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Shelter won’t say where 80 dogs ended up

Animal welfare advocates who noticed the sudden disappearance of 80 dogs from a privately run, city-owned shelter in Ferris, Texas, are disturbed with the shelter management’s refusal to say where the dogs ended up.

Domestic Animal Rescue Emergency Shelter Services (DARESS), a nonprofit that had been contracted with to operate the city owned shelter, began taking in dogs in November.

The manager of the organization says workers took the dogs to an Indian reservation. But he won’t say where, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“Every one of those dogs are happy, healthy, well-fed, watered, taken care of, loved and not abandoned any longer,” shelter manager James “Soaring Eagle” Vonda said. “Every Native American wants to have a dog and a cat because it relates to their spirit guide.” 

Vonda declined to give the location of the reservation, saying that revealing it might also disclose the location of a shelter he runs for victims of domestic violence.

The city of Ferris has since terminated its contract with DARESS, under which the city didn’t pay DARESS anything but did agree to make $5,000 in improvements to the shelter. The nonprofit was to make its revenue by adopting out animals.

Under the contract, after 72 hours of being held at the shelter, all animals became the property of DARESS.

“We can do what we want to do with them … we’re certainly not going to kill them,” said Vonda, whose nonprofit is based in Leonard in Fannin County, north of Collin County. “We’re going to take them to someone who will care for them for the rest of their life.”

The animal shelter is now back in the city’s control.

It’s not the first controversy involving the animal shelter in Ferris. In December 2008, the former city manager allowed Ferris police officers to shoot feral dogs on sight. Last summer, the city ordered all the animals in the shelter to be euthanized if they weren’t adopted within 15 days.


Comment from laura
Time April 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

They were probably set loose inside an Indian preservation, poor things. I doubt they are sleeping happily on a couch.