Monday, March 25, 2013


Well it should be an interesting spring in Austin. For the first time the City stood fast and did not allow double digit budget increases. They also stood fast and did not pay Austin Pets Alive additional funds. Also, Austin Pets Alive is now prohibited from bringing in animals from outside of the jurisdiction to get more revenue but at the expense of saturating Austin's market and in direct competition with the shelter. Couple that with the need of Austin Pets Alive to raise funds to make their current facility pass State inspection in the fall of this year and it is going to be a challenge. That does not even mention the fact Austin Pets Alive's lease on the old animal shelter (Town Lake) only goes through 2015 and low and behold they don't have funds to build a new facility since both their facility and the new Austin shelter are full. Okay so much for no pet over population and you can go No Kill over night and it costs nothing! 

Interesting article in the Huffington Post from an attendee at the Austin Pets Alive Conference (tickets paid for by Austin Pets Alive). The published slide show provided by Austin Pets Alive on "How to Help Rescue Pets" is interesting not so much for what it has in it but for what it does not. Actually some pretty good advice in it but only one minor mention of the "No Kill Advocacy Center" at the end. No mention of Winograd or Clinton. No mention of the no kill equation, nothing. Hmmm, could it be that APA is trying to distance themselves from No Kill and will eventually like so many other rescues have move away from supporting the shelter and leave Austin Animal Services holding the bag so to speak? Then of course they just become limited admission, never report numbers since they are private and then blame Austin for failing? Maybe APA sees the handwriting on the wall? Like I say interesting spring. For the animals sake I hope I am wrong.

An interesting side note. Once each year most of the mayors of cities in Texas meet in Austin for a conference. While I would guess Animals Services is not on the top of their discussion list I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear Austin's feedback to them about No Kill. Reduced killing is possible just not with the no kill equation as it stands. 

Thanks Anon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Looking at some figures on Alameda County this morning. Winograd is based in Oakland, or at least that is what we think. The address given for the "Advocacy" center is a drop box location. Anyway, maybe he lives close around. Let's look at Alameda County.

The Hayden Act came into play in 1998. The Companion Animal Protection Act, CAPA, is based on the Hayden. Why I will never understand but. Now, let me remind you of the infamous slogan of Nathie, "STOP THE KILLING OVERNIGHT !" So here we go.

In 1998, the year of the start of the Hayden for Alameda County:

Dogs Intake  10,555  
Dogs Euth.     4,850
Cats Intake    10,452
Cats Euth.       5,612

Jump to 12 years later, 2010. The reason is that the last full online report is for that year. This is taken from the Annual Report of Local Rabies Control Activities, a state required report for all shelters done by county. Some counties have more than one entity doing animal control and/or housing.

Dogs Intake     7,136
Dogs Euth.      1,651
Cats Intake      8,357
Cats Euth.       3,495

So do the math. My figures come out to a little over a 1% difference in those 12 years. Overnight, I don't think so. This is slower than the strides being made by spay/neuter focusing on the problem. Maybe Winograd meant one of those long Arctic nights, you think?


What is this I'm hearing that Ryan Clinton of Fix Austin and Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pet's Alive are trying to get Eddie Rodriguez to file bill to get  a state law passed allowing  city and county shelters to send out animals to rescue groups that arrive at the shelter with no tags and no microchip with only a 24 hour hold instead of the normal 72 hours?

Is there a shortage of dogs for Austin Pets Alive  to pull?  Do they now need to steal family pets through legal maneuvering? Austin Animal Center is about 50 large dogs over capacity on any one day. Go pull  those dogs instead of trying to legally "steal" some one's family pet.

Add to it these private rescue groups have little to no oversight regarding conditions at their facilities; at least not to the same extent as our municipal shelters . No Kill seems to have no compassion and all under the pretense of saving tax dollars. If they were really worried about tax dollars they would pass a state wide requirement to spay and neuter most owned cats and dogs and start doing something to reduce intake at our City shelters instead of turning them into high volume holding and adoption centers at the expense of the tax payer.

And who says there's no money in rescue? Austin Pets Alive  has certainly figured out how to do it. Just take out the compassion component.

Makes sense when you consider the constant problem Austin has with overcrowding and now a cut in the budget to boot. Why don't they realize that No Kill is already dead in Austin, just roll over and get it done with. This was the state of Austin just 4 days ago and you can see where this selfish, ego driven legislation is coming from. Clinton is trying to save face and he can't do anything on a local level now, it is out of hand. So he is resorting to the State. 

Sent: 3/10/2013 11:43:58 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: [ProjectStarfish] HELP! AAC is -47 dog kennels today!


Our medium-large dog kennel count this morning was -47. Yikes! Holding is full, the truckport is full, animals are in rolling cages, but we have NO place to put them!

So, how can you help? Consider taking one of the animals that we have already posted, OR visit the shelter, look around, and speak to the staff in the lobby about any medium-large dogs that you think you might be interested in fostering. They will let you know if the dog is available for foster or not, as well as provide you with any behavior/medical information that we may have. The initial criteria for being available for foster is the dog cannot already have a customer interest hold on it, and it can't still be within its stray hold period.

To help you in marketing a dog from your home, we can offer tips on writing an effective post that will get noticed, and our weekly adoption events are always available to you as well to help the dog find a permanent home. We can't do it without your help! And as always, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!
AND ALL THAT YOU ARE DOING IS PUTTING OFF THE INEVITABLE. You can fill every household in Austin with fosters, that will not solve the problem.   

Delwin Goss, the only rational mind in Austin on this issue, puts it in sane terms.

Our old shelter is still open and over flowing. Our new shelter is over flowing. All the rescue groups and foster families are maxed out. And puppy and kitten season is just around the corner. We've lowered the standards for adoption at the animal center to the point where homeless people and people convicted of animal abuse can walk in the door and walk out with an older cat or dog for free. Michael  Vick could walk into our shelter and if no one recognized him; he could walk out with a cat or dog. Our animal services department has had an increase in budget of over 60% over the last four years. Animal  Services director asked for an additional $1,300,000.00 but saner voices at the City prevailed and that request was cut to $300,000.00.

As it's been, all the other city departments saw budget reductions. Those reductions impacted things like housing the homeless, public safety, parks and trails, programs for our seniors and our children.
 Every large senior animal organization in Austin has passed a resolution asking our City  to pass a spay/neuter ordinance. Even the Austin Neighborhoods Council and some of the political clubs have also passed resolutions asking for a spay/neuter ordinance. Over 15,000 mostly East Austin residents have signed a pen on paper informal petition asking The City  to pass a spay/neuter ordinance .

 All that support yet our City seems to listen to one voice and one voice only.  Recently City staff and the animal advisory commission started work on a Differential Licensing  ordinance and once again that same voice scuttled the work. And the reason this time? Concerns over privacy. Really? Privacy over a pet owners registration records?  Who the heck cares about those records? I certainly don't.  Just how weak is that?

One of the things that leaves me most perplexed is that voice doesn't work with animals. No hands on  rescue, no hands on  cat work, no hands on dog work. Absolutely no first hand experience. Just an unending litany of "those ordnances don't work". "The ordinance will lead to more animals entering our shelters." The same statements  as the breeders, the same claims  as R.P.O.A. and the same dogma as the Endangered Breeds group ( basically Pit Bull Breeders and Fighters)
That's the same thing opponents of a State wide mandatory rabies vaccination said way back when. That's the same thing opponents of laws mandating that animal owners provide food , water and minimal shelter claimed .   It's the same thing that opponents of Austin of Austin's anti tethering ordinance said and it's the same thing opponents of Austin's pet sellers ordinance said. Strange thing; it never happened.

It's just depressing to me to learn some of our City's leaders and some City staff hear  voices but not the voices of the people, the voices of those of us who work with animals each and every day   and/or the voice of sanity.
  Keep Austin Weird!

Thanks Delwin for being a true animal/people advocate, not the fake ones such as Clinton. Hang in there, it will end. If nothing else, there will be a show down with Clinton and Winograd that will end all of this. Clinton is now on his "divine" trip and he wants to take over.