Category Archives: advocacy

K-9 Cares Academy

K-9 Angels Rescue would like to present:  K-9 Cares Academy!

** Class starts at 7p, meet and greet starts at 6:30p**
5533 Weslayan  Houston TX 77005

This class will be offered the 3rd Thursday of every month, is open to the public, and will cover the following:

– How to have positive, non-judgemental conversations about spaying and neutering and pet care with animal owners.
– What to do when you find a dog.  Debunking shelter myths.
– Some basic pet care words in Spanish to aide in conversations with Spanish speakers.
– Comprehensive listing of low-cost or free services available in the Houston/Harris County areas.

This class and resources will be geared towards dogs, but can be useful for cat lovers as well!

This can be a great opportunity for rescue groups to network and get to know each other.  Please share!

We hope to see you there!

This class will be held the 3rd Thursday of every month.  If you cannot make this date, look out for the next one!

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The Ugly Truth about Animal Shelters

** Warning: this is a departure from my typical blog post.  However, anyone who knows me well at all, knows there are two things I’m passionate about: God and animals.  You might find this post unpleasant or perhaps, dare I say, offensive …. but there’s nothing pleasant about this subject.
You’ve been warned. **  – Source

An article caught my eye the other day.  It told the story of a vet, Jian Zhicheng, who worked at an animal shelter in Taiwan.  She had euthanized 700 animals in two years – many of whom were healthy and perfectly adoptable.  The fact was there was no space to keep them and no one to want them.  She worked hard to promote adoption over buying.  But animal rights activists threatened her and called her a butcher.

She took her own life.  Distraught by the overwhelming burden of euthanizing animals who have nowhere else to go and being labeled nothing short of a killer by her fellow humans, she injected herself with euthanasia drugs from the shelter.

This story hit me hard.  Anger swelled inside me: this woman’s life has needlessly ended.  She took on the weight of other people’s criticism, the weight of solving a problem that came to feel insurmountable.  The problem that Jian Zhicheng faced is one that many, many shelters in our own country face daily.  Too many animals, not enough homes.

Having worked in animal shelters, I have heard no end of criticism of the “kill shelter.”  I have seen the distrustful glint in the eyes of the public and even volunteers.  I guarantee that if you’re an average member of the public, you hear the words ‘kill shelter’ and a shiver runs down your spine.  You automatically think of a horrible place filled with horrible people that murder animals rather than try to find them a home.

Let’s break it down, okay?

Kill shelters are in truth open admission shelters.  An open admission shelter is required to take in whatever animal crosses its doorstep.  Let’s say they have space for 100 dogs and 100 cats.   On Monday, they start out the week with 80 dogs and 80 cats.  Someone comes in to surrender their 13-year-old golden retriever that has lived with them forever.  They’re moving and can’t be burdened by an arthritic dog with a weak bladder any more.  Right behind the golden comes a mama dog with a litter of 6 puppies.  Twenty minutes later, two dogs that were adopted on Saturday have been brought back because they peed inside the house.  Three cats come in – all from the same place – their owner died and the daughter wants nothing to do with litter boxes.  Two 1-year-old labs are dropped off – baby on the way so no more time for high-energy dogs.   A litter of kittens come in with their mama, still nursing.  Five minutes later, another litter of kittens come in but there’s no mama – and they’re only four weeks old.  So, we’re up to 86 dog kennels needed (the pups stay with mama in one kennel) and 84 cat kennels (the motherless kittens have been frantically placed with the last available kitten foster).  Whew.  Still space, right?

Then the animal control officers come in.  Officer One has brought in  7 cats – three from traps and four abandoned – and 4 dogs, all without collars, tags or microchips.  Officer Two has brought in 3 more dogs who were reported for chasing chickens.  Officer Three has been very busy – 2 abandoned kittens, 3 cats roaming at large and 9 stray dogs nosing through the trash at the landfill.  That brings our grand total up to 102 dogs (plus the puppies with their mama) and 96 cats.  Two dogs more than the shelter can hold.  A rolling cage is wheeled into the laundry room to hold one of the dogs – a chihuahua shaking with fear.  A staff member takes home the elderly golden retriever to administer meds and free up a kennel.

It’s only Monday.  And the shelter has room for 4 more cats and no more dogs.  And yet Tuesday will come with more dogs and more cats.  Followed by Wednesday with more dogs and more cats and a couple of parakeets.

Potential adopters stroll up and down the aisles, peering into kennels.  The mutt with a gentle soul and good manners is given barely a glance as one couple shakes their heads and leave, complaining that there were no yorkies.  or pomeranians.  or westies.

A young woman brings her son to see the animals, only to turn right around and leave when she finds out it’s a ‘kill shelter.’   She pauses just long enough to look over her shoulder in disgust at the front desk workers, her gaze saying,”How can you be so cruel?”

Another potential adopter wants a dog who is housebroken and already knows commands for sit, stay, lay down, shake, roll over, play dead.  Yet another wants a puppy and the puppy must be fluffy.  The little pittie-hound mix pups are totally ignored.

In the background, a shelter worker crosses her fingers that her favorite, a 10-year-old border collie with a heart murmur, weak hips and the sweetest disposition will finally find a home.  She’s been here a long time – longer than she has any right to be.

Thursday comes.  Adoptions were good this week but with so many owner surrenders and strays, the shelter is at capacity – technically over if you count the three rolling cages stuffed into the back hallway to hold the three little dogs who did not get along with their family’s new puppy.

It is euthanasia day.  Who gets to live and who will die?

And who are the people behind that grim decision?

They are the ones who everyday open their hearts to the sure prospect of hope mingled with a bitter disappointment.  They are the ones who look past the mange, the stinky ears, the overgrown nails, the tangled hair to see animals who were created with intention by God.  They see the souls – the sometimes gentle, sometimes fearful question in the eyes of those animals: is it going to be better now?

As they bathe 6-week-old puppies, frail from blood loss because they have been covered in so many fleas, these shelter workers vow silently to show these creatures that yes, it is going to be better now.  When officers bring in an emaciated dog, abandoned inside a kennel for weeks – they passionately swear that yes, it is going to be better now.  When a recently adopted dog is picked up as a stray and the ‘owner’ says to just keep him, the worker who did the adoption kneels down in front of those questioning eyes and promises, it will be better.

And when it isn’t – when no one chooses them, when the shelter runs out of space – their hearts break completely.  And these workers go home and smile for their families and try to bury the guilt they feel that they were not able to help that one.  and that one.  and that one.

The ugly truth of the animal shelter isn’t the workers pulling up the syringe of pentobarbital.  It isn’t the shelter director who is agonizing in his office about the high intake and low adoption rate as he brainstorms new ways to attract potential adopters.

It’s you.

The person who thinks it’s fine for their intact male dog to roam the neighborhood, spawning litter after litter of unwanted puppies.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who thinks they’ll make big bucks by backyard breeding … until the inbreeding starts creating puppies with deformities … puppies no one wants.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who spends $500 on the puppy for sale in the back of the truck at Wal-mart, encouraging that backyard breeder to keep right on breeding, never knowing the mama lives a mostly neglected life in a filthy cage outside until she becomes so covered in mammary tumors that she ends up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who takes that puppy home and loses interest once the puppy reaches 7 months old and starts digging or chewing or barking – time to drop her off at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who decides they’d like to travel more and it’s time to dump their senior dog, the one with lumps and sores, at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The hunter who abandons the gun-shy dog on a back road, driving away in a cloud of dust, leaving him for someone else to deal with.

The nice middle-class family who refuses to get their dog spayed and complains when a wandering intact male leaves her with a litter of unwanted puppies.  Puppies that end up at the shelter for someone else to deal with.

The person who hides behind a computer screen and leaves nasty messages, calling the shelter employees cruel, cold, unfeeling … all while petting the dog they purchased from a pet shop – shelter mutts are for someone else to deal with.

The person who complains that too much of their tax money has gone to the shelter – how could they possibly want to increase their budget for things like spay & neuter clinics or humane education or microchipping?   That should be left for someone else to deal with.

The person who complains about the massive and daunting problem of animal welfare in this country … without offering any solution or any help.  That’s for someone else to deal with.

For someone else to deal with.

The ugly truth is that so many people want to pass off their responsibility to someone else, anyone else.  That’s why animal shelters exist.  The emotional burden of what happens to those unwanted animals is passed off too – to sit squarely on the shoulders of the shelter workers and the volunteers and the rescues trying their damnedest to make a difference, to save lives.

The ugly truth is there is no easy answer.  The real answer is simple but it is so hard because it requires persistence and endurance – there is no instant gratification.  The only answer is spay and neuter.  Pet overpopulation is an overwhelming problem and the only way to solve it is by reducing the population.  Right now, society’s answer has been to reduce the population on the back end – i.e. killing.   According to the Humane Society of the United States, 2.4 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized every year – that’s an animal every 13 seconds.  The ASPCA reports a higher estimate of 2.7 million euthanized animals per year.

That’s madness, isn’t it?

Let’s change that.

Spay and neuter your pets – there’s no excuse for Rex to be accidentally spreading unknown litters around the neighborhood.

Adopt, don’t shop – shelter pets have every bit as much love to give as one from a breeder.

If you must buy, do your due diligence and fully inspect the premises of the breeder.  See where mama lives full-time, not just when buyers come by.  Ask about mama’s vet care.  Ask for references.

Accept responsibility for the animal that you brought into your family.  Dogs and cats don’t speak our language – they have to learn what we ask of them and that requires patience and consistency from you.  They want to love you and that requires attention from you.  They will get sick, they will get hurt, they may be inconvenient to care for – but that’s what you signed up for when you picked out the puppy with the waggly tail and the kitten with the fluffball fur.

If you do none of these things, then do this at least – look closely at those shelter workers and think – THINK about the pain they willingly take on every day because someone else chose not to hold up their end of the bargain.  And swallow the criticism that can float so easily to the surface.  They are in the trenches – and what’s more, they repeatedly choose to be there because if not them, then who?

And that is the thought of every committed person involved in animal sheltering – if not me, then who?

* * * * * *

Source

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What an Amazing Adoption Count this past Weekend!

Adrienne Balfour Huertas's photo.

“I am so thankful to all the FOSTER HOMES who clean up, transport, love and train our dogs so we can have weekends like this.

These adoptions are Harris County Veterinary Public Health Division dogs, who, mostly, had run out of time in the shelter.
(Editor’s note: When a dog runs out of time it is killed by shelter staff. )

If you’d like to become a foster for K-9 Angels Rescue – Houston, TX please send me a message.”

Mary Tipton
Co-founder and Intake Coordinator
Mary@k-9AngelsRescue.org

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5 things I learned as a foster dog parent and the 1 reason why I keep doing it

As a foster parent with Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, I take dogs into my home and care for them until they find their forever homes.

These dogs come from high-kill shelters in the southern U.S., and so far, I have fostered two dogs, both of whom found fantastic forever homes.

Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue likes to give its dogs celebrity names, which makes calling them in the park even more fun.  The first dog I fostered was named Ezra Klein and the second (who stole my heart) was named Ellen Page.

This is Ezra Klein, my first foster dog, a 2-year-old dachshund-chihuahua mix.

This is Ellen Page, my second foster dog, a 4-year-old “muttigree.”

I’m a video producer here at Upworthy, so when I brought Ellen Page into my home, I decided to document the highs and lows of being a foster parent.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. You get very little information about the dog you’re welcoming into your home.

Most of the time, foster parents have no idea what we’re in for — we get very little information about the dogs in advance.  The anticipation of a new foster pup always makes me nervous.  I call it my “pre-foster jitters.”

With Ellen, all I was told was that she had “bad manners” and was “aggressive with small dogs.”

Living in a community with a ton of small dogs, I was really nervous that Ellen would try to eat one for breakfast each morning.  Luckily, it turned out she preferred chasing squirrels over small dogs.

Ezra Klein, day 1, checking out his new temporary home.

2. Teaching foster pups that it’s OK to “go” on NYC sidewalks can be stressful.

Training a dog to be housebroken is tough, especially in NYC where grass is sparse.  It’s a learning process for everyone involved.

But that moment when they pee outside for the first time is pretty exhilarating.  After three long days of trying to get Ellen Page to pee outside, I basically threw a party for her the first time she got it right.

Pee party for Ellen!

3. Being a doggy foster parent to a nervous puppy can be a round-the-clock job.

Pee on the carpet?  Diarrhea at 4 a.m.?  Constant barking and separation anxiety?  Fear of being outside?  These are all issues that require constant love, patience, and understanding to help resolve.

My first foster puppy, Ezra, was so fearful on walks that he would drag me down the sidewalk back to my apartment building.  (He only weighed 12 pounds, but those little front legs have power — let me tell you.)  I didn’t know his history, but I suspected he spent most of his pre-foster life stuck in a crate and had probably had never been outside before.  So I worked with Jason Cohen, a dog trainer, to help Ezra become less anxious outside … which meant sitting outside with him for extended periods of time.
Ezra and I watched the sunset (as he tried to drag me back to my apartment).
Ezra and I went on long walks (as he tried to drag me back to my apartment).
Ezra and I sat and people-watched (as he tried to drag me back to my apartment).

And, eventually, Ezra realized being outside wasn’t so bad.

Classic Ezra butt-wiggle

It was a relief to know that all that patience had paid off.  By training Ezra to be calm outside, it was less likely that he’d be sent back to a shelter for misbehaving.

4. Walks are required frequently, even when you feel like being lazy.

You know how I mentioned it took a nervous Ellen Page three days to learn to pee outside?  Well, until that joyous moment, I was walking her multiple times a day, and even occasionally in the middle of the night, just in case she suddenly figured out where she was supposed to go to the bathroom.

At one point, I found myself scraping explosive doggy diarrhea off the sidewalk in the middle of the night (which is as fun as it sounds) when I would’ve much rather been sleeping.  But getting up to take Ellen on a 4 a.m. walk was worth it for that mess to end up outside rather than in my apartment — and to reinforce for Ellen that going to the bathroom should always happen outside.

5. The goodbye is by far the hardest part.

After I handed over Ellen’s leash to her amazing new adopters, I cried.  In the corner.  While my boyfriend patiently patted my head.

After spending countless hours training, petting, picking up poop, loving, feeding, and playing with your foster pup, there is nothing harder than seeing that pup walk away with its new family.  Leaving you.  Forever.

Or you can do what I did with Ellen’s adopters, and offer to dog-sit, should they ever go on vacation.  I am Ellen’s self-appointed cool aunt.  No promises that I won’t spoil her if her adopters take me up on the dog-sitting offer.

Ellen Page walking off into the sunset with her amazing adopters.

Of course, I always try to play it cool, as if I’m not crying and completely crushed, when my foster dogs walk away.  But after saying a tearful goodbye to Ellen Page, another Badass Brooklyn Dog Rescue puppy, Vin Diesel, tackled me with a big doggy hug.

Vin Diesel is so intuitive. It’s like he knew I needed a hug.
<Photo by Nikki Tappa>

Which brings me to the most rewarding part of fostering:

There, in Vin Diesel’s paws, I realized that there will ALWAYS be another dog in need of a foster.  Yes, I wanted to adopt Ellen Page and keep her as my own, but being a foster parent isn’t about me, or about Ellen.

It’s about the next dog on the kill list in a shelter down south, who needs a foster home in order to find a forever home.

As a doggy foster parent, you’re saving dogs lives.

According to the ASPCA, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized each year.  And every dog that gets fostered and adopted is one fewer dog on the kill list.  My boyfriend and I decided that for every dog we foster, we are going to make a “paw print” (with nontoxic finger paint).

We plan on framing each paw print, so that one day, we can have a wall full of paws — all shapes and sizes.  Whenever we have post-fostering blues, we’ll have this wall of paw prints to remind us of the big picture.

Fostering is about saving as many dogs as possible.  And that makes it all worth it.

Watch my journey with Ellen Page below:

ABOUT:

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Love Your Pets

The Theory is Simple.
Love Your Pets and They Will Love You Back.

True friendship doesn’t just appear – it’s made.  It’s earned.

It’s quiet nights cuddling on the couch.
It’s having a partner in exploring city parks.
And it’s creating new memories in countryside trails.

It’s feeding them – each and every day.
Every time you fill their bowl it fills them with trust – a trust that you will provide for them.

When their bodies are strong, their spirit is, too.

Help them to enjoy this world, their playground.
It’s yours to enjoy together.

 

 

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Animal Shelter at Capacity After Hoarder Dumps More Than 70 Dogs

August 11 2015 – ABC13 (KTRK), by Deborah Wrigley

Hoarder dumps more than 70 dogs at shelter

HOUSTON (KTRK) — The Harris County Animal Shelter is said to always be at capacity, which is why a single person surrendering more than 70 dogs in a short period of time poses such a problem.  Video here.

Since June, a man described as a hoarder, has delivered 78 “Chi-Weenies” to the facility in northeast Houston.  The dogs are a mixture of Dachshund and Chihuahua.  The man who turned them over to the shelter is not being identified by the county.

By law, the shelter cannot refuse to take in any animal surrendered by residents of unincorporated Harris County.

According to shelter director Dr. Michael White, the hoarder was recently evicted from his home, and had to get rid of the animals.  “How can you live with 70 animals in your house?,” White asks.

The dogs were not spayed or neutered.  “It may have started off with a couple of dogs, and they breed, and a couple can turn into 60.”  White says there’s nothing to suggest the man was a breeder, but a hoarder.

More than two dozen were dropped off this past Saturday, including a mother and nine, tiny puppies, all of which appear friendly and healthy.

A few dozen more are housed in three large kennels at the shelter.  None seem to have health problems.  For some, human attention seems new to them.

The problem is that so many animals from one source creates problems for other shelter dogs, which have been housed longer.  When space disappears entirely, euthanasia can be part of the discussion.  It is something Dr. White, who comes from a back-ground of having a private veterinary practice, prefers not to do.

“There are plenty of adoptable animals here, and this affects the ones already here.  If you’re going to be a responsible pet owner, you need to spay and neuter your dogs.  That’s the conversation we need to be having.”

Mary Tipton, of K-9 Angel Rescue, is a fixture at the shelter taking animals, some of which are scheduled to be euthanized on the day she pulls them from the list.  “I met him, the hoarder, on the day he dumped 19 animals here on a Saturday afternoon,” she says.  “I offered to help him have his dogs neutered and spayed. He seemed offended that I thought he didn’t love them.”

A rescuer who recently moved from Wyoming to Bellaire took five of the dogs.  Her daughter took another five.  Dale Jones has taken the pups in for their shots, spaying and neutering. She also has a Facebook page: “Save the Chiweenies!”

The county shelter on Canino Road will have a half-price adoption event this Saturday, August 15, 2015 featuring cats, dogs and the Chiweenies.

 

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More people means more pets for Harris county’s animal shelter

"If 80 to 100 animals come in here every day, 80 to 100 have to go out," says Dr. Michael A. White, who supervises the crew that euthanizes animals. Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / © 2015 Houston ChroniclePhoto: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle

Dr. Michael A. White dreams at night of the creatures whose lives are in his hands.  At home, the director of Harris County’s Veterinary Public Health unit is fostering two labs and four basset hound pups with highly contagious mange.  At the county shelter, White supervises the crew that euthanizes unclaimed, injured and unadoptable animals – to clear space for dozens of new arrivals daily.

“If 80 to 100 animals come in here every day, 80 to 100 have to go out,” White said, whether they are recovered by their owners, adopted or in many cases euthanized.

While the human population has nearly doubled in the last two decades in unincorporated Harris County, the animal shelter remains a vestige of a less populous time and must confront the challenges that come with it.  More households means more pets and – without widespread spaying and neutering – more unwanted pets.  But the facility has not grown to accommodate the burgeoning population of animals.

“We cannot close our doors if we are at capacity like many shelters are able to do,” White said.   “We do the best we can with the resources we have.”

When the county built the shelter on Canino Road in 1986, it was designed to take in 12,000 lost and abandoned dogs, cats, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs and tropical fish annually.  The shelter now sees about 25,000 every year, the vast majority being cats and dogs.  The current intake roughly matches that of the much more well-known Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, although BARC operates with four times the budget.

Animal Shelter
Houston Chronicle

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With more animals, the discussion inevitably turns to concerns over euthanasia rates.  After a boost in funding and increased partnerships with non-profits, BARC’s live release rate is now 80 percent, up from a low of 20 percent in 2005.

But this is not the case in Harris County.  About 70 percent of the county shelter’s animals were euthanized in 2014, though that represents a 13 percentage point decline from 2010.

“It’s an extremely hard decision for staff to make: which ones to keep and which ones to let go,” White said.  “There are so many really nice animals that come through here.  They’ll come here with little sweaters or little dresses on.   If they’re not micro-chipped or tagged there’s no way we can find the owner.”

The shelter partners with 131 rescue groups to aid with adoptions and help lower the kill rate.  Nevertheless, the facility faces significant hurdles as it accommodates a growing region.

In an April 15 email to Dr. Umair Shah, the county’s public health director, White wrote, “While we have implemented efforts to decrease the number of animals that enter the shelter each day, which has helped, our intake is still beyond the scope of our facility to house the high numbers of animals and our staffing level to provide adequate care for them.”

More pets, fewer put down: The Harris County animal shelter, which was built in 1986, receives several thousand more animals than it did a few years ago, but it has lowered its euthanasia rate by 10 percentage points.

More pets, fewer put down: The Harris County animal shelter, which was built in 1986,
receives several thousand more animals than it did a few years ago, but it has lowered its euthanasia rate by 10 percentage points.

Harris County’s compound was built to house 230 animals at a time.  At near breaking point occupancy in April 2015, the facility had 380.

State law mandates a three-day hold for animals to be redeemed by their owners.  After that period, rescue groups may foster pets and try to place them in homes.  Whenever possible, White said, he keeps the animals on site longer, especially if there’s a glimmer of interest in adoption.

When dog and cat breeding reaches its peak in the spring, the number of puppies and kittens arriving at shelters rises, making it harder for older pets to get adopted.  Last week, the shelter’s cages and kennels were overflowing, with as many as six kittens or six dogs to a cage.

Many pets get left behind when tenants are evicted.  Some wander off, and their owners never retrieve them.  Some dogs arrive covered in motor oil, or wearing collars that are choking them because they were put on when they were puppies and they have outgrown them.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about a community problem,” Shah said.   “We can’t say, ‘At this time we are not taking any more animals.’ …  We can’t say, ‘We’re not going to accept injured ones’ or ‘We’re not going to take the funny looking ones.’   We’re going to take all comers.”

Monica Schmidt, public relations manager for the Houston Humane Society, noted that pet overpopulation is a problem on a broad scale because of a pervasive mind set:  “There’s a big difference between a stray problem and an irresponsible owner problem.  You get reasons like, ‘I’m moving.’   Or I didn’t spay and neuter them and now I have too many.'”

For the situation to improve, she said, the basic idea of pet ownership has to change.

Government facilities around the country and in Texas are overwhelmed, said Joanne Jackson, director of operations at Citizens for Animal Protection.  “They have to take animals in, and they don’t have the flexibility of a private place that can pick and choose,” Jackson said.

White said the more crowded quarters become at his facility, the greater the risk of disease like the bout of distemper that spread among the dogs last year.

There has been some progress in addressing the overflow.  The operating budget for animal control has increased 28 percent in the past three fiscal years.  Animal control has proposed two capital improvement projects for this coming year: a partial expansion of the shelter, which includes a new education and adoption building behind the facility, and a project to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the kennel area.

Jackson, whose group collects animals to foster from the county shelter and from BARC, said the county facility faces the additional hurdle of being in a somewhat remote area in north Houston.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Mormon said he made the trip out to Canino Road two Christmases ago with his daughter and they adopted the mixed breed puppy she named Snowflake.  “Back then it wasn’t nearly as crowded as now,” Mormon said.  “It seemed they were at capacity.  I know they’ve got them stacked everywhere and it’s a problem, but I think they’re operating as well as possible with their limited conditions.”

White joined the staff as the center’s infectious disease specialist in 2010.  He assumed leadership of the facility in 2013.

The former director, Dr. Dawn Blackmar, retired amid reports of inhumane and unorthodox euthanasia practices at the facility.  A 2012 report by the county attorney’s office found that caregivers under Blackmar had re-used hypodermic needles and left containers of the euthanasia drug Fatal Plus unsecured.

The report said employees had been euthanizing dogs and stockpiling carcasses in view of live animals waiting to be euthanized – a violation of protocol.  The county attorney’s investigation also confirmed allegations that animals, including some that had apparently been given the Fatal Plus solution, were found alive inside a freezer.

The shelter now adheres to the mandated protocol, Shah said.   And White has established a reputation as an animal lover.

“I think Dr. White has done a wonderful job.  From what I can tell, he has done a lot to reach out to different rescue groups and organizations to fill in some of the gaps where due to funding or staff they can’t do all they would want to,” said Schmidt of the Humane Society.   “I do think he’s doing a wonderful job.  They have a lot of staff that care deeply.”

The shelter has added a new puppy yard for adoptions and hopes to open a new surgery wing in a double-wide trailer on the 15,000-square-foot grounds.

Kill rates have also dropped under White.   The euthanasia rate in 2010 including sick, injured and aggressive animals was nearly 84 percent.  By 2014, the rate had dropped to 71 percent.

“It breaks our hearts to have to euthanize,” White said.   “We are an open-door shelter.  They say we euthanize for convenience.  That’s hurtful.  We want to save every animal.”

 

 

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