May 31, 2012
In this post, my intention was to list each of the 17 dogs reportedly killed for space at Austin Animal Center on May 11. In reviewing the records, I found only 15 dogs killed on that date. In the middle of the grouping was another dog, killed on May 15. I have included her at the end. Complete records, including photos, are available here.
Killed on May 11, 2012:
1. Midnight (ID #A609869) – intake date May 6, owner surrender due to fighting with other dogs, level of friendly behavior: high, killed for “aggression”
2. Stewie (ID #A620165) – intake date February 14, stray, the final behavior notes in his record are:
05/11/12 10:42 Per vol. Harrell, “A few days ago, I took Stewie out and he would not quit biting the leash, even with the PVC pipe attached. Today, he did the same thing EXCEPT he fairly quickly redirected to just “walking, looking, and sniffing” and we had a nice walk together. He enjoyed being petted, stayed calm the whole time, and was easy to leash and to rekennel.” DPW
05/11/12 11:41 There is now a chain leash hung on Stewie’s kennel – hopefully that will not be so much fun for him to bite on and pull. ALR
Stewie was killed for “behavior” roughly 90 minutes after that note was entered.
3. Bandit (ID #A620611) – intake date April 28, owner surrender due to severe separation anxiety and:
In every instance where source stated dog was aggressive (with people, kids, dogs, and cats), she said aggressive means dog gets highly aroused, plays obsessively and does not know when to quit. Bandit never tried to hurt any person or animal, he just plays really rough and sometimes nips.
Bandit was killed for “behavior”.
4. Tyson (ID #A621053), intake date February 29, stray, behavior notes from dog walkers indicate he would get over excited when it was his turn to get leashed up but once outside the kennel he was a great dog. The final behavior note:
05/10/12 12:10 MAN went in to kennel with leash to take him out for a potty break. before she tried to leash him he kept jumping up and snapping out of excitement. he bit her on the leg and inner thigh while inside the kennel. once out on a leash the dog saw a cat run by and he turned around and grabbed the top of her rain boot. bites did not break skin but bruised. HXC
Tyson was killed the next day for “behavior”.
5. Shari (ID #A621142), intake date March 6, stray, notes indicate she would pull hard on the leash, jump a lot and bark at other dogs, behavior was better after she ran off some energy. Shari was killed for “behavior”.
6. Mosely (ID #A621243), intake date March 3, owner surrender due to change in circumstances. Mosely was put on the kill list twice for “behavior” but removed the first time:
04/05/12 17:33 Discussed with Ian, removed from euth. This dog can become over-aroused and hard to manage when stressed, but shows good awareness of social cues, seems able to learn better bite inhibition, and responds well to training. Will continue to try to work with him through our volunteer program. ALR
05/11/12 13:25 euth for behavior (no space anymore). IEH
7. Aria (ID #A621454) – intake date March 24, owner surrender due to escapes. The final behavioral note in her record is dated May 7 and ends as follows:
Not suitable for young or boundary-less children, nor for an inexperienced home, nor one where aversive training methods will be used, and she’ll do best if she can spend plenty of time indoors with her family so she doesn’t end up feeling alone and exposed left outside on her own. More confident outside than indoors, but mostly she’s insecure, so indoor time will be good to boost her confidence and let her feel the safety of being with her “pack.” Interestingly, no reaction at all to a cat.
Aria was killed 4 days later for “behavior”.
8. Ruby (ID #A622047) – intake date March 16, owner surrender due to escapes, notes seem to me to indicate the dog was going kennel crazy, killed for “behavior”.
9. Dallas (ID #A622429) – intake date March 24, stray, the final behavior note in his record says:
05/05/12 17:09 Continues to have lots of saliva on chin and chest – i think he is stressed in kennel environment. He comes to front fencing and if you hold your hand up he may nip at your fingers in a nervous/anxiety/snippity kind of way, and he pushes hard with his muzzle to try to push out of gate, so I expected him to be hard to handle. But on leash, he’s totally easy to manage, he’s gentle, he allowed teeth exams, paw handling, liked petting, and he showed friendly, playful behavior towards several other dogs, and seemed housetrained. He MAY be less stressed if we can find him a kennel-mate that he gets along well with… ALR
Dallas was killed for “behavior” 5 days later.
10. Ellie (ID #A624224) – intake date April 11, owner surrendered along with a litter of 4 pups, notes describe her as a high intensity dog with lots of drive and a fixation on tennis balls, killed for “behavior”.
11. Vince (ID #A625726) – intake date April 27, owner surrender due to landlord issue, on May 6 a vol noted:
Overall I would rate him a Easy, but with a Blue dot since he is shy & a bit fearful – you probably have to spend a few minutes with
him first to gain his trust … but I think he is getting the idea that BRIGHT Yellow/Green t-shirt = Treats :-) RJB
Vince was killed for “behavior”.
12. Syska (ID #A625802) – intake date April 28, owner surrender due to heartworm status, behavior note on May 10 says Syska is a shy dog but “she just needs to get warmed up”. She was killed for “behavior”.
13. Gracey (ID #A625930) – intake date April 30, owner surrender due to aggression with other dogs, described as “easy”, “cute” and “playful”, staff member suspected Gracey bit a customer although the customer reported suffering “rope burn” due to a leash mishap, killed for “behavior”.
14. Chicco (ID #A626214) – intake date May 4, 10 years old, owner surrender due to change in life circumstances, growling and snapping at shelter, killed for “behavior”.
15. Stray (ID #A626435) – intake date May 7, 14 year old dog, medical notes indicate emaciation, severe muscle wasting, open wounds, reluctant to stand, euthanized for “suffering”.
Sammie (ID #A625573) – intake date May 6, owner surrender due to fighting with other dogs in home, described on May 9 as “Highly focused/intense on tennis balls and/or tug-toys, and did obey “rules” in both fetch and tug. Knows “sit” “down,” “roll over,” “sit up” and “shake” and may know many more commands.” Sammie was killed for “aggression” on May 15.
May 31, 2012
These are some of the animals killed at Austin Animal Center during the week of May 10 – 16, 2012. The records were obtained via a FOIA request and can be viewed in full here. Due to the large number of animals, I am breaking the story into 2 posts.
Bogie (ID #A626599) was an owner surrender to Austin Animal Center on May 8. His surrender form indicates he bit a person, not breaking the skin, during “rough play” and had an issue with resource guarding – specifically, food. His level of friendly behavior observed at the shelter was listed as “high”. Due to the reported behavioral history, AAC labeled him aggressive and killed him on May 14. He was 7 months old.
Charlie (ID #A626575) was another owner surrendered pet received on May 8, reportedly for fighting with other dogs. He knew how to sit, come and shake hands. His surrender form describes him as being gentle with children and affectionate with people. Charlie was kenneled with a female dog at AAC. The only behavioral note in his record was made on May 11 when he barked and lunged at the gate while a person was standing at his kennel. He was killed on May 14 due to “aggression”.
Carter (ID #A609529) appears to have been originally impounded in September of last year, transferred to Austin Pets Alive and adopted out. On May 6, he was surrendered to Austin Animal Center relating to an incident that happened on April 28:
Carter escaped when a 4yr old opened the door. Didn’t respond to voice commands. Neighbor brought his dog out and Carter attacked. He bit when the people were trying to break up the fight. No aggression towards people before or after.
The person Carter bit brought a lawsuit and demanded he be surrendered to the shelter. The records indicate that Austin Pets Alive was asked to take him back. There are no behavioral observations noted while at the shelter in 2012. On May 13, a note was entered regarding details of the bite incident:
I made contact with the bite victim regarding the bite that this dog was involved in. The bite victim sustained wounds that are classified as “Serious Bodily Injury” under the Dangerous Dog Chapter 822.001 of Texas Health and Safety Code. Due to this information, Per victim statement, this dog saw the victim’s dog and ran over and began fighting with the victim’s dog. Victim was able to stop this dog from attacking his dog, but this dog re-directed toward the victim causing injuries to the leg, Due to the severity of the victim’s injuries, this dog is not a candidate for placement. APA has been emailed to advise them of this information.
Carter was killed for “aggression” on May 14.
Kitten #A626363 was listed as a stray female, 7 and 1/2 weeks old, intake date May 6. Her records indicate she was dewormed, vaccinated, treated for fleas and tested negative for FeLV and FIV. The only other note in her record indicates a foster was willing to take her. This kitten was killed due to “suffering” on May 12.
Elizabeth (ID #A626332) was a stray with an intake date of May 5. Her medical records indicate that despite being a tiny kitten, she appeared to be thriving and eating with her littermates. Those notes were dated May 9. On May 10, she was killed due to “suffering”.
A litter of kittens (ID #s A626754, A626757, A626760, A626762) was brought in on May 10 at 4:23pm. There are no photos in the records but the age is listed as 4.86 weeks. The only medical notation was made at 4:47pm: “euth due to suffering, severe URI and very young.” Cat #A626707 was also brought in on May 10, listed as 2.86 weeks old and weighing very nearly 1 pound. The medical note for this cat seems to contradict the age and weight information: “new born kitten, no mother with kitten, weak. Will euth due to suffering.” There is no photo of this kitten. Were any of these 5 kittens treatable? It’s hard to say based upon the brief veterinary notes, especially considering I am not a veterinarian and did not see these kittens. But it is known that kittens with upper respiratory infections may be treatable. And I would consider it normal for a newborn orphaned kitten to appear weak.
What about Bogie, Charlie and Carter? Do they reasonably fit into a behaviorally hopeless category based upon the information in the records? Was the reference to state law in Carter’s record made because he would have been declared dangerous by a judge eventually? Kitten #A626363 and Elizabeth were both killed due to “suffering” but there are no notes in their records to indicate they were even mildly sick.
I’m asking these questions because I don’t know the answers and when shelter pets are killed, I feel a need to try to find answers. What are your thoughts?
On Friday, KABC in Los Angeles reported that a person who lives in Santa Ana had tested positive for flea-borne typhus. Flea-borne typhus is associated with fleas who suck the blood of infected urban wildlife. The disease is spread to humans when a flea has fed on a typhus infected animal and then bites a human. It may also be spread through cuts in the skin of a person who comes into contact with feces from an infected flea.
I have seen no reports indicating the infected person is a child although health officials seem to be targeting area schools which has given some the impression that the victim may be a student. Further, I have seen no reports indicating that the source of the exposure has been confirmed. In fact, KABC reports:
Officials are not sure if the person contracted the disease in Santa Ana or another part of Southern California.
Today however, authorities seem to be under the impression that fleas from feral cats are to blame for the infection. As such, health officials are setting traps at two area schools in order to catch as many feral cats as possible. Every cat caught by the city will be killed.
It’s possible the city has more information than has been publicly released but it strikes me as odd that feral cats at two Santa Ana schools are being targeted. Does the victim attend one of these schools? Has it been determined whether the person even contracted the disease in Santa Ana? The city reports that feral cats have been sighted in the area of the schools but I presume if lookouts were posted at the schools overnight, there would be sightings of opossums, raccoons and rats too. Indeed the only animal the city has managed to trap thus far is a possum.
I hope the city is not rushing to take action here based upon appearances. It would be reassuring to see some hard science and factual data in support of the plan to kill every feral cat possible at the two Santa Ana schools. The notion that these cats could be carrying infected fleas is not enough to warrant this type of action.
May 28, 2012
The Robeson Co pound kills animals while half the dog cages sit empty. Supporters defend the practice, saying it reduces the spread of disease. This has not been the case at Robeson, where 700 dogs have been killed in the last 2 months.
There are proven methods to reduce the spread of disease in shelters. Vaccination upon intake for every animal is one such practice. Robeson does not do this. Killing apologists will say the “irresponsible public” is to blame for failing to vaccinate their pets. But the shelter should be leading by example. More importantly, the shelter is supposed to be a safe haven for the community’s pets – not the county pet butcher.
While recognizing that shelters face special challenges with regard to contagious disease, an info sheet from the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program says:
Even if infection control is less than perfect, we can support animals’ own immune response through attentive vaccination practices, stress reduction, wholesome food and clean water and other measures to support well-being. And a well thought out, comprehensive plan for sanitation can reduce the dose of exposure to one the animals’ immune response can handle in many cases.
I don’t see any mention of sending 700 dogs to the landfill in two months’ time in the UC Davis info sheet. I hope Robeson considers an alternative approach since obviously the one they use isn’t working.
Last week, Cumberland Co Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Siau came to a home looking for the brother of Ms. Dana Anderson. When Ms. Anderson went outside to speak with the deputy, one of her dogs, a Pekingese/Dachshund mix called Gizmo, followed her. Gizmo began running towards the stranger and barking. The owner told the deputy the dog did not bite but the deputy kicked Gizmo in the head and then shot him to death without warning:
Gizmo still was moving, Anderson said, but fell on the ground.
“It didn’t really dawn on me until I walked over to him and saw blood coming out of his head,” Anderson said.
“He was wagging his tail as he was dying.”
The Internal Affairs department is investigating the killing, which seems entirely unwarranted from the description in the article:
Siau then showed Anderson the leg of her uniform pants, which had two small holes in them.
“They looked like if you get snagged on something,” Anderson said.
However, she said that when other deputies arrived, they would not let her take pictures of Siau’s pants and made her wait two hours before she could take Gizmo and bury him.
Anderson said she was told that there were no marks of any kind on Siau’s leg.
Presumably the officer believed the dog presented an imminent threat to her safety. I wonder if she considered any options other than shooting – such as asking the owner to remove the dog, returning to her vehicle, or utilizing non-lethal force to protect herself – before she killed the dog.
Gizmo was an abandoned puppy when Ms. Anderson rescued him 5 years ago. He was the constant companion of Ms. Anderson’s other dog, Prada. She had to have her cat, suffering from feline leukemia, euthanized the week before Gizmo’s killing. She is considering legal action.
Police officers must often approach private property as part of their job. Many people own dogs. It is normal for a dog to bark and charge toward a stranger. There should be adequate training, protocols and penalties in place for police officers that these brutal killings don’t warrant an entire blog category all their own.
All the dogs and cats at Macon Animal Control in GA must be out of the facility before June 7 as it will close for treatment with pesticides for 3 to 5 days. Local rescuers are working hard to network animals:
Paws for Hope and Faith President, Shane Smith, slipped through the gates to snap pictures of the animals for his website where people from all over the country and Canada can see them.
“The in-state people can go to the shelter and adopt from the shelter. The out-of-state can go through a rescue. The rescue will come and pull the animal, set up transport, get it vetted, and get it delivered,” says Smith.
It’s a fight against time to save the animals and it’s all hands on deck. Anne Brennaman from Macon Purrs ‘n Paws encourages people to foster the animals. “A cat is a cat. It doesn’t matter if it’s the ugliest cat or the most beautiful. It’s worth saving,” she says.
The pound’s page on PetFinder (which has 25 animals listed as adoptable) states:
The city of Macon Animal Control Shelter is open Monday through Friday from 9:30am until 4:30pm. Our adoptions are based on a first come first serve basis and we are not allowed to place holds on any dogs or cats. We accept cash only and a photo ID is required.
Macon AC has 7 cats and 63 dogs listed on PetHarbor. Here are a few:
See the above listing on PetHarbor. I just don’t know.
See the above listing on PetHarbor.
See the above listing on PetHarbor.
These animals seem to need all the help they can get. If you would like to adopt, foster or rescue:
City of Macon Animal Control Department
1010 Eleventh Street
Macon, GA 31201
(Thank you Clarice for alerting me to this story.)
May 27, 2012
Miss Bea is a eight-ish year old border collie mix with a touch of chow (the tongue doesn’t lie). She came to us after a national group did a rescue at a local hoarder. Miss Bea was at their temporary shelter when she started to give birth and they asked us to put out a call for a foster home. The ease with which Miss Bea raised her puppies leads us to believe this was not her first litter; thankfully it is her last, and we were pleased to be able to help her raise these puppies in luxury.
Despite an old injury from being hit by a car, Miss Bea was apparently a dominant force in the pack of dogs at the hoarder home. However, she has settled in quite nicely at my house and gets along with all of the dogs we have exposed her to-dominant as well as submissive. She is smart and just wily enough to make you smile. Miss Bea is not trustworthy around cats or chickens, and in a small household she would probably be ornery to the other dogs when it came to food. She is not food aggressive around me or my dogs but I am a strong pack leader.
Miss Bea comes fully vetted and is heartworm negative. We would transport her for the right home (after arranging a home visit).
We would love to find a forever home for this sweet dog. I think she could be happy in many different situations-as a companion for an older person or as a partner for someone who hikes. She will be an active dog for many years to come. Don’t let that grey muzzle fool you-this girl ain’t no granny.
Please contact Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Homeward Bound Project of MS is a 501(c)(3) organization started and run by vet students at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Since 2007 we have coordinated the transport of Mississippi shelter pets to no-kill shelters in New York and New Hampshire. All shelter pets are fully vaccinated, altered, heartworm tested negative (or treated) and have been in foster care. Our transported pets do not displace local dogs; most are adopted within 2 weeks of arrival and the increased traffic often results in local shelter pets being adopted as well.
May 26, 2012
Last weekend, a Macon Co ACO with several years of experience had his AC vehicle parked outside his home. The stench emanating from the truck in the 90 degree heat was overwhelming enough that a neighbor called the police. Sheriff’s deputies came to investigate and discovered a dead groundhog next to a live 4 week old kitten. The animals had been in the truck for 2 days. The kitten was taken to a vet for treatment and is now reportedly doing well in the care of the AC director. The suffering of the kitten is terrible to contemplate but possibly pales in comparison to the suffering of the groundhog:
Police are still investigating details of the case and couldn’t say for sure if the groundhog had also been dead when it was placed inside the truck.
“At this point, I am not 100 percent sure either way,” said Lt. Jeff Scheibly, who oversees animal control. “It may have died in the back of the truck.”
The ACO reportedly told police he knew about the groundhog being in the truck but “was unaware he had left the kitten” there. He was arrested and charged with one count of animal cruelty. Jail time is described as “very unlikely”. An internal disciplinary hearing will determine if the ACO receives anything from a reprimand up to termination. He has been suspended with pay.
If the investigation reveals the groundhog was alive at the time he was placed in the truck, I hope a second charge of animal cruelty will be filed against the officer. And if this ACO is found guilty, I hope Macon Co does the right thing and terminates him. I’ll post an update on this case if I come across one but please help me by looking out for developments on this story.
(Thank you Clarice for sending me the link.)
Note: The original title of this post incorrectly identified the state as Georgia and has been corrected to Illinois.
New Zealand: On Thursday, a 12 year old boy named Damon Boyer-Marwood was walking home from school when he heard a dog crying out in pain. He found a group of school boys with a dog pinned down to the ground. The boys were taking turns kicking the dog and hitting her with a cricket bat. Damon told the boys to stop and they ended up running off. He picked up the injured dog, carried her to a friend’s house and called the Wellington SPCA.
Via a microchip, the dog was reunited with her owner. The owner asked to meet Damon in person:
“I want to thank him from my heart, I want to know his face.”
Everyone involved is applauding Damon’s bravery and action:
Damon’s grandmother Jenny Marwood said she was proud of him. “It makes you wonder what would have happened if he didn’t step in.”
Yes, it makes you wonder.
May 25, 2012
Submitted by reader Nicci who writes:
This boy came in as a “stray” with an akita mix looking dog. Apparently a note was left on the owner’s door, but no one has come for them. His stray hold is up on Tuesday 5/29. If he is still there when the place opens up on Tuesday, my husband and I will get him out of there, get him tested for HW, have him altered if needed, etc. but I would much rather have someone who has more room for him step up and adopt him first! I will pay his pull fee ($38) for anyone who wants him and is willing to give him a good home.
Very little information is available on this dog. Vaccination/heartworm/reproductive/overall health status is unknown. Temperament and age are unknown. If anyone has any additional info on this dog or is interested in talking with Nicci about him, please leave a comment here.
146 Miller Ave.
Jackson, TN 38305
This shelter’s kill rate is unknown.