Out of the Frying Pan…

June 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm 3 comments

People living in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas are upset – they say their community has gone to the dogs – and the mayor is to blame!

From USA Today:

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Unable and unwilling to keep abandoned dogs in a dilapidated shelter, the city of Helena-West Helena is taking strays to a national forest and leaving them on the side of the road.

“They are better off free,” Mayor James Valley said Thursday. “Pardon the pun, but it was just something that was dogging us. So it would be easier for us until we get a facility and have a plan that we just not be in the animal shelter business.”

Excuse me, the major actually admitted that he believes that abandoning dogs by the side of the road in a rural area is a viable solution to shelter overcrowding?  Is this solution about what’s good for the dogs or is it really about a simple and inexpensive solution for the city?

Fortunately, not everyone in Arkansas agrees with the mayor:

But the St. Francis National Forest isn’t in the animal shelter business, either.  “In the code, it is illegal to release animals, livestock or abandoned personal property on national forest land,” spokeswoman Tracy Farley said.

Uh, yeah.  And probably illegal too.  Don’t they have animal cruelty laws in Helena-West Helena?

Valley said the city’s animal shelter was so run down that a regional humane society worker cut its locks last winter and released all the dogs. The city then temporarily moved its shelter to four uncovered pens at the city sanitation department.

After people complained the animals were still not properly cared for, the mayor decided the animals would be better off in the forest. The city street director on Wednesday took about 10 dogs to the forest after feeding and watering them. About three dogs were kept to be put down by a veterinarian, Valley said.

So, mayor apparently feels that a history of negligence on the part of the city absolves them of the need to properly maintain animals in their care.  And – there’s more:

“We have a leash law that we’ve been trying to work our way into enforcing. It’s been so lax,” the mayor said. “People are not buying leashes or tags for the animals. We could literally pick up every other dog in the city.”

{shaking my head in complete and utter consternation…} 
Wait – the city couldn’t maintain the shelter they had, they are so ill-prepared to care for the dogs now in custody that they’re illegally setting them ‘free’ in the woods — and now they want to increase the number of dogs they’re abusing confiscating?

Eyewitnessnews reports interviewed local resident Shirley Blair.  Blair lives near the forest where the dogs were released.  She thinks the plan is crazy too.

“I think it’s ridiculous.  We’re not pleased with the decision to turn them loose out here.”  Shirley Blair says just one day after the dogs were released, six of them showed up in her yard growling.  “We headed to the mailbox and he (grandson, Parker) ran towards the house crying.  One of them looked ill on the driveway, bleeding, bacteria, we don’t need that here.”

And… it gets better (or is that worse…?)  From WREG Memphis:

The national offices of the Humane Society Of America and PETA are stepping into this situation according to Gloria Higginbotham of the Humane Society Of The Delta.

These poor dogs may end up going from the frying pan into the fire.  If the dogs the mayor so moronically magnanimously ‘set free’ are unlucky enough to be captured and turned over to PETA — they will likely all be killed.  PETA’s own records state that the group killed more than 90% of the animals they took in in 2007.

But hey, that’s better than letting them be unlicensed and off leash.

Entry filed under: dog, dogs. Tags: , , , .

Forget American Idol News on the Genetics of Canine Behavior

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nearlynormalized  |  June 16, 2008 at 1:08 am

    The Mayors thoughts are not so different that other locals…
    Why spend $’s on spay and neutering, a 22 fixes it quickly.
    The Mayor vs a 22, both are ignorant…Just make meth and be happy.

  • 2. Fuzzy Logic  |  June 17, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I am so incensed by this stupidity. I cannot begin… I hate to say it, but I do believe they would be better off euthanized..what a horrible horrible way to “solve” this problem.

  • 3. and into the fire… « Smartdogs’ Weblog  |  June 29, 2008 at 1:18 am

    […] weeks ago we reported on a terrible situation in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.  The local mayor, having few financial […]

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