But What About the Animals?

January 29, 2011

Houston Humane Society (HHS) KILLS 86% of the animals taken into their shelter.  Well, that was their kill rate before the economy soured and they increased their RAIDER activities.  Yesterday, through a settlement agreement between Harris County, HHS, and an owner from whom they had seized nearly 250 dogs and cats; the HHS became owners of those seized animals.  The media refers to "custody" of the animals and future "adoptions" but we're really talking about stripping a rightful owner of property rights and handing those rights over the HHS who may sell the animals (calling it "adoption") or who may kill them, who may already have begun killing them.

Whenever I defend the rights of owners, the biggest criticism I hear is "but what about the poor animals?"  WELL, what about the poor animals in this case?  According to HHS, "For years the dogs have been living inside the residence in severely unclean and deplorable conditions."  (No mention of the cats AT ALL.)  They never seem to tell what "deplorable conditions" means but there sure are plenty who like to toss that term around.  OK, so let's say they were living in complete and utter filth but the thing is they were LIVING.  Are they alive now?  If so, for how long?

You can scroll down the HHS page linked above and see how poorly they work to give updates about animals after seizure, after they become owners; leaving old information hanging out there with their plea for your money but no further information about the animals, no self accountability at all.  No doubt the same will happen to these animals.  The pleas for your money will continue but the animals have already disappeared into their black hole shelter.  Oh, sure, in a week or 2 or 3; they will trot a couple of them out and onto TV, rehabbed in mere days (bathed, shaved, nails trimmed, vaccinations and altered because that is ALL the rehabbing one can do in mere days), ready for adoption, and yet another plea for YOUR MONEY.  That plea will most certainly imply that all the animals were tended, sheltered, cared for, alive and to be "adopted" but don't you believe it for a moment.  HHS KILLS 86% of the animals who cross their threshold.

Better DEAD than DIRTY.  Is that the HHS mentality?  Perhaps it is and I guess that's to be expected from a group "honest" enough to call it's "officers" RAIDERS.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ANIMALS???

If animal welfare is so important to our society that the government is contracting with organizations like HHS, so important that law enforcement,  court and attorney time and our tax dollars are to be spent on these cases (while we cut social services for human children), then we all damned sure have a right to know the outcome for the animals rather than just the outcome of the hearings.  So, I wrote a little email to the local media yesterday:

HHS (last known kill rate of 86-89%) received ownership of 240+ animals in court today. Clearly your station has a close relationship with and supports HHS. Today you report some of the animals will be available for adoption soon. How about, just this once, you follow every single animal and disclose what happens to each and every one of them. If any of them die or are killed, disclose why they died or were killed. Everyone starts off in these cases saying "what about the poor animals"? Well, what about the animals? Will you at least tell what happens to them? Or will this be about the last we ever hear on these?
http://www.click2houston.com/contact/index.html
Local 2 Investigates

Unless you too believe animals are better dead than dirty, please join my plea to the media to follow these animals and account for them; to end the black holes where 86%+ of the animals are killed without any notice at all while the NPOs like HHS continue their pleas for donations (essentially for the dead, to pay for their efforts to seize more animals to kill).  Demand that all animal shelters account publicly account for each and every animal that comes through their doors.  Is that too much to expect from those who claim to be "humane" or claim to be "preventing cruelty"?

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I doubt if click2houston or any local news stations will really investigate these things. Maybe someone like Michael Berry and talk radio will do.

This stuff makes me so angry. It is so unkind. First the animals are removed from the only home they've ever known. Then they have major surgery committed on them. And if they are really lucky they are sold to yet another stranger who may or may not be a better home. Meanwhile the human that loved them is heart broken. Is it any wonder I never support any rescue efforts any longer. Better dead than fed one more time.

The same mentality reigns today in training animals as well -- Better dead than trained, if the dog in question is the sort of dog that can't be trained with pink-pony-and-fairy-farts training methods (i.e., all the fun breeds!).

Bill Koehler was a LEGEND in dog training. He'd take 50-60 students in a class and have total control and perfect order. Trained thousands in his lifetime, including movie dogs for Disney, and hundreds of thousands more were trained by owners using his books after he passed away. It took 8-10 weeks for most dogs! To have a dog that was OFF-LEASH RELIABLE!

Just try getting the same results in the same time with 90% of the "trainers" these days! They soak owners for hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, and months of time, and when the dog isn't trained after all that, oh well, it's untrainable, you'll have to have it euthanized.

Also, Just try finding one of Koehler's books now. The "all-positive" training movement has turned that amazing man's name to mud. And in doing so, they have killed inummerable dogs, and dog-friendly access is disappearing everywhere, because it is now "mean" to get the damn dog TRAINED.

I'm serious, some days I feel just about ready to go postal. :-(

But, I rant. Love your blog, keep up the excellent work.



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