In March 2008, the Petersburg pound was inspected by the state of VA and found to be non-compliant in several areas. These included a failure to properly wash the food and water bowls daily, failure to clean the facility properly, failure to use the isolation room properly, deficiencies in the AC vehicle which precluded animals from breathing normally and failure to have the kill techs certified. Many were noted as repeat violations. An inspection in December 2008 revealed similar violations with an additional note that staff members were incorrectly identifying the breeds on the records of many of the dogs.
After the March 2011 inspection, the state temporarily suspended the pound’s license to kill animals. The inspector noted that pets were being restrained and killed improperly via IP injection. The supervising vet had to write up a protocol sheet in order to bring the pound into compliance. (The vet actually had to re-write the initially submitted protocols when the state found them to be faulty.)
A local pet advocate recently filed a complaint with the city regarding the pound after she says she witnessed pets left without food and water. She also reports trying to save a pregnant dog who ended up giving birth unattended in the shelter in an inadequate cage environment which resulted in the deaths of all but one of her pups. When the local news covered the story, a floodgate was opened:
After 8News first broke the news about the dogs’ deaths and shared the story of one animal rescuer who claims the shelter mistreats its animals, 8News Facebook fans have flooded our page with similar complaints, saying they too feel the shelter mistreats its animals.
A city councilman took swift action in response:
Councilman W. Howard Myers requested Monday the City Manager’s and City Attorney’s offices conduct a full investigation of alleged poor conditions, lack of cooperation with animal rescue groups, and abuse of animals at the Petersburg Animal Shelter.
Myers requested a full report addressing the alleged conditions and shelter operations be presented within 10 business days.
Myers said if the allegations prove true, he will ask for the City Council to take immediate action to improve conditions and replace any employees who have participated in neglect of and improper treatment of animals in the shelter.
In this case, one person took formal action on behalf of the pets being abused at the pound and things snowballed into a full blown investigation by request of a city councilman. I always like to see the actions of a single pet advocate receive strong support from the community. I hope the councilman follows through on his promise to take immediate action if wrongdoing at the shelter is verified.
(Thanks Clarice for sending me links on this story.)