Parker Paws calls it quits with shelter –

More distressing news, especially for the animals left behind at the shelter… 

From The Weatherford Telegram, By Lance Winter, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 –

It appears that the relationship between Parker Paws and the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter has taken another turn and this time for the worse.

An e-mail sent to the Weatherford Telegram on Thursday said the non-profit organization, which has provided volunteer services and other programs to benefit the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter for four years, is “changing their focus.”

Barbara Pursley, president of Parker Paws and volunteer at the shelter for more than 14 years, attributes the change to recent clashes with management of the shelter.

“Parker Paws tried to ease the tension by relinquishing volunteer activities at the shelter,” Pursley said.

She added that she had hoped if volunteers reported directly to shelter supervision that Parker Paws could continue to support the shelter without impeding management’s direct operations of the shelter. However, other issues with the shelter remain unresolved, Pursley said.

“I finally decided that I could no longer support an organization which does not share my goals of promoting pet adoptions and improving the care of the pets at their facility,” she said. “It is my opinion that they are more concerned about the appearance rather than the substance of these goals.”

City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said he was “extremely sad” to see Pursley go.

“She has been a significant part of the shelter operation for many years and has our gratitude and thanks for all that she helped us accomplish,” Blaisdell said. “[Pursley] is an outstanding advocate for animals who has spent countless hours serving this community as a volunteer at the shelter and her presence will be greatly missed.

“It is our hope that we can continue to work with her in whatever way she chose to serve the citizens and animals of this community.”

He said the shelter will continue work with volunteers and strive to deliver the highest quality service to citizens and the animals under its care.

Pursley said Parker Paws is looking for a new location for its low-cost spay/neuter clinics.

“This is a key component to reducing the number of unwanted pets in our community and we look forward to continuing this valuable service,” Pursley said.

She added that Parker Paws also assists pet owners who need to “rehome” their pets but wish to avoid relinquishing them to a shelter.

Additionally, Pursley said she is excited about opportunities to increase cat adoptions — a personal interest of hers — and to work with education programs in local schools to promote responsible pet ownership.

“This has been a difficult decision and I am grateful for the help and guidance I have received,” she said. “I never wanted to direct my efforts away from this community.”

Blaisdell said the animal shelter has been a “great example” of how public and private partnerships can enhance and expand the service the shelter provides and that that philosophy will continue to be one of its primary objectives.

Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, ext. 102

8 responses

  1. I hope that people will see through the lies and the cover up and all the B.S. that has come out of Blaisdell recently….especially his final statement printed:

    “Blaisdell said the animal shelter has been a “great example” of how public and private partnerships can enhance and expand the service the shelter provides and that that philosophy will continue to be one of its primary objectives.”

    Where is my shovel, I am knee deep in bullshit reading this crap. That is certainly the picture he would like to leave with the public. I do hope people see this is some of the thickest line of crap written to date about the relationship between shelter staff and parker paws and their volunteers.

  2. I feel sad for the animals at the shelter, but maybe this will be what is needed to bring about major change at the animal shelter. I seriously doubt that the discord is all the volunteers’ fault. I don’t think anyone will want to volunteer at the shelter now, unless major change comes to the shelter.

    Barbara Pursley and Parker Paws were who I always saw promoting the animals at the shelter – at adoption events, the Hot Dog Trot, Christmas on the Square. They gave hours and hours of their time, only to be run off. In fact, my last dog was adopted at a Parker Paws adoption event at PetsMart. This works!!! And the staff at the shelter has not stepped in to take their place in working to get the animals adopted out.

    I think a low-cost spay & neuter clinic should be provided by the shelter, as a way to lower the numbers of unwanted pets, but it was handled by a volunteer group instead (Parker Paws). What exactly are our taxes paying for? I think their needs to be more transparency & accountability at the animal shelter. We have many people in this community with a love & a heart for these animals, and will work tirelessly to get them adopted into loving homes, both locally & nationwide. Let’s get them back in the shelter and get the kill rate lowered and the adoption rates up!

  3. The Weatherford shelter has a dismal record of saving animals. The majority of the volunteers have stopped working with the shelter due to the terrible relationship between certain shelter staff and the volunteers. As a result, there are fewer animals being networked since the networkers have no information on what animals are in the shelter so many more animals are being destroyed unnecessarily. While we do want to help those animals, we are basically at a standstill unable to do so. The public needs to be aware of the number of animals that have been destroyed at that shelter and it is getting worse, not better. Reminder: these are VOLUNTEERS – they don’t ask for any pay, they are trying to HELP the shelter. Where is the support for these unpaid workers? All they ask for is a little cooperation from the staff and they aren’t getting it.

  4. I have fostered and rescued dogs and cats for a while now-both my rescues were done on my own because the rescues had more than they could handle at the time. It is not easy but very rewarding to know you have saved a life and what they give back in love is priceless. Shelter animals are not or bad animals–most of the time they are there at NO fault of their own—i could go into all the different reasons people dump their pets at shelters but the list is just too long and some of them are just to stupid to repeat. Since Parker Paws has left the Weatherford shelter I have not seen one picture of their animals on line-petfinder-that the shelter has put on there–the “Reform Group” went out and took pictures and rescued 12 dogs in a matter of days–there is no reason the shelter employees can not do this-it is not hard and from what I understand Parker Paws left the info there for them to follow. What it comes down to is the drive to get the shelter dogs exposure–and save lives–not just pick up a pay check–oh and by the way as tax payers dont we pay their salaries??? Your staff is only as good as your leader—please people–dont consider the shelter animals garbage that we throw away and forget–I know we have some good people in this county so please step up and let the elected officials know that we do not want to be known as a HIGH KILL SHELTER–and at this time that is what we are–what does that say about PARKER CO.??? Sounds COLD HEARTED, NONCARING to me–I do not want to be thought of that way!

  5. There are so many unanswered questions here:

    –Why did Dr. Kaiser quit?
    –Why isn’t anyone talking about what caused the breach between the shelter and a group of volunteers who have been doing so much for the animals at the shelter for the past 4 years?
    –Barbara Pursley has been a volunteer at the shelter for 14 years — what caused her to feel that she had to seek another venue to continue her work?

    As a member of the community who cares about the welfare of homeless animals, I’m insulted by the City’s stonewalling. Until the City accepts responsibility for this newest crisis, nothing will change. The public has a right to know how public funds are being used, and what the City plans to do SPECIFICALLY to fix problems with the shelter, and with shelter personnel. Animals are dying needlessly while city employees engage in turf wars instead of doing what they are paid to do — to care for animals unlucky enough to find themselves in their care. What the City needs to know is that we are not going away, that we will hold our public servants accountable.

  6. I was so inspired by Barbara and Parker Paws when I moved to
    Parker county. I feel so sick that the animals are being treated this
    way by the city of Weatherford. Since moving here I have become
    a doggie foster Mom and am committed to doing whatever it takes
    to make a difference for the animals at the Parker County shelter. It is
    not just a few disgruntled volunteers complaining, but an entire community
    of tax paying, animal loving citizens who want change now.

  7. Well, looks like all the volunteers and former customers of the animal shelter have folded their tents and given up. This is so typical of our town. A lot of fussing and finger pointing and no positve persistant action. The city council counts upon this senario. they grudgeinly listen to you because they have too. Their goal is to make it all go away, keep what the problem is from the public, protect the culprit who is causing the mess who is a pet of the administration. The upcomming city election is what they are concerned about. You know good old “CYA”.

  8. If more people stood up, as those of us who attended the City Council meeting did, and wrote to the city council members and mayor, as I have done both before and since that meeting, instead of posting anonymous criticisms, perhaps something will happen. Those of you who hide in the shadows are doing no one any good. I continue to try to do my part, but where are the members of the community supporting my efforts? I have sent numerous documents and suggestions to the city council and the city manager. To date, only Heidi Wilder has taken the time to answer me. Of course the city thinks this will go away when it’s just a few of us standing up to them. The rest of the community should be ashamed of itself, that no one can take a few minutes from their day to speak up for all the animals who rely on us. You, too, Watcher. Man up or shut up.

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