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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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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If you wish to receive an email notification each time I write a new blog post here, please click the blue Follow link at top right corner of your screen. (Note: The link may not be visible if you are reading this blog in an email.  If you cannot see the link in an email, click the title of the blog to be taken to my blog’s website.)

Friend me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Follow Houston Voters For Companion Animals, a political animal advocacy group, on Facebook and Twitter, and register to receive their newsletter.

Follow No Kill Houston on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to their email list.

 

*”‘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.