Seagoville animal shelter sets 'no-kill' goal

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on April 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 28 at 10:37 AM

SEAGOVILLE — When you hear the term "animal control," you probably think of crowded cages full of dogs and cats for whom time is running out.

But that's not what is happening in Seagoville, and Sgt. Karl Bailey gets credit for that.

Bailey admits he's somewhat of a softie when it comes to animals.

When the Seagoville Police Department took over the city's animal shelter in January, the chief put Bailey in charge.

His first priority? To stop using a gas chamber to kill cats and dogs no one wants to adopt.

"I can't in good conscience put down animals that are healthy," he said. "I can't sleep at night if I did that."

And that's what caught our attention.

Sgt. Bailey traded in his patrol car for an animal control truck. He learned to administer vaccinations from a local veterinarian.

And ordered the shelter's staff to stop euthanizing cats and dogs that can't find homes.

"You don't sleep very good at night knowing you have to do this, and sometimes you wonder is God going to forgive you for it," said Seagoville police Officer Brenda Stevens.

Just last month, the City of Austin pledged to adopt out or release 90 percent of the animals that come into its shelter rather than euthanize them.

Seagoville has a much smaller operation, but it is trying to become the first 100 percent "no-kill" city shelter in the state.

"Sgt. Bailey has made it well known and broadcast it far and wide — he wants help. He wants rescue partners. He wants volunteers," said Jonnie England of the Metroplex Animal Coalition. "He wants to save lives here, and that's just commendable."

Seagoville has either adopted out or given rescue groups more than 75 cats and dogs.

He has even offered them on Facebook, trying to change the perception that municipal shelters like Seagoville's no longer need to be places where animals go to die.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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