Saving Face Instead of Saving Lives

By Judith Fairly -

This is an election year. In a matter of weeks, local residents will have an opportunity to exercise their right to vote. Historically, the turnout for city elections has been cringingly low, which works in favor of the incumbents. I’m sure those on the City Council who are up for re-election are counting on that.

What is most remarkable about the Weatherford City Council meetings I’ve attended over the course of the past three months is the amount of time the current City Council has devoted to evading questions about events and actions by employees of the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter and making excuses for the City’s inaction via bland platitudes, deferring instead to the City Manager, whose habit of engaging in rambling feats of oration never addresses the questions put to him.

In a shorter span of time, the City could have accepted responsibility for events that led to the crisis at the shelter, engaged former volunteers and county residents in an honest dialogue to address our concerns, and devised a plan not only to fix problems that caused this crisis but to move forward with an improved shelter supported by the community. By casting us in the role of adversary and stonewalling our attempts to understand what has happened at the shelter, the City’s ill-advised course of action has succeeded only in fomenting suspicion about their motives, in highlighting questions of mismanagement, and in generating more ill will.

Sharon Hayes, the Asst. City Manager who is currently responsible for the animal shelter, presented a report at the last meeting of the City Council. She attended a No Kill workshop last month in Dallas, as did a member of the shelter advisory committee and a number of former shelter volunteers. Though none of them went to the workshop, Hayes says that the shelter staff is “behind” WCPAS going No Kill.

Hayes has been saddled with the responsibility of explaining euthanization numbers at the shelter, particularly the cull of adoptable dogs and puppies that had been vaccinated and cared for in preparation of Christmas adoptions. She lassoed a panoply of statistics and regulations to justify an act that the shelter manager, Dianne Daniels, described as a need to “assert control” over the shelter. As I understand it, this was an act of terrorism and not a necessity, intended to demoralize the volunteers and to exact revenge on Barbara Pursley at Parker Paws for not giving Dianne Daniels money she wanted to build a bird aviary at the shelter. (A shelter visitor will note the large number of birds at the shelter who are not available for adoption.)

At that same meeting, the City invited a friendly veterinarian to discuss the ubiquity of Parvo and thereby exculpate the City in the recent deaths of puppies at the shelter. I don’t dispute that what he told those gathered at City Hall was accurate, but what the City did not know (but should have) or did know (but withheld from those gathered) was that Dr. Kaiser had established protocols when she was the shelter vet that were effective in reducing and/or eliminating Parvo during her tenure. That’s the point of having an experienced full-time veterinarian on the shelter staff, a position that the City says it can afford but doesn’t think it needs. I continue to be astonished that no one at the City — with the sole exception of Heidi Wilder — has ever spoken to Dr. Kaiser to learn why she chose to sever ties with the shelter.

I can tell you why. Dr. Kaiser was undermined by shelter employees who didn’t have her credentials, experience, or education, and the City Manager allowed it to happen. She felt that she was ineffective because she wasn’t allowed to do the job she had been hired to do. Like Barbara Pursley, she could no longer endure the unremitting hostility from shelter staff which the City Manager knew about and therefore condoned.

In what can only be construed as psychological projection (in which a person ascribes his own unacceptable thoughts and actions to other people, including blaming them for his own failures), the City Manager has talked about those volunteers creating a “hostile working environment” for shelter staff. How is that even possible? And, if the volunteers were indeed “disruptive” to shelter functions, why weren’t they disciplined or ask to leave? That would suggest a lack of oversight by the City Manager’s office and poor management at the shelter by Dianne Daniels.

If only the City made similar efforts to police its own paid staff. Dr. Kaiser and Barbara Pursley and her volunteers are gone but the City still employs one person who was arrested for impersonating a police officer, another who used Dr. Kaiser’s license to order drugs, and a shelter manager who has taken a “stress” leave twice this year. I would think that these are not the sort of people who should be in positions of authority over voiceless, helpless animals, many of whom are already victims of abuse.

Throughout the crisis dating back to January at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter, the City of Weatherford has responded to community demands for answers with statistics, procedures, and evasions. The well-being of the homeless animals in care of the shelter whose well-being should be at the forefront of this controversy was never addressed by the City except on the rare occasion where one of its number felt compelled by public criticism to mumble some cliché about how much they “cared” about them. Without those animals, shelter staff would not have jobs, nor would the City be receiving close to half a million dollars every year from residents of the County to care for them. It’s a classic case of losing sight of the forest for the trees — the City doesn’t seem to get that this is about those animals and not about them. Its message to those of us in the community who have been calling and writing the Mayor and members of the City Council, attending City Council meetings, and asking how we can help is that it cares more about saving face than it does about saving lives.

As I understand it, Hayes believes that it is going to take a lot of changes in the volunteer program to lower euthanization rates at the shelter. I’ve spoken with former Parker Paws volunteers who believe that the City’s new volunteer policies are intended to make them feel unwelcome. If the shelter is unable to recruit volunteers who meet the new criteria, it can blame the community for its own failures. But an active group of volunteers is only one part of the No Kill equation.

Volunteers have been banned from the shelter since late in February. I picked up a golden retriever named Owen to foster on Easter Sunday that had been at the shelter for a couple of weeks and was in danger of being euthanized for lack of space. During that time, no one at the shelter contacted Golden Retriever Rescue, an organization that can be relied upon to take dogs from the WCPAS. I fostered Owen through Parker Paws, which pays for vetting their rescues; when Barbara Pursley of Parker Paws brought Dr. Pamela Kaiser, the former veterinarian at WCPAS, to check out Owen the next day, they discovered a phone number scratched on his tag, the owner was located, and Owen was returned to him. I can say with great confidence that, had the Parker Paws volunteers been at the shelter, Owen would not have languished at the shelter for several weeks to the point of near-euthanization.

The appointment of Dustin Deel as Interim Shelter Manager can only be viewed as a positive step forward. But “interim” is a worrisome designation because of the City’s refusal to comment on whether Dianne Daniels will return as shelter manager. In my favorite moment of vaudeville at the last City Council meeting, that question was put to the City. The mayor looked to the City Manager, then down the row of council members to the City Attorney. It was obvious that no one wanted to say anything on record. The buck was passed back to the Mayor, who lobbed it back to the City Attorney. It took Mr. Zellers several moments to close his laptop and adjust his microphone. The audience held its collective breath and waited for an answer. Mr. Zellers leaned forward and said, in a deliberate manner, “I don’t know.”

I hope that Dustin Deel will be allowed to succeed as shelter manager, lowering euthanization rates and restoring the community’s faith in the shelter. I hope that the City will not hamstring him from making any changes that might highlight the failures of the past. I hope the shelter staff steps up and supports him.

I don’t understand why the City of Weatherford embraces failure. I don’t understand why it blames residents for its failures. I don’t understand why it uses fear of failure as an excuse to maintain the status quo, instead of doing the right thing. At the animal shelter, the status quo equals death for the thousands of healthy, adoptable animals that could make it out alive if the City mandated that the shelter embrace No Kill concepts, as other cities large and small across Texas have done. If she was paying attention at the No Kill workshop, Sharon Hayes should have learned that zeroing out kill rates at the shelter is more than just “a goal we need to be looking forward”; it’s achievable. And it’s achievable now.

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53 responses

  1. Reese Harper, Weatherford TX | Reply

    This is a joke. Dr. Kaiser is a hate monger. It is ridiculous and low class to say that the people at the shelter or the people of the city do not care about the animals. At least they don’t spew lies just to get people they don’t like into trouble. They don’t dress like a power hungry street walker and tell people that the shelter ordered narcotic drugs on their license when they didn’t. If she consistently lies about that drug being a narc when it isn’t, then what else does she try to make us believe? What? She didn’t know that it wasn’t? That’s why she said it at first? Then what the hell kind of reject doctor would she be if she doesn’t even know that ketamine wasn’t a narc? They have had to do what they have had to do. Until some idiot came in and didn’t want to be bossed around and do what needed to be done. She continuously try’s to keep all eyes looking toward the other party. WHY? Who was she before she got here? Why did she leave her last job or the ones before that? She’s covering up herself by trying to make it look like others have done something terrible. If we turned this shelter into a “no kill” shelter, where would we get the money to feed them and add manpower to the team when they have to take so many donations already? This woman has gotten all of these people to believe her lies by playing with their emotions. She knows she’s making people think first with their emotions instead of with their brains. The problem with “no kill” is that there is NO “NO BREED” law. There is nothing that the idiots that keep breeding intentionally OR accidentally have to answer to. And when was the last time you walked into a place of business and said, “I’m going to volunteer to help you, but I’m NOT doing this, this, or this. I’m going to do this and I’m going to do it this way. If you don’t like it then too bad. I’ll just ruin your reputation and everything you’ve spent your life and love working on and building up from scratch.” Who in the HELL do these women think that they are?!?

    1. Informed Citizen | Reply

      Thank God!!! Someone that actually knows the truth and didn’t “hear” this from a reliable source or “that” from a reliable source. It is ridiculous that these people believe everything this woman says. At first I thought it was to “assert authority” over the euthanasia list, now it is an aviary. Please. Judith Fairly, you have no idea about the facts and you are following some false prophets. Everything accusation that has been thrown at the shelter has been dis-proven, and yes, that includes the “murder” of 40 puppies. If you and your friends get your facts straight and actually do some real fact checking, you would discover that Ms. Pursley and Ms. Kaiser selected 18 dogs to be euthanized that day (after a huge promotion of a failed puppy adoption, which I myself got invited too, and in turn, invited everyone I knew) and I believe 12 or 14 were added to it that had all been in the shelter 21 days or more. Of those I believe 7 were puppies, so these 40 puppy murders are a made up incident from a disgruntled employee that was mad because she did not get her way. It is completely unfair of you and the rest of these bloggers to state facts like you actually know them. You have listened to third, fourth and fifth hand information and treated it as if it was fact. Quite frankly, you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

      1. For being fault finding regarding facts….it was 14 dogs (not 18 as you said above) that were on the FIRST list, by Dr. Kaiser and Ms. Pursley, which adequately opened 8 kennels, the number Ms. Daniel’s required to make sufficient room in the shelter to open and operate. That was not a subjective number. 8 Kennels were what was needed to open the shelter on Dec. 20 and those 14 satisfied that need. That list was altered, by more than double. We still have not been told WHO altered the list or why it was changed. It has been said it was due to overcrowded conditions. Mr. Blaisdell said they had 5-6 dogs per kennel. Another outright lie. Anyone who knew anything about this shelter or Ms. Daniels ALL knew she never allowed more than 1 dog per kennel unless they came in together and got along well. This city has bent over backwards to try to paint a tainted picture to the public that simply is just not true. I would also like to add, that one thing Ms. Daniels did do right, was run a clean kennel. If kennels were not clean, it was the STAFF’s job to correct that. So again, it sounds like staff was too lazy to go see what was going on the buildings. The Mayor was asked whom he held responsible, he clearly stated Mr. Blaisdell. When Blaisdell was asked the same his response was, “it trickles downhill from there”. What the hell does that mean?

        Eye witnesses saw mostly empty kennels in both adoption buildings, A & B on Dec. 20, 21, 22, 23. This could have been a wonderful week of adoptions, right before Christmas, but instead when families came to see puppies and dogs to adopt that had been advertised on radio spots, there were literally none ready to view or adopt. If overcrowding was the issue, more dogs from buildings C & D would have been moved up to the adoption buildings, but that didnt happen, because they had none ready to adopt to move up. Someone killed the dogs and puppies for no good reason. Tax dollars and fundraising dollars were put into these animals who were destroyed and bagged and thrown in the dumpster. Period. It was wrong and this city needs to be accountable for that and also to assure taxpayers and concerned citizens this will NEVER happen again. It’s time for her retirement or lateral move to another city job or she can quit. For this community to achieve No Kill status, it will take a VILLAGE. Businesses, fosters, rescuers, adopters, cross post/networkers and VOLUNTEERS. This city has some major control issues and they need to realize it’s time to embrace the communities efforts and stop trying to be control freaks. It’s time to try new ways doing things, otherwise we are merely doing animal control and running an old fashioned dog pound.

      2. Amy Fortenberry

        I can atest to have asked about the birds at the Shelter myself and being told no they were not for adoption. My Husband and I took our 3 children up to the Shelter back last summer to find a new family member. As we walked into the Shelter office one of my children asked for a bird. Curiously my Husband and I asked about how much and the process of adopting a bird was. There where 3 folks at the counter in which all at the same time looked up to us then stated “oh those birds are not for adoption this is their home” “We are sorry Sir but those birds are county property” and the little older woman just smiled and said “we have plenty of dogs and cats that you can choose from” So if those birds are able to be adopted why could we have not of gotten one? We were perfectly ok to adopt a dog in which they claimed was boston terrier but later was found to be pit bull…Why then could we not of had one of the many many birds there?

    2. Senator-Blutarksy | Reply

      So…the mess and public embarrassment that the ” shelter ” has degenerated in to, is the fault of “volunteers” and Dr. Kaiser ? Wow, thanks for clearing that up.

      It sounds to me that you are exposing a greater problem – incompetency in the City managers and Assistant managers offices. Competency there would have been proactive in FIXING problems, not FIXATING on excuses and attempting to defer blame on others.

      A competent and insightful executive-manager-administrator would have stepped in and resolved issues before they got out of hand….before 30 puppies were fried in an act of personal retaliation, as just one example.

      An incompetent administrator is only REACTIVE and then defers blame.

      I continue to call for the dismissal of Blaisdell, Hayes and Daniels – all three are poster children for the abhorrent situation over the last several months.

    3. Reese, I don’t dispute that people who aren’t responsible and allow their pets to have litter after litter of animals are part of the problem. And it’s a disgrace that the Texas legislature allows commercial dog breeding operations in Texas when thousands of homeless animals are euthanized every month across the state.

      Surprisingly, however, LES strategies (“Legislation, Education, and Sterilization”) that include mandatory laws (such as pet-limit laws, licensing, bans on feeding outdoor cats, and mandatory spay-neuter laws), humane education, and sterilization have not lowered euthanization rates though it’s a formula that has been embraced by the status quo for over 30 years. In other words, blaming the public is an excuse but it is not a solution.

      All too many people are uninformed about what No Kill means. One of the common misconceptions is that it costs more to go No Kill when, in fact, many of the programs and policies of the No Kill Equation are free, low-cost, or even revenue positive. Every animal shelter should strive to lower euthanization rates and every conscientious and successful shelter manager should ALREADY be employing each part of the No Kill equation:

      1.    A Trap, Neuter, Release Program for Free-Living Cats

      2.    High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter (The fewer animals that enter the shelter system allows more resources to be allocated toward saving lives.)

      3.    Working with Rescue Groups (An adoption or transfer to a rescue group frees up scarce kennel space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning, and killing, and improves a community’s rate of lifesaving. A rescue group should be denied an animal only in rare circumstances.

      4.    A Foster Care Program (Volunteer foster care is a low-cost, and often no-cost way of increasing a shelter’s capacity, caring for sick and injured or animals with behavior issues.)

      5.    Comprehensive Adoption Programs (Shelter adoptions are a direct product of shelter policies and practice. Contrary to conventional wisdom, shelters can adopt their way out of killing. Shelters must have adoption programs responsive to community needs, including: public access hours for working people, offsite adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing.) 

      6.    Pet Retention Efforts (Saving animals requires shelters to develop innovative strategies for keeping people and their companion animals together before they’re surrendered.)

      7.    Medical and Behavioral Rehabilitation (Shelters need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. This means vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitation for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned, or traumatized.)

      8.    Public Relations / Community Involvement (Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering with community agencies are a direct result of increasing the shelter’s public exposure.)

      9.    Working with Volunteers (Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources.)

      10. Progressive Field Services & Proactive Redemptions (Shifting from a passive to a more proactive approach has allowed shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.

      11. A Compassionate Director (The most important part of the No Kill Equation, but it should be a requirement for ANY shelter.)

      I hope that provides some food for thought.

      On your question of “Who in the HELL do these women think that they are?!?” — if you’re referring to me, I’m a resident of the County, a tax-paying citizen who really DOES care about homeless animals, a guardian to 7 rescued animals, and a person who believes it’s my duty as a human being not to sit on the sidelines while the City plays politics with the lives of animals whose only crime is being homeless.

  2. Senator-Blutarksy | Reply

    I continue to call for the dismissal, and/or resignations of Blaisdell, Hayes, and Daniels. Totally inept ” stewardship “….and amongst all the good ” Christians ” in Parker County who condone, or ignore the issue, I say –

    “A good man is kind to his animals, but the wicked are cruel to theirs.”
    Proverbs 12:10

  3. “but the City still employs one person who was arrested for impersonating a police officer, another who used Dr. Kaiser’s license to order drugs, and a shelter manager who has taken a “stress” leave twice this year.”

    Ex. 20 – “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”

    Reese Harper – Do you hear that noise? It’s applause!!!!!!!!!!Applause!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Today in the United States one in every two people are living in poverty. Gasoline is fast reaching $4.00 per gallon, and grocery prices are rising everyday. The United States is in danger of bankruptcy because of an irresponsible federal government.

     

    Now, here you have a cult of one percenters telling you to “save a life”. What about food, clothing, and shelter for your family? Why should you forego the necessities of life? What have these one percenters done to our animal shelter? They have tried to destroy everyone who works at the shelter, they have tried to destroy the shelter itself, all in the name of revenge, and in their quest for power and control. These people are living in a bubble with no concept of reality.

    The following is from the social networking site Facebook:

     

    Help Weatherford Shelter Pets

    11 hours ago

    Please help us network these CODE RED URGENTS….need out by FRIDAY!!!! We want to show this shelter they can achieve no kill status, but it takes a VILLAGE!!!

    Barbara Pursley Check out our Adopt to Foster incentive package for the first 40 shelter pets adopted by Parker County residents: http://www.parkerpaws.org/adopttofoster.html

     

    Barbara Pursley

    Parker Paws is excited to announce a new idea in fostering, which empowers the community to help more pets than Parker Paws ever could with our limited resources. Dr. Kaiser saw the need to spread the power of fostering beyond the scope of Parker Paws and other pet rescue groups with the Adopt to Foster concept. As an incentive, Parker Paws will provide a promotion package to the first 40 residents of Parker County to adopt a shelter pet in an effort to rehome it themselves. For more information, please visit our webpage: http://parkerpaws.org/adopttofoster.html

    Contact Parker Paws for a FREE one-time Adopt to Foster promotion package, which includes:

    – veterinarian exam,
    – heartworm test for dogs over 6 months of age,
    – heartworm preventative for dogs,
    – flea/tick preventative,

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

    Ladies and gentlemen, look closely at what they are offering. There is no offer of paying the adoption fee, there is no offer to pay for heartworm treatment should it be necessary, there is no offer to pay for on-going vet costs nor food costs. There is no offer to take the animal if you can’t get it adopted. They want you to run to the shelter crying, I have to “save an animal”. They want you to forget common sense and operate totally on emotion.

    Adopting a shelter animal is one of the best things you could do in your life. But before you jump into your twelve year old car and rush to the shelter, think! Any pet ,whether it be for the long term or short term, should be a carefully and well thought out decision.

     

  5. Reese Harper, I have but one question for you….why did Ms. Daniel’s leave her job in Azle? Maybe we ought to look at her history. I never cared much for history class, but I do recall hearing that history often repeats itself. Hmmmmm wonder why she “retired” so many years ago, only to jump out of retirment and back into the shelter world.

    Ps…..visit the website http://www.nokillweatherford.webs.com and you will learn that no kill SAVES money and LIVES. It is working toward a goal of 90% or more being fostered, adopted or rescued. This is a goal that this city says they want to work toward, but it will take a VILLAGE. They need the volunteers and rescuers back in there to achieve it, but they are tying the hands of the volunteers. Parker Paws has offered numerous ideas and solutions all have been thrown away by Mr. Blaisdell with both hands. Including an offsite adoption event. He is a stumbling block. It’s time for new ways of doing things. The old dog pound mentality needs to go!

  6. fostermomoftwo | Reply

    Yes they did order the drugs on her license without her approval. Very easily proved to the DEA, which is the reason they came to Weatherford to investigate. The DEA doesn’t just go investigate on one persons word. There is a paper trail and a timeline. If she was no longer at the shelter and drugs were being ordered on her license do you really think it was with her permission. The DEA came and investigated based on that proof. Since it was a first offense there was no action taken except a warning. The shelter staff and the city has gone on record with many things that were not true that were easily proven wrong. As soon as that happens they come up with a new reason. Ketmine is a class III drug that can only be obtained by someone with a license. It also has to kept behind 3 locked doors. Not rolling around the floorboard of someones truck. And if the DEA comes to audit her logbook, she better be able to account for every drop. Hard to do when you are not the only one ordering it on your license.

  7. Informed Citizen | Reply

    Dr. Kaiser made a complaint, DEA came out and investigated, and there IS a paper trail that states there were no findings.

    1. It said no such thing, “Informed” Citizen. It said that the shelter is CURRENTLY in compliance.

    2. Yes there is a paper trail….I am waiting to see it….after all the LIES from the city, I would bet money that the “clean bill of health” is just another LIE. I will believe it as soon as I see it myself. Until then, you can judge someone by their actions. This city council and city mgr and asst mgr have all been caught in lies. One way to not get caught in lies…don’t tell them! Truth will prevail in the end. It wil. Watch and see.

  8. […] following is a response to a post submitted by Reese Harper, an individual who seems to think all is well at the shelter. […]

  9. parkercountyblog | Reply

    “And to the Creator of Parker County Blogs, I would think that you would hold the most responsibility for allowing people to slander others. It is completely embarrassing, and defeats the whole purpose of what this blogs should actually do for the residents of Parker County. Keep it classy not trashy, people.”

    Randi, may I humbly suggest to you that you read ParkerCountyBlog’s blogging policy which states:

    “ParkerCountyBlog.com will not edit posts. However, we reserve the right to reject a post in whole from any individual that contains swear words (in any language), actionable accusations, fighting words as defined by the US Supreme Court, or slurs based on racial, ethnic, sexual or religious orientation. Posts may not call names, or make character attacks. If you believe someone has presented inaccurate information post alternative data but do not call individuals or organizations names. We reserve the right to remove any post that violates these rules. Our intent is to increase the civility of discourse not add to the coarseness.”

    Randi, we reserve the right to make judgment calls as to the appropriateness of comments posted on this blog, and we are diligent in our efforts to maintain order and balance.

    I can only guess that your rant is in opposition to the manner in which Reese Harper described the way someone dresses – “They don’t dress like a power hungry street walker and tell people that the shelter ordered narcotic drugs on their license when they didn’t.”

    We regret that you may have been offended by what you read, but all comments that are currently posted on ParkerCountyBlog will remain here.

    Lenny Leatherman

  10. AMEN!! Isn’t this so embarassing people talk like this on the internet and think its okay…What has the world come to?? I am appalled at the ones of you who are using this forum that should bring awareness to Parker County residents and instead you are using it to gossip and name call. You all should get each other’s e-mail addresses and keep your comments private and amongst yourselves. I will pray for all of you!!!!!

    1. Amy Fortenberry | Reply

      Brittany while your at it can you please pray for the leaders of our county whom seem to be doing the “curley shuffle” all around town? oh and the lady who is the “citizen at large” for the shelter who finds this same blog site to be a platform to spew her own sense of melodramatic drama.

    2. I would think that Parker County residents would like to know how their $433,215.00 of tax money is being wasted at this so called animal shelter. This is the number Judge Riley gave me, that the county pays to “contract” and do business with. Why are the county commissioners not holding those over this shelter accountable for better management of these COUNTY tax dollars? Our animals are ending up there and many are being killed there. Is that really ok with county residents?

      I think it’s time for the county to answer some hard pressing questions to their tax paying voters, especially if they plan to continue to have our tax dollars wasted and thrown in the dumpster like this.

  11. Randi, I think that it’s important to see what kind of people are defending the actions of the shelter employees and the City. I think you would agree that their blog posts accomplish that.

    Every day I learn more and more about what’s been happening behind the scenes at the shelter, and what’s going on now. They will be killing animals tomorrow because the City and the shelter management have chosen to devote their energy to covering their hides instead of doing right by those animals. Though there are no volunteers at the shelter now — and there WON’T be until there is a permanent shelter manager, I’m told — there are people from the community networking like crazy today to save every animal they can.

    NOTHING has changed since January. There have been a few ineffective cosmetic changes put in place at the shelter along with policies that are implemented arbitrarily, withdrawn, reinstated, and then ignored altogether along with a lot of chair-shuffling. Dustin Deel was appointed “Interim Shelter Director” or “Interim Shelter Manager” and now he’s listed on the City website as “interim Animal Control Manager.”

    The City is in disarray. This ongoing crisis at the shelter has inadvertently revealed a lot about how the City is run. Which begs the question: what else are they hiding?

    1. Judith Fairly – NO ANIMALS DIED TODAY!! Unless you count the buzzard that died yesterday from an arrow shot into his torso. Oh, and then there was the snake, set free of course. Please stop with your misinformation. It does nothing to help with adoptions.

      1. The situation at the shelter changed only because of people who networked like crazy yesterday to find homes/fosters for dogs that were on the EU list. I’m assuming you weren’t one of them. Those same dogs may be killed on Monday. You probably won’t be feeling so self-righteous then.

      2. and what have you done Ms. Webster to help with adoptions? Above you just “slammed” parker paws for promoting and adoption/foster idea. There is NO pleasing you. You just want to stir trouble. Go back to petting your little doggies until you come back with a new bible teaching for us.

        Geez….really…..this is who City Council appointed to the Animal Advisory Committee. Really??????

  12. I for one LOVE the idea Parker Paws posted, Ms. Webster! Parker Paws is encouraging adoptions to get the animals out ALIVE and then they help FURTHER vetting them with hw tests and or prevention as needed and so forth. If you don’t like Parker Paws programs, why don’t you start your own? This is a win win for the animals! Some will be adopted and the family’s will fall in love and decide to keep them for themselves, and others will have been saved, many at “half price” incentives per the interim director. What’s wrong with this program? You are complaining because citizens are becoming “active” and “responsible” by helping Parker Paws save more, because people have said YES to this and paid the adoption fee so Parker Paws can save even more lives. I don’t “get” you. I don’t “get” your complaints. What was learned at the No Kill workshop was to come up with new and creative ways to get the animals out alive. Oh, but I forgot, you and shelter staff seem to think it’s more humane to “kill” them, than give them a chance at LIFE. And to everyone else….this is the “public servant” City Council appointed to serve as the voice of the people on the Animal Advisory Committee. Is this REALLY the kind of person you want to represent you? Someone who finds fault at every turn regarding what a rescue or non profit does to save animals at our High Kill shelter. And eh hemmmm, YES, IT IS STILL a HIGH KILL SHELTER, unless you agree with Asst City Mgr, Sharon Hayes who said 20-40% are adopted. That’s IT… 20-40%, so Parker Paws is encouraging the public to be part of the solution while city employees, city council , mayor, and shelter staff and some on animal advisory would rather just let things get back to normal, where they run their dog pound as they see fit without answering the good citizens, hard working, tax paying citizens of Weatherford and Parker County….and YES county residents, your tax dollars to the tune of $433,215.00 per Judge Riley supports this fiasco too!

  13. The twenty to forty percent live release rate was on Parker Paws watch. And at a time when Parker Paws had 50+ volunteers. Until you can teach responsible pet ownership, the live release rates will continue to be low. If you were networking “like crazy” two days last week, why aren’t you networking constantly? Why hasn’t your group formally signed up as volunteers? Are you afraid it would hamper your harassment of the shelter and the shelter employees? Will you not feel free to denigrate the city, county and the shelter? Why do you malign anyone who does not agree with your tactics? I believe it is irresponsible to encourage people to adopt or foster by playing on their sympathys. Why haven’t you started your own 501c3 and rescue organization?

    Your group should be supporting the shelter, shelter employees and the city. You should be working with the city to increase the live release rates, that is if you truly desire a “No Kill Shelter”.

    1. Ms Webster you JUST proved my point exactly!!! The dogs and puppies who were in the adoption buildings (a and b) on Dec. 20 were KILLED by shelter staff for NO GOOD REASON, and therefore could NOT be adopted. How could Parker Paws or any Volunteers be successful in assisting with higher adoption numbers when the staff kills the promotion animals? Those adoption numbers of 20-40% being adopted, COULD have been MUCH better had the shelter NOT killed the dogs and puppies that volunteers had hoped to see get adopted that week. Why do you continue to argue this? It’s mute. The VOLUNTEERS and PARKER PAWS are NOT the problem! Why can you not see this? Volunteers have been asking since Jan. to be able to update adoptapet and petfinder to NO AVAIL. Many offered to serve (myself included) on the Animal Advisory board to bring in new innovative and creative ideas to achieve No Kill status. Staff intake photos will NOT help adopt these animals out. Period. Instead of throwing stones, why not jump on board and support the shelter in going no kill? Help network, take quality photos, keep petfinder and adoptapet up to date. Develop off site adoption events and creative ads to get more people to visit the shelter. Develop a micro chip event in a parking lot where people can become more responsible pet owners. What on earth did Parker Paws do to you for you to be so negative about their work and efforts? People are educated and can determine for themselves what type of foster program or adoption program works for them. But if you dont offer any solutions, you are part of the problem. You are the only person who can’t see the value that, that non profit group offered the city and county and more importantly the animals for how many years? And it’s gone now. Who may I ask you, by the way is “my group”? Citizens who speak up at city council? Parker Paws donors, fosters, fundraisers? Various rescue groups? My neighbors? My friends? Who is MY GROUP that you are referring to? You don’t know me Ms. Webster. And I really have no desire to get to know you at all. You can not just jump to conclusions and group people in this city or county together because they have said something or written something about the topic. Last time I checked this country still had freedom of speech, which you certainly partake in. Many people have been networking for this shelter on Facebook, via emails and in a variety of ways for months, some even years. Others foster. Others fund-raise. If everyone works together there is NO reason this shelter can not achieve No Kill, which by the way Assistant City Manager, Sharon Hayes said was the goal the city and shelter were working toward. The problem now is the pages have bad photos (petfinder and adoptapet) that the staff can not keep updated. It’s very difficult to effectively network animals with “out of date”, lacking quality pet info and crappy photos with NO descriptions of the animals tempers or HW status (which parker paws used to pay for). This is how the city has responded. They “banned” the volunteers and have not so much as posted a job for a new volunteer coordinator, their latest reason for not bringing the volunteers back. By the way, I’ve been looking forever, where is that Volunteer application posted? Where can people sign up? The root of the problem is still ongoing. You certainly have a right to believe what you want about a pet owner being responsible or whatever. And I have a right to promote what I feel is a WIN WIN solution for the animals. Getting more out alive, which is what was taught at the No Kill workshop. Sgt. Karl Bailey from Seagoville had no experience in running a shelter, but when he took it over he made a decision, a commitment to work hard to achieve no kill status. That shelter went from a 90% kill to a 90% save rate in a matter of 3 months. With the huge support and dedicated passionate volunteer base waiting now on standby, surely Weatherford could quickly do the same. But it will take a village and hard work and new creative ways of thinking and trying new programs. It sure beats killing healthy adoptable pets doesnt it? We ought to at least try. What have we to lose?

      1. Clarification……Parker Paws is NOT gone….to be more accurate they are no longer operating from the shelter, but they are VERY active and successful in their continued efforts of saving animals from shelters and from citizens who for a variety of reasons need to rehome their pets. I continue to applaud Ms. Pursley for her tenacity and dedication and devotion to saving as many animals as she can accommodate with in her foster homes and at PetSmart adoption center. It’s wonderful to see the pet of the week back in the local newspaper and adoption events held on Saturdays at PetSmart in Weatherford. http://www.parkerpaws.org is a WONDERFUL organization that I will continue to support and promote both financially and by word of mouth.

      2. If you are as widely read as you would like everyone to believe, then you should know Christmas is absolutely the worst time of the year to bring home a new pet. Very few of holiday adoptions last for the long term, most are returned after the holiday. As to proving your point, ridiculous! Everyone knows the dogs were eu’d prior to the 54 or 56 animals going to Fort Worth. Hence the empty kennels. However it would seem you have decided otherwise – so continue on with your version of the story. (Very few residents believe it anyway) Oh, Seagoville has what 17 kennels vs. Weatherford’s 100+. Not so difficult to convert to no-kill at Seagoville, is it?

      3. Show us those exact statistics Judy. Because I know damn good and well that this shelter does NOT follow up on tracking every animal. Prove your theory that only Christmas adoptions are not lasting. Make a chart and share it at the next advisory meeting. Otherwise, it’s just another excuse and more of your beliefs or staff’s beliefs. Just because some adoptions do not last no matter WHAT time of year they adopt them, does that mean we stop adopting and just kill? Why is death the best option? Who cares if some of these adoptions fail, what about the adoptions that STICK…Is it because staff is bothered by more paperwork from returned pets????? So, it’s your stance, that these dogs and puppies were better off in the dumpster, then getting a chance of a family that may or may not have work out???? How insane is that mentality? And what harm would there have been in trying to adopt them? You really have helped me focus on a major problem. If the shelter had asked rescues or parker paws or done some creative promotions to increase adoptions to increase foot traffic, perhaps to take the animals to petsmart in the MOBILE ADOPTION UNIT that sits and sits and sits…..or into foster care, that they were in danger of being put down, (which is the EU list many have asked for, for MONTHS), instead of these secret mass killings without warning, without any notice are the best option? Really, do you believe that? Judy, I obviously can’t change your closed mind. But to everyone else reading….There are other ways. There are BETTER ways. We can achieve this. Jump on the No Kill train and those who attended the No Kill workshop, Ms. Hayes included, can teach you how it can be done.

        You write as if I have some mass following of readers. And now you want me to start up a 501c3? Why? Aren’t there already several in our area that have 501c3’s? Why do you feel another is needed, and why do you think I should start it? Do you have one? What can you tell me about them? I write on here because I am passionate of seeing change. I write on facebook because it’s a social media tool to reach more people. The newspapers are a dying thing, but many have shared their thoughts there too. I am educated and creative and know that there is a better way. I too once believed the “theories” that shelter staff talked, until I went to the no kill workshop and heard NEW things. And heard not only how Seagoville was succesful, but also Austin and now San Antonio!!! Don’t tell me Weatherford is bigger than those cities regarding kennel numbers. The mass killings have always upset me. The secrecy of the shelters goings on have always bothered me too. This city, prides itself on “transparency” and even won some award for it. So let’s just be honest. It’s time for this community to know the truth. I am trying expose what the truths are. We have to find better ways, the mass killings have to stop. There are other ways. This is a great place to live, but it can be better. This shelter is pretty, and has grown over the years and come a long way, but it can STILL be improved upon. I want to be part of that change, part of that revolution. I want my passion to spread to others and I want to leave the next generation a better way. Other shelters all over the state and nation are finding no kill works. What have we to lose in trying? It will actually SAVE money, SAVE lives and build a community that is proud of their shelter and want to help, vs being embarrassed of running a dog pound…. killing healthy animals. It’s unacceptable anymore. It has to end.

        And do you honestly think it was wise to send 54 or so of our healthy adoptable pets to FWACC’s hell hole, where they faced certain euthanasia from URI, Kennel cough and other sickness and disease that keeps them from every reaching the PetSmart Adoption center? That’s better? That’s ok? To let FWACC kill them, because it just makes our shelter’s numbers better???? Really??? That’s acceptable to you? YOU care NOTHING about these animals if you believe that. One thing that I have always said about WPCAS, was it was clean. That disease was always kept undercontrol. It was an outright LIE that Mr. Blaisdell tried to paint a picture to the public that 5-6 dogs were in kennels in A and B or ANY kennel. Anyone who ever volunteered there KNEW that was not tolerated or acceptable by the shelter director. So it’s a lie that the shelter was overcrowded. Maybe the shelter ought to install security cameras. Then all this would have been on tape. Hmmmmm, maybe I should suggest that!!!!

        As far as Seagoville being easier to obtain no kill because they are smaller is not the reason. The reason they were successful was because of mgment changes. Sgt Karl Bailey was determined to find a better way than killing, and he did. (and this is biggest reason regarding the no kill equation, regardless of circumstances of demographics…it’s been proven to work in rural, metroplex, large or small, any situtaion that was given). No kill works. It will take work and dedication and a leader who wants to adopt more and kill less. The primary reason Weatherford could not reach a 90% or more LRR back in December, was a major missing element of the No Kill equation. Having a compassionate shelter director who would rather work hard and creative to get animals out alive vs the easy road, of killing them. And what have we got to lose by trying??? No kill is obtainable, but it will take volunteers being welcome. It will take support from the community. It will take more people being educated in what going No Kill really means or is and how to do it. Ms. Pursley eloquently said it best in her recent letter to the editor. Allow me to share it below. What a class act. Barb has impressed me in how she has handled all of this.

        Lee Ann Adams

        Posted Friday, Apr. 20, 2012

        Dear Editor,

        As a volunteer at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter, I have provided countless hours of help for both the staff and the pets at the shelter. I believe it has been of value and resulted in improved care for the animals and increased adoptions. Establishing the volunteer group Parker Paws was a great opportunity for others passionate about the animals to also donate their time and money. The outpouring of support from the community was incredible, as evidenced by the nearly daily donations of supplies for the shelter. The shelter also had adopters drive from all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area due to our networking of the pets online.

        Notwithstanding my years of contributions to the shelter, my efforts were met with resistance. The increased activity at the shelter by volunteers and the public also brought an increase in attention to the shelter operations. I hope that the result of recent scrutiny brings honest appraisal and increased awareness for the care and promotion of shelter pets. I have continued to offer my assistance for pets in need and have learned of new strategies to address the challenges faced by shelters. If anyone would like to learn more about this perspective, it is eloquently stated in Nathan Winograd’s book (referenced below).

        “To get a community on track requires a spark – sometimes borne of anger, other times of compassion, most of the time from a combination of the two – which can ignite the fire of change.” Nathan Winograd, Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America.

        Barbara Pursley

        President, Parker Paws

        http://www.ParkerPaws.org

        Read more here:

        http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/04/20/3899675/letter-to-the-editor.html#storylink=cpy

  14. Christmas Angel | Reply

    Ladies and Gentlemen gather around. Judy Webster wants you to know that if you drive a 12 year old car you are probably not wealthy enough to adopt a dog !!! She also wants you to know that if someone doesn’t offer free food you probably won’t be able to feed your dog !!! If someone doesn’t offer you free vet care you won’t be able to take care of your dog !!! Oh yeh and don’t worry you won’t be able to adopt a dog anyway unless someone pays for that as well. Gee Ms. Webster do you have anymore “FREE” advice for all those Ladies and Gentlemen out there!! Here’s some advice for you, “don’t be counting someone elses money ” because that 12 year old car just might be worth more than yours.

    1. Actually almost any car is worth more than mine – As usual you missed the point entirely.

  15. Tsk, tsk, Sally, getting a little testy aren’t you. I believe it was your group who bragged you could get any group of animals out of the shelter in 24 hours. Why should I spoil your fun? I am a tax-paying citizen of the city, the shelter is a public building, and I was sitting quietly, not disturbing anyone. Besides, I wouldn’t have missed Judith Fairly’s temper tantrum for anything – better than anything on TV. I didn’t see Elyse Carter loading up her car with dogs – hummm. Don’t worry dear, menopause doesn’t last forever.

    1. Judy, as a fellow member of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee/Board, I would expect more respect and civility from you. However, reading all the above posts from you only substantiate all the claims that you are a very sincerely “negative” person!! Now, after just “sitting quietly” [as you state] every single day of the year, doing nothing, you choose to attack and criticize Judith Fairly, who was simply trying to save a dog’s life. She did NOT have a temper tantrum. One of the staff had the tantrum. Judith and Dustin were having a very serious, frustrating [to each of them] & emotional conversation. As you “SAT” there, you were not close enough privy to the conversation being shared between them. So, either tell the complete truth or don’t post anything. NOW – to see you criticize ME!?!?!?!?! I happen to be at the shelter several days every week to assist with anything needed of me, including taking dogs home to save lives. YOU, Ms. Webster, do not know EVERYTHING as you would have this Blog’s readers believe. 2 weeks ago I took two dogs home and they are still there!!! How many did you take home in the last two weeks?? I didn’t see you take any home. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen you do anything other than criticize or be sarcastic. And, as to the Advisory Group, I have yet to see any one of the members, other than me, at the Shelter, attempt to find methods for more adoptions, attempt to contact rescue groups to advise them of animals their group might consider pulling, assist in re-writing methods, protocols, application forms and many other tasks. I HAVE!! Where were you on Sat, April 26, while Dustin, Jackie, Volunteer Marilyn, and I worked ALL DAY at the Blooms Event on the Square??? We successfully adopted 12 animals into their new forever homes from the Mobile Trailer. You had NOTHING to do with that effort, either. But, you feel completely free to criticize???

      You have angered the wrong person, Ms. Webster. I won’t let the untruths about the positive efforts at the shelter or MY activities stand for the shelter continue on this BLOG!!

      1. Judy Webster

        The fact that you took two dogs surprises me. I e-mailed you about the last Min-Pin at the shelter through Ms Nowell. I did not receive acknowledgement of the e-mail, then at the next Advisory Meeting on April the 3rd. you stated once again that no one ever notified you when there were Min-Pins at the shelter. I remember another instance when the shelter office was in the old building, you were notified of three Min-Pins at the shelter, no response. I adopted one and re-homed her, the other two were sent to a rescue in Arizona. Perhaps at that time you were inactive, I don’t remember.

        As to Judith, I was referring to her complaining about not getting waited on and not what took place in the back room. She had been visiting with her friend who adopted the Jack Russells for most of that time (you were in the office talking to Dustin) Then she also talked to Dustin for a while, so it was not as if she had been standing in front of the counter the hour she had been there. Nevertheless, you sympathized with her about her wait not knowing really what took place.

        As I have five rescue dogs of my own and the city has a limit on the number of pets, I do not take fosters. I also have a four foot fence. Large dogs are out of the question and extra small dogs are out of the question because part of my fence is pickets. So no, I do not foster. I have done my share in the past. If there are some that can go straight from the shelter to rescue, then I try to work that out.

        You can refer to me anyway you choose, you can be angered if you choose. The reform group has and still are attacking the city for what they think are “problems”. I do not agree with their methods nor their actions. They have offered up no proof of their allegations in all this time, only more allegations. I shall continue to point out what I believe are silly actions on their part.

        The fact that you are active now at the shelter, good for you, I don’t remember you ever being in the past. And yes, I will continue to sit at the shelter and watch the “action”.

        mnowell
        Fri, Mar 30, 2012 4:48 pm
        I have misplaced my list of people who attended the shelter volunteer meeting. Would you please send a message to Elyse and let her know there are two Min Pins at the shelter, they are very afraid of everyone except women. One has ears and tail done – the other one may be a Min Pin mix. If she could take these into her rescue it would be wonderful.
        Thank you,
        Judy Webster

      2. You can be surprised all you want to, but many of the people at or previously at the shelter know full well of my activities with the shelter during the last 7 years [I’ve only lived in Parker Co for 7 years. Ask Tammie about my involvement for years with the shelter. She knows what all I have done in the past.
        As to the minpins, I received NO notice from you via email. Did anyone pick up the phone and call me?? NO. However, the docked & cropped MinPin was adopted by a friend and I currently am fostering the other one. Don’t tell me I don’t do what’s proper. And, your memory fails you. I’ve never been “inactive” during the 18 years I’ve rescued minpins and other breeds. Just because an email is not received by an addressee, does NOT mean they ignored it. We all know emails don’t reach many addressees, especially if the “Junk” mail filter is set on High.
        As to Judith’s activities, I knew exactly what had happened, who had the tantrum and Dustin’s handling of the situation. Judith had been in the office THREE hours without being offered any assistance. I sympathized with no one, but did find a solution. You didn’t even offer a solution.
        Yes, Weatherford does have an ordinance about the number of animals at a residence. So, you’re at your max. So what? There are so many other tasks that would assist the animals. Instead you sit on your tousch ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, doing nothing. And, yes, it’s a public building. But, your activity in the office could be construed as “loitering”. The others of us are never loitering. We’re trying to assist the animals in one way or another.
        As mentioned above, your memory fails you. My husband and I were the ones who, for months, were able to deliver thousands of pounds of pet food to the shelter. We spent hours and miles doing so. When Tammie was attempting to manage the shelter, prior to Diane Daniels, I instigated a hugely successful “supply and fund” raiser for the shelter and delivered my SUV full of items & $ numerous times. In fact, I was given the liberty of sending the “tax deduction” letters on supplied letterhead [I had to be there to get it] to all donors. I also sat on the board that helped design and build the two new buildings, using my past experience with numerous shelters across TX, OK, CA & other locations to offer suggestions. And, you don’t remember that I’ve ever done anything for the shelter???? I’m certainly not touting my own activities, but simply proving you WRONG!
        PLEASE, if you’re going to put statements in writing publicly, make sure you KNOW of what you are speaking. You’ve certainly made several mistakes on this blog.
        PS – I’m not interested in your opinion of the Reform group nor did I mention it above. You plugged that into this debate. But, you did not respond to some of the questions I did mention.

      3. After much thought and discussion with Marcus, I want to state:
        JW, you might not want to waste your time or effort to respond to my last post.
        This entire thread is useless and a waste of time and energy. I have many more important things to do than to prove my defenses to your ill-conceived opinions. I personally think you have proven to all readers that you do not know of which you are speaking. Therefore, I will, from this moment forward, not read your comments, nor will I waste my time and effort to respond. It’s just useless.

  16. Shannon Sweatt | Reply

    :)

    I’m a bit confused on which area to reply to your rants. I will not be replying to your newest Facebook page. I will only reply to you here.

    I have never mislead anyone on where I live. I live in Millsap. Since you are strangely, so aware of me and my family’s location, then you will also know that there are several homes on Dobbs Valley that ARE in Parker County. The small bridge 3 doors to the east of my home is the Parker Co. line. We were mislead when we bought our home. Had I known we were in Palo Pinto and in the school district that we are in– we would not have purchased this home. That’s why my daughter transfers into a Parker Co. ISD school.

    As for having a rescue facility here– that’s exactly what I have! I take in my fosters regularly. I rescue them, vet them, socialize them and see that they find loving homes. I have been doing this for years and years now.

    As for building a facility here, my husband and I have talked about building me a nice kennel area. For several reasons we will not build a big facility for the public or for any other use besides my own. 1) As you pointed out, my husband is a vet. We have class III drugs at our home. You know what class III’s are I presume, since they are the same drugs the shelter ordered illegally on Dr. Kaisers lisense. We are not that careless. Our drugs are closely protected and surveillanced but we do not welcome outsiders to our home. 2) I am one of the only (if not the only) reform member who still has small children at home. While I have fostered pitbulls and bully breeds and nippy small dogs, I keep my numbers manageable so that my children are properly supervised. With a large facility it could easily get out of control with 3 young children and a bunch of dogs. I choose to do the 1 in- 1 out process. 3) We have 3 pastures. One of our pastures is reserved for hospital horses, one pasture is for our personal horses and goats and the last pasture is my husbands hay field. We use this pasture for our Ag exemptions. Plus, farming is my husbands hobby. 4) while I am happy raising my children in this home- I hope to move back to my hometown of Weatherford one day (after the kids are grown). I’m very aware of the negative sales impact building a large facility would do to our property.

    So, thank you for your suggestion but I will decline it.

    I’m content with focusing my efforts on making the WPCAS the best it can be. It’s already built. The visual beauty is hard to beat. Now we just have to make the “insides” as lovely as the outside.

    The archaeic views I mentioned earlier are FAR from biblical. I read my bible and have yet to see where it says to support killing of healthy animals and dump them in the trash. Can you show me where your bible says that??? The archaic views I’m referring to are the ones the WPCAS currently operates under. Our goal is to modernize the shelter. Like Rockwall did. It’s not hard to do when the people at the shelter open their eyes AND hearts and WANT to make a difference.

    Why don’t you want to make a difference?

    Shannon Sweatt

    1. Judy Webster | Reply

      Ms Sweatt – I was an accountant for thirty years and I find details interesting – yes you have a Millsap address, two actually, one for Dobbs Valley and another as a PO box. Since you pay school taxes to Mineral Wells ISD, there is no way you can live in Millsap, unless you maintain a residence in the city limits of Millsap. Gee, last time I was there, it was mostly mobile homes, looks rather seedy, not like the nice town where I grew up. However if it pleases you to say you live in Millsap, I don’t care. Just found it interesting.

      1. shannon sweatt

        If you were as INefficient of an accountant as you are an “investigator” I feel sorry for anyone who has ever sought your services. If you find details so “interesting” you may consider looking at FACTUAL details. I will reiterate- who really cares where I live, besides you? But, because I’m 100% confident in the geography of my home I will be glad to set your “facts” straight. There is no “City of Millsap”. Millsap uses Co-op water from Weatherford and relies on Parker County for animal and emergency services. Bennett Rd. is 100% in Parker County (and a HUGE dump site for the animals I rescue). From there you turn Left onto Dobbs Valley Rd. That is still in Parker County with Millsap ISD. You go about 1/2 mile and cross over a small bridge. That is basically the Palo Pinto/Parker County line. I live 3 doors to the west of that. My residence is in MILLSAP. My zip code for my PO box AND my residence is 76066 (Millsap). My county is Palo Pinto and my ISD is Mineral Wells. We live in an area that both the Millsap buses AND Mineral Wells buses would service my home. Our taxes fund Mineral Wells ISD, but this area has an easy transfer agreement with Millsap ISD. My daughter attended Millsap schools for 3 years before we moved her to another Parker County school. I concur that probably a third (or more) of Millsap is seedy housing and trailer homes. The other third (or less) is middle class and the last third are million dollar+ ranches. There are very few “neighborhoods” in Millsap so you will often find the three kinds of housing all on the same street. I live in a middle class home/property. On my street you will find seedy housing and trailer homes, middle class housing and Alice Walton’s former ranch. I am not “pleased” to say I live in Millsap. We have clients and a few friends in Millsap, but we have no other associations, besides our Post Office, here. However, my ONLY associations in Mineral Wells are clients, a few friends, my gym and Walmart. ;) Most of all my time and associations are in Parker County. If it weren’t for the hospital set up my husband has here- we would have moved a long time ago. I’m not sure where you “grew up”. Was it Weatherford, Arlington, Houston, Saginaw, Willow Park, Katy, VA or PA? I cannot, and will not compare, as I do not care. The next time you start running your mouth about someone else’s business- you better be damned sure you know it better than they do. Just for you and since its public record: http://www.isouthwestdata.com/client/webSearchName.aspx?dbkey=palopintocad&stype=name&sdata=sweatt&time=2012531337038. ;)

        Again, I could live in Timbuktu and is doesn’t matter one iota. I will continue to do my work as a WPCAS reform member and I will continue to network animals both locally and abroad.

        I won’t be holding my breath for an apology letter– but now that your questionable IQ is beginning to show, how ’bout we stop focusing on ME and get back to focusing on the animals at the shelter. Ok?

        Cheers!

        Shannon Sweatt

  17. Doesn’t it seem strange to the citizens of
    Weatherford that City Officials have fought
    so hard against change at the Shelter?
    The volunteers who have worked so hard for
    no other reason but to save homeless animals
    have been called liars, trouble makers and eventually banned from the shelter.
    None of this makes sense.
    The City has lost 70,000 from Parker Paws
    plus countless of hours of volunteer time
    along with donations of food and supplies.
    Volunteers comforted the animals about to die
    for space and gave them love.
    Yesterday I got an email from Heidi Wilder
    saying now the City is concerned about panic
    adoptions ? One might ask, what is a panic adoption? Could it mean that banned volunteers
    are hurriedly networking to find dogs and cats
    good safe homes before they are killed for
    space?
    We need a nokill shelter. It is very realistic
    and would save money in the end.
    Nokill is sweeping the country as more and more dedicated shelter managers find the continued killing of healthy adoptable animals
    unacceptable.
    Help Weatherford Shelter Pets is our Facebook
    Page.
    Join us and find out the truth about nokill.

  18. shannon sweatt | Reply

    When naysayers (city or county officials or shelter staff or citizens) say it can’t be done….don’t you believe it! When there’s a will, there’s a way!

    We must educate the community about the FACTS of going no-kill!

    Sometimes having NO EXPERIENCE in the shelter world is what is needed to bring about positive creative change. We welcome Dustin Deel working hard to save our animals at WPCAS!!!!

    Here’s another link for you to EDUCATE YOURSELVES:

    http://pawsitivelytexas.com/building-a-no-kill-community-no-experience-needed/

    http://www.nokillweatherford.webs.com
    Help Weatherford Shelter Pets (on Facebook)
    Parker County Pets Alive! (on Facebook)

  19. parkercountyblog | Reply

    Randi,

    You made my argument when you quoted “…. people who choose to publicly post a defamation of character will be “LEGALLY LIABLE for their statements”, and should be held accountable as such.”

    You no doubt, while reading our policy, saw that part which says, “we reserve the right to determine content that should be removed” – or words to that effect.

    Randi, you are always welcome to comment about anything that is important to you, but I can assure you – we, not you will determine what goes and what stays!

    Your persistence down this dead-end street will only get you blocked – FOREVER. Those who are unhappy with our policy are free to start their own “tit-for-tat” blog – it ain’t happening here!

  20. the truth is ugly isn’t it?

  21. Last night at the city council meeting, I tried to explain what it means for the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter to go no-kill. No-kill would be a live release rate of at least 90 percent. Using the latest statistical record on the city’s web page, I came up with the following numbers for total dogs out:

    City 421
    County 789
    Hudson Oaks 35
    Springtown 47
    Total Dogs Out 1292

    Eliminating the last three categories of died, escaped and sent for testing (total 38) leaves at total of 1254 dogs. Ten percent of 1254 dogs is 125 dogs, leaving 1129
    Of these 793 were adopted, returned to owner, or sent to rescue, leaving a balance of 336. The report consists of the six months of October 2011 through March of 2012.
    Assuming the next six months is representative of the last six months, there will 336 x 2 or 672 dogs. This is the number over and above the current live release rates. This means that an extra 13 dogs per week will have to be adopted, sent to rescue or sent to other shelters. To accomplish this, adoption rates will have to be drastically cut or eliminated all together in some cases. This of course means a loss of income to offset the current expenses.

    The shelter is in desperate need of new washers and dryers. The current ones are worn out from the extra laundry that must be done everyday due to the large population of animals currently at the shelter. Weatherford Animal Control needs at least two new pickups. They currently have one truck in which to run animal control calls.
    Since late December with the controversy began, adoptions have drastically fallen, donations also have drastically fallen. The animal shelter budget was just increased to cover the additional cost of food.

    For the city to accomplish a live release rate of 90 percent, the money to do so will have to come from somewhere. The Reform Shelter Group believes this can be achieved with no additional increase in cost. The allegations that were levied against the shelter, shelter employees, and the city itself not only have been proven false but were totally irresponsible actions of a small group of reformers. You are free to believe their allegations or not believe them, however this controversy has only hurt the shelter and the animals. Last week they were given a list of nine animals that had been at the shelter for weeks. They managed to get out five of those animals, leaving four still at the shelter. While I applaud their efforts, achieving such a live release rate in a short length of time is not possible. It will take years to accomplish this goal. There is no one to blame, only the economy. Animals are the first to go when times are tough.

    Please note the above calculations are for dogs only and do not include cats or other animals.

    Unless I made mistakes in my calculations, these are the facts. What would you, the public, do? Are you ready for your taxes to go up?

  22. Sorry Lee Ann I just read your above post. Evidently there are not enough 501c3’s out there or at least ones that take large mix breed dogs or your networking would have had better results. As to Barbara Pursley and Parker Paws, it was at her instigation this controversy began. I personally believe she and Kaiser were so angered at having the power of life and death over the animals taken away that their actions were a form of revenge. Now she is working to keep the stench of the accusations from sticking to her organization. If she felt there were problems, she could have gone to the city and had a civilized discussion rather than running to the press. I’m sure the city would have worked with her to resolve her concerns. However, now it is too late – too much has been said by her and her “former” volunteers. The damage has been done. By the way, half of shelter buildings A & B need to be adopted or sent to rescue now. More are waiting their turn and more are coming in everyday. It’s puppy and kitten season.

  23. How many times must we go over this? Many people were very upset that healthy adoptable vetted puppies and dogs were killed instead of adopted last Dec. Prior concerns and Issues fell on deaf ears were taken to those over the shelter first to Mr. Steve Bates and it went UPHILL from there, all the way up to City Council and the Mayor. Citizens, voters and taxpayers were not happy and for good reason. These people are to serve the public, not the other way around.

    As far as it being too late, you are absolutely right, it’s too late for those dead pets, but it’s not too late for the ones still there now and the ones who will yet arrive. Many concerned people are learning how they can help by fostering and networking and other ways they can get involved!

    Parker Paws has long since moved on to saving animals, thank goodness too. So many need saved! In fact many of her fostered dogs and cats were pulled from this shelter and are up for adoption and posted on various sites now like adoptapet and petfinder, which is a very time consuming choir to keep up, but definatly one worth doing well, as it saves more lives!

    As I explained to you before, it is much more difficult to place larger dogs into rescues, than smaller dogs or puppies. However, many were rescued this week, even some bigger ones.

    It is exciting to see the shelter working toward their No Kill goals of 90% getting out alive. it certainly will take a lot of help from the community to make it happen, but it is an obtainable goal, and I am glad to see not only the Mayor supporting going No Kill, but businesses and citizens are jumping on board and sharing ideas!

    It is my understanding that several of the larger dogs were saved recently due to many working together to network them out safely. How exciting! I do hope many more will find their way out alive as well. It certainly doesn’t happen on it’s own.

    Feel free to share these animals still seeking homes and check out those who were saved recently too!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=233972370019636

  24. Mrs Webster
    In my opinion you need to get a life outside
    of the shelter.
    You are totally incorrect im your statements.
    Anyone who can go and sit in the office
    of that shelter day after day knowing adoptable dogs and cats are being killed for space and defend that old out of date thinking doesn’t need to be there.
    There is a new wave of thinking in this country called nokill. Lives are being saved
    everyday.
    I’m sure the hospital could use another volunteer. wWhy don’t you try that for a change?
    Sally Pool

  25. After trying to destroy all the shelter employees and the shelter itself – Pursley and Kaiser are just moving on. Sad they are so devoid of a conscience. No 501c3 for you? Eh? Surely your not hoping Parker Paws will come back to the shelter after all the havoc they created? Your new City Council spokesperson, Carney-Sweatt, doesn’t even live in Parker County. Maybe she should concertrate on her home county, Palo Pinto.

  26. shannon sweatt | Reply

    Yes, I live in Millsap and yes- I live 3 doors down from Parker Co. But I was born, raised and graduated from Weatherford. My family has very deep (multi-generational) roots in Weatherford/Parker Co. My children attend school in Parker Co. too.

    Does it really matter to you (or anybody else) where I live? While you have your Mapsco out you should look at where your fellow Advisory Board members live. You’ll be surprised to learn that Dr. Glenn lives in GRAHAM. Also, Mr. Braudis doesnt reside within Parker Co. either. They hold a POSITION for the shelter. I’m just a networker/rescuer trying to SAVE lives not KILL them.

    Ms. Webster, I feel so sorry for you. You and your archaic views are a drain on the shelter.

    Sincerely,
    Shannon Carney Sweatt

  27. Shannon Sweatt | Reply

    What 501c3 do you operate under Ms. Webster??

  28. Christmas Angel | Reply

    Ms. Webster I think you have it backwards. It was management and some of the shelter staff that was destroying the shelter. Dr. Kaiser, Ms. Pursley and the volunteers were trying to keep the “infection” from spreading and clean up the nasty wound that had been there for way too long. Dr Kaiser, Barb Pursley and the volunteers were just a “band-aid” tring to help a wound that just didn’t want to heal. It was when the “infection” went on it’s deadly mission at Christmas that blew the band aid off and exposed the nasty wound that was hidden beneath. It’s deadly mission bacfired on the “infection” and now the healing process and clean up is finally beginning.. It will be a slow process to heal but a new and healty shelter is emerging. And just because someone doesn’t live in this county doesn’t mean they can’t help in the clean-up. We welcome Ms Sweatt and new people because with them come new and inovative ideas that can make a change for the better and make this shelter one that other communities will want to copy. Things are changing for the better Ms. Webster and either you can be a part of this wonderful change that is happening or you can sit in your corner of darkness by yourself.

  29. I do not operate currently under any 501c3, although I have in the past. I was wondering why your group depends so heavily on other overworked and overcrowded rescues to take in your animals. I may be incorrect, but I believe several members of your group own sizable plots of land that could be used as an animal rescue site. Your husband is a vet, (on site vet care) why don’t you set aside some of your acreage as a rescue site?

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