Slip-sliding again…

Over the last few weeks, current and former members of the Animal Shelter Commission, leaders of local animal welfare agencies, and concerned citizens, have met with Dallas Police Department Lieutenant Walton, the newly appointed Interim Division Manager at Dallas Animal Services (he took the position that was previously held by Kent Robertson) and the Director of Code Compliance.  At the request of the Lieutenant and the Director, calls were made to the heads of several successful local animal services departments asking if they’d share their expertise and show DAS how they were handling the challenges they face.  The response was wonderful – everyone contacted eagerly invited the Lieutenant and the Director to visit with them and tour their shelters and ask any question they had. Things were looking up.

But as it turned out, the Director of Code Compliance didn’t have the time to participate in ANY of those meetings with those other agencies after all.  He’d promised to be more involved in Dallas Animal Services and not to rely on middle-managers to run the department.  But then not two weeks later, the Director delegated his responsibilities to the Interim Assistant Director of Code Compliance – the same Interim Director who was running Dallas Animal Services at the time Mr. McGill was indicted for animal cruelty, Mr. Robertson resigned, the witness in the McGill case was harassed, the Rescue Coordinator’s job threatened, and two Animal Services Officers were put on administrative leave and investigated for animal cruelty.

So once again we’re slip-sliding back into the old culture.  Which is a shame because the Director of Code is a really nice guy that loves animals.   But something is clearly wrong.  Maybe the City Manger or Assistant City Manager are calling the shots in Code.  Is it possible they don’t grasp the seriousness of the situation?

We’re not sure Dallas Animal Services should be part of Code Compliance.  What do you think? 

By the way, whatever happened to those great logos on the DAS vans?  Oh, that’s right – they were replaced with black letters that spell out "City of Dallas Code Compliance, Animal Services Division".

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