Nola’s Killing at MAS: Firing One Person is Not Nearly Enough
June 14, 2012
Nola was not killed by mistake, nor was it an accident. She was intentionally killed after a series of negligent acts caused her to be targeted for killing by a system designed to arbitrarily snuff out the lives of healthy/treatable animals en masse. Put another way, Nola entered a pet slaughterhouse and was processed. Then the whole thing was covered up until a persistent owner and media attention forced the issue.
I’m glad supervisor Chelton Beamon has been fired since his failure to do his job and help owner Victoria Henry find out what happened to her dog is unacceptable. However, WREG reports:
The city states Beamon was fired after a result of incidents stemming from before Nola’s euthanasia.
Regardless of the reasons behind the termination, clearly Mr. Beamon played a key role in this epic failure to shelter a lost pet. I want to outline some of the other failures in this case which are symptomatic of systemic rot.
If MAS had put a PetHarbor link on its website alerting owners to “click here to search for your lost pet”, Ms. Henry might have spotted Nola, despite the ridiculous identification photo taken by the impounding officer. There is no excuse for not providing the link. How is anyone supposed to know about the PetHarbor listings?
If the volunteer who reportedly escorted Ms. Henry through the pound on her initial search for Nola would have shown her (or found someone with the ability to show her) every dog in the place, Nola might have been found. This is a matter of common sense – someone looking for their lost dog needs to see all the dogs in the pound, not just a small portion.
Any pound committed to lifesaving has standard protocols in place designed to get lost pets back home. In addition to alerting owners on the pound’s website that there are listings of all impounds online and showing them every animal in the pound when they come to search for their lost pet, stray animals must be scanned for microchips – preferably in the field and upon arrival at the facility. Had this been done when Nola was picked up with her buddy Uno, Uno’s chip would have been detected and the information would have led directly to Ms. Henry.
The intake date on Nola was incorrectly entered as 30 days prior to the actual date. While that may have been a mistake, it was one which should have been corrected as soon as the clerk noticed it and pointed it out to the officer. The date was never corrected. A culture of apathy.
Nola was incorrectly listed in the records system as a Pitbull. While this may have been a mistake, misidentifying breeds is a long term problem at MAS which has not been corrected. Breed identification is important in order to help save pets’ lives. Further, MAS does not adopt out many Pitbulls by their own admission, but rather targets them for killing. And there has been a rumor circulating in recent months that dogs are being arbitrarily selected for killing after they hit the 30 day mark at MAS, regardless of their health, temperament or whether they’ve even been offered for adoption or rescue.
The “Friends” of MAS never posted Nola’s picture on its Facebook page nor did they ask anyone to be on the lookout for her. Were the “Friends” attempting to keep Nola’s story quiet because a vol had negligently shown Ms. Henry only a small portion of dogs when she was searching for Nola on May 4? Did the “Friends” know that Nola was already dead and were trying to aid in the cover up?
There seems to me to be no reason to believe Chelton Beamon was the only person who acted negligently and contributed to the killing of Nola and subsequent cover up. He should not be the only person fired. And the problem is not limited to corrupt individuals. MAS is based upon a morally bankrupt system designed around pet killing where dereliction, deception and death are the norm. Where does the buck stop at MAS? Will there ever be justice for Nola?