You seem to have had an issue loading this page or you have javascript disabled, which may cause problems while using Change.org. To avoid any further inconvenience, please enable javascript in your browser and refresh this page.
Enforce State Statute that the Sebastian County Humane Society follow HSUS Guidelines
  • Petitioned Kevin Lindsey

This petition was delivered to:

Chief of Police, City of Ft. Smith AR
Kevin Lindsey
City Administrator, City of Ft. Smith AR
Ray Gosack
City of Ft. Smith Board of Directors
Andre Good
City of Ft. Smith, Board of Directors
Philip Merry
Writer, Southwest Times Record
Chad Hunter
Executive Director, Sebastian County Humane Society
JoAnn Barton
SCHS Board of Directors
Patrick Jacobs
City of Ft. Smith Board of Directors
Keith Lau
Writer, The City Wire
Arik Mitchell
City of Ft. Smith Board of Directors
Mike Lorenz
City of Fort Smith Mayor
Sandy Sanders
City of Ft. Smith Board of Directors
George Catsavis
City of Ft. Smith Board of Directors
Pam Weber
Vice Mayor, City of Ft. Smith, Board of Directors
Kevin Settle

Enforce State Statute that the Sebastian County Humane Society follow HSUS Guidelines

    1. Cheryl Gilmore
    2. Petition by

      Cheryl Gilmore

      Fort Smith, AR

Contract with Sebastian County Humane Society - follow HSUS Guidelines

Currently the Sebastian County Humane Society is operating below the guidelines of the HSUS in approximately 60 specific identified areas.  They are euthanizing at a rate of 95% of all cats that enter the shelter and 70% of all dogs.  This is around 7,700 animals a year. They say the rate is so high due to sickness in the shelter. 

They house between 400 & 500 animals daily and do not have medical care except 4-8 hours a week. Their return to owner rate is approximately 3% in dogs and 0% in cats. 

The shelter has aged and they spend over 55% of revenue from donations on salaries.  They survive on their contracts with surrounding cities to impound their animals.  Their adoption rate is around 9%.  Overall, 78% of all animals that enter the doors are killed and carried to the City of Ft. Smith, AR landfill in black trash bags. There has been no improvements to the shelter in years. 

The City of Ft. Smith has a contract that renews every two years and is currently up for renewal.  Their is a state statute in Arkansas that states that Humane Societies can attain a certification through the state of Arkansas health department.  They have never looked into this even though it is a state statute.  It also states they must follow the HSUS guidelines for sheltering, adoption procedures and euthanasia.

 This petition is to raise awareness and put pressure on the city officials responsible for the contract to put into that contract verbiage that they follow the guidelines of the HSUS in sheltering, adoption and euthansia.  Also, to put into the contract that they hire a full time shelter Veterinarian to attend to the animals.

Also, to put in that an audit of the shelter will be done quarterly by a qualifiedd appointed third party using the HSUS guidelines by the Board of Directors who is not a city employee, a humane society employee, volunteer or on their board of directors to insure they are following and maintaining the guidelines.

Please tell the city employees to do the right thing and enforce the city of Ft. Smith and Arkansas state laws to improve the quality of life of the animals at the Sebastian County Humane Society.

A.C.A. § 20-19-104 (Copy w/ Cite)Pages:2


  A.C.A. § 20-19-104
Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition
© 1987-2012 by the State of Arkansas
All rights reserved.
*** Legislation is current through the 2012 Fiscal Session and updates ***
*** received from the Arkansas Code Revision Commission through ***
*** August 1, 2012. ***
Title 20 Public Health And Welfare
Subtitle 2. Health And Safety
Chapter 19 Animals
Subchapter 1 -- General Provisions
A.C.A. § 20-19-104 (2012)
20-19-104. Voluntary certification program.

(a) The Division of Health of the Department of Health and Human Services shall establish a voluntary certification program for animal control officers, animal shelters, and other humane society counterparts.

(b) The certification shall be based upon courses recommended by the National Animal Control Association or its equivalent.

(c) Certification of animal shelters shall be based upon compliance with shelter standards published by the Humane Society of the United States.

(d) Training shall be administered by the Arkansas Animal Control Association in cooperation with the division and utilizing qualified experts, including, but not limited to, licensed veterinarians and persons holding professional registrations or certifications in the appropriate areas of expertise.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Board of Directors Approve an Extension of the Extension

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      Last night the Board of Directors voted to extend the Humane Society's contract until May 31, 2013. Not sure why Chief Lindsey asked for this extension of the extension. Could it be this petition? Said they are still "negotiating". The BOD passed an ordinance that requires any contract over $300,000 to be put out for bid and the bid has to have specific things in it. For example, scope of service, qualifications of person (organization), exact costs, etc. This has not been done. I brought it to the attention of the BOD and Chief Lindsey last night at the meeting. Now they will have to put it out for bid as they are paying them over $300,000 to euthanize animals. PLEASE - share this petition with others and lets gain more momentum in pushing them to following the state guidelines and their own city laws. We will be continuing to pressure them each time someone signs the petition. Blessings to you for helping out. Cheryl Gilmore, Animal Advocate, Fort Smith, AR

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Meeting of the Board of Directors to Extend Contract

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      Tomorrow evening if you are in Fort Smith AR and care about companion animals, please attend the Board of Directors Meeting at 6pm. Item 5G is regarding the contract (need extension approved) with the Sebastian County Humane Society. I will be asking for my two minutes to speak to this and request the directors to consider follow the state recommendations of having shelters follow the HSUS guidelines regarding shelter care, adoption and euthansia practices. We have the petition that I will talk about as well. If you haven't signed the petition we ask you to. Each director, Chief Lindsay and the mayor and city administrator along with the SCHS receive an email each time someone signs. Please join us and wear a red shirt to show support for the animals. If you are out of the area - PLEASE ask others to sign the petition

      Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013
      Type:Regular Meeting
      Location: Fort Smith Public Schools Service Center 3205 Jenny Lind Road

    5. Half Way There by Reaching 500 Signatures

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      We are officially half way there. We really need another 500 signaturesto make a big enough impact. Our plan is to print out the petition & deliver a copy to the Chief of Police, Kevin Lindsey who negotiates and signs the contract. We will also deliver a copy to JoAnn Barton the executive director of Sebastian County Humane Society who signs the contract. We will copy the BOD, There is a preconceived notion that the Humane Societies report to a higher authority. They do not. Any humane society can start up & be self governing. We need to hold this one accountable to the state statutes. The SCHS lost over $700,000 of a million dollar private donation to "bad investments" in recent years. Please ask people to sign the petition as we will have to force change. Remember the animals have no voice & we must speak out for them. Please share on Facebook, Twitter & send an email to your friends. I am not above begging, so I beg you please. God Bless.

    6. Reached 500 signatures
    7. 400 Signatures and Going Strong

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      We have now reached 400+ signatures. Please keep sending the message by asking others to sign. We lost on two counts today. The city procescuting attorney has decided not to press charges on the Sebastian County Humane Society for rabies vaccinations and also for exercising the animals every 24 hours. This is so disappointing but not surprising. There are many laws on the books for animals that are not enforced in the City of Ft. Smith. We have a current leash law that isn't enforced along with others. It is maddening. Enforcement seems to be the biggest culprit along with no required spay and neuter. We will keep fighting for these animals. What the city procesceuting attorney said about the source of law on this petition is that he wouldn't comment or recommend . So, I am guessing he doesn't disagree with it and can't find a way to wiggle out of it. So, we must keep pressing with this petition. Please ask others to sign. So important! Thank you!

    8. Assurance That Leash Laws Will be Enforced

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      Last night at a board of directors meeting the Chief of Police said that they are making animal control a priority and will be enforcing the leash laws and holding people accountable for that and writing citations and taking them to court. This is huge. Now we have this petition law and several other laws that need to be enforced. Please ask people you know to sign this petition. We are moving in a positive direction but have a very long way to go. Mandatory spay and neuter was taken off the table, but accountability was put in for the leash law that gives credit for animals that are spayed and neutered.

      We need the animals once they are impounded to have a chance so we must push for the enforcement of this particular law. Please email, talk, facebook your friends and family to support this. I heard through the grapevine the emails are hitting their mailboxes and they are reading them. Let's keep it up. Thank you so very much for your support of these precious animals.

    9. Reached 250 signatures
    10. Thank You So Much!

      Cheryl Gilmore
      Petition Organizer

      We are so greatly encouraged by your signatures and your comments. We need a big push on this petition. Did you know that every time someone signs a petition the targets get an email? We want to flood their email boxes to let them know that what is happening isn't acceptable. The animals need help in the worst way.

      Until we can raise the awareness in this area and get people on board to spay and neuter the problem is continuing to escalate every month. Please ask your friends to sign. Send them an email and personally ask them to sign the petition, you can copy the link. Please post on facebook and twitter and beg people to help. We have to help these animals sooner than later. It has gone on too many yearrs and the citizens are not aware of the situation. The local media will not run the stories either. So any help you can do for them - we really appreciate it from the bottoms of hearts and the tips of their tails. Cheryl Gilmore, Animal Advocate - Ft. Smith AR

    11. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • over 1 year ago

      we tried to save a dog and willing to pay the vet bills and get it in a good rescue and joann barton had it put down cause there vet said too and carol the euthanasia teck told me they didnt have the eqiment to treat animals and her we were willing to pay to yake this dog to our vetandget what tests it needed. so i do not believe joanne no more. they are not responble .i am so mad thatthey stalled me on this dog for 2 wks.the people who rescued this dog and took it to them i called them and they told me nonething was wrong with it. jo ann told me it shook and bites. i would too if i was there in a cage. so my quess is it was put down when it got there.how many times has this happened.so follow the .hsus guidelines. kathy

    • marinetta carter MIDWEST CITY, OK
      • over 1 year ago

      The way we treat all living things is important and not arriving in the 21'st century with changes to better ourselves and the treatment of others should be illegal.

    • Joshua Bugeja FORT SMITH, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      Fort Smith is one of the largest and most affluent cities in Arkansas- if we don't follow the laws of the state (and expect the same of those we contract to perform city functions), it is far less likely that smaller cities will do so. We need to set an example and expect compliance with state law - by requiring certification, we will be holding the Sebastian County Humane Society to the heightened standard that we, and the pets of this area, deserve and the state legislature clearly supports.

    • Sara Okey DALLAS, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      Animals are gifts and should be treated and respected the same as we are. I love my pets as they were my children.

    • ColdCase Revivers MULDROW, OK
      • over 1 year ago



    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.