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Rescue Groups Say Arlington Putting Animals Down Too Quickly

By Jason Allen, CBS 11 News

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Animal rescue groups are accusing Arlington animal services of euthanizing dogs and cats that people are trying to adopt.

The city however said it’s proud of its department and constantly working to improve it, while admitting to dropping the ball in the case of one dog.

A half dozen different rescue volunteers told CBS 11 it is common to tag animals for rescue, only to go to pick them up and find that they’re gone.

Volunteer Katie Blackshear said she was in line at the shelter to pick up a group of kittens last week, when she learned they had been euthanized.

“There’s no telling how many families have lost their cats, just because of laziness,” Blackshear said Friday.

Volunteers said the city regularly sends out a list with descriptions of the animals that are scheduled to be put down. Volunteers have until 2 p.m. to tag an animal for rescue.

Several though said they get no confirmation if their emails are received, and phone calls regularly go unanswered.

They are also concerned animals are being labeled as wild, untreatable or unhealthy which increases their chances of being euthanized.

Blackshear demanded to take home two cats labeled that way the same day her kittens were put down.

She said the cats were fine after $12 worth of veterinary treatments. “I’m not going to go spin my wheels down there and have these kind of things happen to me. I can’t take it,” Blackshear said. “It’s just too much.”

The shelter has taken in 5, 123 dogs and cats since October, an increase of 11-percent.

Partly because of that, the live release rate at the shelter has dropped to 47-per cent, nine points lower than last year.

But the number of animals adopted out has also increased. Rescue groups have saved 786 dogs and cats this year.

In a detailed response to a long list of complaints from volunteers, the city explained why some cats are listed as wild.

“Cats are reevaluated each day to determine temperament changes. If a cat proves eligible for adoption during the 3 or 7 day holding period, it is transferred directly to adoption,” the explanation read.

The city said a black lab that was put down after two people expressed interest before the deadline, had an upper respiratory infection that made it ineligible to adopt.

A city spokesman did admit that staff “dropped the ball” in the case of a husky with two-inch nails and matted fur that for some reason were not treated.

But in a letter to animal groups a city spokesman wrote, “We are progressive in our approach and remain committed to ongoing operation improvements.”

In the same letter the city said it is adding a supervisory position to community outreach.

It is also providing direct contact information for rescue groups and a dedicated placement hotline to get information easier.  For more information, click here.

  • Sue Short

    I adopted Antonio from them in October of last year. I was notified by Adopt-a-pet
    about him. It took two e-mails which they never answered and three phone calls to
    get an adoption hold put on him. The person I spoke over the phone was most unhelpful. When I went to fill out the paper work and pay the adoption fees, they were distant. I had to pick him up in receiving, I can tell you one thing for sure that the relieve on the part of that staffer was so over powering that you could feel it.

    • Christi in Keller

      I rescued two very sick puppies and spent a ton of money to treat their medical problems. THEN found out it would be almost $400. for both to spay and neuter. A lot of people, with the best of intentions, take in a cute puppy or kitten and are unprepared for the EXPENSE. The Humane Society has a low cost s/n program but you must be below poverty level, or a senior citizen, to get their low cost rate. Until we initiate a a program to allow people to be able to AFFORD to do the right thing, the taxpayers are just going to have to keep paying to house and euthanize these precious babies. Where do you want YOUR taxdollars going?

      • Heather Shoven

        Kristi there is a low-cost spay and neuter program near Keller. It is on Westport PKWY off 35W a 10-minute drive from my part of Keller. A few years ago I got my dog neutered there for $45 with the E collar. My in heat foster dog was $90 with micro-chipping and rabies vac. I don’t know where you went but you overpaid. If you ask around people will be more than happy to share low-cost options. TCap did my dogs shots this year for $25 and Heart worm tests are inexpensive as well. Check out the TCAP website for up to date pricing.

  • Rescue Groups Say Arlington Putting Animals Down Too Quickly « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Rescue Groups Say Arlington Putting Animals Down Too Quickly Animal rescue groups are accusing Arlington animal services of euthanizing dogs and cats that people are trying to adopt. Go to News Source […]

  • Bruce Rogers

    The Arlington Shelter does not work with rescues. They NEVER answer the phone. A rescue jumps through hoops to pull a dog, never gets a response, and finds out the dog has been killed by the shelter. Arlington is one of the worst shelters in the area. Maybe they should ask Ginger at Fort Worth Animal Car and Control how cooperation is supposed to work.
    If the citizens of Arlington knew how little their shelter management cared about the lives of their animals there would be changes at city hall, or shelter management. Whichever comes first. Texans love their animals.

  • Donna Price

    Arlington is notorious. Pass a No-Kill law statewide and it will force these shelters to find ways to get the animals adopted AND make them work with rescues. To euthanize an entire litter of highly adoptable kittens is pathetic, as is a 53% euthanasia rate.

    • Curious Bystander

      Pass a No-Kill law statewide and my taxes will go up to support it. You who love these animals so much can pay for them, I won’t.

      • Kerry Koen

        Then move to a differnt state!!

      • Susan Winters

        I feel really sorry for your lack of a soul.

      • Mel

        @Curious, this no-kill law has saved money in cities where it’s become law. It’s better and cheaper to collect an adoption fee for an animal, than to buy chemicals and pay employees to kill it. Do your homework before you post.

  • Dianne Anthony

    It’s election time. Where do the mayoral candidates stand? Has anyone interviewed them like they did in Dallas and Fort Worth? Thank you for getting this story aired. Employees there are deadpan in demeanor and slow to respond. I adopted from them 2 years ago…2 hours waiting for paperwork while she answered the phone…

  • Katie Blackshear

    I’m Blackshear… They are lazy and don’t like cats at that shelter. I love cats. I won’t let this go.

    • Susan Winters

      Katie , most shelters hate cats including Operation Kindness, Aspca of Dallas and Humane Society of North Texas. I love cats to and dont understand why these 3 groups claim to be animal rescue groups when they clearly are only open for dog rescue and adoptions. A look at their websites and the animals they take out for exposure for adoptions are more then enough proof. So I guess Arlington is in good company as an organization that can be labeled as cat haters.

      • Katie Blackshear

        I know Susan. I can’t stand that these people are trying to discredit me. I told the truth. Facts only. They habitually drop the ball as far as cats are concerned and label most of then as WILD. I’m not buynig it…

    • arthur payne

      my name is arthur payne. i need info on rescue shelters. 817-217-3792 or

    • arthur payne

      how can i contact missblackshear about rescues. or jason allen

    • Suzanne Berk

      You are so totally wrong and I feel sorry for you, if you would take the time to not listen to others and get to know how a shelter works and the employees in a shelter, you would not feel the way you do. This sounds crazy to you, but I am being sincere, have been in rescue many years and worked with Arlington, my group did the fundraising for that new shelter. I would love to have an hour of your time to talk to you.

      • Megan

        To Katie: I do not know you nor do I know Suzann, but isn’t the point of this issue to help save animals and fix problems at the Arlington shelter (IF there really is an issue) Everyone has the right to post their opinions, but no one has the right to call others names. Grow up. I used to work for Arlington AC several years ago back at the old facility, and I can tell you that we did not put down cats because we didn’t like them. As for currently, I don’t work there anymore I am at a smaller city, but for you to assume that the shelter staff as a whole hates cats is ridiculous. I’m positive there are employees there who love their job and love the animals. Unfortunately, like any other shelter, you get some low life employees who are just there for a paycheck. Address the situation at hand and move on and hopefully everything will work out for everyone and of course the animals.

      • Dianne Anthony

        They were helpful in the past at the old facility. Things have devolved into a scenario where rescues are not called, phone calls not answered, and cooperation for the good of the animals and the taxpayer dollar is not happening.I do not know why.

      • Kris Scally

        Katie is telling the complete truth about the situation. I don’t think it is appropriate for you to assume that she is just listening to others. She is an advocate for animals and I am very proud of her for standing up for them!

      • Katie Blackshear

        You are an idiot. Everyone know who you are and that you have many ties to that shelter and are just trying to discredit ALL THE FACTS. Stop wasting your time, no one is buying your lies.

    • Suzanne Berk

      Being called an idiot because I prefer to work with a shelter and resolve any issues with them, personally and not try to get on tv and make allegations is a compliment.

  • Ally

    Jason, thank you for investigating this story. The animals have no voice and shelters need reform. We hope you’ll do a follow-up story to see if they do indeed improve their care for the animals entrusted to them. Quite a few of us network on Facebook ( ), and we saw all of these stories you covered in tonite’s news. Many cities and rescues have their own Facebook page to create more awareness. The Arlington shelter does not; they could work with volunteers to run their page, like other cities (Irving)

    I would also like to see another story on the Sanger shelter; a report last year showed they basically did nothing and almost 100% of all animals in their care were killed.

    Thanks again, Jason, for creating awareness of the need for Arlington shelter reform!

    • Katie Blackshear

      Jason was aweome. GREAT reporter and took only the facts from me during the interview. The city and shelter need to STOP with the canned emails to all of us and get to work on fixing the situation. I am all over the rescue pages on facebook and thanks to the networking we can start the changes. Those people that work at the shelter all need to be fired. Not worthy to flip burgers as far as I am concerned. They were rude and MEAN to me. Even afte
      r they killed my babies. Thank GOD I got the mother and baby out when I did!!

      • Jim

        I agree! The city should stop wasteing our tax dollars for the benefit of unwanted pets. The authorities should immediately dispose of any stray or at large uncontrolled pet. The idea of a shelter paid for, maintained, and operated by taxpayers is repulsive! If pet owners want little fido and fifi pampered, they should take the responsiblility themselves, Cut the taxpayers out!

  • Sunshine

    I work to help rescues save animals. Some shelters are the pits to work with. Some of the smaller ones are great. Like Everman and Segoville, I think. I was sent the list of animals who only had today to be adopted. So many animals on that list. People worked hard all day to save them. I do not know how many were saved.

    To the person who surrendered their dog…I am saying this so others know. If your dog is picked up as a stray it has so many days to be claimed. Different shelters give different amount of time. But say 5 days then they give so many days to be adopted and if not the animal is euthanized. When an owner surrenders their pet they do not get the first amount of time. In my example at city xyz the stray animal is picked up and has 5 day hold on it then it has 5 days to get adopted. An owner surrender only has the second 5 days. They are much more likely to be put down.

    Shame on Arlington. And citizens this is YOUR employees and YOUR tax dollars at work.

    • Heather

      Owner surrenders can be walked from the front desk to the back of the shelter and put down. There is absolutely NO HOLD TIME required on owner surrenders.
      Please do not confuse the general public.

      • Kerry Koen

        So true! Surrendering your dog to a shelter, unless it is a very rare no-kill, is pretty much an automatic death sentence, ESP for Pit Bulls. They are THE BEST when treatedc with love & respect, but never even given 1/2 a chance to be adopted. SO WRONG!

  • Alysa

    I dont understand why highty treatable issues such as UTI and uppper respiratory are considered a death stentence here. It also seems that bully breed are EU more than others.

  • Jim

    Taxpayers should have no financial obligation to support unwanted/abandoned/at large pets. If rescue groups want the responsibility they should arrange for animal control officers to deliver the pets directly to the rescue group and cut the expense for shelter management from the taxpayers. Otherwise, the future of these animals should be at the least possible cost to the taxpayers.

    • Susan Winters

      Jim I shouldnt have to pay taxes to have roads build for you to go to work on or in your neighborhood.

    • Beverly

      Jim – My husband and I have no children – – therefore we should not have to pay taxes to educate yours. Unfortunately, that is just the way it works – so I do it. Your lack of a soul and/or compassion for helpless beings is frightening.

  • Dirk

    I’ve had excellent experience with Arlington Animal Services. We adopted our healthy pup who has been a great addition to our family. They have a well kept beautiful new shelter, dog park, and onsite vet. We’ve volunteered. There were lots more volunteers helping out the staff who have a very tough job dealing with ramifications of irresponsible pet owners. I found the staff helpful, but busy keeping up with all the activity. Certainly, they are not eager to euthanize. I remember all the exotics they saved last year from that horrible situation.

    • D.Delaney

      Arlington’s only involvement in that exotics raid was man hours because it was in the city limits. The SPCA took custody and care of all the animals on day one, and upon final court decision, all animals were immediately signed over to SPCA. AAS never cared for any of those animals…..give credit where it is deserved.

    • Dianne Anthony

      Yes, and when they have an increased intake they have to kill for space. What animals get killed? the ones who have been there the longest. As I said in an earlier post…the attitude there seems to have changed in the last year from good to poor.

  • Ellen Barton

    Not all rescues are created equal. Many are great, but many are nothing more than hoarders who just want to feel good about saving an animal. These animals sometimes live in horrible situations until they are saved by someone else or die of starvation, disease, and neglect. An animal that is surrendered to a shelter belongs to the shelter and no one can go in and demand to get that animal. Shelter employees are human and bad mistakes are sometimes made, just as in hospitals, but most people who work in a shelter love the animals and are hurt more than anyone when an animal has to be put down.

  • Buffy

    Change is possible …. you just have to want it, as the following article about Lynchburg, VA illustrates. It’s election time folks … the perfect time to DEMAND better from your local government. If you allow a local animal control agency to be non-responsive and ill-managed, it sends a message to every agency in local government that mediocre (or worse) is okay. In Austin, a management change made a huge difference. It seems appropriate in Arlington too!

    What a difference seven months can make!

    Lynchburg, Virginia (February 24, 2011). Seven months ago, the Lynchburg Humane Society (LHS) reevaluated its services and decided that sweeping changes were needed in order to save more animals’ lives. Today, the Lynchburg Humane Society is celebrating the overwhelming success of these life-saving efforts and anticipates even greater results in the future.

    From July 2009 through January 2010, the LHS saw a 65% reduction in its euthanasia rate compared with the same time last year; that equates to 569 fewer animals euthanized. But what is most surprising is that the “save rate” (or “live release rate”) rose from 46% to 72% for July through January. The live release rate is the percentage of animals that leave the LHS alive through adoption, return to owner, and transfer to other organizations. With its new and innovative programs such as an appointment system for owners needing to surrender their pets, re-homing services, a foster program, low cost spay/neuter, and adoption events, the LHS has been able to reduce its animal intake, help owners keep or re-home their pets, increase adoptions, and slow the intake of surrendered pets.

    “More animals are making it out of our shelter alive; we are making great progress with the help of the community,” says Makena Yarbrough, Executive Director.

    Continues Yarbrough, “We know that kitten season is fast approaching, so we are concerned that our save rate will decline. We honestly can’t do this life-saving work without help from the community. That includes everything from donations, volunteering, and owners willing to wait to bring us their pets because they know it gives their animals a better chance. In return, this helps the other homeless and lost animals who don’t have anyone to advocate for them.”

    The Lynchburg Humane Society is a non-profit animal welfare organization that provides a safe environment for the lost, abandoned, and homeless animals of the Lynchburg community. We strive to promote humane and responsible treatment of animals, unite lost pets with their families, and find loving homes for the animals in our care.


    For more information about the Lynchburg Humane Society and ways you can support our life-saving programs, we encourage you to contact Makena Yarbrough, at 434-846-1358, ext. #13 or visit our website at Donations can be made online or mailed to the Lynchburg Humane Society, 3305 Naval Reserve Road, Lynchburg, VA 24501.

  • Buffy

    Seagoville animal shelter sets ‘no-kill’ goal


    WFAA, April 28, 2011

    SEAGOVILLE — When you hear the term “animal control,” you probably think of crowded cages full of dogs and cats for whom time is running out.

    But that’s not what is happening in Seagoville, and Sgt. Karl Bailey gets credit for that.

    Bailey admits he’s somewhat of a softie when it comes to animals.

    When the Seagoville Police Department took over the city’s animal shelter in January, the chief put Bailey in charge.

    His first priority? To stop using a gas chamber to kill cats and dogs no one wants to adopt.

    “I can’t in good conscience put down animals that are healthy,” he said. “I can’t sleep at night if I did that.”

    And that’s what caught our attention.

    Sgt. Bailey traded in his patrol car for an animal control truck. He learned to administer vaccinations from a local veterinarian.

    And ordered the shelter’s staff to stop euthanizing cats and dogs that can’t find homes.

    “You don’t sleep very good at night knowing you have to do this, and sometimes you wonder is God going to forgive you for it,” said Seagoville police Officer Brenda Stevens.

    Just last month, the City of Austin pledged to adopt out or release 90 percent of the animals that come into its shelter rather than euthanize them.

    Seagoville has a much smaller operation, but it is trying to become the first 100 percent “no-kill” city shelter in the state.

    “Sgt. Bailey has made it well known and broadcast it far and wide — he wants help. He wants rescue partners. He wants volunteers,” said Jonnie England of the Metroplex Animal Coalition. “He wants to save lives here, and that’s just commendable.”

    Seagoville has either adopted out or given rescue groups more than 75 cats and dogs.

    He has even offered them on Facebook, trying to change the perception that municipal shelters like Seagoville’s no longer need to be places where animals go to die.

    • Kerry Koen

      I met Sgt Bailey today picking up Stanley to transport him to FaIrfield with another rescue dog from the Irving shelter. I could tell just by the way Sgt. Bailey interacted with Stanley and how helpful he was to me, he was an animal lover and A GREAT MAN THAT IS TRULY THESE ANIMAL’S ADVOCATE! He wants only the best for them. If every municpl shelter had a Sgt. Bailey, they would all be No-Kill!

  • Megan

    Yes Dianne I know that Katie did not have a dog, there was another lady named Regan (who has since deleted her post) writing about how she was upset when she surrendered her pregnant dog to Arlington and they put it down after a week rather than let it have its babies and be adopted out. And yes I do believe that “no kill” shelters could work, it’s just very difficult and takes all of the shelter staff working together to make it happen.

  • janie

    I have encountered my own issues with this shelter, getting routed to a main number that is not to a shelter worker, having a message taken and often times NO return phone call or email reply-a lab we tried to save a week ago was PTS even after I told the person at the shelter we had someone who wanted this dog and I would have rescue tag her -in addition she had 2 people who wanted to adopt her-they did not even give it time, within 1 hr of my call-they killed her anyhow! . when an animal has just hrs to live and we cannot get thru -this is counterproductive and the innocent animals are the ones who pay the price.

    As far as the person who says we are wrong and need to take the time to get to know the shelter works and how they work-this must be someone who works at the Arlington shelter or has in the past! -I have experienced AAS first hand.. FIRST impressions mean a lot and I have not been impressed at this point.. they make it very difficult for people to get a dog on the EU list, going thru hoops with a very limited time to do it in.. I am involved with many other shelters and can tell you they do everything they can to try and work with the public and rescuers to save as many as they can-it is called teamwork and I hope that this can be established with AAS because in the short and long run the ones who suffer are the innocent animals..
    I know Katie personally and she has done a lot in the rescue community and what she has stated is absolutely the TRUTH! I saw first hand what they put her thru the day she tried to save the kittens..

  • cdumas

    It concerns me that a dog would be deemed not adoptable because of an upper respiratory infection. Why? Antibiotics are certainly available. There are shelters that will adopt dogs that are heartworm positive, and as long as the people adopting the animal is okay with the illness and is able to afford treatment, why not adopt them out? If I had the land, I would adopt and rescue as many as I could.

    • Kerry Koen

      I agree! We adopted a Jack/Rat mix from the Irving shelter and had to leave him a couple of days to be neutered. My kids had already picked out and LOVED this dog plus he was on hold in my name as adopted. When my husband went to get him, they said he was UNadoptable bc he had Kennel Cough.. Fortunately, my husband knew the kids would be devastated if he came home without Brett so he pointed we had ALREADY adopted him. He was OUR dog at that point, the only reason he was still at the shelter is bc he had to be neutered and it would be 48 hrs before they could do it, Kennel cough is EASILY treated with a antibiotic and if he did have it, he got it in the shelter. After signing all kinds of paper work saying the shelter made no gaurantees as to the health of the dog blah,blah, Brain brought Brett home to our ecstatic kids and I never heard him cough ONCE! He’s been perfecty healthy and a GREAT dog in the 9 months that we have had him. It would have been senseless and heartless to EU him for a cough (that he did not even have).

  • Susie Sunshine

    I think a 47% euthanasia rate says it all! WOW!!

    • Ryan

      It should be 100% !

  • Yvonne

    Does no one remember the report on the shelter in Sanger – hard to find – hard to get to – had to make appointment to see animals or to see if they had our animal – was euthanizing animals while others animals could watch – which was against TX law & vet in charge was signing off that everything was on the up & up on the recordkeeping & it wasn’t, but when He was interviewed – he thought what he was signing off on was truthful. – Come On Arlington – Do your job – get some compassion & Help your citizens & all others Adopt your animals-We just paid for your fairly brand new facility w/Dog Park adjacent – & SPCA/Ft. Worth has teamed up w/Petsmart I believe & that program has been very successful – let’s learn from that program & be successful -lets use our local TV/City Channels to show pics or animals – like they do for Mansfield in the Mansfield-Mirror Newspaper – they could put pics in the Arlington-Citizen Journal that they drop in our driveways every week & it’s free!

  • Mr Black

    I agree with Jim. Our tax dollars should not go towards the maintainance of unwanted animals. If a dog or cat is brought in or picked up, it should be kept for no more than 72 hours. After that it is checked to see if it can be put up for adoption or euthanized. These humaniacs need to stop meddling in city affairs and trying to force the city to keep animals forever at city expense. otherwise it will become the circus that Dallas has become.

  • Palin

    Put all of them down as soon as they come into the city and you won’t have these moronic people to deal with.I hear those whiners on the RMS Show 97.1
    cry over animals weekly yet they hate people.Animals are not human and do not deserve special protection.

  • darrell

    Arlington has a serious feral cat problem. i live in south central arlington where on any given evening i can count as many a 20 different feral cats within half an hour. thats just from outside my front door. its a matter of economics when your dealing with large numbers of strays.

    perhaps arlington could do a better job of manageing the situation, but; rescue groups can probably do a better job of rescue as well. stop being so self sanctified and be more pro-active in what you do instead of being reactive to what others do.

    • Susie Sunshine

      Spay and neuter!!!

    • Dianne Anthony

      Trap Neuter Release. HB 3450, CAPA will allow for this.

      • darrell

        Dianne, trap neuter release is a stupid plan. first, you end up recatching the same animals who go into the trap for the free meal. second, the cost repeatedly in manpower and equipment. third, you havnt solved the problem, all you have done is appease people like you who dont have a lick of sense. feral cats destroy property, spread disease to other animals, like your own pets, and in large numbers can devalue property and neighborhoods.

        as far as a “no kill” policy. unless you plan to get laws passed requiring every person to own pets by lottery from the city, or build a 2 million square foot facility to house and care for them, not to mention the tax hikes involved; that plan is stupid as well.

        we are not talking about a few hundred or even a few thousand animals. you would be looking at 10s of thousands of animals, just in arlington alone. having at one time been the service manager for a internaltional pest control company locally i have seen the scope of the problem. i have worked with city animal controls, wildcare and other groups on this and other animal issues. what you ask is not possible from a logistic or economic view. save what you can, but you cant save them all.

  • mark

    I have to relay to everyone all of the things that transpired to save Dexter.

    I received an email Friday that Dexter was going to be euthanized at 2 pm that day.

    The lady that assisted me was very polite, and pulled up Dexter’s info. He came into the shelter on Monday the 21st. He was never placed in the adoption cages, and was confined to the back in their holding area. On his bio, it said he was not a rehabable dog due to injury. I asked her what that meant, and she could not explain it to me. She called for someone to bring the dog to the viewing area twice. When that was unsuccessful, she went and got him herself. She brought him to me, and said there was nothing wrong with him. He was skittish of course, but other than urine and dirt stains, seemed to be fine.

    When I went to the front desk to sign the paperwork, I asked her why he was never placed for adoption. She said he should have been. I then asked her if the shelter was full, and she looked at me as if she wanted to tell me the truth, but said yes. At that time, a lady came into the shelter, and said she was there for the Euthanasia class, and things started to add up. I started to see animal vehicles from all over the Metroplex pulling in to the shelter for this “class”. Dexter was slated for this class!

    I got Dexter, and took him to the adjacent dog park. He got along great with the other dogs. I then took him home, bathed him, and then took him to the vet for a checkup. I had them do blood work because of the original Arlington info. Everything was perfect, and they said he was around 1.5 years old. I left him at the vet for the weekend for observation, and he was neutered Monday. He came to our house Monday, and Wednesday he got a trim. Also on Wednesday he was transferred to another Foster home, so he could meet his potential adopters. He looks great, and Dexter and his new family are the heroes in this story.

    My wife and I played a small part in this, but I am very disturbed with what was going to happen. The Arlington voters paid for this state of the art facility, and to have this action go on is inexcusable. There are many reports of mismanagement at the Arlington Animal Shelter, and this seems to a classic example of this.

  • Linda in Arlington

    As a former long-time member and chair of Arlington Animal Services Advisory Committee who fought for change, monthly committee meetings and a member of the Bond Election Committee that funded the ‘new’ animal shelter, I can tell you that until the City of Arlington steps up to the plate and adequately funds its animal services operations these systemic problems effecting animals and volunteers WILL continue. These problems resurface about every 6-8 months. Years ago, I resigned in protest from the ‘new’ shelter building committee realizing that city management and council would never properly fund it and that it would not meet the growing needs of Arlington’s animals. I have lived here since 1975 and although great improvements have been made that benefit the thousands of unfortunate pets given up or lost by their families, Arlington has NEVER properly funded its Animal Services Department. The City of Arlington consistently uses low benchmarks to support its position on animal services. So even when there are caring, dedicated staff members and procedures are followed, the intake volume of pets can be overwhelming, would be for any operation, any city. Arlington must do better and I do not see that happening with the current city council and management, in the near future, or for that matter with the current tax base. Arlington may have one of the lowest tax rates around but we ‘get what we pay for’. And the old ‘don’t tax me’ guard in Arlington always defaults to the argument of ‘city mismanagement of taxpayer dollars’. Meanwhile, animals continue to die. Not much new political talent waiting in the wings either. I hope the volunteers, rescue groups, and staff will fight for what is right for the animals, not the city’s ‘image’. I’ve also been in animal welfare for over 30 years. If no-kill was mandatory everywhere, maybe, just maybe progress could be made. I am not optimistic it will happen in my lifetime so I am enormously grateful for the new generation of animal rescuers.

    • Dianne Anthony

      We certainly do get what we pay for…however, Seagoville receives very little in funding and has a broad support base in the community, this developing over a period of about the last 9 months. Change has to come from the to-. We need new Mayor, council, and new ACO if they cannot get a grip on what NO KILL really is. It Works, It saves money! It saves lives. Dallas and Fort with have active NO KILL groups who have actively campaigned with certain individuals running for office. I feel like we have given up in Arlington because we are “owned” by the old guard who won’t budge an inch to change. Oh and what matters most to them is sports and income from that…what about the rest of us…should I toss in Public Transportation?? If you don’t provide it “They” won’t come. We are here folks!!

  • Lauren

    My experience with the Arlington Animal Shelter has been with the people at the front desk. They were lazy and totally not helpful. I assume the people who work in the back are worse. I have called and called, sent letters and e-mails trying to get help for dogs on two occasions. On one I was totally ignored and the other, they just killed the dog. We need to change the staff there by changing the mayor and city council. Vote for new representation and changes at the animal shelter!

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