What Was This Puppy’s Crime

By Lenny Leatherman –

Why has virtually everyone associated with the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter, including Veterinarians and volunteers walked away in disgust?

Can it be attributed to the helpless animals that are killed, sometime as many as forty or more at one time?

Or, is it due to callous and or incompetent management at the “shelter” AND management at higher levels in City Government?

How long should the citizens of Parker County who care deeply about the care and treatment of helpless animals, wait for the hostile working environment at the shelter to improve to an acceptable level for all concerned – including the animals?

We are well aware of what is being done TO the animals; what is being done FOR the animals?

Question for Jerry Blaisdell and Steve Bates – what is the maximum effective range of an excuse?

How long must the courageous volunteers and others who, at their own expense in terms of time and money (for no personal gain whatsoever), wait for hollow promises to be fulfilled?

The solution is quite obvious and affordable to all who have resigned their positions at the shelter. All that is necessary to clean up that mess is for Steve Bates and Jerry Blaisdell to find the courage to replace management at the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter.

You can help them find the courage by keeping unrelenting pressure on them to do the right thing. To date their actions have been akin to putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

You, Blaisdell and Bates share responsibility each time an innocent puppy is executed at your animal “shelter”. Before the next execution, please ask yourself, “What was this puppy’s crime?

We know Blaisdell and Bates are not mean uncaring people, and we understand they have competing priorities that make it difficult to deal with issues like the shelter. But rest assured, this issue is not going away until reasonable steps are taken that do more than put a ‘band-aid’ on the problem. Parker County citizens and the helpless animals who have the misfortune of ending up at our shelter, deserve an efficiently run facility that treats the animals with care and uses euthanasia as a very last resort – not the first choice!

One can tour the shelter and at first glance everything appears to be clean and orderly. The same could have been said about Auschwitz!

22 responses

  1. Well Said! I can’t add a thing….Thanks!

  2. This is not how a shelter operates.
    The management must change and
    be held accountable for their actions.
    How many more innocent animals have
    to die because people want to clean out
    Shame on you Diane Daniels.
    Sally Pool

    1. I agree with Sally. Something needs to be done about this right now. You saw what happened when the Taxpayers were upset by what the last City Manager did with the Electric several years back. I was always so proud to brag about how Weatherford was so great in helping our Animals in need at our Shelter. Little did I know what was really going on in the Background. I have adopted dogs there several times and helped network dogs that were adopted. This Shelter Staff did not care that they had so much behind the scenes help they just took them for granted. Parker Paws and the Inmates were doing all the work. I have been up there alot of times and the Staff was always sitting around or taking smoke breaks etc. Not one friendly person among them except Joan and Dr. Kaiser. There are alot of animal lovers in Parker County that are Taxpayers that will not be happy if something is not done ASAP.

  3. I could not agree more wholeheartedly. Let’s right this wrong.

  4. Thanks Lenny, for posting an articulate piece on the plight of this shelter. I will be very interested in seeing responses from all management personnel that should be responding to this article, i.e.,: City Manager, Mayor, City Council Members, County Judge, County Commissioners, County Sheriff and all other Parker County Government enities that have entered into an Intergovernmental agreement with the Parker County Animal Shelter.

  5. Senator-Blutarsky

    Our Commissioners Court needs to weigh in on this

    Feb 1, 7pm

    Harberger Hill Community Center
    701 Narrow
    Weatherford, TX 76088

    For the (as I understand) $500k the county puts in this, their fiduciary responsibility and stewardship is under extreme scrutiny.

  6. I can tell you what will happen.

    The City will tell you that they’re following policy, that things are improving, that this crisis is the fault of Parker Paws, they will quote you statistics and otherwise spin this without ever acknowledging any responsibility. If employees at the shelter go down, they reason, they will go down, too, because the ultimate responsibility lies with the city bureaucrats who have allowed all of this to happen.

    They will continue to stonewall until the few of us who want to see things change give up and go away. Things will go back to the way they’ve always been. Healthy, adoptable animals will continue to die.

    You see that it’s the same few of us commenting here. People don’t read newspapers or watch the local news on TV as they once did. There is far greater strength in numbers; we need to reach out to the community via the internet and make this story go viral. The animals depend upon we few to be their voice.

    1. Senator-Blutarsky

      I would expect every member of the Commisioners Court to be there, and if they are wise – every candidate for election.

      I recommend each one of us here advise their Commish, and “da judge” they would be wise to attend

  7. At some point, it may be necessary for a person to retire if they have become “hardened” to what they see day in and day out. If it does not bother you to watch these helpless animals that depend on you, die simply because of needed space, then, it is time to do something else with your life. We need someone in there that actually cares for the animals that are brought in. Parker County is not a “poor” county…there is alot of money here. There is no excuse for this BS. If there is not enough room, then build a bigger shelter AND continue to make it affordable for people to spay and neuter their pets !!

  8. Dr.Pamela Kaiser

    Perhaps someone of influence may take the opportunity to generate a forum where all involved parties ( staff,volunteers,citizens,veterinarians ) can congregate and discuss in person the goals that are important to each group as they percieve the needs of the Shelter Pets. As a Veterinarian with first hand insight into the situation, I believe open communication via a two way dialogue between all involved with clear goals mapped out may lead the way to lessening tensions and progressing along the path to greater support for the Pets of Parker County. The Weatherford Animal Shelter has a wonderful foundation to build upon and I can only hope that this conflict may result in positive growth where everyone can work together supporting the ultimate mission which I believe to clearly be improving the welfare of the Pets of Parker County on all fronts beyond what has been successfully achieved thus far.
    Specifically, I hope that the Veterinarians of Parker County could come together, participate in such a meeting and as a profession make suggestions and recommendation that could help the Shelter meet the goals of the city,community members and volunteers.
    It is clear that there are many aspects and positions and that this is a large complex situation that has failed in certain ways and will continue to fail on some levels to meet the needs of the Shelter Pets. It is my hope that everyone might come together and unify to outline goals and potential working solutions.
    Dr. Pamela Kaiser

  9. NO more bandiade fixes please–we are not going away this time–we need change out at the shelter,as a tax payer I want to see true numbers and accountability here–no more blaming others or lieing about why people are BANNED from our shelter. Everything that happens at the shelter should be public knowledge–volunteers should not have to be afraid to tell what they see or know about the shelter–that place should be an open book–the community needs to know that we are a high kill shelter–they need to know how many animals are put to death out there–in comparision to the amount of animals adopted by the community. I also want to know exactly what is happening to our animals that we send up to Forth Worth for the Pet Smart adoptions–I know that 3 of them were PUT TO SLEEP for URIS and 1 died of DISTEMPER shortly after adoption—sending dogs up there for adoption sounded great at first until we found out that they are vetted at the FW shelter and if they get sick after spending time there they end up being PUT TO DEATH. I would like to see the numbers posted in the Weather Democrat weekly—if the numbers of EUS continues to be high then as a community we will “all” know that we need to make “more” positive changes. I also sent emals to some of our elected officails—I have not even got a confirmation NOTE from any of them—– go figure!!

    1. All the more reason we need to show up and let our city leaders hear from us, Diane. We have voices; the animals do not.

      If I understand things correctly — and I have to draw my own conclusions because the City will not tell us anything — all those dogs that had been vetted and vaccinated before Xmas with the idea that they would be Xmas adoptions were put to death to make room for the animals from shelters such as Springtown with whom the city has contracts. This means that, in addition to city funds and those from Parker County, Weatherford is getting money from other municipalities. Why doesn’t the level of care for all these animals increase in line with the amount of money the city takes in??

      I agree with Dr. Kaiser that we have a foundation on which to build a better system of caring for homeless animals and a more involved community. What is getting in the way of this is an inflexible city bureaucracy whose every action is geared towards preservation of the status quo. Living, thinking, feeling animals who know fear, who suffer, who give those of us lucky enough to have them in our lives unconditional love, are dying by the thousands, entangled in a bureaucracy that cares more about policies and contracts than caring for them–as they have been empowered to do by those of us in the community who pay their salaries and fund their programs.

      We have it in our power to change that. Our shelter can become a source of community pride, a true sanctuary for homeless animals. What will it take to get others in the community involved? How can we act upon Dr. Kasier’s suggestion that all parties convene to resolve this crisis? tter dddddhomeless aimalsn

  10. Dr. Kaiser (and other interested citizens or professionals):

    I would like to invite you to join our closed FB group called Weatherford Shelter Reform Now. We are a passionate group that seeks positive change at OUR shelter.

    We need leadership and guidance and you and Barb have more first hand knowledge of many of the issues from within that volunteers, ex volunteers and citizens do not have.

    If you would like to join our closed group, please send me a message. I think I would need to be friends with you on FB to add you into our group.

    Lee Ann Shaffer Adams

  11. That was a well written and deeply emotional piece of literature. Thank you for the constant push for the involvement of the community to aid these voiceless animals in danger.

  12. Stephanie "Parker county taxpayer" Wright

    Well said Dr. Kaiser and Diane..now if it could actually happen…time will tell…I like the idea of the stats being published in the local paper…accountability..We have a beautiful shelter that needs a competent staff…it’s ashamed one of the best things the shelter had going has been ran off.

  13. I was speaking to Barb Pursely about the numbers and what they mean. After all, who knows what those numbers mean than Barb? She created a lot of those reports for the shelter.

    For instance, I asked her what Plano Shelter is doing to have 82% adoption rate. (our adoption rate is so much lower, something like 12% guessing) She explained to me that in Plano, due to location and population, have a HUGE number of visitors to the shelter every weekend and their hours are longer and they are open on Sunday.

    When you compare their numbers of visitors to those the Weatherford Shelter gets, our adoption numbers are actually better than Plano’s, but it doesn’t seem that way because we are only looking at adoption numbers and not visitor numbers.

    I hope Barb or Dr. Kaiser will chime in to explain this better.

    I will see if the data reports can be aquired and posted by Lenny, but again, it would be very helpful to have Barb explain what those numbers mean and if you take say for instance owner reclaims out of the equation, how that skews the numbers.

    So that is yet another thing that needs to be looked into. Shelter hours. Right now, they are open to the public from only 11-4 from Tuesday through Saturday.

  14. Killing happy healthy adoptable puppies is a crime, Someone needs to answer for this, I know many were killed for no reason, that could have been living a happy life in loving homes.Something needs to be done and fast.

  15. Yes Lee Ann we do need to get those numbers published, broken down and explained so we can see exactly what is going on—I do not want a a sugar coated report put out there for the public—We–weatherford reform, know better than to take those numbers they are going to throw out there, at face value. So if it is possible lets nip that in the bud before it happens!!

  16. Ex- Parker paws volunteer

    Yes longer hours and more days….. They even screwed that up…. They had volunteers willing to come out when the shelter was closed to run adoption events…… What kind of fool turns away good, hardworking people willing to do it for free? I think it would be great to be open on a Sunday ……

  17. I would like to clarify that in a meeting tonight where volunteering was discussed at the Community Center, Mr. Blaisdell said that the EU rate was 48%. The adoption rate was 52%. This is not correct. The LRR (live release rate) may be 52%. That includes animals that the owner reclaims, animals that are rescued by a 501c3 group, animals that are transferred to another shelter (ie: Fort Worth Animal Control/Care takes animals from WPCAS for their adoption center when they dont have enough healthy adoptable animals of their own to keep the adoption center full….which is another story all together) and animals who are adopted. The actual number of “adoption” animals is MUCH lower. The past four years those numbers had improved due to the hard work from volunteers with Parker Paws, but with Parker Paws no longer there, and the new outline of volunteering being restricted by the staff’s new “requirements”, I would guess at BEST the adoption rate to be 0-12%. And that is just my educated guess.

    Lee Ann Adams

    1. Ex- Parker paws volunteer

      I also includes livestock and in domesticated animals released back into the wild…. Other shelters do not include these animals in their statistics………Why does Weatherford do it? Probably to make it appear to be something it isn’t…..

  18. Information on the street is that Mr. Bates has been removed from overseeing the shelter. Typical, the same ACO is still there in her protected position. NOthing is going to change until those who want to see her removed from the shelter keep after the problem.. One appearance at City Council will not straighten this mess up. A serious Public Information Request needs to be done concerning the money involved and what has been done with any of it and by whom. This is one of the main causes of the problems there and a person in charge who needs to be replaced. The statements made to the City Council of Weatherford were a clear indication of the cause of the deplorable conditions there. A fancy facility will not insure proper care is taken with all animals who wind up there. The actions of the ACO are undefendable. MURDER of helpless animals needs to stop. Spite and meanness seen to be alive and well there as well. Terrible customer service is an obvious condition as well Those brave concerned citizens and volunteers who came forward need to be thanked and respected.

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