Concerns in Pueblo Rising
No Kill advocates in Pueblo are concerned that their hopes of a No Kill Pueblo are in jeopardy as Colorado State inspectors announced they are investigating Community Animal Services of Pueblo (CASP). CASP is run by Paws for Life, a No Kill organization that took over operations of animal control for the City and County of Pueblo beginning January 1, 2019. Click the image to watch a video statement from the PAWS Board President about the investigation.
The investigations and reports of potentially violations at the shelter are not terribly surprising to No Kill advocates who have quietly watched as PAWS has faltered to put in place the programs needed to successfully achieve and sustain open-admission No Kill operations.
When PAWS took over the animal control contract, they had only about one month's notice to get everything in place, which was a nearly impossible goal. Furthermore, PAWS for Life had to pivot operation to run an open admission shelter and take responsibility for animal control which was a new discipline for them.
For those and other reasons it was anticipated the Board would seek expert, outside assistance for the transition. However, they did not do that, nor have they set out to put in place the all of the provisions of the No Kill Equation, all of which are essential for success.
No Kill Movement has said many times that achieving No Kill is 100% about effective leadership. To-date, effective leadership has been lacking. If that does not change, No Kill will not succeed in Pueblo. The board must act to put in effective leadership to emerge out of this crisis. In the last few days, it has been announced that the director has been put on administrative leave, and the full-time vet has been terminated. They have received help from other organizations but no permanent or interim executive director has been announced as of today. There is not enough information at this time to make a prediction on the fate of this fledgling No Kill community. But there is opportunity for the board to take action and reverse the ship to save lives and provide the Pueblo community with the shelter it demanded.
As Rachel Maddow likes to say, "Watch this space."