In her zeal to keep serial biters alive, a no-kill rescuer attacks larger no-kill agencies.
No-Kill Meets Mad Max
Austin, TX - Recently, we were alerted to a post by Promoting Integrity in No Kill Sheltering, which is penned by Eileen McFall. The post features two central players in "no-kill," which is the private-public partnership of Austin Pets Alive (APA), a 501(c)3 organization, and Austin Animal Center (AAC). The city of Austin has a 95% save rate initiative (5% above the no-kill baseline). We commented in 2012 that after the city of Austin adopted no-kill, bites quickly increased by 35%.
We point out the post because it contains comedy of a Mad Max nature. Essentially it is no-kill eating their own. The partnership between APA and AAC involves APA taking the overflow of dangerous dogs -- dogs riddled with behavior issues -- from AAC so that the city can maintain their precious no-kill status. Then APA recycles these dogs back into communities, generally in the 5-county region of Central Texas. Both agencies also sent dogs to fraudster Steffen Baldwin.
The problem is, there are "so many dangerous dogs" in shelters today, in this instance at AAC, that not even APA can keep up the gambit. Here McFall complains that APA is "failing dogs and people" by refusing to accept two dogs with severe bite histories, "Braker" and "Boss." In the 2020 edition of terms for shelter dogs, we discussed the behavior euthanasia protocol for APA: "offensive aggression to humans, unpredictable aggression to humans and uninterruptible drive."
APA only euthanizes -- or refuses certain cases from AAC, which forces the city to euthanize -- when the behavior is extreme. When the dog is a "major liability" dog. Thus, it's comical for McFall to play the "one-upmanship" routine with APA in who can be the "most understanding of maulers" and allowing the homeless and poor to have dangerous dogs. APA declined "Boss" due to the "frequent practiced territorial behavior resulting in more than one notable multi-bite incident."
McFall is so delusional, she states that Boss has only had four incidents in 15 months, thus for 446 days out of 450 days, he's had good coping skills. Recall that a $21 million dollar lawsuit against Los Angeles Animal Services resulted after a pit bull with an undisclosed bite history had one bad day in 99 days, a similar ratio. McFall asks, "Where is the compassion in Austin's no-kill shelters?" McFall fails to recognize how unsustainable, reckless and dangerous her plea is.
AAC is required to provide notification to rescuers when a dog is at risk of euthanasia. The notice for "Boss" was sent on August 24. In a three-month period, with each biting incident escalating, "Boss" attacked four different people. The third bite involved the dog biting the victim four times in four different areas. "The dog owner threw a water bucket at the dog to get him off the victim but hit the victim in the head instead." The first three bites, were all designated as unprovoked.
The fourth bite was also a multi-biting incident. According to AAC's notification, the victim was arguing with the dog's owner when the owner told "Boss" to "sic him" and let go of the leash for "Boss" to attack. The victim was bitten on the face and twice on the right arm, requiring multiple stitches. That biting incident was designated as "provoked" and resulted in the dog's first impound. It's unclear why none of the first three biting incidents resulted in the city impounding "Boss."
McFall also criticized APA for their mid-Covid launch of Human Animal Support Services (HASS), which in our minds is a marketing sham. HASS seems to be a dressed up effort, all funded by Maddie's Fund, to keep dogs in homes and out of shelters. After all, the no-kill model is based on lowering intake (the lower the intake, the lower the euthanasia rate). HASS was also "crafted" to help illustrate that the "white, female face" of the US humane movement is somehow "diverse."
Unsustainable and Stupid
Public funds are being spent on this insanity in Austin and in many cities driven by no-kill policies. Whenever APA turns down a dog with a multiple attack history that is a clear public safety risk, the city sends out the euthanasia notice so that rescuers like McFall can take the dog. That alone is insanity because McFall-types have no duty to keep the public and their pets safe from maulers. Boss would simply end up in an Austin neighborhood at the home of a "unicorn foster."
Again, there are so many dangerous dogs clogging up shelters today that even a large-scale nonprofit like APA can't handle the volume from a single city shelter. Rescuers like McFall are being forced to take APA's "overflow" of dangerous dogs and are complaining about it. The sane solution is euthanasia for behavior -- what the public falsely presumes is occurring for public safety purposes, but often is not. There is no neighborhood in any city where "Boss" could safely live.
Promoting Integrity in No Kill Sheltering
August 27, 2021
The City of Austin and its shelter system and partnership with Austin Pets Alive are failing dogs and people.
In the past few weeks, we've seen the tip of an iceberg of callousness regarding homeless people and their pets, in the cases of Braker and Boss.
On Monday, August 23, the rescue I founded, Final Frontier Rescue Project, picked up Braker from Austin Animal Center, where he would have been killed if we had not rescued him. Braker belonged to a person who was homeless for at least several years, and over a year and a half from 2017 to 2018, he got into several arguments that led Braker to bite the person who was arguing with his owner. In a couple of those incidents, Braker was kicked and stabbed. Braker was impounded again this summer, this time with what appears to be a perineal hernia that will need surgical repair. In the shelter, he was an easy dog. Austin Animal Center asked Austin Pets Alive to rescue him, APA said, "no," and AAC gave him a deadline. We were able to rescue him Monday thanks to a promise of help with the cost of surgery, and thanks to a foster.
The next day, August 24, AAC sent out one-week notice on another dog who lived in homeless camps, Boss. Like Braker, Boss has several bites on his record, bites that stem from protecting his owner during arguments and possibly protecting his space from "intruders." In the shelter, the only notes are that night staff say he seems docile. It looks like no one has taken Boss out; if they have, they have not entered any notes.
The notification for Boss says that he is available for foster, adoption, or rescue, but I couldn't find him listed as available. There are no photos, except a tiny image in the corner of his record. Boss's estimated Date of Birth is September 7, 2020, more than four months later than the first bite incident listed in the rescue plea. Despite accounts of three bite incidents prior to the one that resulted in this impound and plea, Austin's open data shows this is the first time Boss has been impounded at Austin Animal Center.
The rescue plea says that "Boss was pled to Austin Pets Alive on July 28, 2021 and they declined on August 19, 2021. APA declined, 'due to the frequent practiced territorial behavior resulting in more than one notable multi-bite incident...'." There is no indication that anyone at APA met Boss.
Austin Pets Alive, a private organization, has every right to decline any individual dog. But in giving their reason, they pronounced a death sentence without ever meeting him. And they did so to an animal who lived without a home for well over a year, while promoting their expertise in an effort called Human Animal Support Services.
Austin Animal Center has killed 19 dogs for aggression/behavior this year, and they've only sent out the required notification on 6 of those dogs. My rescue was only able to rescue two of those.
Now Boss, who has only known life on the streets, life that appears to have been fraught with violence and threats, is under deadline, with no attempt to help him or even to observe his behavior. He had four incidents in 15 months, which means he lived in a scary, unstable environment without incident for about 446 out of 450 days. It seems to me he probably has some pretty good coping skills to last as long as he did with only those four incidents. I think he deserves compassion, and he deserves a chance.
Where is the compassion in Austin's No Kill shelters?
08/23/21: Lawsuit Filed After Los Angeles Animal Services Failed to Disclose a Dog's Bite History
04/06/21: Shelter Terms Targeting Unwitting Fosters and Terms to Describe Major Liability Dogs
08/18/20: How a Pit Bull Activist Rose to Fame in the No-Kill Community while Killing Dogs
07/31/20: 2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression
Thank you, Colleen, for detailing in this exhaustive work, that evil does evil not only to good, but also to evil.
Where is the compassion amongst these No-Kill advocates? Especially for those who are the victims of dogs?
Such an interesting way of looking at a dog’s bite history: comparing the tiny number of bad days to all of the good days. What she is showing is that he is good 99.11% of the time! What a good dog indeed! He should have a chance!
This is exactly what I dealt with yesterday when a pit bull charged into my yard from the street covering at least 50 feet to start growling and lunging at me. I was luckily behind a gate which I had been just about to walk out of and grab a bag of dirt. But I was so scared that if I turned or even moved it was going to come over it, I called emergency services. They sent out Animal Control. The dog after about 3 to 4 minutes and coming back a second time had finally gone far enough away that I felt safe to get back into my house through my back door. When they arrived dog was still right in front of my yard and contained. When I stated that I believed it could be the dog that attacked my leashed dog about 18 months ago, at first they denied ever being contacted despite the fact I believe it was the same woman in my home observing my dog bleeding from the head and also came out a second time a month later Just a few months ago we also called on another pit. When I showed an email I sent as a follow up, well then tune changed to,, Then the reply was because there hasn’t been a call in over a year about that dog, so all is peaches and cream and we treat this as a new incident and nothing about prior history matters. The fact that it did not one but two documented unprovoked attacks, one resulting in injury has no relevance to the fact that it came charging at me and if had happened about 10 seconds later, good chance that since I would of been bent over I would most likely have been mauled with one around to come help. This is what we face with the pit lovers in control of our safety.
Victoria, I hear you. I’m a gardener who always felt safe being outside my fence. Then, a man with two small children (one in a stroller) started walking through my neighborhood with his large, muscular, male pit. Of course, the dog was always in front with it’s dominate swagger. I’ve read several accounts of women on their hands and knees (vulnerable) in their own gardens being mauled by these monsters. There was one woman who lost both her arms. We live in strange times as we’re held hostage in our own backyards.
Yes, it has been over a year so therefore, this is a good dog and we will not hold that against this because it is out of the probation period. These dogs are treated like human offenders and human law and reasoning gets used on them.
This is the direct result of these agencies being staffed with animal rights lunies and public safety, which should be FIRST PRIORITY, being put last.
It’s a DOG, and a vicious one at that. There should be no place in HUMAN society for a vicious dog. There is no shortage or dogs, the loss of the worst of them is no real issue. Communities being terrorized and people losing life and limb and not being put back together IS an issue.
Wow, Ted Bundy didn’t kill more than 2 days out of 365. Let’s let HIM loose. /s
Are they kidding?
This is a war on the poor. This is the murder of the most vulnerable in society–the financially disadvantaged, the physical and mentally disabled, seniors.
Inevitably, it tends to be people with less money to spend on dogs, that wind up with these maulers. Dog prices have skyrocketed and while it’s easy to say, “Go to a breeder”–the cost right now is as high as the downpayment on a car. Let that sink in. The average price is 2-5k.
Yet, the very people who *should* be looking out for the needs of their less affluent customers are the very ones selling them unmanageable dogs that they are in no position to fix, even when they’re fixable.
While the middle and upper classes’ charity and tax dollars, funnel money into these “rescues”.
@Boni – HA! I ALWAYS think of Bundy when they start with the “he’s only mauled ONE kid” kind of argument.
But let’s de-humanize this. How many atomic bombs were created in the Cold War vs. how many times did they kill people? Nuclear weapons only killed people on TWO DAYS of their entire existence. They are so safe! We should all have a few in our garage. The neighbors shouldn’t be worried!
But dogs, especially Pit Bulls, have invaded societies collective brains as something that should have all the rights as humans, but with none of the responsibilities or consequences. A pit should have ever right to go anywhere it wants, but if it tears the arms off of an old lady, let it go back home. It was provoked (because it’s too stupid to know that old ladies aren’t out to harm it) and not responsible for its reaction. If a human tore the arms off of an old lady, they’d get sued for every penny they had, and thrown in jail or sent to a mental institution for longer than the average life of a dog.
It’s insane and as an IT person I’m going to attribute it to “Social Media Madness (TM)” where batshitcrazy ideas are reinforced by other batshitcrazy people until whole portions of the population lose their grip on reality. /rant
You’re right about the internet crazy inflating small groups into huge prominence–while sometimes, huge groups are made to seem as if they’re the fringe minority. The internet often amplifies messages and the ones it amplifies aren’t necessarily in the best interests, or even the will of the average people.
I too am astonished at this idea that somehow, mauling pitbulls are the fault of the owner while simultaneously, the owners are not responsible for the devastation created by their dogs.
Either the owners *are* to blame for the pitbull problem or the pitbulls as a breed are to blame for the pitbull problem or a combination thereof–any of which leads to the same conclusion.
Pitbull owners statistically cannot be trusted to control their pitbulls for whatever reason so the pitbulls need to be removed. The kindest way to do that is to euthanize the ones that create havoc, control the rest through BSL, make them illegal to buy or sell and within 20 years they should be near extinction.
Otherwise we are sanctioning the preventable murders of humans with no accountability on anyone’s part.
It’s like making drunk driving, legal again.
Yep. It’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owner’s fault, but the owner can’t be held responsible because the dog did it!
One of the problems is that dog’s status has change dramatically over the years and the laws haven’t kept up. Way back in the ’80’s when I first started looking at dog laws in my state, there was still one from the 1800’s that said “Any dog seen by the sheriff without a license after June 1st of the year, must be shot (by the sheriff)”.
The intention of that was to get people to license their dogs. Imagine that in the days of “Dogs are people too”; only they’re not because they’re never responsible for their actions.
We need BSL, but we also need laws that clearly state owners are responsible for the damages caused by their dogs up to and including prison sentences for death or dismemberment.
So this is fun. I’m posting this here because she reminds me of the OP in featured in this piece.This post showed up on my Nextdoor.com. After doing some research, the OP has two pit bulls. Two pits she struggles to control while walking at the same time. Thankfully, several people handed it to her for her craziness of confronting an elderly woman:
This is why I prefer animals. ..
Today I had someone that lives in the area just stand there and watch instead of offering assistance to me as I struggled.
I have been taking my dogs on jogs together with no real problems until today.
I dropped my wallet/phone and as I stopped to pick it up a dog behind a chain link fence ran our direction. Just as I got my stuff my dogs noticed other dog and jerked the leashes. I got scratched up pretty good and dropped my stuff I had just gathered. I was noticeably struggling to get my stuff off the asphalt while controlling the dogs.
I finally make it to other side of street still dropping my credit cards multiple times before I was able to gather everything. I then noticed a woman just standing there staring at me not even asking if I need help or if I’m ok. I really could have used a hand to just gather my stuff and put it back in the wallet.
I later went back and knocked on the door and got the son.
His excuses for her were,
You can’t trust people… it was obvious I needed help
Shes older… ok probably the same age as my mom. My mom who is short like me, weighs probably 90lbs would not have hesitated to help. I’m also no spring chicken. And at 44 will be feeling today’s fall in my bones and muscles for days. I have road rash, a bruise where my now broken watch was.
Luckily I am due for a new phone in November.
Help your fellow humans, especially your neighbors.
I am not really surprised by all this. I am just tired of it.
This was a rarity in states I lived in the past. Here though, everyone only seems to care about themselves.
Okay, let’s see if I understand this. Someone is walking TWO pit bulls and can’t control them. And she’s dropping things.
Hey, if I saw somebody walking down MY street, struggling to control two pit bulls, I think I’d be staying inside my house. Where it’s safe.
I have better things to do than try to help someone sort things out while she’s walking pit bulls she can’t control.
Later in the comments, she makes herself a martyr -she does pitbull rescue working with the worst and of course magically fixing all their problems. You know where her two came from.
Okay so lemme see what my take is.
Two pitbulls yarking her around on harnesses that won’t sit and stay for a minute-and-a-half while she picks up the sh*t she dropped–because she’s too lazy, ignorant or stupid to control them.
And she wants some old lady to either pick it up or hold back her pair of maulers she doesn’t know while they’re attempting to attack another other dog through a fence.
Yup. Rocket surgery, right there, folks.
I’m all for helping folks with dogs but you know what usually happens? They either ignore what you’re telling them or they give you every excuse why their dog won’t do it–even though in the entire history of dogs, there’s almost none who couldn’t do a simple sit/stay or heel.
You’re right. Austin Animal Control is the first line of choice… euthanize it or pass it on. Austin Pets Alive is the second line of choice which takes dogs from AAC; but they refused this particular dog. PINKS is third in line, or the place of last resort.. and you hit the nail on the head… PINKS is bitchin’ that AAC and APA wouldn’t keep the dog and now PINKS must take it (or the dog will be euthanized). Is she bitchin’ about being in third place? No. She is bitchin’ about being the recipient of a dog she doesn’t want, but must take it or else she risks losing face and looking like a hypocrite! Now PINKS must take on the responsibility, liability and cost of yet another damn worthless and dangerous pit bull that she will never be able to get rid of. And since psychopathic people like her cannot correctly target the source of their problems, and must always save face, PINKS must attack something else… in this case AAC and APA. Snake eating its own tail… pit bull puppies mauling their littermates… PINKS biting the hands that feed it inventory… same shit. And just like a pit bull.
Does APA help any pets other than pits?
Austin Pits Alive would be more accurate.
Unbelievable. Here is my neighborhood in L.A., a couple had their dogs attacked – one was killed – by a pair of loose pit bulls. Nextdoor was full of “blame the owners” and “dog racism” and “my sweet pit bull has been chased by chihuahuas” and so on. Only a few of us are holding our own with this, and it takes courage. I’ve been called “ignorant” “cruel”, etc. What will it take? In some cases, the post stating that it WAS a pit bull – and it nearly always is – is removed from Nextdoor site. You would only know that by reading the comments from pro-pit bull people, who read about it before it was removed. A man a few miles from here was killed a few years ago by two pit bulls that jumped the fence. Only a matter of time before it happens in my neighborhood.