The story about Lucky and T-Bone is changing so quickly I almost need to live-blog it rather than try to do a finished post.
While the advocates for these dogs really just want to focus on the dogs, Caddo Animal Services and Councilman Stephanie Lynch have turned this into a racial story and a personal story.
The backstory: A concerned citizen saw two neglected, starved dogs living in inhumane conditions, reported it on March 6, and followed up until his complaint was addressed. Caddo Animal Control went to the house and seized the dogs on March 8.
The dogs were vetted at the shelter and found to have heart worms, hook worms, and whip worms and were malnourished.
PetSavers is one of the rescue groups that stepped up and offered to take the dogs from the shelter, place them with reputable fosters and pay for their treatment. They were declined.
Shelter director Everett Harris called a press conference on Wednesday, March 11, and attempted to make the case that the shelter can take care of the dogs just as well as a rescue or foster situation.
On Monday, March 16, the Caddo Parish Commission met in their regular work session and various rescue groups were in attendance to have their three minutes to address the Commission regarding the care of the dogs.
Harris also shared this puffy propaganda video of the dogs living in an apparent idyllic paradise at the shelter. (I can't embed the video but it's on the Caddo Animal Services Facebook page.) Of course, Harris complained that the rescue groups were exploiting the two neglected dogs and sure don't come out like this for all the other dogs at the shelter, but I'm sure that's not what he was doing here.
The current story: I didn't go to the Parish Commission meeting because I had work obligations Monday afternoon (a conference with a parent); up until noon today the video of that meeting was on the Caddo Commission website. I watched parts of it this morning, before noon. That video has been taken down:
|Parish Commission site, Media Link as of 3/18/15|
Now why in the world would that video be taken down? The Caddo Commission always records their meetings and posts them to their website.
My guess is that the video was taken down because at about 22:26 - 26:10 Shreveport Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch stepped to the microphone for her three minutes of time. Ms. Lynch represents
It's not really clear why Ms. Lynch chose to involve herself in an Animal Services issue except that this occurred in her district and she felt like she should have been notified at some point. Since you can't see the video anymore, thankfully she was quoted at KTBS:
If there's a problem there, we can take care of it. If there's an issue concerning any of our constituents, we can take care of it. I don't need anybody from Bossier or any other part of Caddo parish, Shreveport coming into Mooretown to handle a situation without allowing the elected officials...to deal with the situation." She also suggested that rescues work with the original owners who signed over ownership to CPAS, so that the dogs could be returned to them. "They want the dogs back," she said.
Here is a screencap of the KTBS story:
(Just in case it disappears, too). For now, there is video of Lynch saying the above remarks.
Even further, and not on the KTBS video, Lynch opened her remarks saying that she, too wanted the dogs; everybody wants the dogs, she said. "I'll throw my name in there too, I want the dogs." She went on to say that "There may be two white people that live in Mooretown -- maybe two. It's a predominately black community and a community that takes care of its own."
Now why in the world would she interject race into a welfare concern about two dogs?
Councilwoman Lynch's remarks were making the rounds on social media and local news yesterday, March 17, when former news reporter Chris Redford posted this query on his Facebook page:
It wasn't too long before Councilwoman Lynch jumped into the conversation:
To be fair, I can't find where Ms. Lynch said anything about white people not understanding hard times. Not saying it isn't there, just that I haven't been able to find it. It's possible someone at the meeting heard her say it, but I don't know that.
The source of her outrageous comments was the Caddo Commission video that isn't available any longer -- the comments where she said Mooretown is a black community that takes care of its own.
The Shreveport City Councilwoman spent the rest of her evening engaging the people commenting on Mr. Redford's post:
Get that: "In no way" does she "care about what most of you have expressed in your comments...". And ""no one person can say they pay my salary," she said; true enough. Only the taxpayers, but she doesn't care what you think, so there you go.
Again, to be fair to Ms. Lynch, there was trash talk on all sides, but shouldn't a city official refrain from such behavior on social media? Not according to Ms. Lynch; even the pros do it:
This sort of thing went on for hours last night. I finally got bored with her and went to bed.
March 18, 2016: Today the plot thickened. And got nasty. The photographer that volunteers her time to Companions of Caddo Animal Services and who has been taking beautiful photographs of the shelter dogs (109 dogs and 67 cats - many of whom were adopted because of her) was refused admittance today to the shelter to take her photographs.
Not only that, Everett Harris said he was in fear for his life from her and called the police.
The photographer spoke at the Parish Commission meeting Monday.
Fear for his life?
That photographer is devastated.
Let me remind you that the Caddo Parish Animal shelter has a 72% euthanasia rate for dogs and over 80% for cats. They need all the help they can get.
All of this because some people wanted to help two starved, neglected dogs. People are getting personal, getting attacked, and reputations are being damaged.
There is no reason this should have gotten this nasty. None whatsoever.
There's no reason Mr. Harris should not release the two dogs to a rescue and save the taxpayers the money. Apparently, the Caddo Animal shelter will treat heart worms in your neglected dogs and give them back to you. I wonder if all the dogs in the shelter are being treated for their parasites?
Why make this so personal? What is the motive for Caddo Animal Services and why does Councilwoman Lynch feel the need to take to Facebook to insult people, call them names, and make this a racial issue?
What in the world is going on in our parish and city government?
The Caddo Parish Commission will have their regular meeting tomorrow afternoon, should you decide you want to go watch this circus.
UPDATE: Remember, once you put something on the internet, it's never really gone. Here's the video of the Caddo Commission that they don't want you to see) (thanks to some folks with techie skills!: