No-Kill Animal Shelter Speaker Comes To Town Tomorrow

Tickets are still available for no-kill animal shelter advocate Nathan Winograd's seminar Saturday. The California-based Winograd will present his "Building a No Kill Community" workshop at the South Texas College of Law, 1303 San Jacinto Street. Tickets are available at www.NoKillHouston.org for $14.99, or $20 at the door. (It runs from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., so make sure to bring some coffee).

Winograd, former head of the Tompkins County (New York) SPCA and author of  Redemption:The Myth of Pet Overpopulation, is still in negotiations with the city of Houston over a deal to assess the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care.

This might be a good time for Hair Balls to point out that the still-unsigned contract between Winograd and the city contains Winograd's request to review shelter documents prior to his assessment. We can only hope that the city will be more forthcoming with Winograd than it has been with Houston residents who have filed numerous public-records requests this year.

The city appears to respond automatically by asking a state Attorney General's opinion over whether the information is truly public. The opinion requests that Hair Balls have seen don't even bother to point out why the city believes the information isn't public; the city's legal experts just use the see-what-sticks approach by listing all the exceptions included in the public information section of the Texas Government Code. (Apparently, the city of Houston believes all the lawyers in the AG's office just aren't busy enough and need to spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with an influx of questions over one public facility in one city; perhaps the AG's office should just set up it's own BARC unit).

It all leaves Hair Balls a bit pizzled: if the city believes the bulk of any relevant information isn't public, Hair Balls isn't exactly sure how Winograd - whose assessment fee will be covered by private donations - will be able to conduct a worthwhile inspection.

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