A nonprofit advocacy group apparently received bad information from Albuquerque's animal shelters in response to public-information requests.We wouldn't expect the city to cop to playing with numbers so as expected Chief Operating Officer, Ed Adams turned on the spin cycle.
Debbra Colman, founder of the Alliance for Albuquerque Animals, said she believes the misinformation was deliberate.
"I'm profoundly disturbed that for three years the Alliance has been given false information," she said. "It just doesn't make any sense that the reports could have inadvertently been wrong rather than deliberately falsified."
Ed Adams, the city's chief operating officer, said a question about the accuracy of reports is part of the reason the mayor shook up the animal program last year. Mayor Martin Chávez last fall brought in new leadership for the shelters and made the program a stand-alone department in city government, meaning it reports directly to his office.Yeaaaah... that's it! That's the reason the "mayor shook up the animal program last year"... bad formulas... that's the ticket! Now with Marty's new regime in place everything is above board and they've "got nothing to hide."
The bad formulas were developed before Patterson took over, Adams said.
It appears that Director, Patterson's "nothing to hide" assertion isn't strictly true as we've received more evidence that the Journal story from Christmas Eve sounded better than it really was. The story by Journal reporter Jack King claimed that the Home 4 the Holidays adopt-a-thon left "Albuquerque's east- and west-side shelters [with] no animals available for adoption— all found homes at a weekend event."
Our Eyes tell us that the adopt-a-thon was held December 21st through the 23rd and that a few days after the event 67 dogs and 55 cats were still available before December 24th.Today we received numbers from the Alliance for Albuquerque's Animals that shows that as of December 26th three days after the event, there were 41 cats and 87 dogs still available for adoption. The review date included suggests that all of these animals were available at the time of the Home 4 the Holidays event.
(Sidebar)We've posted our latest information here. As you can see this report shows the impound number, review date, sex, spade or neuter status, animal evaluation, breed; and is broken out in to cats and dogs available in either the East or West side shelters on 12/26/07. While it's true that these numbers don't exactly match the ones we previously reported, they are close enough and they bear out that indeed there were animals available for adoption after the adopt-a-thon.
We're not suggesting that the Watermelon Mountain Ranch knew anything about the numbers being touted by the city. In fact, we don't want to do anything to discourage volunteerism at our city-owned shelters. However, we do believe that the city has both a legal and ethical obligation to tell us the truth about their successes and their failures.
We really don't understand the administration's need to overstate the success of an event that had by all accounts been a tremendous success without having to inflate the figures. Kudos to the Watermelon Mountain Ranch folks and everyone who worked their tails off to place animals in good homes; they deserve better than fuzzy math for our furry friends.