Monday, June 27, 2022

Three Dogs Gave Birth in City Shelter

The City of San Angelo instituted a mandatory spay-neuter ordinance in October 2015.  Despite the ordinance three Animal Shelter dogs had puppies in early May   Two of the three arrived very pregnant and delivered shortly after their shelter admission.  However, one had a distinct track record of shelter stays and releases.  How did the same owner get to reclaim their unaltered dog multiple times from the shelter? 

Also how did a pregnant dog in city hands for two months deliver seven puppies?  The City gave veterinary surgical equipment to Concho Valley PAWS in December 2019 for such a purpose.  

PAWS committed several times to recruit a full time veterinarian to serve the needs of the Animal Shelter including spay/neuter surgeries.  It did so in 2017 and again in 2020.

It's latest RFP submission from February 2020 has a commitment to employ a Veterinarian.  PAWS veterinarian search specifically mentions the shelter's need for veterinary care and spay/neuter surgeries.

It's been over two years since PAWS made service commitments in writing.  Surely someone could have fixed a pregnant dog during its two month stay in the animal shelter.  

That the unaltered dog was released twice to the same owner by city staff should be a surprise given leaderships statements from 2018.

"100% of dogs adopted have been spayed/neutered or are scheduled for their surgery."

...."tremendous trust in this process where there's a reconciliation.  We know who is outstanding for their (spay/neuter) surgery and who is not." 

“So the veterinarians report a missed appointment but we would not report a compliance issue.” -- Morgan Chegwidden to City Council on 2-20-18

Consider this dog's experience in light of staff's words.   The speaker is the person entrusted with enforcing the city's mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.

The present is a chronically overfilled shelter that saw three litters (20 puppies in total) born in May.  One third of those were entirely preventable as the dog had been in the shelter twice before and released unaltered.  It's disturbing that PAWS service commitments made two years ago remain unfulfilled and that spay/neuter surgery could not be accomplished during a two month window while the pregnant dog was in the Animal Shelter.  

Update 6-29-22:  


Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Dr. May's Career Ending Flaw at ASU

Angelo State University lost a beloved President in 2020 to a surprise resignation.  Staff pondered the possibilities but the answer was Dr. Brian May acted inappropriately for a leader.  He'd sexually harassed a university employee on multiple occasions in the workplace according to the Standard Times.

Leaders have survived such a situation by admitting their error and taking steps to rectify their boorish behavior.  Dr. May did not do that.  He attempted to contact the victim, leaving a message that they needed to recant their complaint.  He did so against the direct instruction of Texas Tech's Chancellor.

Dr. May was no longer the orchestrator of events.  His fatal flaw was believing he could make it all go away.  That likely arose in a panic from thinking he could lose all that he'd built in his career.  His actions made that very thing happen. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

City Council Heard about Vandalism/Restroom Policy that Does Not Exist

San Angelo City Council entertained a memorandum of understanding for the construction of public restrooms as well as parameters for operating and maintaining the restrooms in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.  

Citizens providing public comment shared their concerns about language requiring "the community" to fund fixture repairs/replacement from vandalism damage.  A number of citizens found this delineation discriminatory.  One gentleman called it insulting.  

City Manager Daniel Valenzuela assured those in attendance it had to do with additional costs.  The City Attorney said during public comment:

"I don't see that it is any different than how we handle vandalism in the parks" and

"... vandalism which appears again to be how we address vandalism just generally with our public restrooms."
I submitted a public information request after watching the City Council YouTube Livestream.

“Please provide the city's existing policy on vandalism in city park restrooms. Also. provide any recent changes to the vandalism/restroom policy. Thank you.”

The City quickly responded:

The City of San Angelo has reviewed its files and has determined there are no responsive documents to your request. There is no existing policy on vandalism regarding City park restrooms and therefore there have also been no changes.

What is different?  City leadership wanted to put it in writing for new restrooms at MLK Jr. Memorial Park when is not in writing for other city park restrooms. 

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Permain Gas Pipeline in Tellurian Bond Filing

Tellurian's Permian Global Access Pipeline is not dead.  A $500 million bond prospectus said:

The proposed Pipeline Network is currently expected to consist of three pipelines, the Driftwood pipeline, the Haynesville Global Access Pipeline and the Permian Global Access Pipeline.

The Permian Global Access Pipeline is expected to run approximately 625 miles from west Texas to southwest Louisiana. Each of these pipelines is expected to have a diameter of 42 inches and be capable of delivering approximately 2 Bcf/d of natural gas.

The cost of $4.2 billion is unchanged from prior estimates.  With inflation that will certainly rise substantially.

PGAP would cross under creeks and rivers that feed San Angelo's water sources.  

Update 2-6-23:  The cost of PVC pipe has soared to the point a City of San Angelo sewer line will more than double from earlier estimates.

A new pipeline, the Matterhorn Express Pipeline will run below our water sources.   

Update 3-10-23:  Tellurian's Chief Financial Officer resigned effective today according to an SEC filing.  The company's Chief Accounting Officer will assume the CFO duties.  That gentleman is a CPA but that means less and less in today's world of ethical lapses and distorted numbers.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Shelter Chief Thinks Every Cat Congregation is a Managed Colony

The head of San Angelo's Animal Shelter isn't constrained by city ordinances.  Shelter Chief Morgan Chegwidden wrote in an e-mail:

I think it’s splitting hairs to distinguish (1) spontaneously occurring cats not dependent on a human for a source of food and (2) registered colonies.

I understand the ordinance has a specific definition but we’re observing any where that cats congregate – I’d call that a colony. A colony can simply mean a group of one or more community cats.

She gets to call any collection of cats a colony, even though there are very different steps spelled out for group 1 vs. group 2.  

The city can handle group 1 any way it wishes but it is required by city ordinance to contact the community cat sponsoring organization for problem ear-tipped cats in registered colonies (group 2).  That did not happen when Morgan went to City Council in July 2021 for $5,000 to handle "problem community cat colonies."  City Council awarded her the $5.000 requesting a public information campaign and staff report back the effectiveness of the $5,000 expenditure.   

City of San Angelo Animal Control ordinances state in the definitions section:

Free-roaming community cat. A cat that is abandoned, stray, lost or feral and cared for by a free-roaming community cat caregiver pursuant to this chapter.

Free-roaming community cat caregiver. A person who, in accordance with the trap-neuter-return-maintain program defined in this chapter:

(1)  Provides care, including food, water, and shelter where possible, makes provisions for appropriate vaccinations, and medical care to a free-roaming community cat; or

(2)  Has temporary custody over a free-roaming community cat.

A free-roaming community cat caregiver shall not be considered the owner or keeper of a free-roaming community cat.

Free-roaming community cat colony. Any number of cats that congregate, more or less, together as a group and are managed by a free-roaming community cat caregiver. While not every cat in a colony may be feral or stray, any cat that congregates with free-roaming community cats is deemed part of a free-roaming community cat colony.

Animal Services leadership has long viewed ordinances as optional and "the red tape way" of doing things.  It's amazing leaders get to split ordinances into ones they follow and those that are optional.

It's worse when City leaders lie about the history of the community cat ordinance and omit important communications that directly counter their false narratives.  Following city ordinances isn't splitting hairs and should not be optional for city leaders and staff. 

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Large Dogs Have Long Stay in Animal Shelter

City adoption coordinator Concho Valley PAWS regularly informs citizens the shelter is full.  It's full of dogs who've been there for years.

The City of San Angelo Animal Shelter set its "No Kill" goal in July 2016.  Thirteen dogs in the shelter were admitted prior to that date.

The median admission date for shelter dogs of 5-12-2020 is over two years ago.  Half of the shelter's dog residents were admitted prior to May 2020 and half afterwards.

The majority of shelter dogs are large, mixed breed canines.  Many of them are pit bulls.  

City Council talked about Animal Shelter capital needs in its recent strategic planning session.  Citizens may not agree with spending hundreds of thousands in taxpayer funds for a department that provides little service to citizens in need.  

The shelter stopped taking owner surrenders in April 2019 via managed intake, a Pets Alive core strategy..  Volumes dropped significantly as the shelter choked off intake.  The Shelter plans to restrict intake even further.

The way to "No Kill" is to spay/neuter every animal in sight.  Over time this should result in fewer unwanted pets.  San Angelo has people who move in and out of town.  It has elderly residents who may need to move into assisted living.  People with pets die.  The shelter no longer helps people or pets in these predicaments. 

The city used Pets Alive's data driven approach to wall off the shelter, keeping it full of large, long stay dogs.  It hired an adoption contractor.  Despite a chronically full shelter, adoptions have decreased.  It spent significantly more to accomplish those strategies.  This doesn't sound strategic to me.