Monday, February 27, 2012

This dog is the real deal

Georgie is the real deal. Is he smart, playful and friendly? Yes. Plus he's unbelievably handsome. He's so much fun to be around that you can't help but break out into a smile as he romps toward you. He'll pick up on obedience training in a hurry, which means he'll be the perfect exercise partner. Georgie is your Rockwall Adoptable Shelter Pet for the week of February 27, 2012.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pear is a peach of a dog

Pear is a wonderful dog. She has enough Great Pyrenees in her to give her the stature, the intelligence and the gentleness of that breed. But the lab in her keeps her a little smaller and thinner - with shorter fur, of course. Once she gets her heartworm treatments - ask us because financial assistance may be available - she's going to be a thriving, obedient and attentive companion. Pear is your Rockwall Adoptable Shelter Pet for the week of February 20, 2012.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Here's our FAQs about their FAQs

Newman, a large Maine Coon cat, plays the shy kitty as he rests in the arms of Karen Frederickson. He was classified as "feral" by the shelter staff. Under the proposed euthanasia protocol, Newman would have been killed by shelter staff.

The Rockwall City Council is requesting your input regarding the draft of a revised euthanasia policy written by city staff. Here are some clarifications of their published FAQs, which can be found on the city’s web site.
Point One. After achieving live outcomes of 96% or better during five of the last six months for all animals, city staff wants to take a huge step backward. They want to change the city council’s stated goal of saving 90% or better of all animals to saving only 90% of “companion” animals. As emphasized by the city’s FAQs, any animal deemed to be not a “companion” animal by shelter staff will be killed and will not be included in intake or live outcome numbers.
Point Two. Rockwall Pets has been asking the city for months to implement a standardized temperament testing program at the shelter, such as the SAFER program developed by the ASPCA. The current protocol, which will continue according to the city’s FAQs, calls for shelter staff to issue an opinion about the suitability of an animal for adoption. A formal temperament testing program, which can be performed by trained volunteers at no cost to the city or its taxpayers, is much more effective at determining whether an animal is ready for adoption, needs further socialization and/or training, or is unfit to safely live among humans and/or other animals.
The current shelter staff has a poor track record of identifying ill, aggressive and feral animals. For instance, many cats deemed “feral” or “semi-feral” by shelter staff have been socialized by volunteers - or needed no socialization at all - and are now in loving homes.

Rosie was killed by shelter staff during the September 2011 virus outbreak. No rescues, volunteers or fosters were allowed to help the doomed animals. September was the only period during the past six months that the live outcome rate dipped below 90%. The entire episode was handled under a veil of secrecy by shelter staff and city management.
Point three. The city's insistence that injured or ill animals may be killed is ludicrous. Rockwall Pets has proven that we will go to any lengths to save an animal's life. After all, that's our mission. The sad fact is that shelter staff rarely asks us to help an ill or injured animal. We have to discover and diagnose the pet's problem on our own before we can offer assistance.

Point four. The city appears to be making a financial argument as an excuse to decline the establishment of an active trap/neuter/release program as well as a barn cat adoption program for feral cats. In fact, Rockwall Pets has been asking city management for several months to allow us to undertake both TNR and barn cat programs at our expense and using our volunteer personnel. We have been ignored. Once again, this would be at no cost to the city or its taxpayers.

(As an aside, we promised city management last summer that the No Kill effort would not cost Rockwall taxpayers a single extra dime. We have more than lived up to our promise. In fact, the No Kill effort has injected tens of thousands of dollars into the city's economy. Find our more on our web site.)
This succinct summary of the benefits of TNR appears on the Dallas Animal Services web site: “The method of trapping and euthanizing was employed by DAS for decades. This method is not effective in controlling the cat population. The sudden depletion in numbers creates a vacuum that is filled by cats from outside the colony. The result is your neighborhood ends up with more unsterilized cats. A managed trap, neuter, and return feral cat colony will not be able to reproduce and will keep newcomers out.”

Cats like Zion have been classified as "feral" by shelter staff and treated as such (note the notched left ear, which the shelter gave him to signify that he was a neutered feral cat). Zion is now in a loving home following successful efforts by volunteers to socialize him. Under the proposed euthanasia policy, Zion would have been killed by shelter staff.
Point five. The City of Rockwall seems to hold citizen complaints as sacred. But under the new guidelines, if your neighbor traps your pet cat and issues a complaint, your fully domesticated cat will be killed by shelter staff. In other words, the shelter staff would be permitted to return to its “catch and kill” methods of the past.
Point six. The city council reviewed a previous draft of a revised euthanasia protocol last autumn. The draft included extensive categorizing of shelter animals in order to provide the public a clear picture of what animals were euthanized and why. That admirable attempt at public transparency was fully deleted in the current draft. The newly revised policy would allow shelter staff to kill animals under the cloak of secrecy. As citizens and taxpayers, we deserve to know how our money is being spent. A recent Associated Press poll showed that nearly three-fourths of Americans did not want their tax dollars to be used for killing healthy animals in municipal animal shelters.

Cuddles gets ready to go home to Midland with Tristan Minihan. He was near death when he was pulled from the shelter by Rockwall Pets volunteers. Under the proposed euthanasia policy, Cuddles could be killed by shelter staff without prior notification of qualified rescue groups.
Point seven. The previous protocol draft from last autumn contained a clause that gave qualified rescues a 72-hour notification period to save doomed animals. That clause has been deleted from the new draft. Animals will be killed without giving groups like Rockwall Pets a chance to rescue these pets. This is important: If shelter staff were to mis-identify the adoption suitability of a pet, we could be there as a back-up. Under the new policy draft, the animals are simply doomed.
In summary, this proposed draft of a new euthanasia policy makes a mockery of Rockwall’s recent success and represents a huge step backward. We ask the city council to stand by their unanimous vote of August 15, 2011 by rejecting this policy as currently written.
Read the new euthanasia policy draft as posted on the city’s web site. (We admit that we don't understand the part about "viscous" animals. Why we should be worrying about a pet's viscosity, we don't really know.)
Learn how you can make your voice heard by looking for “Citizen Input Requested" on the city’s web site.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mr. Handsome is in the house!

Have you ever seen a more handsome dog? The color of Jack's coat is simply stunning. He's extremely intelligent and mellow. The poor guy obviously hasn't lived the happiest of lives. It appears he's been abused, so he's very cautious around strangers. A patient, loving touch soon turns him into a loyal companion. Your love will transform Jack into a faithful and ultra-handsome family member. He's your Rockwall Adoptable Shelter Pet for the week of February 13, 2012.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

He could be the star of your house

Winston has been everywhere! He's been in the newspaper. He's been on television. He's been receiving extensive obedience training at Ponderosa Pet Resort. He's been everywhere except in a loving home. This handsome dog is ready to be your devoted companion. Rockwall Pets is paying for his adoption fee. You'll also receive a free training lesson with Dennis Morrow at Ponderosa. And you'll have the pride of living with your very own media star! What a deal! Winston is your Rockwall Adoptable Shelter Pet for the week of February 6, 2012.