friends and family to do the same. 

It is up to US to demand more than just mass slaughter in our so-called “shelters”.

Click here for the Houston SPCA’scontact information.

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Speak out for the thousands of loved, adoptable pets, like Valentino, that  have entered the Houston SPCA only to be killed.

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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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