Well that's odd, isn't it?

Animal Services is a very unique industry.  It’s not just about responding to Citizen’s requests although that is part of it.  It’s also about caring for living beings, enforcing City ordinances, working hand-in-hand with private companies and non-profit organizations, being prepared to care for all variety of creatures during a disaster, understanding everyone’s role in improving the welfare of animals.  What it’s not about is high weeds and whether or not a resident put their big trash on the curb a few days early.

So if you’re the head of Code Compliance, which encompasses Animal Services, wouldn’t you want to learn as much as possible about the industry?  Network with other Animal Services executives?  Learn "best practices" from the experts in the field?  Research new ideas and consider new technologies? 

Why then didn’t a single Code Compliance executive attend the recent Dallas Animal Services training at City Hall – which included Dallas Animal Services staff, Dallas Animal Services officers, and Code Compliance officers?  Three days of training provided by experts in the animal sheltering field were offered, with courses including animal handling and safety, the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence, handling nuisance wildlife calls, customer service, compassion fatigue, disease control and much more.  Speakers included experts from HSUS, ASPCA, Texas A&M, the SPCA of Texas, Humane Services International, Gift Animal Placement, and others – all considered leaders in the field of animal sheltering.  So the staff got some good education and exposure, but the decision makers didn’t.  What’s wrong with that picture?

Remember that one other request to the City Council and the City Manager?  The one that was overlooked?  Get Dallas Animal Services out of Code Compliance and make DA its own department.  It might be time to revisit that idea.  You can find contact information for each of the City Council members and the City Manager here and if you don’t know who your Council representative is, take a minute to find out here.

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