The city of Waco, TX is set to take over the shelter operated by the Humane Society of Central Texas in October, leaving many concerned and upset over the fate of lost, stray and unwanted cats and dogs once the change in management occurs.
At a meeting between city officials and the nonprofit group last week, it was determined that the city would run the facility at 2032 Circle Road as a holding center for stray and seized animals. It will no longer be a shelter and adoption center. The city must hold the animals for up to 72 hours, in keeping with Texas state law, but after that they can be killed.
There is a Change.org petition collecting signatures in an effort to get the city of Waco to take a more humane approach when it assumes control of the shelter. We link to the petition below for anyone who wants to sign and share. There is also a newly created No Kill Waco website, with helpful links to news and the petition, contact information for local officials, and links and information on no kill practices.
The Humane Society of Central Texas and its volunteers are working to have as many animals as possible adopted out, fostered, or taken by rescuers in the remaining days before the city takes control and the animals lose their lives. Those interested in helping can visit the Humane Society of Texas Facebook page, where listings for available animals can be seen and shared. The animals are also listed at Petango and Petfinder; the listings can be accessed from the organization’s adoption page.
Those interested can sign the Change.org petition here, at City of Waco, Texas: Please don’t kill hundreds of dogs and cats to clear animal shelter.
The petition page includes links to local articles that provide details on why this change of management will take place, along with more on the story. The petition reads, in part:
As a community we have the power and responsibility to oppose policies that will lead to the imminent death of many shelter dogs and cats beginning in October. These animals are in danger of being subjected to a 72-hour shelter rule because the city failed to reach a contract with the non-profit Humane Society of Central Texas, with the intent of taking command of the Circle Road animal shelter on October 1st.
Like many shelters across the nation, the Waco facility is overcrowded with unwanted or unclaimed dogs and cats.
Rather than take proactive and humane steps to deal with this problem, the City Council plans to stop pet adoptions at the facility and do the minimum required under the law to protect the lives of animals delivered into its care, according to local news reports.
Under the proposed policy, these animals – many of whom are healthy and adoptable – will be subject to a 72-hour “shelter” policy. This means that if the shelter can’t find an animal a home, a different shelter, or a foster family within three days, the animal will be killed.
This policy amounts to keeping the animals “in a facility where the only objective is to house them long enough to satisfy a legal obligation before killing them,” wrote Woodway’s Susan McVey in the Sept. 11 edition of the Waco Tribune Herald.
The inevitable logic of the policy is that many lost pets and otherwise healthy animals will be killed to clear space at the shelter. It’s mind-boggling that the city would impose this draconian policy at the same time it closes the shelter to adoptions, which is one of the clearest avenues these animals have for escaping this fate.
We can do better than this. The opinion page of the Waco Tribune Herald from September 11th proves that Waco is full of conscientious citizens who can’t bear to see these animals slaughtered as a result of our collective failure to solve this problem. These citizens understand that we have an ethical responsibility to protect and care for the companion animals we bring into this world.
Tell the City of Waco to immediately halt its plan to kill any animal within 72 hours of receipt. Tell the City Council to hold a public meeting, to establish an oversight board for the shelter, and to come up with smarter, more humane ways to deal with a problem they had a hand in making