City management to consider cutting 50% of Animal Services contract workforce

The Dallas City Council will be briefed tomorrow on the budget outlook for 2014-2015.  DAS has requested an additional $ 1.6 million to continue doing the good work that they do.  Adoptions are up, live release rates are skyrocketing, community outreach efforts and spay/neuter are paying off in South Dallas, public support for DAS is at an all time high, and thousands more pets are being saved every year.  The reward for all the hard work Animal Services has done to turn things around since 2010?   According to the presentation posted on the City Hall website, City management will recommend a reduction of the temporary laborers who have made up such a large part of the staff at DAS since so many full-timers were laid off in 2011.  All the full time animal keepers are gone, and now instead of the 35 contract laborers who care for the animals, the budget team is recommending the City cut that in half – and only budget for 50% of those workers.  17 people to feed and care for 650 animals every day!?!?  That’s absurd.

The budget team is recommending to the City Council…

  • No money to keep the PetSmart Charities Adoption Center open and running,
  • No money for vaccination on intake, which keeps the shelter pets healthier and the environment safer for the staff and visitors
  • No money for cleaning supplies to minimize cross contamination;
  • No money for canned pet food – just dry food for the tiniest orphans, the seniors, and those that are ill,
  • No money for basic lawn maintenance to keep the grounds in compliance with City ordinance,
  • No money to repair or replace broken, outdated equipment like exam tables, scales, autoclave, appliances, desks/chairs, anesthesia machines, etc.
  • No money for an emergency generator.  Should the AC fail in the heat of the summer, the consequences could be deadly for the animals housed at DAS;
  • No money for additional staffing. DAS is already unable to respond timely to public safety calls and emergency situations,
  • No money for staffing to provide the additional services City leaders expect as part of the Mayor’s Grow South plan.

Instead, they City recommends cutting out HALF of the workers who care for the animals.
Want to take a look for yourself?  Page 75 of 122, Budget Workshop #2, 05/21/14 presentation.

What can you do?  Easy – call, or send a letter or email to your City Council representative (see the list in the sidebar), and be sure to copy the City Manager, AC Gonzales and the Mayor as well.   Be polite please, but it’s OK to show how passionate you are about Dallas’ pets.

You can also let your voice be heard by posting on the City’s new feedback website, TalkDallas.com.

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31 Responses to “City management to consider cutting 50% of Animal Services contract workforce”

  1. Barbara Macleod Says:

    Insane!!! What happened to the Grow South promise to address the animal issues? These folks are struggling to impact our issues and some of these programs are beginning to take traction. Now IS NOT the time for budget cuts for DAS.

  2. I can’t believe that this is even being considered. It is unthinkable and cruel beyond words. So many have worked tirelessly to change thing for the better where these animals are concerned and have been making strides in positive accomplishments trying to educate the public and initiate no kill shelters. Many of those volunteers and workers putting in more of their personal time money and hearts into seeing that these animals are given a second chance at life. City officials should be aiding them in these efforts, not tying their hands behind their back. The entire concept is very Hitler-like. I couldn’t be more disappointed in the city of Dallas.

  3. Laura Booty Says:

    Dallas has come so far in proving better service for our homeless animal population. We have much better facilities and the city has providing funding for programs for spay and neutering that has helped with animal control. Please do not cut funding for any animal services provided by the city.

  4. Jan Rhodes Says:

    This makes me ashamed to live in Dallas. Other cities all over the nation are working to better the services provided to homeless pets and to help stop out of control breeding. How backwards is our city???

  5. Dallasite Says:

    The Dallas City Council needs to readdress the area of spending for Animal Services. The animals deserve care and jobs are being created for our city. Isn’t that what we are trying to do create jobs and keep our city functioning as a modern city.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This is Awful!!!! Would you want your dog that accidentally got picked up by animal control left with out food for 3 DAYS??? You guys disgust me!!! I will get this on national TV one way or another…. Just remember God is watching how you take care of his 4-legged babies and he will NOT and does NOT approve of this…..

  7. Animals have emotions brains and feeling. This is beyond comprehendible. How many civil servants, military, and “common’ people with different challenges do dogs save per day. they can locate a bomb or find drugs or even let someone know they are about to have a seizure or need to eat because their blood sugar is low. And the reward for helping us and protecting us is starvation. Its bad enough they are murdered on a daily basis, now you want to starve them. While spending tax payer’s money eating at places like Del Friscos, Go to the store and buy and donate a bag of dog food to the shelter. how can you people sleep at night

  8. […] Dallas residents were shocked on Wednesday afternoon when a blog was found spilling the City Hall budget proposals to cut Animal Services by 50%. CLICK HERE TO READ […]

  9. Anonymous Says:

    This is terrible. i never heard of crap like this. Don’t feed those animals for three days. Pay cuts are in order for all the city fat cats, no free cars walking is healthy and Obama care instead of private health and dental insurance paid for by them instead of the freebie perks. That should leave plenty of moneys to feed the animlas.

  10. Donna Hood Says:

    This is ridicules, cruel and unacceptable! Every animal should be fed and cared for! No money for this and no money for that! Really? Bet there’s money to keep your bellies fed and for expense accounts and lavish lifestyles and vacations!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Please, do not cut funding for Shelters. There people are doing a labor of love with these animals. They are doing everything possible to save lives, YOU SHOULD TOO!

  12. concerned citizen Says:

    How dare the city of Dallas cut animal control and ther staffing resources. This city has always had one of the worst reputaions in this country regarding animal welfare. The cooperation and efforts made with many partnerships mentioned in the article in recent years have helped place and protect innocent animals abandoned and abused. The city needs each and every staff member. Dallas would rather pay greedy upper level employees and fund sports and entertanment venues than support humane treatment of animals.
    Disgusting!! Does the city council have a conscience. Doubtful.

  13. So what will happen if your pet gets out while you are gone over the weekend? Animal “services” will stick it in a dirty cage with no food or care for three days? The financial cuts are an unthinkable proposal offering no real solution for a long term problem that will continue to grow. Spending the money upfront to enforce spay/neuter and proper containment of pets will result in lower costs in the long run. Vaccination at intake will better protect the public as well as family pets. Perhaps the leaders who suggested this budget cut need to consult with those in the field to get a better grasp of the problem?

  14. Susan Lubcker Says:

    As a volunteer for a resuce group who takes in the cats and kittens of the DAS among others, I see the state these animals come in. This is the worst idea ever! Cut the budget elsewhere! Why does it always come down to the people or animals that needs these programs the most! You don’t have to be an animal lover to see how bad an idea this is! Please find other places to cut.

  15. I vote and I remember. Says:

    Many people agree, you can judge a city by the level of care it provides for it’s animals. Shame on you for even considering this cut. Perhaps it is time to look at the salaries of the leaders for additional funds? The decisions made will certainly be remembered at election time. If the city is not going to provide money and staff to feed the animals, vaccinate them at intake, or disinfect the cages, not only do I consider this as not acting in the best public interest, but also, maybe they should face animal cruelty charges, since leaving animals, sick, hungry, and in what could certainly become a illness infested environment is exactly what I think most reasonable people would call cruel? What next, just kill them all as they arrive? While most cities are moving forward as No Kill, Dallas seems to want to move back to the dark ages. If this passes, it will just be one more reason to get the heck out of Dallas. If animal lovers don’t want to live here, expect property values ( and tax revenue) to drop.

  16. I want my tax dollars to be spent serving our community by caring for the animals that are abandoned, abused and neglected and helping them find forever homes where they will be cared for. I want my tax dollars to be invested in No-kill shelters. I think all the council members should serve at a local shelter for a week to see the conditions and these beautiful animals that are killed every day without having a chance…then my hope would be that they would give more money to support a program that would save lives. Please contact your council member…sign the petition…be a voice for the voiceless!

  17. Current staffing is overwhelmed with the responsibilities and daily routine of a shelter this size; making the enforcement of valuable ordinances protecting animals impossible to do. Moreover, the wonderful work of the team Jody has built there needs HELP not less money or less support. PLEASE do not cut this budget under any circumstances and make Dallas Animal Services a shining example of how big cities take care of their animals.

  18. This is an outrage. I cannot believe that they expect workers at the shelter to adhere to such outlandish restraints. Starving already hungry scarred dogs and cats. Maybe the council forgets how many citizen of the city worked hard to get this shelter in place for years. It was the citizens who built this and because they wanted a civil, healthy, safe and compassionate environment for the stray or one that just may have got loose. How dare them even consider this. I personally would like to know how each person on the board votes. What kind of people in such a large city make such suggestions do they have a heart. Evidently not. Our city has become a place where I no longer wish to live and pay my taxes too as I feel like I would be contributing to the demise of these poor babies. Also the only workers that will remain at the shelter will be those who do not care. THIS IS WRONG AND I WILL PRAY FOR WHOMEVER CAN UP WITH THIS

  19. K Helms Says:

    Basic animal needs must be met and basic shots should be given to healthy animals ensuring the health of the animals that are entrusted to the City while they are custodians of the animals. Cutting the staff drastically is not the answer as it will not allow proper oversight of the health of the animals. Many more errors in judgment and care will be made, setting the City up for lawsuits. Non-weaned and just weaned babies cannot eat the dry food unless properly prepared and soaked in water. Older animals also will need softened food in case many teeth are missing. Owners of animals that get away while owners are out of town, will go ballistic if they find that their animals were not properly cared for in their absence. The answer probably lies in laying off a dozen people that are reported to be lazy workers, cut down the funding of several programs and ask for volunteers to fill the gaps. Too much progress has been made to make Dallas a no-kill City. Please don’t push the City backwards on this.

  20. Robyn Stevens Says:

    The laws need to change and this is not where. If we could walk up river and mandate spay/neuter laws then we wouldn’t have overfull shelters and pounds. There would be less euthanizing of unwanted animals (saving money) therefore cutting down the population humanely and not starving the animals that have already had a traumatic experience being brought to the shelter. If you want to adopt or buy a cat or dog it must by law be fixed. If you want your dog or cat to have babies, you must register as a breeder, and it is your responsibility to fix each puppy or kitten before you adopt or give it away. It starts with responsibility from each pet owner. Help the shelters, pounds and rescue groups with population. End the vicious cycle.

  21. Traci Dorman Says:

    With all the spending going on around Riverwalk area, bridges, bike lanes and they plan to cut back on those that depend on us. Unbelievable greed and cruelty.

  22. The City of Dallas needs to get priorities straight!!! If we don’t defend, help, feed & shelter these animals that are there BECAUSE of humans, what does this say? Pull your heads out of the dark place & leave funding alone OR BETTER YET INCREASE IT!!! They need to keep in mind it’s the HUMANS that put these animals in this situation….it’s not their fault at all.

  23. Starving animals is cruel, we spend money on landscaping, and buildings that are so comfortable for the city workers, which are kept much more comfortable than many people in the cities homes which pay the bills for this, and we can not spend a little money keeping these poor animals from starving, how much more selfish can they be.
    It sounds like they are the animals.

  24. Shame on the city of Dallas council members who would allow this to happen. We are a city of animal lovers and it’s our responsibility to take care of our strays properly not kill them.

  25. Debbie Eckstrom Says:

    Have any of the city council members EVER worked at a shelter – have they ever cried at the abuse that some of the animals come in with – have they ever cared for over 300 animals every day of the week, holidays, weekends, 7 days a week, 352 days a year – I don’t think so. So until you have walked in a shelter employees shoes, maybe they need to consider the alternatives – they may actually have to do the job.

    • I have adopted 8 dogs from various shelters, I am so happy there are places like DAS/Petsmart Adoptions out there helping save innocent animals. The people that work with these animals are wonderful. It sickens me that DALLAS would consider cutting the budget. Thank God for all those who love and care for these animals for very little pay or appreciation. Animal Services does a great service for the community and the overall public in saving lost, abused, and injured animals. The adoptions bring so much joy to families and save precious lives. Please consider how cutting a budget affects a family’s income, the shelter’s ability to help animals, and all the animals that will loose out if the budget is cut.

  26. When / where / what time is this meeting taking place? Can anyone attend? Please post specifics I would like to attend.

  27. Please – You cannot abandon the animals that are lost or who have escaped from their homes. Animal Services provide a valuable resource to the city. I believe in my heart you could probably find cuts elsewhere. Thank you.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    I ll pray for your organization and that the people who decide on funding realize how important it is to continue to save the lives of these precious animals. I along with countless others are watching the actions of these council members . Lets support what is successful.

  29. Concerned Dallas Taxpayer Says:

    I know we need to save money, but this is the WORST possible place to cut, other than cops and firefighters.

    If you really want to cut expenses, just outlaw pet breeders in Dallas County, and outlaw the sale of any breeder animals within the county. That will choke off some of the supply.

    Then get serious about some of these morons who let their animals roam loose and breed over and over again. Don’t penalize the pets: Lock up the owners!

  30. This is awful and the City of Dallas is out of control. No wonder with a fired pizza maker at the top.

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