Lazy and Lazier

Lazy: The Okefenokee Humane Society in GA keeps up to 100 dogs and 20 cats in its metal roof facility which has no electricity. Over the past few months, 14 dogs have died of heatstroke there.

[Manager Ben] Hood said the shelter has the materials to wire the kennel so fans can be added. He said Waycross City Manager Deron King has pledged to send an electrician to do the wiring.

They have the means to add fans. They just haven’t done it. Nice that some city pol is making a “pledge” now but it would have really been more impressive if someone had taken action a leetle sooner. Maybe before the first dog suffered and died. Or the 8th. Or the 13th.

The AP picked up the story so I’m assuming something will actually get done now.

Lazier:  In June, the owner of a yellow Lab in Balch Springs, TX lost his dog.  He called and visited the local shelter several times in an effort to find her.  No one from the shelter returned his calls.  The manager, Ashley Julius, reportedly “oops-killed” the dog and, when confronted, told the owner the dog had been adopted out to a swell family.  But the city didn’t fire her for that.  They kept her on so she could continue to blaze her trail of oops.

Last month, Ms. Julius put 6 dogs outside in 110 degree heat while she cleaned their indoor kennels and oops – she forgot to give them water.  Five hours later, it was determined that oops – she forgot to bring the dogs back inside.  By that time, oops – one dog was dead and the others were suffering from heatstroke.

Ashley Julius was terminated by the city, but police are not pursuing cruelty charges against her.

Yeah, that sounds like entirely too much work.

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17 Comments

  1. Morgana

     /  August 6, 2011

    Just when i thought my jaw could drop no lower in the “You can’t fix Stupid” department…in the words (slightly altered) of the late, great Roy Scheider, colleague and all around good-guy: “We’re gonna need a bigger blog….”

    Reply
  2. Sounds like the OHS staff needs to be pressured *and fast* into resigning from their jobs since they’re obviously not very good at all since the animals in their care die from neglect, and likewise, the local PD needs to be pressured into pressing charges of animal cruelty and neglect. There need to be people in there that aren’t total dumbasses and incompetants!

    Reply
  3. mikken

     /  August 6, 2011

    More shelters where the animals are not the top priority. How does that happen? How do you end up running a shelter and NOT consider the animals first? I don’t understand.

    Reply
    • *sheltering* has become an industry. There’s really good money in it (HSUS et al take in HUGE bucks and don’t even run a shelter!) Do people become doctors to help people? Or to own a porche?
      At some point, the animals become a means to an end, and the end (the job) is more important than the means to many. Hey, Pepper gets paid no matter that his Second Chance torturers do or don’t help or kill animals.
      That fact that we don’t understand is how they keep us battling over minutia and why HSUS keeps pushing for bad legislation.

      Reply
  4. Ann Mitchell

     /  August 6, 2011

    What I don’t understand is why nothing changes! How do the same coversations, the same signs, the same people, the same groups, rescues, fosters & simply common everyday animal lovers have absolutely no power to effect change. We are constantly ignored, offended, lied to and about, punished, banned from the shelter, banned from the board meetings, scoffed at and things stay JUST THE SAME. What is it going to take.

    Reply
  5. Ann, we have no power until something happens that prevents the oppressors to continue to ignore us.

    Reply
    • Morgana

       /  August 8, 2011

      @Shanna: You hit it on the head – the gloves have to come off and action HAS to be taken.

      Reply
  6. A similar disgusting tragedy was occurring at Houston’s animal control for years i.e. puppies were being washed down kennel drains (because kennel attendants did not remove animals before spraying out the kennels with high pressure hoses). In 2004, a shelter vet tech and volunteer went to the public session of city council and told the mayor and city council about this. The mayor said “something needs to be done” for the cameras. In 2009, it was still happening even though new drain covers were sitting in boxes at the “shelter”. Nothing changes unless citizens demand better and do not stop until they get it.

    Reply
  7. Cee

     /  August 7, 2011

    You need to call one of your posts “Helter Shelter.”

    Where I live, the animal welfare laws that apply to pet owners do not apply to pounds. Pounds are inspected by an agriculture association & they seem to think everything is a-okay. The cages are too small & dogs must lay in their own waste. There isn’t room for beds, even if we had them. Toys aren’t even allowed in cat or dog cages. Rescues have pulled filthy dogs with urine burns on them. We have the usual problem of lazy, incompetent, rude, unionized, indifferent, power hungry shelter staff too.

    Privately, I asked other Animal Welfare Committee members what can be done. Unless we can get our city to create and legislate their own higher standards and, it seems animals will continue to suffer. We haven’t been very successful in even getting the city to enforce current rules, never mind discussing new ones. Some have been fighting this battle for 12 years. I worry that going public will result in pound staff & the nastiest one in charge to retaliate against the rescues & animals will be made to suffer more.

    Reply
    • Cee,

      I understand that concern and I know it can be very difficult for rescuers in these circumstances. In your case, you say some have been fighting for reform for many years. I’m guessing those folks may be less concerned about being temporarily shut out of the shelter and more concerned about finding a long term, legal remedy. If that’s the case, I would say to forge ahead and let the chips fall where they may. If you’re not getting anywhere with the city, go to the county or the state. Meet with your elected representatives about getting CAPA introduced. If the pound bans you, sue them under section 1983.

      http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/pdf/politadvocacy.pdf http://www.rescue50.org/capa.html http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/pdf/Sec1983_000.pdf

      It’s a possibility that animals may suffer more in the short term, but it sounds like that’s already happening and has been for some time. By taking legislative action, you have a shot at improving conditions for more pets in the long term.

      Reply
  8. That’s just terrible. I guess I don’t realize how well the shelter dogs in my town have it! I live in Fargo, N.D. We have three well-organized no-kill rescue groups. One has a shelter and the other two depend on foster homes and boarding kennels. Sometimes I feel bad that the dogs are not getting the interaction they need or the training they need. But all of these dogs have heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer and loving, intelligent people caring for them.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  August 7, 2011

      Lindsay,
      I have long been an admirer of the rescue groups in Fargo. I live in ND also and am amazed each and every day at all the dogs at you save. In particular the For the Love of Dogs organization. With no building to house rescues in but only foster homes this organization is an example of the good that is done. If no foster homes are available the dogs are boarded in kennel facilities. Information is given every day on the dogs needing rescue from impound not only in the city but the regional pounds. Fargo should be very very proud.

      Reply
  9. Patty

     /  August 7, 2011

    “Unionized” WTF? how many humane societies or animal rescues are “union” none that I have ever heard of and I’ve been involved in this stuff one way or another for 30 years.

    A humane society or rescue is only as good as the people in it at a given time. Work ethic, concern for animal welfare etc all come into play.

    Reply
  10. Patty

     /  August 7, 2011

    You can’t compare Fargo, ND to any other town unless they have the same population, etc etc etc.

    I know people in Fargo, ND and the three kill pounds there may get a dog or two a week at most. It’s easy to not have to euthanize if the numbers are low enough you don’t have to struggle to find fosters or boarding for a few days.

    I also know of humane societies near them and I wonder if they ever adopt anything out. To me it sounds like most of the animals got to other rescues (volunteer ones with no paid staff). It is very unfortunate when a humane society with a paid staff, has to send the majority of their animals out to keep them from being euthd. While they deserve kudos for getting the animals out, it makes you wonder if the salaries are worth it. When volunteer groups using foster homes do much better job than humane societies with paid staff….well it just seems sad. Too many variables that have to be looked at, including location, location, location. But you cant compare apples to oranges which is, in a way, what you are doing when you look at one animal group and try to compare them with another. Okefenokee Humane Society is in SE Georgia, where even rescuers in that area readily admit dogs and puppies wander around in the rural areas, homeless. Different mindset down there, and that is admitted by rescuers that live in the area.

    Reply
    • Arlene

       /  August 8, 2011

      Patty,
      Perhaps you need to read what I wrote again. I was not comparing Fargo to anyone else. I simply said that they should be proud of what they do in fostering. It is not sad to my way of thinking when people foster because they care rather than they do it for a paycheck. So, I guess your point of view just depends on who you know in Fargo and what you’ve been told.

      Reply
  11. Jessica C

     /  August 12, 2011

    Wow. “Oops” is all that they could come up with? For something as important as leaving dogs outside all day with no water or not having ANY AC on during the day? We need some new people in these places, stat!

    Reply

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