spending some time at this shelter, we can honestly report that
the best thing Pflugerville's lost and homeless animals have going
for them is the potential for Shelter Director Lt. Bill Anderson,
his Animal Control officers, and their growing team of volunteers,
to engage the whole community in working to become a model No
Kill city focused on saving lives instead of making
excuses for ending them. "No Kill" is not so much about
budgets and shelter facilities as it is about communities working
together to save lives.
the Pflugerville Animal Shelter show the city could quickly become
nationally recognized as No Kill with an organized effort from its
animal-loving citizens. This would erase the shame of the city's
recent decision to spend $7 million dollars on a library expansion
while its homeless animals got a few new fans (to help keep their
eleven adoption cages in the open-air shack the city calls a shelter
below 110 F during the summer) and a donated washer/dryer!
Coleman's boast on the city website that Pflugerville "provides
the highest quality of services..." ignores the animal shelter
like a dirty family secret. Though change is beginning to happen,
at this time shelter volunteers must be thick-skinned enough not
to mind seeing animals unattended up to 19 hours at a time because
staff and volunteers are not present to care for them, leaving dogs
panting in cramped kennels that have no temperature control, and
learning that healthy, loving animals they've been caring for were
killed when the tiny facility got full. After the community has
embraced all elements of the No
Kill Equation, and resources have been allocated
to bring Pflugerville's animal shelter out of the dark ages, Mayor
Coleman's boast that "Pflugerville remains a place where quality
meets life" will be an honest one.
emails to city officials - see EASY instructions on right
at the shelter
you live in or near Pflugerville, this is the BEST way to help
the animals and move the city toward becoming a No Kill community!
with animals and the public CAN be a creative, fun, and satisfying
job WHEN it focuses on saving lives through maximizing reclaims,
adoptions, rescues, and fosters.
the volunteer program in Pflugerville gets organized enough
that volunteers know their time is being maximized, and the
Mayor, City Manager, and City Council replace their old excuses
with a lifesaving mission that gives the community hope and
something to work toward, volunteers must be prepared to handle
frustration and heartbreak.
scheduling of individuals for tending the animals and helping
at too few off-site adoption events is non-existent. Volunteers
to stay "positive" in the face of tragedy as animals
are trapped inside small, hot (and often dirty) kennels without
air conditioning, often neglected
due to city understaffing, and then
killed when kennels and cages in the make-shift shack are full.
As in other backward cities that see volunteer programs as more
trouble than they're worth, one volunteer was even threatened
with dismissal for asking too many questions and voicing too
is underway and volunteering is the best way to
help it move forward. The animals
who cannot speak need people to care for them as well as speak
up for them.
volunteer application is at the bottom of their web page.
Since training classes are offered infrequently, you might ask
Lt. Anderson if he would allow you and other interested individuals
to fill out the required paperwork and view the instructional
DVD's so you can get started helping as soon as possible. The
animals need you!
do NOT have to live in Pflugerville to sign
the petition asking the city to build a new shelter.
8am - 6 pm, 7 days a week, 1600 Waterbrook Drive.
You may schedule an appt with Pflugerville Animal Control at 990-PETS.
If you arrive without an appt and officers are not on site, call
the Police Dept at 251-4004 and dispatch will send someone to
for excellent advice on writing press releases!
to the shelter
Pet food, treats, toys, or blankets can be
dropped off at the Police Dept (across from Walmart on Pfennig
Lane). Or contact Lynn Vaughan at 512 587-8221 or
and she can pick them up and deliver them to the shelter.
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FOR CITY COUNCIL
- A full-time
Shelter Supervisor who is passionate about transitioning
from traditional to No Kill is urgently needed. Despite
best efforts of current shelter staff, demands of their on-call
positions leave animals unattended for UP TO 19 HOURS
AT A TIME and too many healthy, loving animals
are killed at the discretion of staff because of "space/time"
concerns. As desperately as a new shelter is needed in Pflugerville,
it's already been proven in many other cities that facilities
don't save lives, PEOPLE do! That's why a new Shelter Supervisor
must be the city's top priority. Financial help
is even available for cities who are committed and working toward
No Kill goals!
- The city
desperately needs an aggressive low-cost spay/neuter program
to curtail its homeless pet population. The shelter is often filled
to capacity, with many dogs and cats not spayed or neutered. Females
are often pregnant.
adopting and rescuing animals are hindered for reasons that are
easily and economically remediable:
elements of the No Kill Equation are completely
missing in Pflugerville,
Pflugerville residents are not even aware the shelter exists:
signage needs to be enlarged and strategically
placed to help the public find the shelter in its current
location behind the Gatlinburg Subdivision.
about the shelter should be prominently displayed on the
city's website to accommodate citizens
looking to retrieve beloved lost pets or seeking to adopt
service announcements, news articles,
and advertizements via local TV, radio,
and print media informing the community about current
lifesaving efforts and victories at Pflugerville's animal
shelter, showcasing a shelter "Pet of the Week,"
extolling the benefits of adopting shelter animals (as
opposed to buying pets from breeders), etc., are needed
to increase public awareness and grow the volunteer team.
are locked and six days a week there is only one Animal Control
Officer on duty and that person is often out on call. A full-time
Shelter Supervisor is urgently needed to assist the
- The shelter's
PetFinder site (showing lost and adoptable
pets) is not updated daily. This is critical for the sake of
citizen's lost pets as well as homeless animals who deserve
a chance to find forever homes.
conditions at the out-dated, make-shift facility are maximized
by Lt. Anderson and his staff using the meager resources they
are given to work with, Mayor Coleman, City Manager Brandon Wade,
and City Council are LONG overdue in budgeting for a real
- The small
kennels and tiny stackable cages are often filled to capacity.
- In the
adoption ward, the eleven dog kennels are too small for large
dogs; cots take up almost half the space and there are no
- In the
intake ward, kennels are even smaller and the structure is
not fully enclosed. The outer "wall" consists of
a chain link fence with plastic covering.
is no central heating or air conditioning. In the summer temperatures
inside both wards can reach 105 degrees F even with the newly
installed wall fans operating. If fans could provide adequate
defense against central TX summer temperatures (which regularly
reach over 100F in Pflugerville), city officials would surely
consider installing them in their own offices in lieu of expensive
air conditioning to save money. In winter kennels are drafty
despite the addition of space heaters that were added to try
to prevent winter temperatures from falling below 65 degrees
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current animal shelter was built about twenty years ago. Since the
year 2000, the city's population has grown from approximately 17,000
to over 50,000. With this increase has come an increase in the numbers
of homeless animals.
somewhat at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter (aka PAC or the Pound)
after a rescuer “blew the whistle" in January 2006 and
citizens complained to city officials about poor kennel conditions
and the shelter's use of a barbaric, inhumane gas chamber to kill
The kennel attendant
was fired, two Animal Control Officers and two part time employees
were hired, and the shelter started using lethal injection to kill
animals when they run out of kennel space.
included upgraded electricity and water heater, and the addition
of three wall fans in the kennels and two large outdoor exercise
pens for the dogs. A washer/dryer combination and a dishwasher were
adoptions, Pflugervillle Animal Control (PAC) officers began taking
dogs offsite to Petco and PetsMart as well as transferring animals
to the Humane Society of Williamson County (a No-Kill facility)
and a cat rescue group. Concerned citizens formed Friends of
the Pflugerville Pound (which has become mostly inactive) to
increase community involvement through volunteer participation.
Since May of
2006, PAC held about six training classes but attendees either decided
not to volunteer or quit after only a brief time. Two volunteers
who quit said they found it too depressing to see the animals
in their small enclosures with no heating or a/c. Other people who
decided not to volunteer complained the shelter was too depressing
and/or there was too much bureaucracy involved.
ago a new animal shelter facility was placed on the City of Pflugerville's
bond election issues to be voted on. The shelter's supervisor Lt.
Bill Anderson did extensive research for the new facility estimated
to cost approximately $1,000,000. In the end, the bond committee
voted not to include the new animal shelter on the bond package
but instead proposed spending $7 million dollars on a library renovation.
Citizens voted without being made aware of the needs at their city's
In 2006, Police
Chief Hooker informed City Council that when Pflugerville developed
the Justice Center’s master plan, an animal shelter would
be included right next to the Justice Center. A high traffic location
right across from the Walmart store would have been ideal! Now,
Chief Hooker says that the area behind the Justice Center is too
small and the nearby property is too expensive to purchase.
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animals are languishing in an old, tiny, open-air, shed-like facility
while plans commence for the city's new $7 million dollar library
expansion project. For the animals and the people in the community
who care about their welfare, this is entirely inconsistent with
the city's motto: "Where quality meets life!"
While Lt. Bill
Anderson and the current PAC staff work hard to maximize the pathetically
meager resources they are given to work with, the truth remains
- The shelter
location is hidden out-of-sight and out-of-mind,
- The facility
is twenty years old, make-shift, and not even fully enclosed,
- Kennels have
no temperature control,
- Kennels are
very few and very cramped,
- Animals are
killed at the staff's discretion after their hold times are up,
- The shelter
is tragically understaffed,
- Animals go
unattended up to 19 hours at a time (meaning that during this
time the bored, playful ones who overturn their bowls have no
water and some dogs end up sleeping in their own waste),
come last on their city's list of budget priorities.
urgently needs to hire a full-time Shelter Supervisor. Currently
the kennels are locked most of the time. Six days of the week there
is only one Animal Control Officer on duty; on Wednesday there are
two. ACO's are often out on call. This means visitors, rescuers
and citizens seeking to reclaim lost animals or adopt new ones often
have to call the police department and have dispatch arrange for
one of the officers on duty to meet them at the kennels (a huge
inconvenience for most busy people).
The most heart
breaking concern (besides the killing that happens when kennels
are full) is that animals can go unattended up to nineteen hours
at a time. The part time staff leaves at 1:00 p.m. and regular
staff doesn't return until 8:00 am the next day.
While Lt. Anderson
and his staff are currently getting some help from community volunteers,
and a new citizen group has formed whose goals and priorities are
unclear at this time, citizen activists should not be expected to
take on the duties of Animal Control Officers or a much-needed Shelter
Supervisor which their tax money should already be paying for!
No Kill cities, volunteer energy and enthusiasm are directed toward
creative programs and activities designed to get the animals out
of the shelter and into good homes. Volunteers don't face having
to learn that animals they cared for and bonded with were killed
because of tired, out-dated excuses like "budget, time, and
space." They are encouraged to focus on tasks that maximize
adoptions and minimize killing to the true definition of euthanasia
(Mosby's Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition: 1. an easy or painless
death. 2. the deliberate ending of life of an animal suffering from
an incurable disease...). They enjoy the satisfaction and fulfillment
that comes from saving lives, and are motivated by that hope to
dedicate more time and energy to the cause.
gets on board with the No Kill movement and passionately commits
to making it happen in their community, the future for Pflugerville's
homeless animals remains uncertain.
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You do NOT need to live in Pflugerville to sign the on-line
petition asking the City to build a new shelter.
make a huge difference! Never underestimate the power
of the pen!
just a moment to email Mayor Coleman and City Council. See
talking points on the left and sample text below.
you can send letters to them at these addresses:
Pflugerville, TX 78691
Pflugerville City Council
Pflugerville, TX 78691
TEXT - feel free to cut & paste and edit.
(Name of city offic ial),
am writing to urge you to make desperately needed, long-overdue
changes to the Pflugerville Animal Shelter.
a growing city of over 50,000 residents, it's a shame that
Pflugerville's homeless animals languish in an under-staffed,
cramped, stiflingly hot, out-of-the-way shelter where they
are killed when kennels get full.
urgently, a full-time Shelter Supervisor is needed to properly
care for the city's animals, organize
public, improve public relations, and passionately
work toward increasing reclaims, adoptions, rescues/transfers,
and fosters using
Nathan Winograd's No Kill Equation. The relatively
minor cost to the city would be offset by much-improved service
to taxpayers and their beloved pets. It would also save the
lives of countless homeless animals who deserve a chance at
life and a good home. When it comes to animal sheltering,
the people who care for the animals have far more impact than
any other single factor including budget, facility (size,
age, condition, amenities, etc.), facility location, and size
and demographics of the city. There is no good reason to delay
hiring a full-time No Kill Shelter Supervisor!
realize that with Austin currently working toward becoming
a No Kill city according to the proven No Kill Equation, the
attention focused next door on Pflugerville's "old guard"
approach to animal sheltering will only increase over time.
To keep up with the times, Pflugerville's new Shelter Supervisor
must be passionate about accomplishing all elements of the
No Kill Equation.
the shelter needs to be prominently featured on the city's
website and new, highly visible signs are needed to direct
visitors from both directions on Dessau Road. Again, the positive
return on investment will far outweigh the city's minor expenditure
for these efforts.
the establishment of a low cost spay/neuter program is absolutely
essential to curtail the city's homeless animal population.
Pflugerville needs an up-to-date facility with adequately
sized, temperature controlled kennels. City officials should
waste no time in making up for their callous approval of a
$7 million library expansion while pooh poohing a proposed
new $1 million animal shelter. It's a shame voters were not
even given the opportunity to consider a new animal shelter
that would have cost a mere fraction of the library expansion!
am thankful for Lt. Anderson and his staff who do better than
some cities with the meager facility and budget they are given
to work with. But homeless animals, being among the city's
most vulnerable inhabitants, deserve a higher level of regard
than they've been receiving from their stewards in city government!
animal shelter can easily become a focal point of compassion,
hope, and life for citizens to get involved, as animal shelters
are in more progressive cities! A No Kill animal shelter that
is properly staffed and improving as the city grows will not
only elevate the whole community, it will be consistent with
the city's motto: "Where quality meets life!" and
make everyone proud.