Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Let's Clear Up Some Rumors about CPAS

On May 5, 2018,  I wrote a post encouraging the local animal community to support Travis Clark as director of CPAS, knowing that he's not going to be able to come in with a magic wand and save all the animals.  It is not a no-kill shelter after all, and to be fair, Mr. Clark inherited an absolute mess.

One of the key points in my post was this:

It is important to remember that a shelter can't lower those euthanasia rates without help from the community; when so many people refuse to spay and neuter their pets there will naturally be too many unwanted animals.

There is literally nothing in the world Mr. Clark will be able to do about the endless intake at CPAS.  It is an open-intake shelter: they have to take everything that comes through the door.  People in this community need to spay and neuter their animals.

Mr. Clark has been on the job for two weeks and today Facebook began melting down when some in the animal community fired up the negativity train once again. I'm not about spreading rumors on this blog so I reached out to Mr. Clark to see what was true and what isn't.

Here is his response, in his own words:

Hello everyone: 
 Please feel free to share this information as it has come to my attention that some people are being misinformed about changes occurring at Caddo Parish Animal Services. I would like to say thank you to my supporters. To the people that are consistently negative and spreading false statements, you are definitely not into animal welfare for the betterment of this community. I will not allow a handful of crabby, bitter, unhappy and disgruntled people deter me from responding to social media alerts, tags, questions, etc. responding to post is one of the reasons the citizens entrust me with this position, they know that I look into their concerns. So I will address some instances that have taken place since starting in this position 16 days ago.  
On my 3rd day in office, a dog was attacked by another dog leaving it severely injured. A rescue came to transfer the dog and I was the blame. I was being called out for failing the community on my 3rd day in the position. When I respond to the situation, naysayers move on to other post.  
During my second week, I observed animals that have been in this environment since January 2018 which is unacceptable when you have 5-6 dogs in a kennel designed for 1 dog or 2 at the most with the guillotine closed. I made the decision to have staff contact rescue partners in hopes to help some extended stay animals get a positive outcome. I was criticized for that. 

Also during my second week, a dog that has been in the facility for months that has documented behavioral issues was selected for humane euthanasia. This dog was in an outside kennel to himself while multiple other kennels housed numerous dogs which resulted in fighting and injuries. Being questioned about one dog with behavioral issues followed suit.  
Today, supposedly 56 animals have been humanely euthanized in the past few days.
I can see how such an alarming title could cause a stir. What you do not see is the amount of animals that come into this Shelter daily for whichever reason. I intend to house animals as safely and efficiently as possible. I am open to all whom want to visit the Shelter. A great time would have been this past Saturday at the Open House. One of my highly touted critics was there and I appreciate him coming to the Shelter because in my presence, he understood who I was and understood that my vision is on the path to industry standard.  
 Also, there is a untrue statement that CPAS isn't partnering with Rescues for transports which would not benefit the animals in this facility. I have no issues vaccinating and providing health certificates for any animal being transported. If anyone has stated that they have heard otherwise from me, ask them for documentation or proof. I have said when animals are tagged by a rescue group, it would be best for the animal to be removed from the Shelter for space concerns. Also if a group has tagged an animal which stays at the facility it can cause more work for staff to explain why an adopter can't have this animal because a rescue wants it. A rescue can come into CPAS adoption room right now and take every animal in the room altered or intact because I have 24 more to replace the entire room and I will have another 24 after that. There is no animal shortage here. Will I directly alter an animal for a transfer, no. Altering animals for transport is not industry practice. If an animal is altered at the shelter, has no adopter and a rescue wants it, that's great. It would appear unfair to alter animals for one group and not the others. If this was a practice that was being done prior to my arrival, I'm not here to disrupt the relationship but I will make recommendations as I see fit. This field is not cut and dry or black and white, every situation is different.  
It seems as if I am being villainized and I have not done anything warranting such angst from the community (at least a handful). There have been a lot of positives during my first 2 weeks and there will continue to be positives. I will show you why I was selected for this position in due time. There is only a few names that are reoccurring with the negativity and I appreciate you. You too will be #TeamCaddo eventually.

There you have it.

I'll stand by Travis Clark and by my original position: give him a chance.  Two weeks is not long enough.

And for crying out loud, if you have an issue with Mr. Clark, reach out to him in a positive and respectful manner.  He wants to be part of the solution.  We should help him. 


Anonymous said...

Mr. Clark...what a wonderful article...I am behind you 100% because I know you love these animals. You will always have that handful of do nothings that are against everything you are trying to solve. This is NOT a month fix...it will takes months to fix what is wrong with CPAC...If you ever need me, please do not hesitate to call on me to help. And to all the do nothings, always against everything, think you can do it better...put your mouth to something useful...use your voice for the animals whom have none and try to help Mr. Clark with the problems he is surely going to face daily. Angie Murry - Shreveport, LA

Pat Austin Becker said...

Thank you, Angie for the comment. Yes, Travis needs help and understanding that hears of problems can not be fixed in a single month.

Gine Oquendo said...

Yes, I agree with you and it's not easy to fix this kind of problem, Two weeks is not enough time, I hope they give more chance and consideration to Mr. Clark. I remember when I was still working in a pet adoption near me they had a problem but they give consideration to the person involved and enough time also to resolve it properly.