In the early days of the mayoral race, former Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle quietly proclaimed on his website that he wanted Dallas to become "No-Kill City," meaning: With significant tweaks to its policies and procedures, Dallas Animal Services should be able to stop euthanizing strays. Six months later, the city now says: That's a fine idea, especially since, in the last year, the city has put to death 20,684 dogs and cats brought into the shelter -- close to 75 percent of all animals taken in.
Moments ago, City Hall sent word that the Animal Shelter Commission has formed the Dallas Companion Animal Project, a task force "charged with developing a blueprint for ending the killing of adoptable animals." Says Rebecca Poling, a commission member who will chair the task force, "Our goal is to guide the community in identifying and increasing easily accessible programs that will allow us to stop the killing of healthy, treatable companion animals."
And how does the the task force intend to do that?
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Dallas CAP will focus on getting the community more involved on all levels: reducing the number of animals given up and abandoned by their owners; making it easier and more affordable for owners to spay and neuter their pets; increasing the number of stray and loose animals returned to their owners; offering options to people considering giving up their pets; and increasing the number of animals adopted and those transferred to other shelters and humane organizations.
Says the city, this is Mayor Mike's idea (hunh), in conjunction with new animal shelter boss Jody Jones, who once said: "I do not believe you need to 'declare' yourself 'No-Kill' in order to accomplish the goal as long as you adopt the proper philosophy." Jump for more.
More from the city's announcement:
"Ending the killing of adoptable animals is not about any one shelter becoming no kill," said Poling. "It's about the entire community coming together and embracing all the components of a successful plan: spay/neuter, education, adoption and rescue, owner retention, behavior hotlines, responsible pet ownership.
"No single agency or organization can possibly be responsible for all the components necessary to make Dallas no kill. We're looking for individuals, businesses, corporations, associations, nonprofits, advocacy groups and animal-welfare organizations willing to be a part of this effort by lending their names and encouraging others to do the same."
The City of Dallas is ready to make the move towards no kill said Joey Zapata, Interim Assistant City Manager. "We have a new Mayor who firmly believes that Dallas should have the goal of becoming no kill; a City Council committed to supporting the task force; and a new shelter manager, Jody Jones, who played a leading role in making Richmond, VA, a no-kill community."
Jones knows from her experience in Richmond that in addition to saving lives, reducing euthanasia rates community-wide would have other benefits as well.
"Working together to develop a successful no-kill plan will engage the community in the welfare of our animals and make Dallas a more pet-friendly place to live," said Jones. "It will save taxpayer dollars and result in a more educated and informed public. It also will encourage private/public partnerships, and, most important, it will improve the quality of life for companion animals and people in the City of Dallas."