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  • Writer's pictureNo Kill Movement

Survivor: The Animal Welfare Edition

Editor's note: this story contains disturbing content. We are choosing to not publish the graphic photos that support the written information. We find the images too graphic. We are, however, providing links to them below for those who may want to verify the story.

A featured speaker at the American Pets Alive conference has been under fire for conditions at her animal shelter, which include dogs being seriously mauled by other dogs, dogs eating other dogs and more. Click the links above to see the gory details. And, when we say gory, we mean gory. Even worse: it is not a single case, or a few cases, but what seems to be many, including kittens. And, these are just some of the cases that have been reported that have been documented and that we know about. We do not want to dive deeply into the El Paso story. Others have covered it very well. Instead, we would like to take some time to ask important questions about those who continue to support this shelter and the person responsible for these horrific outcomes.

The animal shelter in question is El Paso Animal Services. Paula Powell is the director. She has also been a featured speaker at the American Pets Alive conference in the past, and is scheduled to be a speaker again in 2020, which is causing growing concern, and rightly so. To be completely candid: the administrators of this have been wondering for some time why this conference, which has been the leading conference for No Kill for several years, often features speakers, like Powell, who are not No Kill while it has also completely ignored some of the most remarkable success stories in the nation.

In the wake of these new stories about El Paso, we reached out to APA and asked if Powell is still going to be speaking. The answer we got back was yes, in fact, she is. While El Paso Animal Services does face a challenging job and has increased its live release rate with some progressive initiatives, such as a large scale foster program, these incidents and conditions are simply unacceptable. This shelter should not be held up as an example for others to follow.

The admins of this page have speculated among ourselves whether this is because, like so many conferences, the APA event is becoming just another popularity contest which ignores substance in favor of protecting fiefdoms. If that is not the explanation, we would sure like to know what is. The field of animal welfare is supposed to be about saving animals' lives, not protecting or promoting our friends. It is not supposed to be "Survivor: Animal Welfare Edition." Sadly, for some, it seems it is.


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