The Mayor has done her due diligence…
WTVM did a controversial news story today, Columbus Save A Pet Program causes a confusion, pitting the Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomli
nson against a facebook page of 4,276 people and counting, called “Happy Homes“. Happy Homes is not a shelter, it is not a rescuae, it is not an organization. Happy Homes is a facebook page where anybody can go to view and share photos of animals, they can rehome their own pets, post about lost pets, find a pet to adopt, learn about upcoming events/specials, etc or just share stories about their pets or animals in general. It is an open forum for ANYBODY to post and share animal related information. Please follow the link above or watch the video below, now.
The general consensus seems to be that the story is very one-sided – neither myself, nor anybody from Happy Homes was contacted for a comment. I don’t mind though – the Mayor represented herself in exactly the manner I figured she would, and it isn’t difficult to see her true colors shining through.
The article mentioned the Kuranda bed argument, to which the Mayor commented, “These animals deserve the opportunity to pace and walk around, lie where they want to and move about. And, to put a bed in there that only gives them 16 inches of room cannot be what any reasonable person expects.”. I love how she implies that anybody that would argue that the dogs SHOULD have the beds, is being unreasonable, and she says it so as-a-matter-of-factly, too. They show footage of a brindle Boxer (Tag #27, AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION NOW) with a large bed (only one of the 4 sizes that Animal Control REQUESTED to be donated) down on the floor, so that it looks like he doesn’t have room to walk. They also showed beds that fit nicely, which is great, but anybody that visits the shelter regularly will tell you, those beds are not usually down and I’d be surprised if they started using even the medium and small beds that were donated. Even the large bed could be placed closer to the kennel door which swings out into the hallway on the very rare occasion that the animal ever leaves its’ kennel. In addition, that is only one side of the run, through the opening is access to another area just as large, that would never have a bed and where they would be free to “pace and walk around, lie where they want to and move about”. Instead of closing the Kurando Bed Donation Account (which was set up by a Volunteer, and inactivated without her even being contacted), why don’t they say “Thank you, but the large beds are too big, so please only donate the small and medium beds from now on.”?
The article also talks about the animals killed before their adoption date. The mayor says this is not true and says the confusion comes from a problem of dogs being put in to the system twice. Her explanation clarifies nothing, but it brings up a good question – WHY would they be put into the system twice? According to one staff person, “Our center is fine, we follow all procedures down to the letter and we do our job and do our job well.” yet the Mayor is saying otherwise.
Their website is the only tool we have in determining who is there, and who is not. For months, we’ve been asking them to tell us which animals are killed. WE are the ones trying to find them homes, it’s kind of important for us to know if the cat we’re networking for is still alive. Animal Control refuses to tell us, they block people from their facebook page for saying “and one cat was killed” under their standard “We saved so many animals today, we’re so great” posts, and other people were blocked simply for ASKING how many animals were killed! Because of their refusal to provide information which, as a goverment agency, they are REQUIRED to share with the public, we have to use a process of elimination using their website…
In the article, the Mayor says “We are eliminating that,” (how exactly, they are eliminating that problem, I do not know) “but when that record is pulled they are assuming that is a kill and it is not.”. On the website, as animals are returned to their owners, they keep the photo up and add “RTO” (returned to owner) next to it. As animals are adopted they keep the photo up, and add “Adopted” next to it. As animals are transferred to other rescues, they keep the photo up, add “Placed” next to it, and also include which rescue took them. Everybody else, their photos are removed from the website. If they aren’t returned to owner, they aren’t adopted, and they aren’t placed with a rescue… tell us Mayor Tomlinson – where are these animals going? They disappear from the website, they disappear from the shelter (we are there all the time, so we know), but they aren’t being killed? WHERE ARE THEY GOING, MAYOR TOMLINSON? From Star Columbus Pets, “They may have a “glitch” in their system but we KNOW these animals personally. We spend time with them- we give them names. These are our pets, we love them!”.
If the Mayor were sincere in her desire to help, she could tell AC to start letting us know who is killed each day. It’d be nice if, along with Adopted, RTO, and Placed, they could include “Euthanized”. This would certainly help to avoid any more confusion like this. Unfortunately, “The mayor says she will no longer spend 10 hours a week responding to what she calls lies and misleading information from the Happy Homes group. She tells News Leader Nine she has done her due diligence.”
From the comment section on the WTVM website…
cole.adriane says “Very disappointed in the journalism displayed here. The No kill Solution clearly recognizes that sometimes euthanasia isn’t avoidable (i.e. illness, injury). However, the monthly kill numbers in no way represent “sick” or “injured” dogs. I have rescued 3 dogs, and only 1 of them was sick (HW+). Yet all of them were going to be killed if I didn’t get them. In fact, last time I went about a month ago (AFTER the program was put in place) I was told that they could hold this dog another day, but no longer. And I was told this in a manner that implied he was doing me a “favor” by holding her a day longer (on the weekend no less!). There is MUCH more to the story than you have presented, and it is clear who this “journalist” favors. It isn’t just about beds. The term “death row” isn’t meant to tug on heart strings. It is simply the REALITY of the situation. “
Leah says “WOW!!! Mayor Tomlinson I think you need an award for that interview!! How many more lies are you going to tell?? The public deserves to know the truth and your interview was FAR from the truth!! I can’t wait for election time and you will NOT get my vote!”.
One person wrote on Happy Homes, “Shame on you mayor Tomlinson… You know more can be done.You say you won’t waste anymore of your time on this…You stopped listening a long time ago and the poor animals at animal control are paying the price with their lives. We aren’t trying to waste your time we are trying to get you to help our city do the right thing!”