Leaky Lurie and the Memo Mayhem

Want to follow the most recent shelter controversy through its every twist and turn? Start at www.fixaustin.blogspot.com, where FixAustin.org aired its concerns about a city animal crematorium and reduced shelter capacity in a Feb. 23 blog post titled "Industrial Animal Incinerator at East Austin Shelter Site?" Then read David Lurie's subsequent letter to City Council about the shelter (PDF download), and follow that with FixAustin's e-mail blast responding to Lurie's so-called "leaked memo" (below).


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Leaked Memo Confirms Incinerator Talks, Fewer Dog Adoption Kennels at New Animal Shelter

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 13:17:50 -0600

From: Fix Austin <fixaustin@gmail.com>

BREAKING NEWS -- CITY CONFIRMS FEWER ADOPTION KENNELS, POSSIBLE INCINERATOR AT EAST AUSTIN ANIMAL SHELTER

According to a leaked memo from Acting Assistant City Manager for Health and Human Services David Lurie to the Austin City Council, the new animal shelter planned for East Austin will have 20 fewer kennels in the dog "adoption" area, meaning the new shelter will have less space for dogs saved pending adoptions. In the memo, Lurie argues that the larger "adoption" kennels will theoretically permit multiple dogs to be housed in each kennel, but informed animal-welfare observers doubt the current TLAC manager would maximize use of the space given the fact that current management kills healthy and adoptable animals every day at the current cite despite not utilizing more than 100 empty cages.

Worse yet, the leaked memo confirms that TLAC staff is considering building an animal incinerator at the East Austin site, meaning that children in East Austin will be breathing in the ashes of dead animal bodies for decades to come. With the incinerator back on the table (its planned existence was heavily denied during the 2007 shelter-move controversy), it is no wonder why the then-Toby-Futrell-led staff wanted the shelter moved away from downtown Austin so badly. There is simply no way that the City would have built an animal incinerator near the West Austin t-ball and soccer fields.

The City plans to kill more than 8,000 animals this year with an animal-control budget of nearly $6 million. Under TLAC director Dorinda Pulliam's helm this decade, the city has killed roughly one animal every 12 minutes the shelter has been open to the public.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle