Would you kill Riley? The Houston SPCA would

Would you kill Riley?  The Houston SPCA would
Would you kill Riley?

The below was forwarded to me through an animal related message board. It is from a citizen who has stepped up to try to save a homeless dog but who is hitting brick walls when dealing with Houston’s animal “shelters”.

I am posting it as is because it so clearly and heart wrenchingly illustrates the very serious problems in our shelter system.

Dear friends

I need your help to help a dog.

Riley was abandoned by his owner at the TC jester dog park in Houston on Thursday. No one can figure out why.

He is a sweet, gentle dog that was clearly someone's pet.

A nice girl named Lauren took responsibility for him but she cannot keep him or foster him. If she takes him to BARC he will surely be put to death, as the SPCA already said they would immediately put him down "because he looks like a Pit". For the record he does not look Pit, he looks like a Rottie/Shepard Mix, is extremely well behaved, nice with other dogs and sweet with kids. I know this because he is staying my yard. I cannot keep him or foster him either, but I can not send him to his death without doing whatever I can to save him.

Here is a video of Riley

Lauren has contacted all the rescues in Houston and no one will take him, everyone is full. However, Red Collar Rescue said they will take him if we find home a foster home or if we raise enough money to pay for his boarding. Just $600 will save his life, otherwise he will die at BARC. We need to be well on our way to $600 by Sunday. $600 will cover his first months boarding and vetting.

Please consider “Chipping In” whatever you feel you can manage. Even $10 will get us closer to $600. My neighbor has pledged $100, and I am going to put in $100 as well, so we have a good start. Red Collar Rescue is a legitimate dog rescue here in Houston and can provide you with a receipt for your donation.

You can donate at the ChipIn Page I have created:


if you feel more comfortable you can donate directly on the Red Collar Page, please just make a note that is for Riley the TC jester Dog Park Dog.

If you want to write a check to Red Collar that works too, I will be happy to come and pick it up if you live in Houston.

RED COLLAR was the ONLY rescue that would even consider taking Riley in, please help if you can.

Please forward this freely.

Thank you!


Chris Schwark

I have since learned that four people at Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA) said that Riley is a Pit Bull and would therefore be killed by the HSPCA.

Whether Riley is aggressive or adoptable never entered the conversation. The only thing considered was that 4 people at the Houston SPCA said Riley looks like a Pit Bull and therefore sentenced him to death. (Studies show that shelter workers misidentify dog breeds 87.5% of the time.)

Does this automatic death sentence represent your values? Would you so easily and cavalierly sentence Riley to death?

In addition, as I reported previously, the HSPCA advertises that they place “100% of healthy and behaviorally sound animals”. So what about Riley? He is healthy*, sweet, friendly and would make an excellent member of someone’s family, if given a chance. Yet the HSPCA condemned him to death and apparently would lie to us about whether he was "healthy or behaviorally sound".

It is outrageous that non-profit “shelters” such as the HSPCA, Houston Humane Society and CAP are not required by law to show their save and kill records to the public. And these 3 organizations won’t. I have asked the HSPCA, Houston Humane Society and CAP to produce their intake and outcome records twice in the last couple of months. None of them even responded.

These organizations are allowed by law to kill in secret. If you have donated to them, your donations could have been used to kill one of the tens of thousands of animals that are killed in these shelters each year. Sweet, healthy, highly adoptable animals just like Riley.... killed. But the community that these "shelters" serve don't know how many animals are being killed there and never will.… unless the laws are changed.

This killing mindset, which is so pervasive within our animal sheltering system and the secrecy, is exactly why shelter reform legislation is desperately needed in Texas.

This story illustrates exactly why the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA) was filed in Texas. This law would help save the lives of homeless pets just like Riley and it would require that non-profit “shelters” be transparent with the public about how many animals they adopt out and how many they kill. The above is but one example of why every single Texan should wholeheartedly support Texas CAPA.

Therefore, I am asking each and every one of you to contact the members of the Public Health committee and ask that they support Texas CAPA (H.B. 3450). Then, I ask you to send this article to every single person that you know.

Texas “shelters” that want to continue business as usual i.e. killing and hiding their numbers are fighting Texas CAPA along with other "humane" organizations, and we need your voice speaking up to drown them out.

Do not wait. The Public Health committee needs to hear from you today.

*I received an update that Riley's rescuers were able to raise enough money to place Riley in Red Collar Rescue's adoption program. Riley was checked out by a vet who said Riley is about 1 and 1/2 years old and tested negative for heartworms. In other words, highly adoptable. Thank goodness Riley's rescuers persevered.

The Army of Compassion came through for the animals again when the kill shelters failed.


If you would like to learn how every shelter can transform itself into a No Kill shelter, please attend No Kill Houston's Building a No Kill Community workshop on April 30th in Houston, TX.

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