by Joe Feduccia - [email protected]
It was announced that the sales of lost and abandoned
pets to research labs in Metro Houston will stop. Commissioner Steve
Radack, with consistent support by Commissioner Jerry Eversole, were
joined by Commissioner El Franco Lee and Judge Robert Eckels in a
four-to-one decision to stop the contract on March 31st.
It is the apex of irony that lost pets go to research
laboratories from any publicly-funded shelter to certain death under
uncertain circumstances; and, this shameful practice might be better
understood in an area of good-ole boys in a rural location, but Harris
County/Metro Houston is a space-age Mecca.
This is the Metro to which the first words from the moon
were uttered, where futuristic skyscrapers adorn an otherwise barren
prairie, where an African-American mayor was elected to show that
everybody can succeed in harmony, and where one of the World's foremost
medical centers maliciously had insisted on using lost and abandoned
pets as specimens in experiments of questionable value.
Is this a final deal? Not quite. In addition to possible
dumping of pets to labs between now and the 31st, Joe Stinebaker's
article in the 2-23-00, Houston Chronicle, relates a note of caution,
"...Texas A&M....asked the county not to ban the sales of animal
"'I know this is an emotional issue,' [Dr. Richard]
Ermel said. 'But I ask you to pull the emotions aside and look at what
It might not be so emotional if it had any veracity, but
it does not. Personnel from the pound, including its director, have lied
straight-faced to television cameras, to the Houston Chronicle, to an
USDA inspector about selling to a Class B Animal Dealer. Would Ermel
himself go for a public lie-detector test?
This shelter MUST be opened to public scrutiny. Accept
no less. We can work toward a Metro-sized plan to solve the
overpopulation problem, but not with closed-door operations using tax
We should not overlook the good folks at City, who
stopped pound seizures at BARC. The entire Houston Department of Health
and Human Services, along with the 1993 City Council, implemented a
thorough investigation and decided to stop the sales. Leadership at the
department included Dr. Mary desVignes-Kendrick, who presented the
recommendation to City Council, Asst. Dir. Artis Payne, and Adm. Mgn.
Ken Hertz. Any tittle of inaccuracy in this paragraph may be
attributable to notes on a grabbed envelope.
What about the others? The Alexanders of the World
Champion Rockets and Comets, the ASPCA, PETA, PCRM, AVAR, Animal Rights
Online systems, the local LC Animal group, and of course, the remnant
and newcomers to HART. These are only the more prominent that presently
come to mind -- apologies to anyone or any organization unrecognized
here. Regardless, to both Commissioners Court and City of Houston, and
the legions of good-citizens and organizations, thank you.
We've already stomped out twenty-five. Let's go the
extra mile to make Metro Houston a pet-friendly town.
Go on to Animal Rights
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