Denver CO

Christopher Jenks, call me if you really want to become #NoKill

Ongoing issues in Fremont County and Canon City with the local animal shelter continue as the board and management refuse to acknowledge they have real challenges becoming a lifesaving organization.  The group STOP Fremont is watching and actively pressing for changes in the shelter.  Although there have been conversations before with Christopher Jenks, one of the board members, he cut off and conversations a few weeks past.

Mr. Jenks came back to the page yesterday and posted some comments.  The STOP Fremont crowd welcome his comments as well as any other form the management (To his credit, only one post was sent from the director, and only Mr. Jenks has posted more than once).

He asked some very direct answers which deserve answers.  And one statement I, as a No Kill advocate and board member of No Kill Colorado see as great progress.  I hope Mr. Jenks responds some more, and take us up on an offer to make his shelter a lifesaving organization he, the community and No Kill Colorado can be proud to be a part of.

Yesterday, November 15, Bryan Mathews posted:

“Hmmm … a board member of the Fremont County Humane Society believes that No-Kill is “not realistic in most cases” (see comment #3). I guess for them No-Kill IS realistic when you are hitting up rescues and shelters for dogs. Highly dishonest. ‘”

And Christopher Jenks responded:

“It has been about a month since I have been on this page, but it is a good read. How is this dishonest Bryan? No Kill is a great idea!!!! It is a great concept that we all strive for. If other shelters have too many animals and we have room, what is so bad about taking them in to get them adopted here? Why would we take in new animals for any other reason?”

I would like to take the opportunity to answer queries Mr. Jenks.  But first I would like to say as a board director of No Kill Colorado I am thrilled to hear you state “No Kill is a great idea!!!!”  It is a great idea. And thank you for now agreeing with me that far. 

Better yet Mr. Jenks, it is not only a great idea, it is a great success.  There are now more than 200 communities supporting more than double that number of cities and towns.  I encourage you to go to to see more about that yourself.  And think about how your shelter could join the ranks of the best shelter sin the country.

I highly recommend you (and encourage your staff, other board members, staff and volunteers) read all the wonderful literature available to make your shelter great.

I will make you an offer, I will come personally to your shelter and teach your staff what it means and help them implement it comprehensively with volunteers.

There is nothing special about Fremont County and Canon City that precludes it from saving more than 90% of all live homeless pets entering your shelter (the base measurement of a No Kill Community.  The only thing you need is a compassionate, hardworking director.  The rest is a set of common sense, clear programs and services that can make you save every treatable/healthy homeless pet that enters alive.

So here again is an offer you have already received, but it is offered again:

We are offering to place unpaid board members in your organization to help you get to the goal of No Kill if you really want to save lives.  We will find a compassionate hard-working director to replace the current one.  We will bring in a lot of volunteers to implement the No Kill Equation in your organization.  We will help you be honestly transparent to the community, and we will make that a benefit to you.  We will promote your success nationally.  We will make you Canon City and Fremont County a community that other communities look to as an example of compassion and effective animal welfare.  We will do what you have not been able to do for yourselves, but with our help, you can.

We will work to make HSFC the best shelter in Colorado

Your first question above was “How is this dishonest Bryan?” in reference to why soliciting dogs from shelters far way I Kansas was dishonest.  Well shelters and rescues got in touch with us and have told us your representatives were soliciting dogs under the premise you were No Kill.  As pointed out before, you had denied the existence of it at one point and now say it is something “strive for”’.   Excellent.  But saying you are No Kill when you are not implementing the programs that are needed to even move towards No Kill is not disingenuous, it is dishonest as Mr. Matthews stated.  I would argue that allowing your director to stay in his position alone precludes you from making that statement.

Your second question was “If other shelters have too many animals and we have room, what is so bad about taking them in to get them adopted here?”  That would not be bad under other circumstances.  But the premise your shelter was soliciting was dishonest, and unless you gave the transferring organization a guarantee these homeless pets would not be killed, what’s the point?  Transferring animals from one place to another to be killed is pointless. 

We hope because you will not kill any of these dogs as “unadoptable” a term we do not use.  As you are not full this may not happen, but your record is not very good on this.  You transferred over 300 dogs in 2012 and killed more than 170.  If you simply transferred less, you could have saved some if not all the dogs you killed last year.

 In fact, your shelter killed several cats as they were soliciting for dogs for the simple medical issue of a respiratory infection.  This ailment has established proven protocols that make killing a truly absurd (and inhumane) choice.  At the time, you only had a handful of dogs in the shelter.  Somehow your operation management chose to kill these homeless pets for what essentially can be called the sniffles. 

Lastly, the fact that you could not find a Colorado organization to provide you with dogs is telling.  Aware of the issues at your shelter, many other organization rejected you even as they could use help .  This is indicative of the reputation your shelter has garnered in the state as a dangerous facility for homeless pets.

Lastly “Why would we take in new animals for any other reason?”  is a fair question.  Hard to know the answer for sure.  But the reason you were questioned in the first place is that compassion does not seem to be in the business plan of the HSFC.  From stated eyewitness reports, adopters have been through shake downs when adopting with prices changes on the fly to milk money from people trying to save lives.  We have no issues with fair published adoption fees.  There are issues with stopping a life being saved because your policies rigidly place profit as your primary goal.  Cash flow and solvency are part of shelter management, but lifesaving should be the prime directive.

So, there it is, my best attempt at honest answers to why we question that everything your shelter does is missing the one component essential to a successful shelter: Compassion.

We can help you with that.  We made the offer before, we are making it again.

Will you choose to save lives, save the shelter, be the leader of an organization that the community you server can be proud?  We fervently hope so.

We can start today.  You have y email and phone number.  I am available anytime to help you save lives.




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