There comes a point when even the best intentions aren’t enough. Between the Dallas Zoo’s weeks of vandalism and the kidnapping of two emperor Tamarin monkeys and the SPCA of Texas’ reduction of services and sudden “stepping down” of its president/CEO, it appears that humans are once again scrambling to figure things out.
While the peeps with the grey matter wonder what to do, the animals remain the victims. Whether suffering from overnight threats by criminal perpetrators, or the City of Dallas and a non-profit trying to tightrope funding for a much-needed program, the “dumb critters” are the innocent ones paying the price.
Unfortunately, such problems only come to light when a shock to the system takes place, like the attacks by marauding packs of dogs.
As non-profit, city and county leaderships change over the years, the “animal issue” is passed on to successors, with nary a guardian angel in place. After all, animals can’t vote or donate money, and, as many claim, animal-loving people tend to be a little off their rockers.
Now is the time for those-with-the-know-how and the pocketbooks to step up for accountability and demand changes that will be more long-term than an immediate fix. It’s a monumental issue that will only grow unless there is change … and dramatic change at that.
Editor’s note: Back in the 1970s, before most MSC readers were born, Dallas’ “Pet Mitts” founder Virginia Prejean became an animal advocate because of a dog named “Ben.” It led her to undertake a mission to stop the use of a decompression chamber that sadly resulted in the painful deaths of many unwanted animals, as well as to question the use of animals for experimentation for scientific research. Thankfully as a result of the uproar, Dallas Animal Services, the SPCA and other North Texas animal groups did away with such chambers of horror and transitioned to more humane means to euthanize the unwanted. They also realized that, in order to make even a small dent in the need for euthanasia, they would have to try to prevent overpopulation, so they shifted efforts to spay-and-neuter programs.
Today it is important to stop shuffling the “animal problem” like a deck of cards. Until it’s seriously tackled for a long-term solution with ongoing vigilance, it will continue to be the crazy uncle in the attic issue.