Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery
"...The folks at FixAustin (who else envisions them holding the city by the, ahem, business, with scissors at the ready? Effective name, I guess…) sent out a press release reminding everyone that this Wednesday, City Council's Health and Human Services subcommittee will meet in city hall to receive a breifing on the controversial relocation of the city's animal shelter from Town Lake to the Eastside. (Controversial to FixAustin, at least..."
"...On Monday, the fifth citizen-group lawsuit this year was filed against the City of Austin, this time alleging a “conspiratorial strategy” to keep the controversial animal shelter relocation decision away from the public scrutiny of an open council vote. Intriguingly, the lawsuit promises to lift the veil on who really wears the pants (or is that skirt?) at city hall – the City Manager, and the staff she directs, or our elected officials on City Council...."
"...If I don't get some shelter..."
"...What do no-kill-animal-shelter advocates, Eastside activists, and a West Austin neighborhood association have in common? For a constellation of reasons, including worries about affordable housing, Eastside self-determination, and not-in-my-back-yard neighborhood fears not to mention what might be best for the animals they all oppose moving the ailing Town Lake Animal Center to East Austin. While calling to mind that old adage about politics and strange bedfellows, the unlikely alliance magnifies simmering unease about Austin's animal shelter and control program...."
"...Over the last month, the public had a chance to meet and size up the five finalists vying to be Austin's next animal services officer. Whoever she turns out to be, the new director will be taking over a department in transition, both physically (moving the shelter from its current home on Town Lake to the Betty Dunkerley Campus on Levander Loop) and philosophically (moving the city and its residents toward a new "no-kill" state of mind)..."
"...Where, oh where, has sweet, little Reba gone? That's what Gilbert and Mitzi Angelle of Cedar Park have been asking since July 20, when workers at the Williamson Co. Regional Animal Shelter told them that Reba, a frisky Labrador, had been put down..."
"...On Monday, the fifth citizen-group lawsuit this year related to development was filed against the city of Austin, this time alleging a "conspiratorial strategy" to keep the controversial animal shelter relocation decision away from the public scrutiny of an open council vote. Intriguingly, the lawsuit promises to lift the veil on who really wears the pants (or is that skirt?) at City Hall – the city manager, and the staff she directs, or our elected officials on City Council...."
"...Authorities with the Lockhart Police Department have confirmed that Cheryl Schneider, current Lockhart Animal Shelter director and EMS director, "is leaving here to go there" -- there being the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, where Schneider will assume the role of director. Schneider is originally from Williamson County, as she grew up in Walburg..."
"...Dear Editor, Your article regarding the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter ["Trouble in Puppy Paradise," News, June 15] was more notable for its omissions than for its facts. There are several disputable statements in the article, but I will focus on the story’s main premise that there was no budget for pet food, so the dogs have to "beg" or the cupboards would be "bare." It was irresponsible reporting, at this point, to never call a representative of the shelter or the county to ask one of the basic five W’s of journalism – why? Had you asked this question, you would have been told that the county has an agreement with Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc..."
"...On Friday, July 20, Kathy (Lopez) Abdella, represented by the law firm Deats, Durst, Owen & Levy, filed a formal grievance alleging violation of the Texas Whistleblower’s Act after she was terminated on Monday, July 16, from her job as vet tech at the Williamson County Animal Shelter. The filing appeals the decision to terminate her, requests a hearing, and demands that she be given her job back with full benefits..."
"...At the end of a group tour of the Austin Animal Center late last year, a few of us held back in the lobby and continued conversations we'd been having all the way through. The City Council aides and then-Interim Assistant City Manager Sara Hensley – who's since returned to her original job heading the Parks and Recreation Department – quickly scuttled off to a bus taking them back to City Hall from the shelter in Southeast Austin, but shelter staffers, a couple of members of the Council-appointed Animal Advisory Commission, and a few volunteers stayed to chat..."
"...Before sending it out, perhaps the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter brass should have read aloud its press release advertising “Black is Beautiful” week – the disastrously dubbed program (referred to in an earlier post from Kimberly Reeves) offering "a discounted adoption fee of $25 for all black dogs or cats from June 14 to 20, 2008." If they had read it aloud, Director Sheryl Schneider and public information officer Connie Watson – who wrote the release and issued it to local media June 11 – might have realized that such a tone-deaf missive would strike a very sour note the week of Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of Texas slaves after the Civil War...."
"...61 . Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to report to City Council all available options regarding a new Animal Shelter and to refrain from taking any action regarding the animal shelter without direction by Council..."
"...He's also a man who's spent more than a decade working in an animal shelter. A man who – even before his experience and studies and cat-knowledge workshops led to this sweet gig with the company that also brings us Shark Week – has devoted his life to educating people about their feline friends...."
"...The Humane Society of Williamson County is partnering with the Human Society of Uvalde to take in, care for, and place into adoption more than 200 animals rescued from the Uvalde Animal Shelter, which has been shut down by a county court for neglect and abuse of the animals in its care...."
"...Defenders of an increasing number of unfortunate critters at the problem-plagued Williamson Co. Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown have hired Austin lawyer and former Travis Co..."
"...Sheriff's Office, that strategy dominated the county's protracted, 10-month probe into allegations of animal cruelty and neglect at the Williamson Co. Regional Animal Shelter..."
"...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..."
"...That was the somewhat muddy conclusion of last week's City Council meeting, conducted in a more circuslike atmosphere than usual, as proponents and opponents of the animal-shelter move (more of the latter) packed the chamber and cheered and booed their respective positions on the dais and the lecterns. The council voted, as anticipated, to move the shelter to Highway 183 East and Airport Boulevard (Levander Loop, also the site of the city's Health and Human Services campus), with the proviso that a building on the current site will be retrofitted to become a satellite adoption center (in theory, one of several more eventually to be established throughout the city)..."
"...After a series of negative press reports on alleged inhumane conditions at the Williamson Co. Regional Animal Shelter, county and local officials now are being questioned about their attempts to stifle criticism and engineer a damage-control campaign...."
"...As initially moved by Mayor Pro Tem Betty Dunkerley and seconded by Mayor Will Wynn, council's plan would have designated the Levander Loop site (on the new Health and Human Services Department campus) the shelter's new, larger home and instructed the city manager's office to begin planning for the construction. The council would then close the existing animal shelter, which has been commended in its last four state inspections for the quality of its staff but called "an embarrassment to the City" for its small, unsuitable, and ill-maintained facilities..."
"...Given the 139 items on City Council's agenda last Thursday, you'd be forgiven for overlooking a few. But one not to be missed was Item 96, which called on council to adopt the Animal Advisory Commission's criteria for selecting a nonprofit partner to operate the adoption center at the site of the current – soon to be former – animal shelter..."
"...Others, like the euthanasia moratorium, proved more controversial. "Staff didn't really give us a compelling reason not to implement a moratorium, other than to say we believe it will create an unhealthy environment at the shelter and that the potential for disease spread is increased..."
"...One is the training academy: The collaborative effort between Austin Animal Center and Austin Pets Alive! (made possible by Maddie's Fund) teaches people interested in animal welfare the skills necessary to save lives, like treatment for puppies with parvo, or nursing kittens. The city also teaches apprentices the ins and outs of running a foster program, which Jefferson said will include a yearlong fellowship for those looking to then jump into running either a municipal shelter or nonprofit..."
"...Dear Editor, As this story demonstrates ["City Rejects FixAustin Charges," News, March 6], FixAustin is "fixated" on fighting the new shelter location instead of putting all that effort, time, and money where it could be doing something that would make a real difference. If FixAustin's goal truly is lowering the euthanasia rate, the best way to do that is to lower the number of animals entering the shelter..."
"...Dear Editor, Re: The Town Lake Animal Center relocation [“Gimme (Animal) Shelter,” News, Aug. 24]: I still think so much of this issue and uproar is a west side tighty-whitey issue..."
"...In celebration of "adopt a shelter pet" month, the no-kill AHS will be reducing adoption fees to $20 for all cats, kittens and dogs over six months. All adoptions include up-to-date vaccinations, microchip, spay/neuter, a month of free pet health insurance and a "starter kit" of goodies – toys, bedding, treats, and more!..."
"...Dear Editor, I commend The Austin Chronicle for running the Gimme Shelter article [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]..."
"..."You could eat off my floors now," Guyer said. The outbreak originated with Pringles, one of several animals the Humane Society acquired from the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, in the wake of reports of alleged unsanitary conditions and animal cruelty there..."
"...You have no idea how often people try to spill their "knowledge" that TLAC is a no-kill facility. Along with a spay/neuter ordinance, that is what Austin really needs: a facility that deserves the title "animal shelter"! By the way, the author could have named the "body bags" for what they are: trash bags, that are disposed of at the landfill..."
"...The brand-new Austin Animal Center on Levander Loop has everything a modern city could ask for in a shelter: dog "condos" complete with indoor showers and outdoor Astroturf, state-of-the-art veterinary facilities, and numerous play areas and display rooms where animals can charm their way into the homes of prospective owners...."
"...A mantra reiterated by city staff and animal welfare partnership officials, again and again, is that there's no one agency or plan that can single-handedly stamp out pet homelessness. In order to succeed at saving more animals, Austin's sheltering system seeks the public's increased collaboration in implementing Austin's humane communities model..."
"...It's no easy business turning a city's animal-welfare program no-kill. Since City Council approved the "Implementation Plan To Reduce Animal Intake and Increase Live Animal Outcomes" almost a year ago, the animal-welfare community – from shelter staff to volunteer rescue groups to low-cost spay/neuter clinics – has been slaving away, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes head-to-head, to get the city to its goal of a 90% live-outcome rate..."
"...The Animal Advisory Commission held a special-called meeting Monday night, March 5, to discuss a proposal that would allow Austin Pets Alive! to move its entire operation from its current home at the corner of Manchaca and Lamar into the city's old Town Lake Animal Center. In November, the group signed a license agreement with the city to run an overflow adoption center using about a third of the site, where 30 to 60 of the dogs from the new city shelter on Levander Loop could be sent by Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith in times of overcrowding – and now APA! was coming back to ask for the remainder of the TLAC facilities...."
"...As we reported two weeks ago ("$1 Million: The Next Price Tag on No-Kill," July 27), the new Austin Animal Center is understaffed, underfunded, and underwater as a result of what Chief Animal Services Officer Abigail Smith calls "an incredible kitten season, just off the hook." We also reported that in an attempt to give shelter staff a fighting chance at maintaining its rather miraculous 90% live-outcome rate, Smith recently put in a request to City Council to add $1 million to her budget for fiscal year 2013...."
"...Dear Editor, Thank you for the excellent article “What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?” [News, Nov. 18]. As long as “fanciers” like Jerry Dunham and others continue to breed animals – whether accidentally, as a “hobby,” or for profit – animal shelters will be in business, including the business of euthanizing animals, no matter how many spay/neuter laws Austin passes. Commissioner Pat Valls-Trelles is right: Spaying and neutering is the key to lowering the number of animals who enter shelters and reducing the need for euthanasia..."
"...Land big enough for two animals. However, the shelter was so resistant to allowing me to adopt a Labrador, that I imagine that the poor dog is now dead..."
"...A mariachi band reinvents “Happy” ahead of its author shedding tears in the face of an ovation in Mexico City not heard since the Aztecs adored their gods. Obama and the Pope both nearly derail the band’s debut in Havana, which spines the narrative to a happier conclusion than a similarly problematic free show in Gimme Shelter. [image-7-right]..."
"...Horn Shelter Man is an enigma wrapped in an animal skin and covered in 11,200 years of debris near Clifton. Scientists first thought he was connected to people in Japan; now they think he might have been of European descent..."
"...Always looking for donations, volunteers, and community supporters. Austin Children's Shelter..."
"...It is not the God-given right for people to take on the responsibility of a life and then decide they are too busy, the animal is too much trouble, they don't match my furniture, or one of the countless reasons and excuses they use to throw away their animals. How can someone move, pack up all their "stuff," and leave the dog and/or cat behind? Did they forget they had this precious life waiting for them to come back to get them? Or better yet, they can find room in the car for the dog only long enough to drop them off at a shelter..."
"...18]. And yes, the cover photos were graphic, but perhaps it's time people woke up and smelled the coffee, or rather woke up and saw the dead bodies. Maybe they will get out of dreamland. We can just hope. After working in a shelter for more than nine years (mostly clinic area and animal intake), I realized it is just a thankless job, and shelter workers are the true sin eaters of our society. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. And every time someone told me that, "They couldn't do my job because they 'loved' animals too much," I just wanted to put my boot right up their ass! Anyway, thanks again. And the animals thank you, too...."
"...You can set up adoption programs from here until Sunday, but until we find a way to lower the birth rate of cats and dogs, we will never, ever produce enough adopters. They can rant and rave about adoptions and shelter location all they want..."
"...18]. I hope you can follow up with a piece that discusses the solutions to the problem so that Austin can take responsibility and action individually and as a community to reduce the number of animals that enter the shelter and diminish the kill-rate of our dogs and cats along with it..."
"...Dear Editor, I think your article failed to show the suffering of the animals who are turned away by no-kill shelters and forced to live on the streets [“What Happened to the No-Kill Millennium?,” News, Nov. 18]..."
"...Starring: Debbie Brown, Eriq Ebouaney, Nthati Moshesh, Morne Visser, Quanita Adams, David Isaacs and Kamo Masilo. This simple South African film about a multicultural group of employees at a Cape Town animal shelter who aptly find both goodness and hope in their troubled lives has a sweet bent to it..."
"...Here's what must happen on Nov. 10 to make sure the scheduled opening of the long-awaited $12 million animal shelter on Levander Loop two days later goes according to plan..."