Target: Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston
Goal: Take action on increasing stray animal epidemic
The most recent headlines of stray animals hark back to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where stories of animals being rounded up by officials were counter-balanced by heart-warming stories of adoptions – many by the Olympic athletes themselves. But another story is emerging a little closer to home. Recent reports state that the stray situation in Houston has reached a critical point, with the city’s estimates standing between 600,000 and 1.2 million homeless animals. An even more staggering figure is that the city euthanizes 85,000 animals per year.
There are simply not enough animal control officers to keep the problem in check, and many volunteers have taken to wandering the streets themselves, feeding stray animals to try and prevent them from seeking food in residential areas. Not only does the overpopulation of strays cause the animals suffering, but it spills over into the human world. Over 2,200 animal bites are reported every year, but this figure is certainly much lower than the actual number of incidents, as many go unreported.
Programs in desperate need of funding are trying to help these animals, but with the money drying up, they can only go for so long. One such program, the Rescue Pets Movement, transports animals to Colorado, where there is a severe shortage of animals available for adoption. These actions brought down the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control’s euthanasia figures to record lows. But programs like this are doomed unless they receive the adequate funding and manpower.
The sheer numbers in this crisis are mesmerizing. The suffering of Houston’s stray animal population must be addressed, and the humanitarian crisis that springs from it must be recognized. Petition the Mayor of Houston to allocate the city’s resources accordingly to tackle this crisis.
Dear Ms. Parker,
The stray animal population in Houston has now reached a crisis point. With estimates of 600,000 to 1.2 million animals roaming your streets, 85,000 animals killed every year, and the thousands of reported bites from strays annually, both the animal emergency and its threat to humans must be addressed. By giving these animals the attention they deserve, you can solve many problems.
I am writing to you today to ask that you allocate money and manpower in order to deal with this growing threat to Houston’s stability. What may seem like a problem you can push under the carpet is spilling out, and will only get worse as stray animals breed and come into contact with more humans.
Ms. Parker, do not let this crisis get even more out of hand. Animal control officers and volunteers are already stretched to the limit, and with no funding, you cannot hope for a viable solution without drastic change. Do not let Houston’s reputation be tarnished by this epidemic.
The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control are preparing a report for your office, proposing the amount of resources that are needed to effectively deal with this problem. I am asking that you honor their request. Please give these organizations the funding they need to keep Houston’s animals, streets, and people, safe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alex Ranaldi via Wikimedia