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?
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"?