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Tag: ferris

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.

Texas town approves shooting stray dogs

The rural North Texas town of Ferris — about 20 miles south of Dallas — has approved a policy that allows authorities to shoot “wild” roaming dogs.

Ferris City Manager David Chavez said the Ellis County town approved the policy because it was becoming a dumping ground for unwanted pets. People drive out to the country to release pets they no longer want, but the starving animals breed, form packs and wind up scavenging for food, he said.

Ferris Police Chief Frank Mooney said the city would shoot only “potentially violent dogs,” and only as a last resort — after attempts to humanely capture the animal had failed.

This is a case, once again, of dogs being punished for the acts of humans; it’s the sort of thing you might expect in Baghdad, or maybe Alaska; and it’s full of faulty reasoning.

Every dog (like every human) is “potentially violent,” especially when it sees a lynch mob coming after it. My dog once roamed the streets himself, and gentle as he is, I’m sure he might have given indications otherwise if someone came after him with a rope or pole, much less a shotgun, which the new policy permits. I’m not entirely sure smalltown Texas lawmen should be acting as judge, jury and executioner.

As you might expect, the new policy has enraged animal welfare advocates.

“It’s unfathomable to me that the city of Ferris just outlandishly wants to go out and shoot these stray dogs,” Niloofar Asgharian, a board member of the nonprofit Animal Connection of Texas, said in a story in the Dallas Morning News. “It doesn’t do anything except that these dogs end up dying a slow, miserable death.”

Animal welfare advocates have suggested trapping the animals and better enforcing laws that prohibit dumping dogs.

“It seems like a cruel punishment to the animal when the blame is on people,” said Sherwin Daryani, the executive director of Operation Kindness.

There are 50 to 100 feral dogs roaming Ferris’ streets, said Misty Clark, the city’s lone animal control officer.

The town of Ferris can be reached through this contact form.

(Image: From dallasartsreview.com, ”Stray Dog,” a painting by Roger Winter, an artist and teacher from Denison, Texas, who served on the faculty of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts)

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