The Missouri City administrators are now saying that they can’t do anything about the city animal shelter until the City Council gives them a clear direction. They say the City Council needs to articulate its vision for the animal shelter and then it is the city administration’s job to follow that vision.
Despite the fact that we volunteers have spent countless hours working to make the Missouri City Animal Shelter one of the best in the Houston metropolitan area, so far no one has asked our input on a vision for the animal shelter, so I thought I would go ahead and get my personal ideas out there.
I want the City Council to articulate a vision for its animal services that includes an emphasis on placement of animals, rather than euthanizing them. The homeless pets that come to the animal shelter deserve compassionate and humane treatment. I think the city’s guiding principles for the animal shelter should include:
- Doing everything in its power to reunite lost pets with their owners,
- An emphasis on placement over killing,
- Medical treatment for sick and injured animals,
- Vaccinating as soon as the animal is off stray hold,
- Appropriate health testing such as heartworm testing, as soon as off stray hold,
- Treatment for all animals for worms and fleas as soon as they are off stray hold,
- Socializing and exercise time for all animals,
- Clean caging, bedding and other comforts to reduce the stress of living in the shelter,
- Keeping accurate records of the shelter intake and outcomes, because if they are not measuring this, there is no way to tell if they are progressing towards meeting their goals.
If the City Council codifies this vision for the animal shelter, the animals in the city’s care will be getting the same level of service that was provided by the volunteers these past 3½ years. I don’t think that is too much to ask. The City Council needs to communicate this vision and tell the city employees that they should work diligently to meet these goals and work to place every adoptable animal with adopters or rescue groups.
Former Volunteer Coordinator for Missouri City Animal Shelter
Missouri City 2017 Volunteer of the Year