"No-Kill City": Dallas Forms Task Force Tasked With "Ending the Killing of Adoptable Animals"

Categories: City Hall
DogatShelter.jpg
Photo by Mark Graham
In the early days of the mayoral race, former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle quietly proclaimed on his website that he wanted Dallas to become "No-Kill City," meaning: With significant tweaks to its policies and procedures, Dallas Animal Services should be able to stop euthanizing strays. Six months later, the city now says: That's a fine idea, especially since, in the last year, the city has put to death 20,684 dogs and cats brought into the shelter -- close to 75 percent of all animals taken in.

Moments ago, City Hall sent word that the Animal Shelter Commission has formed the Dallas Companion Animal Project, a task force "charged with developing a blueprint for ending the killing of adoptable animals." Says Rebecca Poling, a commission member who will chair the task force, "Our goal is to guide the community in identifying and increasing easily accessible programs that will allow us to stop the killing of healthy, treatable companion animals."

And how does the the task force intend to do that?
Dallas CAP will focus on getting the community more involved on all levels: reducing the number of animals given up and abandoned by their owners; making it easier and more affordable for owners to spay and neuter their pets; increasing the number of stray and loose animals returned to their owners; offering options to people considering giving up their pets; and increasing the number of animals adopted and those transferred to other shelters and humane organizations.
Says the city, this is Mayor Mike's idea (hunh), in conjunction with new animal shelter boss Jody Jones, who once said: "I do not believe you need to 'declare' yourself 'No-Kill' in order to accomplish the goal as long as you adopt the proper philosophy." Jump for more. More from the city's announcement:
"Ending the killing of adoptable animals is not about any one shelter becoming no kill," said Poling. "It's about the entire community coming together and embracing all the components of a successful plan: spay/neuter, education, adoption and rescue, owner retention, behavior hotlines, responsible pet ownership.

"No single agency or organization can possibly be responsible for all the components necessary to make Dallas no kill. We're looking for individuals, businesses, corporations, associations, nonprofits, advocacy groups and animal-welfare organizations willing to be a part of this effort by lending their names and encouraging others to do the same."

The City of Dallas is ready to make the move towards no kill said Joey Zapata, Interim Assistant City Manager. "We have a new Mayor who firmly believes that Dallas should have the goal of becoming no kill; a City Council committed to supporting the task force; and a new shelter manager, Jody Jones, who played a leading role in making Richmond, VA, a no-kill community."

Jones knows from her experience in Richmond that in addition to saving lives, reducing euthanasia rates community-wide would have other benefits as well.

"Working together to develop a successful no-kill plan will engage the community in the welfare of our animals and make Dallas a more pet-friendly place to live," said Jones. "It will save taxpayer dollars and result in a more educated and informed public. It also will encourage private/public partnerships, and, most important, it will improve the quality of life for companion animals and people in the City of Dallas."
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Concerned for Dallas
Concerned for Dallas

There is a no kill Dallas group that IS following the official no kill equation; they can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/nokill... DCAP rushed to announce their organization after learning the no kill group had formed and another group planned a no kill conference for North Texas. DCAP launched their group in secrecy (is this sanctioned by the City?) and with the exclusivity of keeping the same tired old school mentality people in place. Look at who is on the task force - few fresh faces/voices. Poling has founded how many non-profit groups, sat on how many advisory boards - including the DAS commission for 10 years with little true results. There are simple, basic, low-cost actions that would have increased live outcome rates that she has never advocated for or implemented during her tenure on the advisory committee. 

Poling always campaigned against CAPA which would have saved lives of Texas shelter pets. Trimble who chairs the DAS commission also fought against CAPA. Why does the City of Dallas select people such as these old school thinkers to represent them?  The task force was hastily formed (Jones and Rawlings have been in their respective positions for only a few months and can't possibly have researched this carefully), they are an exclusive group that presents an appearance of wanting to work together with other groups, but it appears that is actually limited to only the groups that share their old school mentality. DCAP is unwilling to actually commit to no kill - their fear of failure is evident from the start. They use the term 'no kill' too loosely. The City needs to rethink this task force and consider the entire pool of rescue resources available in the community and work with the proven track record model of success. The Dallas Residents should demand it. Keep in mind, other Texas municipal shelters have achieved no kill status by following the No Kill Equation: Austin, Williamson County, Seagoville, and most recently, Rockwall. Take a look at Seagoville. It didn't take months or years, commissions, task forces, or big budget. It took one person to say this is not right; Sgt Bailey made the decision that killing healthy adoptable animals was not right; from that point on, he implemented the no kill equation. And a low traffic shelter became no kill. Some members on the Task Force like to say 'no kill is not that simple' ... they even blogged about it ... but that negative thinking just keeps you moving in circles vs. moving ahead as a progressive city should.

No Kill Texas Advocates
No Kill Texas Advocates

Everyone needs to read this article: http://www.nathanwinograd.com/... group is NOT working on No Kill based on the successful model that is working in Austin (the other 3 cities that they list on their website are NOT No Kill communities).  There are Twenty Seven Open Admission, No Kill shelters in North America now. (http://bit.ly/qO0pe4)  All of them are following the model of sheltering that Nathan Winograd promotes.   However, this "task force" does not promote this successful model of sheltering.  Instead, they promote the same old programs that have been failing for decades and causing tens of thousands of animals to lose their lives.  The woman heading this group actually fought a bill in Texas that was based on the successful No Kill model of sheltering---a bill that would have ended the gas chamber in Texas.   Nathan Winograd has denounced this group and asked Dallas officials to remove his name from their website.  When Dallas fails to reach No Kill using this "task force's" recommendations, they will claim that No Kill does not work, when in fact, they have never tried to implement it.

Feline Provocateur
Feline Provocateur

Before you start cheering, please take a look at Nathan Winograd's blog about this development. Dallas CAP is NOT what they appear to be:

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/...

Also, many Animal Shelter Commission members also belong to the Texas Humane Legislation Network.  The THLN opposed the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA) when it became a House Bill earlier this year.

CAPA would have done much to lower the killing in shelters. Instead, THLN published reams of scare-mongering rubbish that helped to kill the CAPA bill - a bill that has been passed, and is working, in other states and cities.

Griffeys House
Griffeys House

This is incredible news..... Thank YOU Mayor Mike Rawlings and all involved!!!!

Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming

How about charging very high animal registration fees for male dogs that are not fixed. Those found unlicensed would be fined a highly punitive sum of money.  The number of unwanted dogs will continue to rise unless we manage to encourage responsible population control from animal owners.  Without a policy that has some teeth to it, I don't see how Dallas can get this under control.  If your dog is picked up and isnt registered and isnt fixed, give the dog back to the owner along with a $500 citation partially refundable upon neutering.  The fact that we have to kill animals because of negligent people is inexcusable.

Feline Provocateur
Feline Provocateur

@Jason Fleming,  the city already charges a much higher registration fee for unaltered animals. Not $500, but enough.  The problem with this type of legislation is that it does not have the desired affect. Since these higher fees were introduced, pet registrations in Dallas have decreased.

Montemalone
Montemalone

The people that won't neuter their pets aren't going to register them either. And to whom do you send the bill for an unregistered stray?

Jason Fleming
Jason Fleming

Admittedly this will not fix the immediate issue with our current population.  The goal is to create policies and structures that will limit growth of the situation and in the long term bring it down to a number that is easier to control.  I don't see that there is any current solution to fix this in the short term.  It takes political will power and money to do that.  We seem to be limited on both.

PS,  get your animals fixed....and don't buy puppies from dirtbags off the side of the road. Yes I know they are cute, but resist... it's part of the problem.

EyesOnHim26
EyesOnHim26

Its been a long time coming i think its great!

scottindallas
scottindallas

Call me too utilitarian, or just crazy, but, what's wrong with harvesting these unwanted animals?  It works for the Koreans.  Hell, we just signed a free trade deal with them.  I see a trade opportunity! 

Trhardy
Trhardy

Why don't we harvest you scottindallas?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Soylent Green?

EDM
EDM

Probably more like the much less popular Soylent Brown.  :-P

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