Now or Never – It’s Now

When we started this blog in August of 2010, our purpose was to show our readers how they could get involved in finding solutions to the problems at Dallas Animal Services.  A manager was under indictment for animal cruelty for leaving a cat to die in a wall; two animal control officers were being investigated for cruelty to animals – one for using a catch pole to drag a frightened, injured dog, and one for injuring a cat in the shelter, also by using a catch pole; the Humane Society of the United States was about to come out with what was expected to be a scathing report on the operations at DAS (as it turns out it was); the new shelter’s air conditioning wasn’t working and the animals and staff were suffering, and morale was at an all time low.  It truly was “Now or Never” for the City to make changes at Dallas Animal Services.

Since that time, things have changed – and for the better.  Are things perfect?  No.  But compassion now defines what happens at the shelter, euthanasia rates are slowly dropping, new programs are being developed to reduce intake and increase live release rates, a number of the recommendations contained in the HSUS report have been successfully implemented, the new manager is experienced and well-respected in the animal welfare field, and the new Mayor wants to support the Animal Shelter Commission and keep things moving forward.  Dallas Animal Services, thanks to the involvement of the City Council, the City Manager, and the community, has done an about-face in less than a year.

Then this past week something occurred that would not have been possible before.  The Animal Shelter Commission requested that the City establish a task force, with representatives from the Commission, the City, and the Community -to work toward the creation of a realistic, cost-effective, collaborative, and achievable strategic plan for reducing the number of adoptable animals euthanized in our community.  Some might call it a “No Kill” plan, others a “No Harm/No Kill” plan, and still others prefer the term “Humane Community”.  Whatever you call it, the goal of the plan will be to meld existing programs and resources with new initiatives to create a community where no healthy, adoptable animal is killed.

It makes sense then, that now is the time.  It’s time to move on.  Time to shut the door on an ugly chapter in the history of Dallas Animal Services, hopefully never to return.  And this blog has served its purpose, so we’ll move on as well – to a new blog where we’ll follow along on what should be an incredible journey – the journey to No Kill.

Stay tuned – we’ll post a link to the new blog shortly and you can follow along as the journey begins.

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