Well, it’s been a heart wrenching few weeks here at GDO as we have tried to help facilitate feral pack trappings that failed due to DAS’ lack of behaviorally sound training, we have helped facilitate abuse and neglect investigations that have gone on way too long without citations, and we have been heart sick watching the general politics and daily calls for help from the neighbors speaking as the voice for the suffering animals.
We woefully watched the the public plea with the shelter to more publicly share the extreme capacity crisis at the shelter so that the community could be more aware and available to help ease the crisis. This is an area wide crisis and many other area shelters were reaching out to the media to help spread the word about their capacity issues. Those pleas from advocates to help tell the story to save the animals were met with a “we do that already”, it’s full everyday – today is not different”, “now go sit down” attitude.
We watched rescue people attack each other (including attacking us with libelous statements) instead of answering how to help an animal, we watched the city ignore requests from across departments to give updates on addressing animal concerns. We watched the city try to bandaid the “issue” with an illegal breed ban instead of taking the time to talk to the advocates that live in the hot zones. Exhausted yet?
Things are no better at the shelter than they are on the streets. We watched a tiny kitten climb out of the intake wagon and land on its head on the concrete floor at DAS and watched a very business as usual response as the kitty was picked up and put back in the cart without any examination or love. We watched a family in crisis get turned away with their sick dog at DAS without any direction or advise. We watched misinformation about DAS policy and procedure be cascaded to citizens on a daily basis. We watched DAS point the finger at 311 and 311 tell people they will not send anyone from DAS to help a cat in a car engine.
What are we measuring when we call ourselves a world class City? It is surely not safety and quality of life in our neighborhoods. And to add insult to injury, in addition to being unsafe in our own neighborhoods and having our behaviors changed due to animal related safety issues in our dailies lives, there will most likely be a record number of euthanasias at the shelter in May.
Sharon Grigsby of the Dallas Morning News so poignantly writes what we all sadly know to be true – there is no hope in sight. This is something we have sadly come to understand from years of lack of accountability, lack of commitment, and lack of follow up from our City leaders and department leaders. Sadly, there is nothing in the new proposed DAS budget that will meaningfully address these issues.
There is an old saying, “here’s a quarter, call someone who cares”. I’m curious to know who in Dallas City leadership that might be? We have been from the bottom all the way to the top with our plea for help. From the non responsive Mayor’s office to the dismissive leadership at DAS and DCAP, how can the citizen’s make accountability and change happen? Please don’t say vote – we did that.
Before I close out on what I told someone earlier today was my “frustration purge”, “I would like to give the City Attorney’s office some props. After 6 long months, we did get a much appreciated Q&A on illegal animal vending document delivered to us and a commitment to hold additional meetings. That process was way harder than it needed to be and required way too much pressure for participation. But still, recent participation is greatly appreciated and we have taken a baby step forward. Thank you Mai Brock.
After our meeting next Monday with Scott Griggs, we will have some concrete feedback, documentation, and action items for you all.
In the meantime, village, you are awesome! Keep doing what you do and one day soon very soon we will all storm the castle together. Our community does kick some @#$!
Tomorrow I will have nap, shake this off, drink a cup of coffee and put my candy coated shell on again. We have a long way to go to get to the promise that I made to Tasha the husky.
We’ll be posting some happy news next week as we start the process of planning the Oak Cliff Blessing of the Animals and all the education and resource initiatives that will go with it. Look for more info and volunteer opportunities soon.
Also, Sharon Grigsby has requested that everyone post foster opportunities and adoption events in the comments at the end of her blog post. Please read her blog post and let’s blow up that comment section!