You'll Be Shocked To Learn BARC Doesn't Much Seem To Care About Its Dead Dogs, Either
Fido's dignified last ride, thanks to the City of Houston
So you're a higher-up at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, which has experienced public relations problems for the last...um, decades...and then one of your employees comes to you in February with a concern: An exposed-bed Solid Waste Department truck that hauls from the shelter to the landfill is partially filled with corpses in clear bags.
You don't really know what the employee's problem is -- the dogs are already dead after all. So we ran out of black bags -- what's the big deal? And it's not like they're being paraded around River Oaks; this is the ghet-to, after all. Who gives a shit if these people have to see Fido's stiff legs poking up in the air?
So then you see the photograph, and you're all, "Gee, thanks, bub, like I don't know dogs die every die," and then a distemper outbreak hits the facility, and now you've got dogs droppin' left and right. And then in May, a volunteer spots another truck leaving the facility, with a bunch of dogs that aren't even in bags at all, let alone clear ones. The volunteer pitches a fit, and finally some Solid Waste dudes throw a tarp over the cadavers, so at least some of the stiffs are covered.
And then an annoying reporter e-mails you, asking what the policy is for transporting dead dogs.
Like, do they need to be individually bagged? Or if they're just going to the landfill, does it really matter? Or if they die from distemper, are there health concerns from hauling their exposed corpses through a residential neighborhood? But really, you just don't give a hoot about public relations, so you don't get back to the reporter. Your job is secure. These are just animals, for heaven's sake. And this is a state that executes the mentally retarded. Yeah, you won't have to look for a new job anytime soon.
The important thing is, the administration paid a marketing company $11,000 to conduct an online survey of how Houstonians view the facility. And you're pretty sure of one thing: all those people who actually live near the shelter and see the dead-dog-trucks go by....do you really think they have Internet access?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.