Awareness Followed By Action

Shelter DogI was reading through the Dallas Animal Services Annual Report; it’s disgusting. This is ONE TEXAS shelter, imagine the statistics across Texas. We need to continue to create the awareness of the severity of the problem and demand action.

According to the Dallas Animal Services Commission Annual Report, DAS impounded: 34,399 animals in 2009-2010, adopted out 2,760, redeemed 1,669, rescued 4,492, classify 589 as Misc disposition ( which is defined as returned to the wild, escaped, lost, stolen, died in shelter, etc.), & killed 24,793. I’m mad! We work so hard to save as many as we can, and as you can see by this report, we are fighting against the inhumanity of the people employed by taxpayer dollars to care for them. It’s not a pet overpopulation problem, it’s the arrogance and carelessness of elected officials and city management.  Read the Dallas Animal Services Annual Report report.

The Commissioner’s Overview is both heartbreaking and disgusting; enough to make even the most cordial person angry beyond belief. How do these people keep their jobs? How are they not fired and convicted of animal cruelty? Here are a few excerpts …

  • A Dallas police officer filed a complaint after he witnessed a DAS employee drag a horribly injured dog with broken legs across the pavement.
  • A DAS employee was investigated for allegedly hitting a cat with a catch pole,causing severe trauma to the cat’s head and paws.
  • The HVAC system in the three-year-old, $15 million “state-of-the-art” shelter failed repeatedly throughout the summer, leading to reports by staff of several animals that may have died of heat stroke.
  • When DAS responded to a call to remove 118 cats from a hoarder’s apartment, a TV camera caught DAS officers dragging the frightened animals across a parking lot with catch poles looped around their necks and abdomens.  At the subsequent seizure hearing, the DAS veterinarian recommended that all 118 cats be euthanized, although she had not performed health and behavior examinations onall of them.  Based on this recommendation, the judge ordered that they all be euthanized.  Despite pleas by rescue groups willing to take some of the cats, staff refused to ask the judge to amend his order.

March 2011, Harbored Souls Rescue tagged this scared little girl; we networked her on our Pawstively Texas Facebook page and found a foster home. Then we learned DAS had killed her covering up their mistake by saying she was sick. Rescues are always notified in advance if a pet becomes sick so the can get it to vet care. A week or so before, Karen took another sick one that was diagnosed with Parvo. DAS made a mistake and killed this scared little girl, then shamelessly covered it up with a lie. When will people finally have enough and demand change?
Dallas Animal Services Kills Another Dog Tagged for Rescue

In the animal rescue/network community, we see people lose sleep over the ones we can not save, people give sacrificially of their time and financial resources to care for these innocent animals, then we have cruel-hearted people in charge of their lives and well-being. If we truly want change, we need to be the change agents for the change we want to see. Get involved in your local community; use the Open Records Act to find out what’s happening to the pets at your local shelter and stand up for them. If not us, who will?

Ryan Clinton, No Kill Advocate reminded me of this St Augustine quote:

“Hope has two beloved daughters, anger and courage. Anger at the way things are, and the courage to change them.”

He says, “Without anger, we won’t get anywhere.” How sad that factual information and compassion are not enough to enact change, how sad that we must first get angry and loud?


  1. I hope they get punished for treating these poor animals so bad. Animals have feelings & they should be treated the same way they do them if they can’t have compassion on them. This is horrible that they treat them this way instead of trying to find them homes. They must not have any feelings at all. They will have to answer to God someday for this. May God Bless The Rescue Groups who help these poor animals day in & day out.
    Gail Waller

  2. I totally agree with you. these people need to be punished. There is absolutely no reason to every do this to any animal. Animals are a wonderful part of everyones lives. They will always be there for you, they will be your best friend. We have to find a way to put a stop to this.These poor things have already gone through enough in their lives, why should they have to pay for other peoples mistakes. The deserve the right to live and enough lives as much as a human does. I support all the rescue groups, you are terrific and we need alot more of you

  3. I am NOT surprised about DAS. They are obviously ignorant and have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO idea what it takes to TRULY CARE for an animal. It breaks my heart to know that more than likely any animal that ends up there will die there. My parents adopted a dog from DAS and he had parvo. They called to tell them that he had parvo and they said if you would like bring him back and pick out another animal. They then proceeded to tell my dad that if he did bring the baby back they would just kill him. Funny to me they have alllll this money for this new facility but they don’t have the money to care for animals? I pray everynight for these poor babies.

  4. I was at DAS a few weeks back and was behind the scenes with a rescuer pulling some dogs. We saw puppies in kennels next to a parvo mess that was left in a kennel for hours without being cleaned up. All the animals in that building were exposed to parvo and no one cared at all when we commented and asked about why it was left there to contaminate the other dogs. And there was feces and food thrown in the sinks in the same room. It made me sick with anger – and thats my city of Dallas tax dollars paying their salaries. All while they mistreat and kill dogs for profit. Breaks my heart. We got three out that day, but what a small payoff compared to those left to die. Heartbreaking.

  5. I just found this on craigslist and read all of your storys. It made me cry. This is so sad that these animals have to go through this. I can’t believe that a place that is worth that much money and has plenty of workers can’t even do their job the way it’s suppose to be done. God does see everything they are doing and they will pay one day for the way they are doing these poor babys.

  6. Why don’t we stage a protest in front of the DAS, and make it when the most people would see it? I’m sure we could get TV coverage. I am absolutely outraged at this. My entire family does rescue, and we have for decades.

    Anyone interested in this, please feel free to email me at


  7. I saw this on craigslist. It is disgusting! What’s worst is all of the people losing their jobs are sending these babies to places like this and garland anima shelter which is just as pathetic and are being killed. No compassion. Pray for the furbabies to find homes and hopefully more safeharbor shelters to house those who aren’t getting picked up so quickly.

  8. Maybe we can team up to stop this in both citites. San Antonio, is having the same issue and bunch of us are trying to fight it.

  9. I disagree with one comment…that pet overpopulation isn’t the problem. It is a huge problem. Look at these numbers people. I know that Harbored Souls Rescue does everything they can to tag ad pull as many as possible, but there are simply NOT enough foster homes or people wanting to adopt these precious animals. Way TOO MANY unwanted litters being brought into shelters all over Texas and the United States. Just look at petfinder or adoptapet or visit any shelter. They are all FULL and overflowing. What are the shelters to do? They must euthanize. Too many brought in and not enough being adopted out or pulled by rescue.

    I am NOT dismissing the animal cruelty complaints. These staff members should be punished for dragging animals and not cleaning up parvo messes and so fort…we must stand up and complain about how our tax dollars are being spent!

  10. I just got a puppy from there on 24Feb12 and we are treating her for parvo… It is still going on. The puppy had been under their care for 10days…

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