Thursday, February 17, 2011

Speak up about proposed new animal ordinances for the city/county

I know it has been some time since I posted something new to this blog, but I am going to start posting more to it in the next year, especially as important animal-welfare issues come to light in our community. Right now, we are at a crossroads concerning some new animal ordinances which were proposed this week (on Feb. 14, 2011) by a committee formed nine months ago to review the city/county ordinances and make improvements/suggestions. They were also tasked to make one set of ordinances instead of having two different ones, which makes sense. This was also a perfect opportunity to model our ordinances more closely to communities in the U.S. which are saving the most animal lives.
Because no animal-welfare nonprofit leaders were chosen for this committee except then-DACHS president Jake Sims, many of us were concerned about what would be proposed. Overall, the committee did a good job at a first set of suggestions, but there are alarming ommissions, such as a lack of support for TNR.
As a general rule, there are many model ordinances out there. We do not have to rewrite or start from the beginning; we need to do the research in order to borrow from the best of the best -- from those communities saving more than 95% of their shelter animals.
Though these laws are just the beginning, they set the tone for our citizens and our animal-welfare systems. We need to be careful with some laws that the majority of animal people here want, such as mandatory spay/neuter, because some of these laws can actually have either no effect at all or backfire when punitively enforced instead of used as incentive for people to do the right thing. With our lack to access to high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter and no-cost spay/neuter, a law like this would add more pressure to an already overburdened system.

Whatever your opinion, please speak up to the ASCMV (shelter) oversight board on the proposed ordinances. A copy of the proposed ordinances is available from the Home page of Also on this site are APA's suggestions for ordinance improvement and a complete list of the city/county leaders on the shelter oversight board.

Sign the petition to our leaders asking them to adopt TNR provisions via this link:
Support Community Cat Programs in LC/DAC

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grassroots Press story on LC animal shelter

Here's a new story that came out about the animal shelter written for Grassroots Press by Jeff Berg. I was interviewed for the story, too.

Berg tries to show all sides to the story, but I'm afraid the press will always have issues understanding animal sheltering and our animal-welfare systems enough to fully explore solutions to problems. They also easily get sidetracked by the deflection our shelter uses of the animals coming in each month and being full as the excuse for not doing better and of the issues only being in the public and with the people.

The press does not understand, too, what some of us mean by saying that for most animal shelters and animal control departments, it is much easier to keep the status quo and to do things as they have always been done, which always leads to more killing than necessary. Killing is much easier than the hard work of fully administering the No Kill Equation and thinking outside the box to solve problems differently; it is also easier when you have the evil public entirely to blame to wash your hands of the killing.

Also important is for animal control departments to change the way they do business and be more proactive than reactive. Operating in old ways leads to more animals hauled in than may be necessary as well (such as for cats), so the issues are complex and never as simple as "too many homeless animals and not enough homes".

Nevertheless, thanks to Jeff Berg for his article:

Animal Shelter: Divergent perspectives on progress