Please speak out for Keiko! - The Petition Site
Kieko, a young dog, was brought to BARC (Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care i.e. Houston's animal control) on Monday, 3/15/10. You can see a photo of her the day she was brought in. It was obvious to everyone that she had suffered severe head and eye injuries.
Despite Keikos obviously severe injuries, BARC management decided that she should wait at BARC until Friday when her stray hold period would expire. At that point she would officially belong to BARC and BARC decided that they would remove her eyes. On Friday morning, BARC vet staff operated on Keiko. This was done despite that BARC has no diagnostic tools to properly evaluate the extent of Keikos injuries, nor do they have the proper surgical equipment for this type of surgery. If BARCs services had been the only option available for Keiko, BARC might have been considered a hero for attempting to save this animal. However, this is far from the truth.
Early in the week, the rescue community offered to take Keiko from BARC to a specialist where she could get the immediate specialized care that she so obviously needed. This would have been at no cost to BARC i.e. taxpayers. BARC director, David Atencio, repeatedly refused these offers.
After hearing of BARCs refusal, the community bombarded BARC and the city of Houston with requests that Keiko be released to see a specialist. BARC did not release Keiko to rescue, but on Thursday, BARC allegedly took Keiko to a specialist who allegedly recommended that her eyes should be removed. That day, a BARC representative told a TV reporter that the specialist had offered to perform Keikos surgery free of charge. This offer was refused and Keiko was taken back to BARC where BARC staff proceeded to operate on Keiko.
BARC is a clinic of last resort i.e. when there are no other options available. BARC staff has only the most basic diagnostic tools at their disposal; they have no x-ray machines and certainly nothing more sophisticated such as an MRI or CT scanner; their microscopes are in need of repair; their surgical equipment is geared towards spays/neuters only; they do not have the ability to run complete blood panels; many of the spays / neuters are done in a former closet. In addition, after delicate surgery such as this, Keiko would have required overnight medically monitored care. BARC cannot not provide this. Yet, BARC still proceeded with the surgery to remove Keikos eyes and not surprisingly she died.
There are a lot of troubling questions surrounding BARC's care of Keiko that have never been answered. Read more here: http://bit.ly/cY9vF5
Had Keiko been released to rescue who could take her to a specialist the minute she entered BARC, she might have lived. A specialist might have been able to save her sight had she been evaluated at that time. However, BARCs director and veterinarians utterly and stubbornly failed this dog and we believe it cost Keiko her life. The animals welfare should be the number one concern for the staff at BARC.
It is time for leadership change. Clearly, BARC leadership is not truly interested in saving lives and humane treatment of animals. We deserve better than this. The animals that enter BARC deserve better than this.
Please demand leadership who will work hard to save all the animals at BARC.