Brownsville mayor Pat M. Ahumada Jr. declared a 90 day moratorium on animal euthanasia.
The result: the shelter is completely full and can't take any more animals. Now there is a nasty fight between the mayor, who made animal rights a campaign issue, and Josue Ramirez, the city’s public health director. From the article:
Ahumada, once accused of taking a dog from the shelter that he later legally adopted, believes Ramirez doesn’t want the moratorium to succeed and is using scare tactics with the employees at the shelter.
“He told the vets (veterinarians) they could no longer dispose of carcasses and told the employees at the animal shelter they will get fired,” Ahumada said.
“This situation makes Brownsville look like a third-world country with stray dogs running around.”
The mayor has accused the health director of trying to torpedo the policy.
He also claimed that Ramirez, who he called a “disgruntled employee … used to killing 7,000 pets a year,” blocked animal rescue organizations from taking animals out of the Brownsville shelter.
“He told them (Laguna Madre Humane Society) they could not take dogs out of the animal shelter to make room for more,” Ahumada said. “Josh Ramirez wants us to fail.”
Frankly, this sounds like really poor planning by the mayor. You can't just declare the policy, and hope that private rescue groups pick up the overflow. Is the city going to pay the rescue groups for the overflow? What happens when they fill up? What is the overall long-term plan? What part does spay/neuter play in all of this?
A no-kill shelter is a great idea. A no-kill shelter with a complete lack of planning (even if we are only talking about a 60-day trial period) is just dumb. Humane stray animal treatment requires careful and comprehensive planning. Anything less is not only ineffective, but also provides ammunition for those that want to just pick up and euthanize.