Euthanasia is not green!

Dallas Is Going Green!

Efforts by the City of Dallas to become a national leader in addressing environmental issues are to be applauded.  Our city leaders are stepping up to the plate and taking a leadership role in developing green initiatives.  Mayor Tom Leppert remarked that “Dallas is not only committed to improving the environment, but is committed to being the Greenest City in America.” 

● SustainLane-an online media company listed the City of Dallas No. 5 out of the 50 largest cities in the nation on its “Alternative Fueled City Fleets” list.

● The EPA ranks the City of Dallas as the #1 on its list of local municipal purchasers of clean, green power in the nation, and #9 on the national list which includes Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities, and local, state, and feral governments.

● The Dallas City Council recently adopted a green construction ordinance aimed at reducing energy and water consumption in all new houses and commercial buildings.  In doing so, Dallas becomes one of the first major U.S. cities to pass comprehensive building standards for both residential and commercial construction.  As part of that effort, all commercial projects in Dallas will eventually be required to be LEED certified.  LEED certification is established by the US Green Building Council, which “encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices.”  

Dallas Animal Services’ new Adoption Center earned LEED silver certification.  The new shelter’s green initiatives include recycling of waste generated during construction, the use of building materials derived from recycled content, the built-in waste water treatment system, bathroom fixtures that reduce water and waste, a layout that minimizes cross-contamination of disease, and an air filtration system that replacing the air throughout the facility every 10 minutes.  Dallas Animal Services & Adoption Center is only one of a handful of LEED certified animal shelters nationwide – a fact that that caught the eye of the producer’s of “Big Ideas For A Small Planet”, a documentary to be featured on the Sundance Channel.  The June 24, 2008 episode, “Animals” features Dallas’ new 52,000 square foot animal shelter and airs at 8 p.m.

 But What Shade of Green?

According to the USGBC website, LEED certified buildings reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, are healthier and safer for the occupants, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, have lower operating cots and demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.  

But Dallas Animal Services & Adoption Center doesn’t reduce waste sent to our landfill.  Instead it contributes waste – and significantly.  Dallas Animal Services contracts with the City of Dallas Sanitation Department for two special trash pickups each day.  That special service is needed to accommodate the waste generated by the euthanasia of over 650 animals each week.  Conservative estimates indicate that Dallas Animal Services contributes over 425 tons of pet carcasses to our city’s landfill each year – well over a ton each and every day.  There is nothing green about euthanasia. 

We must solve the pet overpopulation problem in our City, and there is no time to waste.  Mandatory spay/neuter will reduce the number of animals euthanized by Dallas Animal Services to make room for more.  On average 500 new dogs and cats enter the shelter each week while only 28 are adopted.  The rest end up in the landfill – more than 8 tons each week.  

City of Dallas’ Director of Environmental Quality Laura Fiffick recently stated “The city has to be an environmental leader because we need to show our residents that we are committed to conserving water, to recycling and to reducing emissions if we expect residents to do these things.”  So here is your chance Dallas – pass Mandatory Spay/Neuter, make the shelter truly “green”, and move Dallas one step closer to leading the nation in environmental initiatives and protecting our planet for future generations.

Respectfully,

Rebecca Poling, Companions For Life (www.companionsforlife.org or 972-661-2356)

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