13 months ago, "It's all about the dogs." contacted each individual Council Member, the Mayor, the Interim City Manager (full time Fire Chief), Deacon Tittel, BPD and NGO's on our initial fact-finding mission.
Theoretically, City Manager, in Bellaire's form of government, runs the joint, so we started with him. The meeting, on March 21, 2022, with Deacon was brief. After all, his Day Job was Chief of the Fire Department. Every question we had was appropriately referred to CoP Mo Lopez.
All the nonsense and happy talk regarding welcoming, discussing, citizen input was pretty much political B.S. At no time last year or since has any Bellaire elected official, bureaucrat or NGO coherently responded to citizens' requests or demands for substantive discussion.
Among the few who actually responded, Councilman Nathan Wesely did phone and agreed with us that our concept of a Citizens' Advisory Committee was needed to remedy the living(?) conditions at the Pound. Mayor Adam Friedberg referred us to Friends of the Bellaire Pound as a resource, in the absence of a full-time City Manager. Councilman Win Frazier who bought an enjoyable hour's worth of coffee, also agreed with the need for an Citizen's Advisory Committee and had some pleasant things to say about Chief of Police Mo Lopez. Councilwoman Dr. Catherine Lewis was eager to have an appointment, but in the in the meantime we had time scheduled with the Interim City Manager, the Chief of Police and the newly-hired Animal Control Officer. We agreed that a face-to-face with the good doctor probably wouldn't be necessary.
We did phone one of the 2 ladies who (according to the TX Secretary of State and the IRS) inherited Friends of the Bellaire Pound from the actual, original, "Founders" who actually live in Bellaire, actually hired the lawyer, actually paid all the fees and actually signed all the original paperwork to create the non-profit organization. We'd called the new heir-heads just to arrange a convenient time to meet, but one had sick kids and her "partner" was always "busy working". None of our subsequent emails or voice mails received any response from FOBP.
CoP Mo volunteered that we should delay our appointment for 3 weeks specifically so that the new entry level hire could have a couple of days to get her feet on the ground and attend the meeting. 'made perfect sense to us ....
Cops are trained and legally allowed to lie to criminal suspects, hence the rate of wrongful arrests and convictions due to false confessions approach ~ 30%, if not more. Apparently bad habits are hard to break, even when conversations come to some cops interacting with citizens' offers of assitance.
On Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 10:00 A.M. we sat down with Mo Lopez and a lady who took some skeletal notes. Right off the bat, the CoP stated that his new-hire couldn't make it as she was on a Kennel Check.
Well, our cell phone went discreetly into Record mode and speed dial was accessed to signal a waiting citizen to confirm that anyone was at the Pound. There wasn't ... not at 10:00 A.M. or anytime during the rest of the morning.. As documented by Daily Logs obtained by Public Information Requests, that officer didn't even make any Kennel Checks that day. There were 3 others who made access but left well before and well after 10:00 A.M. on April 7, but no record of Officer Briana Sapon.
For the next hour, Mo did his best to make deceptive claims, create spontaneous irrelevant objections and off-topic diversions from his hip pocket ... no discussion, no 2-way questions and answers, just uninformed word salad.
We weren't given the opportunity to explore 3 different mat materials to ease the extreme temperatures of summertime concrete. We brought 1 of 3 different samples to the meeting room, He told his note taker to take a picture, but didn't touch or inspect it. Downstairs,we had an institutional restaurant-grade alternative sample, as well as pictures of, e.g., "Kool-Deck" which is readily applied as a laminate around swimming pools. Any of the 3 are safe for bored and lonely dogs and are not "choke hazards" (such as are the blankets, beds, plush toys or bones that were/are being provided). None of our suggested mats are absorbent and are far more conducive to disinfectant than porous brick or concrete. No matter, the brief video which we later viewed in no way met recommended procedures for sanitizing kennels in any event.
Misting systems are nothing more than perforated garden hoses. Hung from an exterior surface, a curtain of micro-droplets will reduce intrior kennel temperatures/heat indexes by more than 20 degrees F. Unlike rain, water is not introduced into the enclosure, does not come into contact with the dogs ... essentially evaporates before it hits the ground. The best opposition that Mo could muster was, "A pipe might burst".
GGGG (Jeeeez!) There is no power, no plumbing, no fans ... they are simply glorified garden hoses screwed onto a hydrant, 'same as is used to water the dogs. And besides, Public Works is 50 feet away if anything leaks.
The junk science and reckless disregard for truth, common sense and common decency continued for most of the futile exercise. But as the CoP had to leave for his Rotary meeting, we did get him to look us in the eye and repeat the 2 assurances that he had made previously:
1) The Pound is visited (Kennel Check) every 4 hours, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. (Not true)
2) The pound is evacuated once temperatures (Heat Index or Wind Chill went over his head) or become extreme. He didn't know the thresholds offhand, but "they" had a standing network of Foster homes ready to receive any dogs during inclement weather. (Not true)
As BPD's & City Hall's credibility continued to deteriorate over the ensuing months, we took a more aggressive approach. Not that there has been any public notice, but we have rattled enough chains to have some of our demands implemented to a 1/2-assed degree.
There will be additional, fact-based, articles to this site as our legitimate experts review and approve them. We have plenty of documented information to go around for anyone who'd like to contribute a piece.
"It's amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit."