It has recently come to my attention that the city of Shenandoah, TX, has decided not to allow animal adoptions to take place out of doors. This means that within Shenandoah, the usual venues for adoptions, such as in front of the Petsmart store, are not available any more.
Some local rescuers complained to the City of Shenandoah about this absurd restriction. They have yet to get a good answer. The few answers they have received are full of errors and misinformation.
One adoption coordinator who used to do adoption events outside of the Portofino Petsmart in Shenandoah says that location habitually generated around 100 adoptions per month. The loss of that location, then, puts a strain on local animal welfare groups trying their best to save more animals. Montgomery County Animal Shelter alone takes in about 1800 animals per month; losing a venue that got at least 100 of them adopted is a hard blow to take.
When local adoption groups were told that they could no longer use the space in front of Portofino Petsmart, a “city ordinance” was cited. Multiple rescuers and volunteers confirm that Petsmart has been as helpful as they can possibly be. Adoptions are allowed inside the store. Unfortunately, the store is so small that it severely limits the number of animals that can be placed in the public eye for adoption. An outdoor event would generate more adoptions and be better for the store, too.
At a recent attempted outdoor adoption event, Shenandoah police sent FIVE police cars to shut them down. (Really? Five cars? There are no real crimes in Shenandoah?)
As far as I can tell from reading Shenandoah’s animal ordinances as posted on the city website, there is actually NOT a city ordinance prohibiting outdoor pet adoptions. Furthermore, Shenandoah officials claim that the Montgomery County Animal Shelter does not serve Shenandoah. They claim that the Shenandoah PD does its own animal control (which is deeply troubling for other reasons) and that strays are taken to the “South Montgomery County Shelter”.
THERE IS NO SUCH PLACE. The ONLY county shelter in Montgomery County is the very one currently banned from doing outdoor adoptions in Shenandoah.
One concerned rescuer received a reply from an Officer Bryan Carlisle. He again made reference to the non-existent South County Shelter, and suggested that all problems could be resolved by encouraging people to go to this non-existent shelter to adopt animals. And wow, he will even look into placing a link to that imaginary shelter on the Shenandoah city website!
As it happens, Officer Carlisle, there is already a link on the Shenandoah city website. To MCAS. The ONLY county shelter we have. The very shelter not being allowed to have outdoor adoption events within Shenandoah, in spite of offers from multiple retailers to host such events in their parking lots.
The City of Shenandoah needs to get their facts in order. Here are few facts of which their officials need to be aware.
- There is NO SUCH PLACE as the South Montgomery County shelter. There is only MCAS, which someone obviously knows, since there is a link to MCAS on the official city website.
- Facebook now has a page called Shame ON You Shenandoah, TX. It was posted on Thursday May 26th. Today is Sunday May 29th. The page now has 166 likes. And we are all busily crossposting the information.
- Adoption events have the support of local retailers, who understand that hosting these events helps the animals, helps the community, and generates business.
- Shenandoah city officials are jeopardizing 100 or more animals per month and putting additional strain on the overtaxed county animal welfare system by refusing to allow outdoor adoption events. Animals at public adoption events have much better odds of adoption, simply because more people see them.
- If Shenandoah continues to act against animal welfare, other venues in the area will hold those events, which in turn will attract business to those establishments. People who might have spent money in Shenandoah will spend it elsewhere. Tax paying Shenandoah residents should be outraged.
Want to help? Become a fan of the Shame on You Shenandoah, TX Facebook page. Also, visit http://www.shenandoahtx.com/ to contact the city government with your concerns.
Shame on Shenandoah, TX, indeed.