Houston: Spay, Neuter & Kill
News and headlines for July 25 - July 30, 2022
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
“Ten families in Keystone [IA] must get rid of their family dogs after being told to do so by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. The dogs are pit bulls or look like pit bulls.
“The dog owners were told… they have 10 days to find new homes for their pets…
“Benton County has an ordinance prohibiting dangerous animals; included in the list is ‘any dog which has the appearances and characteristics of being the breed of Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, any other breed commonly known as pit bulls.’”
Banning dogs based on how they look is immoral. It is also ineffective. That’s not just opinion; it’s science:
The breed of a dog tells us how they look, not how they behave;
50% of dogs labeled as pit bulls lacked DNA breed signatures of breeds commonly classified as pit bulls;
Dogs targeted for breed discriminatory laws are not more likely to bite, do not bite harder, and such bans do not result in fewer dog bites or bite-related hospitalization rates;
Enforcement is expensive with no measurable impact on public safety; and,
Bans also negatively impact surrounding communities and rescue groups who have to take on the burden of such regressive and selfish policies to save the lives of these dogs.
“When a city has a breed-specific ban, good dogs die. It’s that simple.”
As more people turn to rescue and adoption and more shelters embrace progressive policies, the number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing:
Gunnison County, CO, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 98% for cats, and 100% for other small animals.
Flat Rock, MI, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 99% for cats.
Shiawassee County, MI, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs, 99% for cats, and 100% for other animals.
These communities and national data prove that animals are not dying in pounds because there are too many, too few homes, or people don’t want the animals. They are dying because people in those pounds are killing them. Replace those people, implement the No Kill Equation, and we can be a No Kill nation today.
Austin, TX, used to be an inspiration. Now it is a cautionary tale. Following an Animal Advisory Commission vote of “No Confidence” in the director of the city shelter for dereliction of duty, the City Council voted to hire an outside “sheltering expert” to review the shelter and help get it back on track.
I wrote the City expressing opposition to hiring an outside “expert” for three reasons. First, it isn’t necessary to determine what isn’t working and why. We already know the answer: failure to fully implement the No Kill Equation.
Second, the problems at the shelter are self-inflicted and capable of immediate remedy. For example, shelter leadership unilaterally chose to make certain pandemic-related closures permanent.
Third, concerns that the process of selecting the “expert” will be hijacked by organizations pursuing their own agendas, rather than serving the best interest of Austin residents by protecting the lives of Austin’s neediest animals.
I invited my readers to ask me anything. I received dozens of questions in response, over 100 comments in all. Jennifer and I took six of those to discuss more fully on our podcast. We picked those that we believe will be the most interesting and useful:
Are we making progress?
Are No Kill and Managed Intake the same? In other words, do we have to limit – or at least, manage – intakes to create No Kill?
Will No Kill solutions that worked pre-pandemic also work post-pandemic? Or have things changed – the population of dogs, mass surrender of pandemic puppies, or something else – so that the programs and services of the No Kill Equation no longer eliminate killing?
What’s the most effective way to go about change when you live in a primarily rural, small town community?
With the demise of Austin, TX, as an inspiration to turn to, what communities can we use as examples of No Kill success?
And finally (cue, eyeroll):