October 21, 2009 -- BREAKING NEWS -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After hearing evidence of shelter conditions, Austin’s Animal Advisory Commission unanimously held that Town Lake Animal Center is in violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code; Commission recommends “immediate” changes.
AUSTIN, TX - After hearing evidence of the condition of sick and healthy animals impounded at Austin’s municipal animal shelter tonight, members of the council-appointed Animal Advisory Commission unanimously held that the shelter is in violation of Texas Health and Safety Code Section 823.003(c).
The Health and Safety Code is State of Texas law adopted by the Texas Legislature. The Code provision of which Town Lake Animal Center was found in violation mandates that “[a]n animal shelter may not confine healthy animals with sick, injured, or diseased animals.” The Commission found TLAC in violation of the provision, and recommended that the City take “immediate” action to bring the shelter in compliance with State law.
Larry Tucker, Chair of the Commission, was “shocked” to learn first-hand of the conditions in which impounded animals were held. “With a $5.5 million annual budget, you would think that shelter Director Dorinda Pulliam could at least treat the animals humanely before they are killed. But we discovered that the shelter is routinely and inhumanely confining sick and healthy animals together, in direct violation of State law.”
This is not the first time the City shelter has been accused of violating State law. Just last month, Austin citizens Mark Moller and Seth Smith sued Pulliam and TLAC, also alleging violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code. That case is currently pending before the 98th District Court of Texas.
Town Lake Animal Center killed over 10,000 impounded animals last year. Communities in cities across America such as San Francisco, CA, Ithaca, NY, Reno, NV, and Charlottesville, VA, have dramatically reduced their shelter killing after adopting programs and policies recommended by the non-profit No Kill Advocacy Center.