Why can’t volunteers photograph adoptable pets at this “shelter”?

by Michelle “ex-parker paws volunteer” Kays –

If the average citizen visits the municipal (i.e.; tax-payer funded) Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter and sees a cute dog or cat they’re interested in, they’re likely to use their cell phone to take a photo to share with their friends and perhaps post on a social media site.  So why are volunteers stopped by shelter staff and told they can’t photograph adoptable pets at the shelter and share on Facebook for potential adopters?  This seems like harrassment, unless they’ve started a new policy of collecting all cell phones and cameras from visitors to the shelter.  What exactly is their Mission Statement?  Why wouldn’t a shelter’s mission statement include encouraging adoptions for the homeless pets?  Shelters across the U.S. are posting their dogs in hopes of them making it out alive….why is this shelter so opposed to it……what are they afraid of?

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Incidentally, don’t go to the Weatherford/Parker County Animal “Shelter” with thoughts of adopting any of these cute little puppies. These adoption ready puppies were part of the 30+ puppies that were killed at the animal “shelter” days before Christmas. Why were they killed? Was it because:

5 responses

  1. Well here’s some news! The photo ban has been lifted…. sort of. Last night one volunteer notified that we can again take pictures of adoptable animals. Four of us showed up today to do just that, however we waited for more than a half-hour for the shelter management to verify the fact and inform us that the photos were to be downloaded by shelter staff to be used on their website ONLY. We are still not allowed to post these photos on Petfinder.com or Adoptapet.com. So if someone wants to see what animals are at the shelter it’s as easy as: 1. Go to http://www.weatherfordtx.gov, 2. Under Departments, select Animal Shelter 3. Then select Adopt A Pet 4. Then when the new window opens select Dogs or Cats. See how easy that was… NOT! And you get is a table with thumbnail sized photos. Still a pretty example for a municipal operation.
    With the other sites you just type in your zip code and you’ll be directed to animals in all the shelters in your vicinity.
    So summing it up, the volunteers are graciously being allowed to do the work that the shelter employees cannot do satisfactorily.

  2. Things have changed as far as where to see adoptable pets. Thankfully they are now being posted on Adoptapet.com.

  3. Change has come again… and unfortunately it’s not a positive one. For four weeks a few volunteers have been able to take photographs of adoptable animals to post to online adoption sites. Conditions to this permission was new volunteer applications were to be filed (including a $5 non-refundable fee) and that the picture files were to be downloaded from the camera to one of the shelter’s computers by a staff member. It took three weeks before any of these pics were by the shelter on their Adoptapet.com page.
    Yesterday, February 29th, AFTER a new round of photos were taken, those who filed an application were contacted by the Asst. City Manager notifying them that the volunteer program was being reorganized and that their services would not be required at the shelter for at least a month. Earlier in the day Facebook was buzzing with rumors of an unnamed city official desiring to ban more people from the shelter. Coincidence? I think not. Being one of the vocal dissidents, I expected to be one of those new “undesirables” and the other two volunteers I worked with yesterday were equally concerned. Later that day they received the same phone call that I did, laying them off as well.
    So, in summary, am I just being paranoid and the reorganization is just that? If so, the question begs: why is it necessary to suspend volunteer activities while a new program is being developed? Or is the more sinister idea of selective banning truly representative of the obduracy that is Weatherford City government?

  4. Me again. Sharon Hayes contacted me today, the day following the call that informed me that volunteers would not be needed at the shelter for about a month. I must admit she sounded quite sincere and I’m all in favor of giving her the benefit of the doubt. But I will only wait so long.
    But what does this mean to the animals at the shelter with each day that passes without volunteers? It is the volunteers who walk them. The volunteers socialize and love on the timid, frightened ones who don’t know why they are are there or what they may have done wrong. It was the volunteers who provided a kind word or a loving touch just so the animals wouldn’t have to spend each and every day where the only human contact was someone merely cleaning their kennel or feeding and watering them.
    So I’ll wait. Will it truly be a reawakening of shelter-volunteer relationships to benefit the animals, or is this just a delay to try to stop the flow of angry letters to City Council members and local newspapers? We need an answer, not promises, and we need it SOON!

  5. Volunteers are still not allowed back on shelter property….we keep waiting and waiting and waiting….some volunteers have since moved onto other shelters outside Parker County to help, because let’s face it, there is not a shortage of animals in need of rescue. Just terribly sad that you can’t help the ones in your own backyard.

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