*** UPDATE ***
From Parker Paws –
Unfortunately we must cancel the low-cost spay/neuter clinic scheduled for this Monday, January 23. We will not have the low-cost vaccination clinic that date, either. Our clinics at the Weatherford shelter are being suspended and we will inform you when we’re able to resume them. Everyone with appts for Monday will be notified and we’ll keep the names/numbers if they’d like us to keep them informed of upcoming appts.
Is it true that 30+ puppies were ready for adoption when they became victims of euthanasia at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter? Read the following comments and I believe you will agree that the death of these and many other animals was completely unnecessary. I believe compassion and cooperation would go a long way toward humane treatment of these helpless victims.
The following are first hand accounts of conditions and treatment of animals at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter:
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I am a volunteer rescue worker that has been networking the animals at your facility. I am also an accountant. Certain irregularities have come to my attention and I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to why the city/county doesn’t have a budget to cover the needed expenses for items you are asking the public to donate? I was under the impression Parker County had a budget of approximately $500,000 per year for this shelter. I would be curious to see the budget versus actual expenses for this budgeted line item. Surely that is public record so I would like to see that information as well as the number of animals taken in, adopted, rescued or destroyed for the last several years. If there are not adequate supplies at the shelter, wouldn’t the logical solution be to increase the budget to cover the items the shelter needs? Why is that burden placed on already cash strapped non-profit organizations or citizens when it is a government run facility? That would be the County’s responsibility.
As you well know, a critical component of a successful animal shelter is adoptions and/or rescues. Is the County willing to hold off-site adoptions every few weeks around the county that were previously held by volunteers and non-profits? If so, where will those adoption events be held and who will be transporting the animals? Are you going to pay overtime to your county employees to do this when they were previously done by unpaid volunteers? Will the trailer that was donated continued to be used for mobile adoption events? I am also curious as to who will be posting the animals on petfinder.com andadoptapet.com? From what I understand that was also done by unpaid volunteers so are you going to pay overtime to the county employees to do it now even though they are obviously overwhelmed by the massive influx of animals being brought into the shelter daily? I’m sure you are aware networking animals online is very effective and without these tools, crossposters like myself, have no way to promote Weatherford shelter dogs. The end result will be longer lengths of stay, more euthanasia, more sick animals (since one sick animal can contaminate many and the longer the animals remain on site, the higher the risk of illness occurs) and more taxpayer money needed to fund the shelter. Is the public aware of these facts and that there will be less and less animals saved and Parker County becomes one of the biggest KILL SHELTERS in the state? I have found the public is generally uninformed as to shelter practices but if there is no resolve in this matter within a reasonable period of time, it will obviously be brought to light and I wouldn’t think any elected or hired officials would be very proud of a dismal shelter record since most of the public will be animal owners and lovers. I would love to see the budget vs actual expenses for this shelter. Perhaps I can shed some light on the effectiveness of the way this shelter is being run for you.
The Fort Worth Animal Control Center has created an adoption center in partnership with PetSmart charities. Surely with the large quantity of animals being brought into your shelter that will also be on your agenda. If Weatherford & Parker County is truly concerned about the welfare of these lost and abandoned pets (and you, yourself, may find yourself in a situation of need should one of your pets become lost), then I implore you to do the humane thing and consider the poor animals stuck in your shelter and quit using euthanasia as a means of controlling the animal population.
I have read the newspaper articles about the County and Parker Paws coming to a meeting of the minds and we all know that is somewhat misleading. I know for a fact Parker Paws has dramatically scaled back their work and changed direction. There will be public outcry when people surrender pets to this shelter thinking Parker Paws will find them a home or will foster them only to find out later their pet was destroyed instead. Your Shelter has always been a high kill shelter and it will get worse and worse. Does your County really want that stigma of being one of the highest kill shelters in the State of Texas when other communities such as Rockwall, Arlington and Fort Worth (your neighbors) are working towards compassionate and humane efforts (no kill) instead of destroying animals?
The truth is going to come out about the actual agreement between your County and rescue groups so I would think it would behoove you to stop this insanity now. Please be aware reform and change is desperately needed at your shelter and consider doing the right thing.
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen. Our local shelter has long since needed reform. We have turned our heads for too long now and it has grown into a huge problem. You, (out of anyone I am writing to) I believe will be most understanding. I have heard that you and your wife have taken in rescues before and are obviously animal lovers.
We cannot continue to pretend that the problems at Weatherford shelter do not exist. I am a rescue networker for about 30 shelters in Texas. It’s a second job to me. Although I do not go into the shelters, I network to rescue groups and write about 30-40 emails each night to find dogs and cats homes or rescues to go into. We are very successful. As a matter of fact, last year at the Wise County shelter, they were euthanizing animals every single week, sometimes more than once a week. Last week I got confirmation they have now gone 8 weeks without euthanizing. The only thing that changed was that we were allowed to start a Facebook page and hold low cost spay neuter clinics.
Networking does amazing things. As I mentioned, I network for many shelters yet I always find myself feeling guilty because the dogs in my own county aren’t being networked. I would like to request permission to start a Facebook page for the Weatherford Animal Shelter. This page would be for volunteers to directly run and post on. We would, however, need the help of the shelter to do this. We would need shelter Id numbers and permission to photo the animals.
Also, an urgent list would be VERY beneficial. At Ft. Worth Animal Care and Control, the ACOs (Animal Control Officers) work WITH the volunteers and want to help get animals out. We understand they have a hard job and we don’t expect every dog to get out; but every day they provide us with an urgent 24 hour (or more) list and let us network them.
They usually put the sick ones on this list, and whichever animals don’t get rescued or adopted from that list after the allotted time may be euthanized, but at least they are getting one last chance to be saved. I believe some of the ACOs at Weatherford have gotten lazy and this is why they won’t allow us post urgent dogs. It seems to me that they would rather just euthanize the animals and not have to deal with it.
If the public knew the live release rate at Weatherford as opposed to the rate of euthanasia, they would be absolutely appalled.
Recently the Weatherford shelter has also contracted to take on Springtown pets as well as several other towns. It’s not fair that our county continues to take on more dogs and cats from other towns and yet we have no real networking going on. It is just a bigger death sentence for Weatherford pets.
Fort Worth’s system is easy, simple, and saves animals’ lives. They welcome the help from volunteers and do not set numerous and ridiculous “rules” for them to follow. Petfinder is good for networking as well, but Facebook has shown to be much more effective at broadening the scope of people seeing the animals and giving them a chance to help.
Another problem at Weatherford is they don’t let rescues “pull” (releasing an animal to a documented 501c3 rescue) at no cost.
Almost every shelter in Texas allows rescues to pull for free with proof of a 501c 3. Why would a rescue pull from a shelter where they have to pay a fee when they can go somewhere else and pull a dog or cat for free? It saves money and lives in the long run as it gets animals out of a cage making room for another without killing one. Please feel free to call and check at other local shelters to see if this is correct. I assure you it is.
In addition, Weatherford no longer allows out of state adoptions. This is not fair. I send many animals up north to rescues. I understand the ACOs could be worried about the rescue since they can’t physically go and check them out but I guarantee they don’t check out local rescues either. The ACOs are not doing home checks on dogs that are adopted so what is the difference? If they wanted to check a rescue up north out they can online. I know several shelters in the area who will send animals up north to new homes, but first do a little research before sending up there. This is another area that volunteers could be implemented at the shelter. We aren’t asking for the shelter to transport or take on any additional work. We just want the approval to send a dog with a 501c3 in another state. We will do the rest.
Many people ask, “why does an out of state rescue want our dogs when they can go get a dog out of their shelters?”. Well the answer is simple; first, many other states require residents to spay and neuter unless they are a licensed breeder. This cuts down on unwanted pets. Another reason is cost: in Texas dogs and cats can be vetted for half as much as other states.
I network with a member of the Chihuahua society of Connecticut and she said veterinarians up there do not offer rescue rates like they do in Texas. So it’s cheaper to get a dog from Texas vetted and then transported up north and since Texas is one of the highest euthanizing states we need all the help we can get.
These changes are not big things and aren’t asking much.
Basically, the volunteers would like to have more rights and have the shelter cooperate and work together with the volunteers a bit more.
I really hope you can see the point here. All of these requests are pretty standard procedure at most Texas shelters. I know the public cares and if they don’t care its because they don’t know what’s going on. I am hoping we can resolve this here and now but if not, I have had several reporters contact me and want this story. I would rather not bring them in on this but if we can’t resolve the issue the public deserves to know the truth about this place.
Thank you for your time and concern.
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