Strange priorities at the city pound

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Forum member Hou-nerd called our attention to a KPRC-2 story that takes a hard look at the city’s animal shelter. Here’s an excerpt:

Dozens and dozens of animals are stuck in the city’s shelter and most will never leave there alive. Now, some say there is a bigger problem at the pound that’s causing more and more pets to be put down.

KPRC Local 2 Troubleshooter Stephen Dean has more on the money concerns that could be costing lives.

These dogs were up for adoption as our hidden cameras went inside the city of Houston dog pound.

A city task force reported nine months ago that only 20 percent of the animals that are brought in ever make it to these cages. The rest are put down.

Michelle Haberland euthanized hundreds when she worked at the pound and she blames the way money is being spent by pound leaders.

“They just seem to want to pour their money down the drain,” she said.

She says families who are adopting new pets from the city are often bringing them back, dying after a few days in their homes.

“They come back and they return them because they have distemper or parvo, and you have to look those people in the face and say, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. The city is not giving us the money that we need to buy the drugs that we need to treat these animals,'” Haberland said.

But here’s what the city does have money for — new cement sculptures in the lobby and contemporary pet artwork worth nearly $2,000. The city says the money comes from another account. The goal: to make the pound seem friendlier for those who want to adopt.

“I’m sure that it does have a warming effect when people come in. But if there are no animals there to adopt because they’re all dead of their upper respiratory infection or because we’ve had to euthanize them because they’re sick, the artwork gets us nowhere,” Haberland said.

This city does have the strangest priorities.

The story goes on to analyze the city’s contracts with one Sean Hawkins and the fact that city vets are now banned from doing some procedures on animals that Hawkins’ company now performs.

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