The Difference Between Being a Friend of the Pound and a Friend of the Pets

Screengrab from the Fulton Co pound’s pet listings on PetHarbor.com (click to enlarge).

I always like to share examples of anyone who has been involved with a shelter, suspected wrongdoing, and documented her concerns.  Tonya Barker and Barbara Koblinsky spring to mind as good examples.  And here is the work of Robby Caban, a former intern at Fulton Co Animal Services in GA.  She collected evidence of possible crimes and ethical violations such as theft of public services, neglect, oops-killings, theft of supplies and missing shelter pets and spotlighted her concerns in two videos posted to YouTube.  Everyone at a shelter who wonders what sort of evidence needs to be collected when wrongdoing is suspected but management fails to act should watch these videos.

Ms. Caban then took her documents to the media and the CBS affiliate in Atlanta ran a story on the Fulton Co pound:

[Robby Caban] took photographs of animals living in cages with feces and urine for several hours, as well as dirty food and water and in some cases no water at all.

“We would see animals throw up and because people weren’t walking through the kennel monitoring them, other animals would eat the throw up,” Caban said.

And:

Caban met with the District Attorney’s Office to report her findings on Friday.

This is what every so-called “Friend” of every shelter where abuse is occurring should do.  Instead, we too often see “Friends” of these shelters enabling the abuse and needless killing by whitewashing the crimes or worse, covering them up.  I hope Ms. Caban’s actions help to bring meaningful reform to the Fulton Co pound.

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7 Comments

  1. Fulton Volunteer

     /  November 26, 2012

    The Fulton County pound is run by a nonprofit called Barking Hound Village Foundation. Although it is a nonprofit, it is run solely by one person named David York instead of a board of directors. Mr. York has lined his pockets with tons of money that he has made off of this management contract. The Fox 5 I Team has done over 12 news stories about Mr. York’s misuse of funds and poor treatment of animals. To see the videos, go to youtube.com and search for ” i team barking hound village david york fulton county”

    Reply
  2. I hope we see a positive result. It’s time they act on these deplorable acts!

    Reply
  3. If seeing it while it’s happening doesn’t make any difference, then I don’t know how else to get through to them. And to all those who are truly friends to the ANIMALS, please watch and then figure out how to get the truth out to your local community.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for highlighting the need for reform in our shelter, and so many others. I shared your thought with some volunteers who disagreed about coming forward, out of fear it would hurt the animals. I hope they finally see we simply have to. We have received so many heart-wrenching stories about our suffering, neglected, mis-treated voiceless animals. Our shelters, that should be a safe haven are turning our to be anything but. I have taken a few licks for coming forward. I want everyone to know, myself and other volunteers, went to the director for months reporting these unethical acts with proof. He has chosen to keep hostile staff in management who would not cooperate with the changes we were trying to make. We brought example after example of wrong-doing including theft and endangering our animals to him personally. We reached out to officials and local Animal Advocacy groups but things still didn’t change. During my internship, we were able to make some headway with cleaning up horrendous files/records that were a disaster and getting programs such as Volunteer, Foster, & Rescue active. Even still, our director said he “saw investigations coming” and discontinued my internship, and revoked extended hours for volunteers. He even banned me as a volunteer from the facility. I came forward because I want things to change for our animals. I want to know the people that work with our voiceless animals care about them and will do their job. I took this stance because if you remove the voice for the voiceless, you are endangering them and we CANNOT allow this. WE MUST HAVE TRANSPARENCY. There were also paid employees who were harassed and fired after coming forward. Unfortunately, because our facility is run by a private contracted company the charges that may have been felonies do not apply. We met with Fulton County Manager, Zachary Williams, yesterday and offered our services to help re-structure. Mr.Williams stated they are committed to: “improve conditions at our shelter and modernize the philosophy.” We advised them of what exact parties we saw (with evidence) that endangered our animals, who still are employed to date. We are waiting to see if they recommend re-newing the same management company, or “in-sourcing” or re-opening the bid for another private company. There are other companies who are willing to bid. Our Animal Control contract is up in DECEMBER 2012. Our County commissioners vote December 5th, 2012. We trust our news media and all animal lovers everywhere, will be watching with us. Prayers for our animals everywhere.

    Reply
    • ezbuddy

       /  November 28, 2012

      Roberta: It sounds so much like MAS. I doubt they will do anything but “sweep it under the rug” but a letter writing campaign to the folks who decide to renew their contract may help if the local news also gets behind you & exerts their pressure too.

      Take your evidence to the press. Keep trying for past & future potential abused dogs & cats. Only folks like you, Caban & friends of animals will ever make things better.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the words of wisdom. Still trying over here – from the outside though. The county has officially banned me from volunteering at my county shelter:

        From: “Tony Phillips”
        To: “robertalouise@comcast.net”
        Cc: “Zachary Williams” , “Randy Beck”
        Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:17:03 PM
        Subject: Re: FCAS

        Ms. Caban,

        At this time, we have made the decision to not utilize your volunteer services at the shelter.
        I am available to discuss this decision if you so choose. Please feel free to contact me at our office.

        Thank you…

        Tony Phillips

        Sent by Tony Phillips – FULTON COUNTY OFFICIAL

        I am disappointed but am most disappointed that some volunteers and some people in our local Rescue are very angry with me and even attacking me for coming forward. So I am very appreciative of your support.

        Thank you again, Animal Lover – Robby Caban.

  5. The press is watching :) Fulton county commissioners Vote Dec 5, 2012 on who will run our shelter. This is our petition. We would honored if you signed it: http://www.change.org/petitions/atlanta-fulton-county-public-officials-reform-our-animal-control-stop-spending-our-taxes-on-methods-and-or-employees-that-don-t-work

    Reply

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