The BARC Survey The City Should Be Conducting

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Photo by Daniel Kramer
BARC is asking for the public's input on how to improve the shelter by completing an online survey. According to the preamble, the Mayor's office is ready to roll up its sleeves and get to the bottom of the "complexity" of BARC's problems. (Apparently, the 2005 Mayor's Task Force and City Controller reports, years of red flags raised by animal welfare activists, and countless media horror stories detailing problems at BARC were just fun exercises).

This process involves "five major stakeholder groups," and to show how seriously the Mayor's office is responding to years' of evidence of incompetence and animal cruelty, this survey will result in not only focus groups, but - hold onto your freaking hat - a roundtable discussion! So Hair Balls would like to help these stakeholders by conducting a BARC survey of our own.

Please take the time to answer the following:

1) In order for any city department to function at its highest quality, the employees should be
a) competent
b) incompetent
c) a roundtable discussion would be needed in order to best answer this question


2) Animal control trucks should have which of the following? (Multiple answers are accepted)
a) a working air-conditioner
b) a bitchen 8-track player that comes stocked with The Best of Foghat
c) a non-working air-conditioner
d) this is a trick question

3) Dead cats should share cages with live cats...
a) part of the time
b) all of the time
c) maybe an hour or two, here or there
d) what's up with these trick questions?

4) Properly functioning anesthesia machines are...
a) a high priority
b) a myth, like the chupacabra
c) one of those things that you'll get to when you'll get to

5) Volunteers who frequently raise questions about animal welfare, such as puppies being washed down drains, should be:
a) blacklisted, Joe McCarthy-style
b) appreciated for providing observations that may save animals' lives
c) reminded that the only way to retain privileges is through syncophancy

6) When hiring veterinarians, the department head should make sure the candidates:
a) have had their license suspended at least once before they are even considered for the job
b) are prone to engage in petty squabbling and threats of whistleblowing
c) are passionate, professional doctors who truly care for the well-being of animals

7) When addressing City Council members and the Mayor, animal welfare activists who beg for leadership and assistance in addressing serious issues at a failing public facility, should routinely, and over a period of years, be:
a) completely ignored
b) given a cookie
c) taken seriously and given thanks for being concerned and productive citizens
d) stuck in a cage with a dead cat

8) The best way for a city's government to show how much they care about problems in a particular department is to:
a) find out who is ultimately responsible and hold them accountable for their (in)actions
b) spend a great deal of time talking about banning trans-fats from restaurants
c) post an online survey including a question that implies basic improvements to a city department cannot be made without raising taxes, volunteering personal time, making donations, or spearheading a private fundraising campaign



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