Houston, TX – The elections for Harris County candidates are this November. Early voting starts in just a few weeks. Do you know the positions of the candidates on animal issues?
If you vote for a candidate, will he or she then work to protect shelter pets?
Will he/she support the No Kill model of sheltering in Harris County or will they simply allow the House of Horrors that is Harris County animal control to continue indefinitely?
Do the candidates know that this issue matters to you, the voter?
It is critical that we have elected officials who will work to fix the broken animal control system in Harris County. As I have written previously, last February, the Harris County attorney’s office completed its investigation of Harris County animal control. Our tax dollars paid for 11 employees to work on the investigation for 8 months. The investigation confirmed what former employees, volunteers and rescue groups had alleged… that Harris County employees, under Dawn Blackmar’s direction, had been breaking Texas humane laws for years. It confirmed that the employees consistently carried out very inhumane acts against the defenseless animals who were unfortunate enough to enter this facility.
The County Attorney’s report also confirmed that Harris County animal control had a horrific 83% KILL rate in 2011. Yet, after confirming all of the above atrocities, Harris County officials have taken absolutely no action whatsoever. None. There has been no attempt to discipline employees who broke the law and who tortured animals on the job, and there have been no changes that would increase the miniscule save rate.
It is time for this House of Horrors to be reformed, but, it is clear that Harris County employees and elected officials will not do what is necessary to accomplish this. The only way that positive changes will be made at this facility will be for us to elect candidates who will do it. Harris County needs leaders who actually care about this issue and who will not continue to sweep it under the rug. And, we need the candidates to know that voters care about this issue.
That is where you come in.
It is imperative that all of the candidates hear from you about this issue. It is critical that they know that voters are outraged about the House of Horrors in Harris County and that you want to know what they will do about it, if you vote for them in the upcoming election.
Right now, it appears that a lot of the candidates do not believe that voters care about animal issues as most of them are not paying attention to it. No Kill Texas Advocates sent Candidate Questionnaires to all of the candidates several months ago, but Chuck Maricle is the only candidate who has responded. See his responses here.
In addition, over the last couple of weeks, No Kill Texas Advocates has contacted many of the candidates regarding attending a Candidate Forum (see my previous blog post) in order to answer the voters’ questions. Yet only 2 of the candidates have indicated an interest in attending such a forum.
Personally, the upcoming elections in Harris County are a one issue race for me. Potholes or opening the next park are not high on my priority list.
The main issue that I care about is which candidate(s) will work to stop the inhumane treatment, lawlessness and mass killing of pets at Harris County animal control.
I care about knowing which candidate(s) will step up and help implement the same model of sheltering that 62 other Open Admission shelters (www.NoKillNews.com) and animal controls have implemented to stop shelter killing, just like Austin Texas did.
I care about knowing which candidate(s) will help drag Harris County out of the dark ages of catch and kill and help us join the 21st century where 90% or more of all shelter pets make it out alive.
But, since some of the candidates are not responding to No Kill Texas Advocates’ request for a Candidate Forum on these issues, it is apparent that these candidates do not think that we voters care about animal issues.
We need to prove them wrong.
Therefore, I am asking each of you to contact the candidates and ask them about their views on Harris County animal control. Let them know that this issue matters to you and that you will vote accordingly. Please call the candidates and email them. Also, post questions and comments on their Facebook pages and Tweet them, so that others will see your questions as well. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
Let’s prove to the candidates that we voters DO care deeply about this issue!
I am providing the candidates’ contact information below. I have even provided some sample questions, if you need help.
Questions for the candidates:
1) Are you aware that Harris County animal control has an 83% Kill Rate? If you are elected, what will you do to reduce this rate?
2) Are you aware of Vince Ryan’s report confirming allegations that Harris County employees, under Dawn Blackmar’s direction, broke several state humane laws over a period of years?
3) To date, no action has been taken regarding any of the employees who violated state laws. Likewise, no action has been taken by the District Attorney to file criminal charges against employees who violated state laws. What is your position regarding county employees who break the law while on the job?
4) Are you aware that the No Kill model of sheltering has been successfully implemented in at least 62 Open Admission shelters/animal controls across the country and they are now saving 90% or more of all animals?
5) Are you aware that the No Kill model of sheltering not only saves on the cost of killing animals, but it brings in additional adoption revenue and other user fees and also provides an economic boon to local business?
6) Are you aware that Austin’s city council passed the Companion Animal Protection Act in 2010 and subsequently Austin’s Open Admission, animal control facility began saving 90% or more of all animals (their Save Rate was 93% for 2011)?
7) If elected, will you support the No Kill model of sheltering by passing the Companion Animal Protection Act in Harris County?
Here are the candidates’ contact information
Harris County Attorney – Robert Talton
Harris County District Attorney – Lloyd Wayne Oliver
Facebook: None that I can find
Phone: 713/542-1818; 281/796-7731; 713/382-8009
Harris County District Attorney – Mike Anderson
County Commissioner Precinct 3 – Glorice McPherson
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 281-741-7922; 281-670-8817
Note from No Kill Texas Advocates: Ms. McPherson has agreed to be part of our Candidate Forum and is open to discussing reform at Harris County animal control. She has not responded to our Candidate Questionnaire as yet, but we hopeful that she will so that we can include her in our endorsements.
Ms. McPherson’s opponent, Steve Radack has not responded to our Candidate Questionnaire and thus far, has refused to be part of our Candidate Forum.
County Commissioner Precinct 4 – Sean Hammerle
Email addresses together to copy and paste into an email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note from No Kill Texas Advocates:
He is also 1 of only 2 candidates who agreed to be part of our Candidate Forum to discuss these important issues that matter to voters. So far, the other candidates, including Mr. Maricle’s opponent, El Franco Lee, have NOT agreed to be part of the Candidate Forum. In addition, Mr. Lee has not responded to our Candidate Questionnaire.
We believe that Chuck Maricle could help us make great positive changes at Harris County animal control.
Mr. Maricle has our FULL SUPPORT.
Please THANK Mr. Maricle for taking voters concerns about animal issues seriously and for supporting the reform of Harris County animal control.
County Commissioner Precinct 1 – Chuck Maricle
Below are the incumbents running for re-election in Harris County.
Sample questions for the incumbents:
1) Why have you taken no actions toward the Harris County employees that the County Attorney confirmed broke state laws on the job?
2) What is your position regarding county employees who break the law while on the job?
3) If re-elected, will you do anything differently?
4) Are you aware that Harris County animal control has an 83% Kill Rate? If you are re-elected, what will you do to reduce this rate?
5) Are you aware that the No Kill model of sheltering has been successfully implemented in at least 70 Open Admission shelters/animal controls to date across the country and those shelters are now saving 90% or more of all animals?
6) Are you aware that the No Kill model of sheltering not only saves on the cost of killing animals, but it brings in additional adoption revenue and other user fees and also provides an economic boon to local business?
7) Are you aware that Austin’s city council passed the Companion Animal Protection Act in 2010 and subsequently Austin’s Open Admission, animal control facility began saving 90% or more of all animals (their Save Rate was 93% for 2011)?
8) If re-elected, will you support the No Kill model of sheltering by passing the Companion Animal Protection Act?
9) Explain to voters why we should vote for you again when you have not listened to your constituents’ wishes in the past?
Here are the incumbents contact information
Harris County Attorney – Vince Ryan
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 713-942-5816; 713-755-5101
Harris County District Attorney – None
The incumbent, Pat Lykos, lost the primary election.
County Commissioner Precinct 1 – El Franco Lee
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Phone: 713-739-1111; 713-755-6111
County Commissioner Precinct 3 – Steve Radack
Phone: 713-465-8000; 713-755-6306
County Commissioner Precinct 4 – R. Jack Cagle
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Phone: 713-838-8553; 713-755-6444
Email addresses together to copy and paste into an email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com