A news piece was run tonight by Brian Mylar of The Defenders on KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas. The Defenders show is purported to help defend the citizens of the city against injustice and misinformation. Mylar also runs additional news stories for the station.
According to Mylar:
"My first priority is getting the facts right and then getting the story to our viewers first," Brian said. "People need to know what's going on in their city and it's our job, our sacred duty, to do the best we can to provide them with the information they need."
However, a glowing report about the city’s Animal Care Services (ACS) was given tonight in his story while leaving out a great deal of important information that is in his knowledge.
Many citizens in the city wonder who is being defended and why this “sacred duty” is not adhered to when being applied to full accurate reporting.
You may write to the investigative reporter at email@example.com
Many wonder why an investigative reporter such as Mr. Mylar claiming to defend taxpayer's rights would not include complete facts that he has been aware of to provide people with the information they need.
Below is a copy of a communication that was sent from Pet Advocate Kelly Plessala of Brooks Babies to Mylar in advance of his story. The letter provides an extensive amount of important facts. The investigative reporter did not provide any of this information in defense of the lives of pets or the people’s right to know.
~beginning of letter sent after previous coverage of the city council meeting~
“Yes, I am aware of the coverage last night and appreciate KSAT and WOAI being there as 24 of us that support the dogs at Brooks, were in attendance.
“The growing support for change for these dogs is impressive as over 20,000 (approx. 15,000 signatures on the "CHANGE BROOKS" petition and 5400 supports on the Brooks Babies -ARF! social media site) people are now aware that the City of San Antonio, Animal Care Services located on the Brooks Development Authorities campus, has a facility that is closed to the public, houses 1/3 of their dogs, that go unseen, unheard and without a voice.
“As stated last night, ACS frequently leaves off dogs, misidentifies dogs and is continuing to euthanize Brooks dogs daily even though kennel space is readily available. For example, 50+ kennels were open at Brooks on Tuesday, yet ACS euthanized 8 dogs instead of taking them back to Brooks to safety for additional time. Also note, these dogs are not taken to public adoption events and when they are transported from Brooks to ACS's Main location it is to be euthanized without ever having the chance to be seen by the public. A lucky few do get a few additional hours in the public eye in kennels known as "the Golden Crates" located between building 3 and 4. A Brooks Banner donated by the people who support these dogs to ACS, is placed above those dogs and for the last few weeks 3 ladies have sat out in the heat, encouraging people to adopt these dogs since they only have hours to live. ACS is now telling them they can no longer promote these dogs. Yet another blow to their already slim chances.
“Respectfully, I request that you be sure to clarify that the proposed changes to Brooks is just that "proposed" and not a definite.
“Also note, that the new Facility at Brackenridge, will not be replacing Brooks, so please do not paint the picture that it will be, as you did in the piece you did earlier in the year. Your following looks to you as the "Defenders" to report the information to the public that is fair and balanced and I am very hopeful that you will do so. Although it will be nice to have a new facility that cost the taxpayers millions of dollars, it is important to note that this facility will only utilize approximately 50 kennels and the 2000-3000 "possible" adoptions ACS mentions does little to help the estimated 7,500 dogs that go thru and will continue to go thru ACS Brooks Facility each year.
“I appreciate that you have so many different request for help, so I would like to provide some points for your understanding:
“1. Brooks is closed to the public and ACS does not mention or list this site as a location where dogs are housed. Neither does Brooks Development Authority. Per Heber Lefgren, ACS Assistant to the Director, ACS employees are not allowed to tell someone that they can go to Brooks, unless the employee believes the person fits the appropriate "profile" prior to determining if that person will be instructed to go to Brooks.
“--ACS continues to change their statements in regards to access to the Brooks Facility and states that the reason they can not allow the public is the fault of Brooks Development Authority. I have reached out to BDA several times and gotten no response. BDA's CEO Leo Gomez recently did a piece for the Rivard Report, emphasizing that Brooks was "greeting the future" with all the state of the art and developmental kudos of the property. (http://therivardreport.com/brooks-city-base-where-history-greets-the-future/). However, as you can see here, the kennels at Brooks are far from "state of the art" - http://vimeo.com/57712852
“--Brooks Development Authority does not even list or mention that there is a kill shelter on their grounds. When several tenants such as Texas A & M, were asked this week if they were aware that there was a facility that housed 1/3 of the dogs that come into the City of San Antonio, Animal Care Services care that were housed at Brooks in a facility that is closed to the public, they indicated that they were not aware of this at all. I am confident this is the case with the majority of BDA's tenants.
"2. 1/3 of the dogs that come into the City of San Antonio, Animal Care Services are housed a Brooks. Weekly dogs are being left off the ACS website and misidentified, resulting in dogs being euthanized without possible owners being able to locate their dogs or have a chance to be "rescued".
"3. There is no veterinary care at Brooks, i.e, no vet or vet tech, for these animals. Injured dogs continue to be placed at ACS Brooks location even though it is against the terms of their lease agreement with Brooks Development Authority. As recently as last week a dog was picked up by the rescue organization from ACS and immediately rushed to their vet for emergency care, since ACS provided none and was "unaware" of the problem. Unfortunately, there are to many stories like this. (Please note, the picture attached of the individual dog is the one I am referencing)
"4. ACS has recently implemented further restrictions on helping Brooks dogs: 1.) ACS will not assist with out of state adoptions and you will have to find a rescue partner or someone else to help you if you are interested in adopting one of these dogs. 2.) Although, ACS pleads for fosters to assist them with improving their live release rates, they are no longer allowing anyone outside Bexar county to foster which several limits the pool of those that wish to help. ACS claims this is because fosters from out of area do not attend their events and return fosters "occasionally" yet. For example, there is a very large following of people in Austin, since Austin is truly No-Kill, that try to save Brooks dogs, ACS policy changes continue to make it even harder to save these dogs.
"5. Dogs from Brooks are euthanized at a higher rate then dogs at the 151 location. Any dog that does not get seen and is placed at Brooks has a 0% Live Release Rate. As per the ACS Asilomar reports, ACS has had varying percentage decreases per annum, that artificially inflate their live release rate. See attached snapshot for reference. 6. 17 broken kennels are at Brooks and have been broken for over 1 year, that is over 200 dogs in a year that were euthanized instead of being given a kennel space.
"7. Brooks was originally planned to be a Quarantine Facility, yet ACS did not follow thru with this and instead have continued to use it as an overflow facility. In my meetings with ACS, they indicated frequently, that it is very low odds that this will happen now. However, I do give them credit for considering it once again.
"8. When I first started going to Brooks regularly in April of 2012, fewer then 2 out of every 10 were making it out alive. Now it is approximately 4 out of 10. Increased awareness of these dogs is making a difference but still the majority of people in San Antonio do not know about Brooks. This past weekend several people went to ACS main campus inquiring about Brooks dogs and they were not even told the facility existed. 9. ACS does not market all the dogs housed at Brooks. If any marketing is done, it is in a limited context for only 15-20% of the dogs housed there during a week.
"10. People who openly question ACS in regards to their treatment and behaviors towards these dogs are banned from posting any comments on their social media sites and Volunteers and Fosters are frequently told that they will no longer be allowed to help these dogs if they continue to vocalize their discontent with the treatment of these dogs.
"Thank you for your time and attention. If I can be of assistance in any way. Please let me know.
Mr. Mylar, please help them have a voice. Please.
Sincerely, Kelly Plessala Brooks Babies -ARF!
*(email address was present but withheld by this reporter)
~end of letter~
The link to the story run by Brian Mylar:
Citizens are fighting hard and will not give up in hopes that the city representatives that are paid by their taxes to represent them fully, and the media’s sacred trust to provide accurate stories, will eventually be upheld.
More information about the situation with ACS and the Brooks facility is linked below.
Email Mayor Julian Castro:
Contact the City of San Antonio through the link below: