New for August 2011: We've added two blogs, for Austin, Texas and Macon, Georgia (see list of shelters at left to see the two new blogs, MACONBLOG and AUSTINBLOG). These are an ideal way to dialogue with others working to reform these two cities!
Reform was initially created to help shelter animals in Macon, Georgia.
We now also assist others* who desire to help their own local animal
shelters become the places of compassion, hope, and life they can
and should be.
How do the beasts groan! The
beasts of the field cry also unto Thee!
(Joel 1:18a & 1:20a KJV)
on to find out what's been happening in Macon, Georgia.
hope our site encourages you to confront truth, expose what's wrong,
and pursue justice and change.
OVER ONE YEAR
AGO in March 2009 we created this site after Kathy Selbrede had
unwittingly discovered mistreatment of animals so horrific at the
Macon Animal Shelter in Macon, GA the memories can still cause her
to lose sleep.
OVER THE PAST
YEAR, it's been a heart wrenching roller coaster ride seeing some
evidences that Macon really does care about its lost and homeless
animals, and time after time watching each ray of hope lead to a
dead end. When the curtain is pulled back on Macon Animal Control,
things have not improved since February of 2009, and have arguably
grown worse. Shelter Reform stands speechless at the propaganda
machine AC Pup, which was created by Patti
Jones of Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S. after City Council appointed
her to improve the public image of Macon Animal Control. On Central
Georgia C.A.R.E.S.' new website, AC Pup states that, "I
work with Central Georgia CARES to find homes for the more than
6,000 animals that come through our shelter..." This claim
is insanely exaggerated by a factor of a hundred, especially considering
that only animals that have been spayed/neutered are eligible for
adoption. Considering that a major function of Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S.
is fundraising, the claim is utterly fraudulent as stated. Over
80% of the animals taken into the Macon Animal Shelter are being
killed without any hope for adoption, and most who are not killed
are either returned to their owners or found dead in their pens.
Adoption is the least likely way out of the Macon Animal Shelter,
despite the fact that on his facebook page AC
Pup often proclaims that it's a wonderful day and that many
"precious babies" are being adopted. Probably the most
notable discrepancy that AC Pup hides is the fact that Macon Animal
Control has alienated the majority of local rescue groups, denying
the animals their major lifeline out of death row (in the back holding
area where pens are often overcrowded, animals are starved to reduce
clean-up and hosed down inside their pens, and volunteers and the
public are no longer allowed). We were hopeful that citizen volunteers
at the Shelter were actually being allowed to make a difference
for the animals, but the truth is that volunteers are only allowed
to work with the very few animals chosen for the Adoption Ward,
and they are forced out when they ask too many questions or voice
too many concerns. Our initial hopes that Macon city officials might
be genuinely interested in moving toward becoming a model No Kill
community have been repeatedly diminished by their dedication to
protecting their Status Quo.
AT THIS TIME,
we are looking forward to seeing the Macon Police Department's Internal
Affairs Investigation into the Macon Animal Shelter completed and
justice served to perpetrators of heartbreaking animal abuse. Since
its inception, Shelter Reform received many reports from witnesses
of cruelty and abuse perpetrated by Macon Animal Control and Shelter
staff over the years including 2009. Animals have suffered and may
continue to suffer inexcusable mistreatment by the same shelter
staff when no one is looking. It's a general rule that killing by
(Macon's focus last year as city officials were pressured into finally
demolishing their gas chamber) can be cruel and animals can suffer
horrifically, even waking up later in body bags, when they are entrusted
into the hands of inhumane or irresponsible caretakers. The Macon
Police Department has been painstakingly slow in making any progress
toward completing their investigation.
you can do to help animals in Macon
ANIMAL SHELTER -- Whether or not you live in Macon,
your visit to the shelter is important. Public scrutiny is a powerful
crowbar to stop improprieties. Moreover, public awareness and involvement
are the only way to bring about positive change.
Ask for a tour
of the facility -- from Intake, to the Holding Pens (where stray
animals spend their 7-day hold periods), to the Adoption Ward --
so that you can see for yourself how the animals are being treated
and cared for from start to finish. We would love
to receive many positive reports back from visitors to the Macon
Animal Shelter! Ask the staff about their plans and goals and thank
them wholeheartedly for all the good you see, keeping in mind that
change often takes time. And don't forget to ask what you can do
of all, one of the animals you meet at the shelter just might be
the perfect companion you'll want to take home with you! And you'll
know you rescued that animal from an unconscionable end.
OF THE PEN -- Whether or not you live in Macon, your
effort in sending just one email can speak volumes, and it can take
less than a minute of your time.
input from the community and its tourists drive policy. This is
exactly why animals and politics do NOT mix. But it's also why YOU
can help, just as those who took a moment to write about the gas
chamber saw it demolished ahead of schedule.
A moment of
your time can make a tremendous difference to countless animals.
YOUR STORY -- If you've seen an Animal Control
officer going out of his way to treat animals well, we'd love to
showcase those public employees who care. We have repeatedly mentioned
one such individual at Macon Animal Control throughout this website.
We want to acknowledge those who are a credit to their profession.
Strong leadership should be commended and we won't hesitate to publicize
the good in any community if you will only alert us to it.
the other hand, if you've witnessed
inhumane activities such as neglect or mistreatment at the Macon
Animal Shelter, or any shelter in the United States, please
share your story. Nobody will act on what you know until you
have spoken to many eyewitnesses of abuse in Macon who have forbidden
us to post their reports on this website and/or refuse to testify
to the police due to their fear of retaliation. Only a fraction
of what we have collected in our voluminous notes appears on this
website because of eyewitness unwillingness to let us share it,
or to disclose it to the police. We disdain anonymous "drive-by"
reports, so we restrict ourselves to reporting what can be properly
documented. Please realize that our documented reports are only
the tip of the iceberg. Like rape, animal abuse is grossly underreported.
And the silence of witnesses and bystanders is what
allows atrocities to continue.
are not affiliated with www.ShelterReform.org, an organization of
like mind that fought a parallel battle in New York several years
ago and who still keeps their website active for reference and inspiration
to top of page
bans gas chambers!
On April 29, 2010 the Ga Senate voted 37-8
to pass Grace's Law
(HB788) with a revision to begin the ban on 12/31/10.
here for video
of HB 788 floor debate and
vote before it passed in the House on March 16
(start watching at 46m 14s).
work remains to be done. While Grace's
Law mandates the use of EBI ("euthanasia"
by injection) rather than cruel and barbaric gas
to kill shelter animals, by definition euthanasia
can only be applied to animals which are irremediably
suffering. Municipal shelters, which routinely
kill healthy and treatable animals, can be reformed
into No Kill shelters (which means saving the
lives of 90% or more) by following the proven
11-point No Kill Equation.
a mission of compassion
gone bad, now being fixed.
have consequences. We're living with the consequences
of old, bad ideas, but the good news is that
things are changing!
been doing it wrong, and (it's time) to start doing
bad that's being fixed by individuals like YOU:
to 6 million animals a year are killed by animal shelters
(unacceptable, but a substantial improvement from
17 to 18 million fifteen years ago).
minute 10 animals die in shelters.
Most shelters kill 65% to 85% of all incoming animals.
together we are fixing it:
the will, commitment, and creativity to do the job
the myths: Killing homeless animals is NOT "a
necessary evil," and the "irresponsible
public" is NOT wholly to blame.
with others about our favorite new ideas!
can and will make a better
day for our animals!