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).

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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.

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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. 

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

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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.

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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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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.

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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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