***** Please read this document and contact City Council for an IMMEDIATE HOLD on DAS’ practice of tagging animals “adoption pending” for event hoarding of adoptable animals.
****** A sample letter you can copy and paste, along with email addresses, is available at the end of this post. Be the voice of the voiceless, please take 5 minutes and save hundreds of lives! These are sentient beings that need our help and our voices.
What is adoption event hoarding?
DAS has a practice of tagging highly adoptable dogs as “adoption pending” which flags them for the Petsmart Every Day Adoption Center or for an off sight adoption event. Once tagged, these dogs are off limits to the public and to rescues due to future adoption events. If you walked into DAS today and inquired about one of these highly adoptable dogs, you would be told the dog is not available. Instead of letting the dog leave with a viable adopter today, DAS hoards the dogs for days, or weeks, waiting for an adoption event.
What’s the big deal about hoarding animals for an adoption event?
What’s the harm if there is a successful series of adoption events and the dogs get adopted? Successful events would make it all worth it, right? Wrong. Data shows that:
- Hoarding dogs ahead of a weekend event unnecessarily limits space for weekly spikes in intake, like Wednesday sweeps. Animals die to make room for the hoarded dogs’ extended stay and for incoming dogs.
- A fiscal year’s worth of data indicates euthanasia (EU) spikes ahead of EVERY offsite event or contest that has “adoption pending” dogs.
- Rescue trends decline on weekends, which is counterintuitive.
- Not enough staff for service? and
- Highly adoptable hoarded dogs are NOT available to the rescues
- Data shows adoption numbers at the shelter drop ahead of offsite events or contests. Highly adoptable hoarded dogs are not available for public adoption
High adoption numbers from events are good right? No. Net gains (for the period of September 25-Oct 1, 2017) towards overall goals (number of animals with positive outcomes) is a NEGATIVE. That’s a -101 dogs against the historical average.
That means that due to the cause and effect of event hoarding, the shelter got 101 FEWER dogs out of the shelter and a good percent of them had negative outcomes, meaning they were euthanized.
At any given time, in excess of 73% of the shelter inventory was unavailable due to stray holds and “adoption pending” holds. That means that there is not enough space for incoming animals. At time of publication, event hoarding has hit an all time high of 30% of the shelter population, or 147 dogs. That’s 147 highly adoptable dogs that the average citizen, or rescue group, can see in the shelter, but can not adopt or rescue.
You can read our full presentation for more supportive data and statistics or flip through the highlight slides below the presentation. Instructions on how to contact city council to help stop this harmful practice are at the bottom of the blog post.
Hoarding dogs for adoption events is not in the city’s, the animals’, or the tax payers’ interest. The municipal shelter is NOT tasked with being a pet store and these misguided efforts are taking DAS away from their overall mission and goals.
Outstanding issues (outlined in the full presentation) include:
- Alignment with DAS Mission and Goals | Measure of Success
- Ethical Issues
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Return on Investment
Here’s how you can help save lives:
COPY AND PASTE this letter into an email, sign the bottom of the letter with your name and contact info, and email it to the entire City Council.
This link will send an email to the entire Council and the Mayor:
Dear City Council,
It has been brought to my attention that DAS’ current over prioritization on participating in offsite adoption events are negatively impacting overall animal outcomes in the shelter. Animals are being euthanized in unnecessary numbers daily due to the practice of placing animals on “adoption pending” holds and making them unavailable for adoption or rescue unless it is through an offsite adoption event at a Petsmart. I request that City Council directs DAS to immediately stop the practice of “adoption pending” tags which allow for the hoarding of highly adoptable dogs for adoption events. This directive will not adversely effect the availability of dogs for offsite adoption event, but it will stop the unnecessary euthanasia of hundreds of animals, all while potentially saving the city money. Lower investment, higher positive outcomes – win, win.
The city needs to step back and look at the policy at a 30,000 foot view. Once the policy and the return on investment has been reviewed, new procedures should be put in place. Hoarding dogs for adoption events is not in the city’s, the animals’, or the tax payers’ interest. The municipal shelter is NOT tasked with being a pet store and these misguided efforts are taking DAS away from their mission and goals. The shelter is not here to serve PetSmart, regardless of the financial incentives. This culture also encourages unethical behavior and bending of SOPs to suit the mission of serving the Petsmart Everyday Adoption Center (EAC) first. Breaking rules for self gain and a retaliatory culture is NOT the kind of empathetic and morally strong culture needed in a shelter environment. There is documentation of employees:
- Openly breaking SOPs
- Spay/ Neuter while still on hold
- Hold times being reduced from required SOPs
- Making owned pets unavailable and putting them in rooms that are closed to the public
- Rescues and municipalities are pulling dogs directly from the EAC.
- Denying citizens the right to adopt an adoptable dog and refusing to tell them where the dog is going for an offsite event.
DAS is here to serve the citizens and animals of Dallas. Our recommendation as the place to start when assessing current practices, the BCG recommended balanced mission statement for DAS (which DAS did not adopt).
For more supporting data and information, please see: http://www.gypsydogops.com/?p=9899
Thank you for your time and attention to our city’s animal issues.
You made it all the way to the end of the blog post – thank YOU for caring and for giving these dogs the chance they deserve. Feel free to comment on this post, or on any of the linked FB posts, if you have had a problem adopting, pulling, tagging, or tracking a dog at DAS. We’d love to hear from you.