Animal Shelters Should Be 'No-Kill'

RECEIVED Wed., March 28, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Re: Your article on the Town Lake Animal Shelter ["What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?"; News, Nov. 18, 2005]: This week's news release that the Williamson County Animal Shelter has become a "no-kill" facility prompts this letter to the editor, my first letter to an editor, ever. Reporter Rachel Proctor May's investigative article on the Town Lake Animal Shelter remains vivid in my memory today. I first saw the front page in the distribution rack in the lobby of the building where I work Downtown. As one of the "human companions" to our dogs, which were rescued from the Town Lake Animal Shelter and other situations, my first reaction to the cover pictures was the thought of what a real, honest-to-goodness "gutsy" publishing decision that was to address one of the biggest "closet" issues in Austin. Ms. Proctor May's two articles in that edition were the first public advocacy, in-the-public's-face assistance the animals (unfortunate enough to find themselves in the care of Town Lake Animal Shelter) have received in the 30 years I've lived in Austin. Subsequent to these fine articles, in 2006, one of the local news channels managed to attend a public meeting of the Town Lake Animal Shelter where the the topic of discussion was hiring a nationally known no-kill shelter expert to resolve the yearly massive killings at Town Lake Animal Shelter. That meeting adjourned with the proposal being tabled for three additional months. To date nothing has been done to correct the existing problems with the shelter nor to bring in no-kill experts to redirect the shelter's efforts to a no-kill facility – such as Williamson County did. Please, please, revisit this situation as a follow-up to the Chronicle's Nov. 18, 2005, articles on this subject. It is sad to think that an innovative city such as Austin, with so much to be proud of, has failed to provide a right-to-life option for its smallest inhabitants. More in-the-public's-face journalism is needed to get the desperately needed changes made at the Town Lake Animal Shelter. If Ms. Proctor May's heart can handle another visit to the shelter to address this issue again, I know all the little animal hearts still beating there would be most appreciative. Thank you again for the great articles, and I apologize for not thanking the Chronicle sooner.
Kim LaRocca
   [News Editor Michael King responds: Alas, the inimitable Rachel Proctor May no longer reports for the News department, having moved on to the less feral confines of City Hall, where she works for Council Member Brewster McCracken. We miss her, too.]
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