‘It’s all about dogs’: The devil is in the details… Small towns fight to ‘protect and serve’ citizens’ dogs
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
— “It’s all about dogs.”
BELLAIRE, Texas, USA, June 16, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — With renewed fervor over the past two years, city officials in Bellaire, TX, have faced growing public outcry over conditions at the local pound. During this same period, external and internal factors exacerbated the challenges posed by a decrepit structure of unknown age. Beyond the obvious complications presented by Covid, a new police chief was hired, a new regime at city hall was elected and the officer of the year (who happened to be the traffic control officer animals) has been transferred although no replacement is available.
Bellaire and its adjacent small towns represent the wealthiest municipalities in the megalopolis of Houston. Uniquely, money has never been a substantive issue, regarding utilities or capital improvements in these ZIP Codes. Contact any other City Hall department or staff and enjoy service levels that exceed those of most 5* hotels. But despite the best efforts of the police department, which is tasked with overseeing animal control, a 5-room doghouse that handles something less than 100 puppies a year may not be a high priority. The city limits of Houston are only a mile or two away in any direction…with such close proximity to a major city, big city problems are right next door.
Likewise, the municipal Council faces the endless and Herculean tasks of flood control in an area that Mother Nature will regularly inundate. “The man plans and she laughs.” Weeks before the summer solstice, temperatures can reach 100 degrees for just as long.
Plus, with the wealth of this small town, comes the onslaught of commercial development. Per capita and for its size, few other communities have so many zoning issues where $2 million McMansions share a fence line with a proposed fast-food drive-thru or a 10-story office building. The zoning board and the municipal council are regularly overwhelmed.
So, despite the well-meaning efforts of the City Fathers, the Pound Hounds only get leftovers from the conference table.
A new animal control officer was hired about three months ago. In all honesty, two or three years of experience as one of the other five qualified her for on-the-job training in a much less demanding position in a much smaller town. She is certified to perform several routine tests and inoculation procedures. She shows sincere concern for her charges.
To be equally fair, she can’t necessarily be expected to know how to properly sanitize a kennel or readily accept more effective concepts outside the box of her experience. This education will surely come with time.
Meanwhile, the measures that well-meaning lay volunteers had initiated over the past few months remain in place, despite the negative impact on the residents of the Pound. Electric fans create a convection effect in the tiny, cramped enclosures. Power cords pose a fire and shock hazard unless they have been inspected by a government agency within the past 10 years.
Children’s paddling pools may seem like fun for humans, but terrified and confused strays may not be so eager to bathe. Additionally, the potential exchange of organic or skin diseases among anonymous K-9s can be dangerous, even deadly. When these pools are left overnight, for three rainy days, or over the weekend, the standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the primary vector of heartworms, which are the leading cause of shortened lifespans, exorbitant medical bills, and death in dogs.
A simple, systemic and sustainable solution – as encouraged by the citizen movement, “It’s all about dogs”. – is the establishment of a “sir”. This glorified garden hose (at a cost of less than $100) creates a “curtain” of very small water droplets outside the kennel. The moisture essentially evaporates immediately and produces a temperature drop of over 20 degrees. Any idiot with a screwdriver can install them in less than an hour. They do not require any power supply and the water supply can be regulated by a timer.
Currently, inmates can stand on concrete in their confined space for 22 hours a day. Concrete is a very effective conductor of heat – a very poor insulator, reaching up to 130 degrees when the air temperature is 95. Indestructible, padded martial arts mats are very effective insulators and can be disinfected more effectively than porous materials such as concrete or brick. The cost would again be less than $100, but again citizens are eager to donate it. There is no “setting up”. These are rugs.
Wooden pallets (or even milk crates) are available on request. If necessary, they can be attached together effortlessly. Raised retreat provides escape from occasional minor flooding and blistered concrete.
Citizens (“It’s All About Dogs”) took those early suggestions directly to individual city council members, the chief of police, the new animal control officer, and the public, via a series of bi-monthly council meetings. It was only last week that these citizens discovered that their “innovative ideas” had long been championed, endorsed and implemented by the ASPCA, AKC, professional kennels and numerous veterinarians (including one is nationally recognized, published and quoted on the police department’s own web page).
The public outcry continues, but even the most active activists appreciate that the wheels of government are turning slowly. They are confident that a decision maker will “do the right thing”… eventually – hopefully – before another of their proteges suffers needlessly or another dies,
“It’s all about dogs.”
Maternity for heartworms and the transfer of other diseases