For A Life to Live’s no-kill mission to become a reality, our hand-in-hand working relationship with the City of Baytown is key.
To further that effort, Jay Garrett, founder and executive director of A Life to Live, serves on the Baytown Animal Control Advisory Committee.
“My role is to encourage and promote the implementation of life-saving programs and processes by educating city management, council, board members and staff about no-kill solutions that are being successfully used throughout the country,” Jay said.
“These programs have proven to not only save lives, but also are cost effective and sustainable. In addition, they have the ability to increase the morale of animal services employees and the public.”
Jay was appointed to the six-member advisory committee in September of 2016. Immediately into his appointment, starting at the first group meeting in January of 2017, he suggested a number of actions to support the no-kill effort.
During a committee meeting on May 3, 2017, he presented further improvement opportunities for Baytown Animal Services.
Key discussion topics included:
• Unnecessary euthanasia
• Leadership decision-making
• Physical and operational facility improvements
• Policies and procedures
• Public education efforts
Many of the points he raised were based on recommendations of a subcommittee, which conducted an independent review of Baytown Animal Services in Fall of 2015 and made suggestions to City Council.
While Animal Services Director Kevin Cummings presented some improvements made during the past fiscal year, Jay believes there is much more work to be done.
“The City of Baytown is way behind the curve when it comes to animal welfare. Statistically, when comparing the percentage of animals that leave our facility alive to the number of animals that are euthanized, we have a higher kill rate than the City of Houston,” Jay said.
“Based on the huge differences in Baytown’s human and pet populations compared to Houston’s, we have an opportunity to control our outcomes and manage our programs and processes in a much more refined manner.”
A Life to Live continues to do its part to save lives through animal rescue, volunteer programs, foster coordination, trap-spay/neuter-return, and a comprehensive adoption program.
“We’ve acknowledged the issues. We’ve identified the solutions. Now, life-saving programs and processes need to be put in place by the City of Baytown,” Jay said.
“We’re here to serve and be part of the solution. But, Baytown needs to take a life-saving stance and make the commitment to end the killing of healthy and treatable animals. We would like the city to put its foot down and declare that they are committed to saving lives.”
Written by David Berkowitz, public relations coordinator with A Life to Live.
The below are exerts from Christopher James' article within The Baytown Sun, which was published the day following the above referenced committee meeting.