Let’s talk about Houston’s animal welfare issues.
As an animal lover and someone who has rescued more than a few animals I understand the importance of Houston’s animal shelters. However, we need to extend the hours of operation for city shelters to give Houstonians time before or after work or school to adopt, or turn in stray animals. Additionally, we can reassess the current budget for BARC facilities. It’s clear that the city’s shelters need help in order to meet animal welfare needs.
Another issue we need to address is the puppy mill problem. A puppy mill or puppy farm is a commercial dog breeding operation and they are a problem in Houston. It’s time to ban backyard breeders and puppy mills and prevent unnecessary cruel treatment to animals.
My campaign is built on amplifying the voices of Houstonians, but we can’t forget to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. And that means standing up for Houston’s animals. For me this also means being a vegan. As Mayor, I will continue to work with animal rights and vegan activists to help make Houston a friendlier place for all life.
Derrick Broze’s Plan for Houston’s Animals:
- Extend Hours for BARC facilities – Houstonians work hard and study hard. Sometimes this means not being able to make it to a city facility before opening or closing time.
SOLUTION: I believe we need to extend the hours of these facilities to help Houstonians have additional opportunities to turn in a stray, donate, visit, or volunteer with BARC. Of course, this would require additional funding which will be available when my other policies (Hemp Houston particularly) are enacted.
- Ban on Puppy Mills – A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding operation. These facilities are often overcrowded with animals who are in need of medical care or simply in need of more space. These operations are a nuisance and not fair to the animals.
SOLUTION: I would support a ban of these facilities or increasing regulation. I want to work with animal advocates directly to develop the language for any regulation or ban.
- Houston’s Stray Animal Epidemic – I live in the 5th ward of Houston where stray dogs gather in packs and prowl the streets. While most of these dogs are harmless and simply looking for food, some of them do pose a danger. This is an issue I have been personally affected by. In Summer 2019 I lost my best buddy of 11 years (Jimi the Cat) to a wild dog attack. Additionally, the animals which are not dangerous need help.
SOLUTION: Houston needs to increase communication between private organizations working on animal adoption. We need a closer relationship with Houstonians who are out in the streets everyday rescuing animals. Together the City of Houston and animal advocates can increase adoption and decrease animal deaths.
- No-Kill Shelters – I support the efforts of local animal advocates and groups who work to increase the presence of no-kill animal shelters in Houston.
SOLUTION: As Mayor I would work with council to provide additional funding for no-kill shelters.
- Communication with Animals Advocates – From my experience as an activist and an animal advocate, I understand that in the current administration animal advocates have been ignored. I want to ensure that animals advocates, activists, rescuers, and all stake holders have a voice in my administration.
SOLUTION: I would support the creation of a specific animal advocacy citizen review board which gives Houstonians a voice at the table. This would allow for animal issues to be communicated directly to the council and Mayor.
- Plant-Based Diets – For me, being a defender of animals is not just about rescuing them off the streets, but committing to reducing violence against animals in general. This is why I am a vegan.
SOLUTION: As Mayor, I would support working with non-profits and the private sector to increase education about plant-based diets. To be clear, Houston taxpayers would not pay for educational events about plant-based diets. Rather, I would work with vegan and animal rights organizations to host public events to further educate Houstonians about the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet.
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