TN Shelter Oops-Kills Man’s Pet, Director Describes an Isolated Incident
November 2, 2012
The McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, TN states its mission on its website: “To enhance the lives of companion animals and people by encouraging a culture of responsibility and compassion.” In 2011, McKamey killed 50% of the pets in its care. A culture of responsibility and compassion?
In October, a 3 year old Lab mix named Zion reportedly jumped on a pizza delivery person. Owner Matt Sadler indicates the incident was minor but required that Zion be seized for quarantine by the McKamey Animal Center:
“The lady didn’t want to press charges, it wasn’t anything serious, but the law has a 10-day quarantine period,” he says.
Because Zion was a month past due on his yearly rabies vaccine, he was held for the full 10 days at McKamey Animal Center.
I don’t know what specific law was cited when McKamey told Mr. Sadler he had to turn over Zion for quarantine but it sure seems odd to me that a dog who jumped on a stranger and had a rabies vaccine that was just one month overdue would be impounded. How does that protect the community or the community’s pets? How does it serve taxpayers? It makes me wonder if Zion really had to be surrendered for quarantine or if McKamey was abusing its power.
Mr. Sadler called to check on Zion and visited him multiple times during the quarantine period which was very difficult for him:
“That was my best friend,” Sadler says. “He was there for me through my parents’ divorce and a lot of really hard tough times in my life.”
When the 10 days were up, Mr. Sadler immediately went to McKamey to bring Zion home. But staff at the pound had already killed Zion:
Executive Director Karen Walsh says two employees missed a step filing paperwork.
When the quarantine ended, despite calls and visits from Matt, it was not known that Zion was to be reclaimed. He was euthanized in error.
Oops. In keeping with what appear to be standard protocols among oops-killing pet facilities, McKamey apologized, offered the owner a free pet and says the employees who made the paperwork error will be retrained. Also: blah.
A culture of responsibility and compassion? Maybe it’s time to turn on the waterworks:
With teary eyes, Walsh explained how devastated her staff is by the mistake that she calls an isolated incident.
Yeah, about that. In 2009, I posted about the killing of 2 Pitbulls who had been seized by McKamey and killed before the owner could retrieve them following a court case. The dogs had not bitten anyone nor were there any accusations of neglect or mistreatment. McKamey officers took the dogs out of the owner’s yard. In the aftermath of those killings, a judge issued an order to McKamey to stop exercising sole discretion over the killing of pets being held for court cases. In my post, I posited:
AC officers are supposed to help animals – not abuse their authority to seize and destroy them. I wonder if this is an isolated incident at McKamey or if there is a culture of abuse of power there and a history of killing pets waiting to be redeemed by owners.
Wonder no more.
A culture of responsibility and compassion? Mission fail.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)