Red Alert – Concern Troll!

The AP put out a piece earlier this month on rescue transports which take shelter dogs from the south and drive them north.  It provides some sad stats for shelter pets in the state of NC:

Last year, at least 305,222 dogs and cats were dropped off at North Carolina shelters, and 214,475 were euthanized. [...] The real numbers are likely higher, because only 73 of 100 counties had reported their 2010 data to state government as of February.

That’s a kill rate of 70%, with roughly 3/4 of the state’s counties reporting.

The focus of the article surrounds the risks of using unvetted transporters, citing a lack of regulation, rescuers who take sick or bad tempered dogs on the transports, and those who simply lose the dogs at rest stops due to inexperience.

The reporter also spoke to Kimberly Alboum, director of the NC chapter of HSUS.  Some readers will remember that Ms. Alboum was very happy to send 10 of the AL 44 to the shelter in Lincoln Co, NC which promptly shoved 4 of the dogs into their gas chamber.  She cautions shelters who rely on rescue transports to help save lives:

“It’s scary to me,” Alboum said. “You’re always leery of folks coming and pulling multiple animals from your shelter if you don’t know where they’re going.”

The article does not note if the comment was made with a straight face.

Regarding Jeri

I had to violate my own PG-13 rating and bust out some curse words.  Plus I wanted to include a video which I can’t do on WordPress.  So I’ve put up a post on my personal blog but if bad language offends you, don’t clicky.

Shelter Pet of the Day

Ben is one of the Alabama 44.

Humane Society of Etowah County
Gadsden, AL
256-442-1348
hsec@microxl.com

Ben needs to get out of the shelter and on to someone's couch!

The Alabama 44: This is Not a Rescue

An update on the Alabama 44.

Status:  Alive (29 dogs)

10 dogs at PAWS Atlanta in GA – Laura has been keeping me updated which I really appreciate.  Morgan, Grandin, Cora (now Sari), Imogen and Driscol have been adopted.   The other 5 dogs are listed for adoption on their website.

1 dog at Humane Society of Etowah Co, AL -  Ben is available for adoption

3 dogs at Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA – 1 already adopted, Trevor and Quinn available for adoption

3 dogs at New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN – all have been adopted

3 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte.  Bear Bear and Chow Phat have been adopted.  Chester is not currently on the website because the shelter is working to get him ready for adoption.  His listing will be put back on the site as soon as he’s ready.  Merry’s litter of five pups, born in foster care, will be available for adoption in future although due to health issues, one is going to stay with the foster owner indefinitely.  (See below for info on Merry.)

2 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter in NC.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  Both dogs listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A0797513) and Markus (ID#A0797514 ).  I called “311″ for Char-Meck Co on February 6 and was told both dogs were still there, still unavailable for adoption and still kenneled in “DDTF” – Dangerous Dogs Task Force, which is basically an isolation ward.

7 dogs left at the Nashville Humane Association in TN – 1 was adopted, per the attorney for Nashville Humane and 6 others were sent to a prison program with the goal of adopting them out eventually, per the attorney for Nashville Humane.

Status:  Lost (2 dogs)

1 dog – Merry – transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte, escaped from her foster owner in January 2011.

1 dog lost in TN.  Kendall escaped from her New Leash on Life foster home in December 2010 and hasn’t been found.

Status: Confirmed or Presumed Dead (13 dogs)

4 dogs at Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – Murray, Harry, Buddy and dog #38805 were put in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.  Confirmed.

3 puppies at Humane Society of Etowah Co in AL – 2 of the pups were less than 10 weeks old and came in very sick.  Parvo was suspected and both were euthanized very soon after arrival.  They were the youngest of the group of 44 and the only 2 who appeared to be sick.  Jeri was at the shelter until February 28, 2011 when she was killed to free up space for a dog deemed more adoptable.  The shelter had made efforts to socialize Jeri but she continued to be fearful of people.  Confirmed.

3 dogs left at the Nashville Humane Association in TN.  Per their attorney, evaluations of the dogs determined “that these three were not candidates for eventual adoption”.  Confirmed.

3 dogs remain unaccounted for and, although I’m still looking for them, I am presuming they were killed since HSUS refuses to say what happened to them despite numerous inquiries.  If any rescue group or shelter has (or had) these three dogs and would like to share information about them, I am more than happy to correct the record accordingly.  Presumed.

***

There is no way anyone can convince me these 13 (10 confirmed and 3 presumed) dead dogs are better off now than they were at their home.  Why did HSUS send these dogs, which they knew had special needs, to places that don’t have the resources to provide the kind of care they obviously needed?  There was no pressing need to remove these dogs swiftly and secretly.  They could have been sheltered in place until appropriate arrangements were made for their care.

This is not a rescue.  HSUS can try to evade questions and spin things to their advantage as they fundraise off their supposed good rescue works but the truth will out.  Next time you see a press release from HSUS touting their “rescue” of a large number of dogs, remember the Alabama 44.  And the Wilkes Co Pitbulls.  And the 265 dogs illegally seized in SD.

We are the real humane society – small h, small s.  Join us.

Rest in peace Jeri. I’m sorry the HSUS “rescued” you.

Thank Yous and a Request on the AL 44

I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive and helpful with regard to the ongoing search for the Alabama 44.  There are many readers – some I know and others I don’t – who have offered support to the shelters who needed it, searched the web for information, made phone calls and sent e-mails.  In addition, there are a number of you who have simply offered supportive comments for the continuing efforts and I really appreciate that.

Thanks also to No Kill Nation and Humane Watch for continuing to share the posts on the Alabama 44.  Their support has helped get a lot more eyeballs on the story and kept it from fading away.  Slogging away at a story for months is not sexy and there is a real danger of people losing interest.  I am grateful to both No Kill Nation and Humane Watch for sticking with it and helping to make sure there will ultimately be accountability for what has happened to these dogs.

To all those on Twitter who have been kind enough to tweet and retweet about the AL 44 – thank you.  The life of a tweet is extremely short so any and all help spreading the word on these dogs is most valuable.

I also very much appreciate the shelters who have been kind enough to tell me the status of the dogs they took and give me updates.  Although I feel bad about the way these dogs were mishandled at the outset by HSUS, it is comforting to know that at least some of them went to caring groups who are getting them into new homes.

Finally, a request:  I am still trying to find out what happened to the 10 dogs that Nashville Humane took from HSUS.  I’d like to know if any are alive and if so, whether they are available for adoption.  If they are dead, I’d like to know the details.  Nashville Humane says they don’t have the dogs “right now” but won’t explain what that means and referred me to HSUS for more info.  HSUS won’t say where the dogs are or even if they are alive.  Could you take a few minutes to contact some members of the HSUS Board (Humane Watch has e-mail addresses for some of them and I’m pasting those below) as well as the folks at Nashville Humane to inquire about the 10 dogs?  Please make your inquiries polite and succinct.

HSUS Board Members:

Peter A. Bender

Email: pbender@pegasusfoundation.org

Eric Bernthal

Email: eric.bernthal@lw.com

Neil B. Fang

Email: NFang@Sfesq.com

Paula Kislak

Email: pk99@cox.net

Jennifer Leaning

Email: jleaning@hsph.harvard.edu

Judy J. Peil

Email: judy@judypeil.com

___________________________________________

Nashville Humane board members are here but they do not provide e-mail addresses.  They do however list staff with e-mail addresses.  Their area code is 615:

Executive Director
Mary Pat Boatfield
354-6335
Facility Operations Manager
Karen Baker
354-6347
Director of Programs & Services
Joy Beach
354-6348
Development Director
Jennifer Wheeler
354-6344
Development Assistant
Melanie White
500-2559
Event and PR Manager
Lisa Reeves
354-6342
Volunteer Coordinator
Celia Stephens
354-6345
ROVER Project Coordinator
Marie Gordon
352-4030
Pet Services Supervisor
Sherrie Bellin
352-1010
Pet Services Representatives
Sherry Pearson
Kenneth Tallier
Ginger Hutchison
352-1010
Animal Care Supervisor
Walter James, III
354-6349

UPDATED – HSUS – Please Tell Us What Happened to the Alabama 44

It has been boatloads of fun tracking what has happened the 44 dogs HSUS took from an owner in AL in December.  I mean really, it’s been great.  But here’s the thing.  HSUS peeps subscribe to this blog.  Although I can’t manage to get anyone there to talk to me directly, somebody at HSUS could put all our minds at ease by simply telling us the status of the dogs in the UNKNOWN category (below).  Is that like, just a totally ridiculous thing to ask?  People care about these dogs and want to know what happened to them.  So how about it HSUS?  Could you at least let us all know if the dogs in the UNKNOWN category are still of this earth?  That’s not classified information, is it?

Here is my current list.  It contains quite a few updates from the previous list.

Status:  Located (21 dogs)

10 dogs at PAWS Atlanta in GA – Laura has been keeping me updated which I really appreciate.  Cora (now Sari), Imogen and Driscol have been adopted.  Driscol went to a home with a kid after he was featured on Good Day Atlanta!  Next dog to be moved on to the adoption floor will be Zeb.  The other dogs are listed for adoption on their website.

2 dogs at Humane Society of Etowah Co, AL:  Ben and Jeri – both up for adoption.

3 dogs at Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA, 1 already adopted, 2 available for adoption

3 dogs at New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN, all have been adopted (including Sassy, who was listed as LOST in the last update.  She was found and is safe at home with her people – yay!).

3 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte.  Bear Bear had been listed on the website as available for adoption but the listing has been removed.  I sent an inquiry regarding his status to the HS of Charlotte but haven’t received a reply as of this posting.  Chow Phat was adopted.  Chester is available for adoption.  Merry’s 5 pups, born in foster care, will be available for adoption in future.  (See below for info on Merry.)

Status:  Dead (6 dogs)

4 dogs at Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – Murray, Harry, Buddy and dog #38805 were put in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

2 puppies at Humane Society of Etowah Co in AL – The pups were less than 10 weeks old and came in very sick.  Parvo was suspected and both were euthanized.  They were the youngest of the group of 44 and the only 2 who appeared to be sick.

Status:  Lost (2 dogs)

1 dog – Merry – transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte, escaped from her foster owner in January 2011.

1 dog lost in TN.  Kendall escaped from her New Leash on Life foster home in December 2010 and hasn’t been found.

Status:  Unknown (15 dogs)

10 dogs left at the Nashville Humane Association in TN.  I have been asking and asking and asking Nashville Humane about these dogs.  I had other people ask Nashville Humane about these dogs.  No responses.  I continually monitored their website, watching for any of the dogs to appear, as Nashville Humane had indicated they would post them there as soon as the dogs were available.  Nothing.  Ever.  Until February 4 when, on a whim, I tried e-mailing an inquiry to someone at Nashville Humane I hadn’t contacted previously.  Heck, ya never know.  I finally got a reply although it was ominous sounding.  I was informed that Nashville Humane does not have any of the dogs “right now” and no further information would be provided. I was referred to HSUS for more info.  I went ahead and asked Nashville Humane for more information anyway because I’m annoying like that to my mind, Nashville Humane should at least say what the status of the dogs was when they were last in their care.  No response.  So this is me, asking HSUS – What happened to these 10 dogs?

2 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter in NC.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  Both dogs now listed on Char-Meck’s site under slightly altered ID numbers – Daisy (ID#A0797513) and Markus (ID#A0797514 ).  I called “311″ for Char-Meck Co on February 6 and was told both dogs were still there, still unavailable for adoption and still kenneled in “DDTF” – Dangerous Dogs Task Force.  The person answering the phone kindly offered to take my name and phone number to be contacted in the event either dog is in danger of being killed.  In addition, I was advised Daisy had a urinary problem and had been receiving veterinary treatment and that Char-Meck had been working with HS of Charlotte on her.  I sent an inquiry to HS of Charlotte for an update but have not yet received a response.  It’s sad to me to think of these two still sitting in segregated kennels at a kill shelter, months after being taken from their home, still unavailable for adoption.  I wonder how they are doing and hope they will be offered to the public as soon as possible.

3 dogs remain unaccounted for and I’m still looking for them.  HSUS presumably remembers where they dropped them but has declined to say where that was or what the status of the 3 dogs is now.  

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the 3 unaccounted for dogs or the status of any of the “Unknown” dogs, please share.  HSUS, I’m looking at you.

By the way, this blog accepts anonymous comments.  Just so everyone knows.


Update, February 18: I received a response to my inquiry from HS of Charlotte.  They do NOT have a behaviorist working with Char-Meck on Daisy or Markus and don’t have any info on them.  Bear Bear has been adopted.  Merry’s 5 pups remain in foster care.   One of the pups is ill and will remain with the foster owner indefinitely.

Also, a reader sent in a comment posted on Facebook by Wayne Pacelle regarding the AL 44 which says, in part:  “some have been adopted, others are still being worked with, and some did have to be humanely euthanized”.  No new info there, although apparently the definition of “humanely euthanized” is another point where I differ from HSUS.

Status Update on the Alabama 44

It’s been about a month since we first learned about the 44 dogs HSUS took from an owner in AL and dispersed throughout the south.  I thought it would be a good time to post an updated list on the efforts to track these dogs.

In addition, here are some of the search terms that have brought people to the blog over the past month – in order, from most popular to least:

hsus, alabama 44, alabama 44 dogs, 44 dogs seized alabama, hsus marshall county alabama, hsus sends alabama dogs to north carolina, lincoln county humane society killing, lincoln county nc animal shelter and dogs from alabama, yes biscuit wordpress 2010 tracking dogs rescued hsus, hsus 44 dogs, hsus releasing rescue dogs to kill shelter, hsus hoarder alabama, 44 dogs seized in marshal county alabama, hsus 44 alabama dogs, where did the dogs from the alabama hoarding situation go?

But yeah, I think the HSUS plan of ignore-and-it-will-go-away is working out great.

Here is the list as it stands today:

Status:  Located (20 dogs)

10 dogs at PAWS Atlanta in GA, 7 available for adoption and the other 3 to be available soon.  Donations appreciated!

2 dogs at Humane Society of Etowah Co, AL:  Ben and Jeri – both up for adoption.  Donations appreciated!

3 dogs at Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA, 1 already adopted, 2 available for adoption

2 dogs at New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN, both have been adopted

3 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte.  Chow Phat was adopted to a home with 3 Beagles.  Chester and Bear Bear are available for adoption.  Merry’s 5 pups, born in foster care, will be available for adoption in future.  (See below for info on Merry.)

Status:  Dead (6 dogs)

4 dogs at Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – Murray, Harry, Buddy and dog #38805 were put in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

2 puppies at Humane Society of Etowah Co in AL – The pups were less than 10 weeks old and came in very sick.  Parvo was suspected and both were euthanized.  They were the youngest of the group of 44 and the only 2 who appeared to be sick.

Status:  Lost (3 dogs)

1 dog – Merry – transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte, escaped from her foster owner.  There is an active search underway for her and hopefully she will be found very soon.

2 puppies lost in TN.  One escaped from her New Leash on Life foster home in December and hasn’t been found.  The posting on the New Leash on Life website for that pup has been replaced with a posting for Sassy, who went missing from her new home this week.

Status:  Unknown (15 dogs)

10 dogs dropped at the Nashville Humane Association in TN.  None listed on their website.  Although I’ve been unsuccessful thus far in learning the status on these 10 dogs, you can rest assured I’ll keep trying.

2 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  Both dogs are listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A797513) and Markus (A797514) but neither is available for adoption.  They are designated on the website as “lost pets” and kenneled in “DDTF” – Dangerous Dogs Task Force.  I’m not sure what would qualify them as either lost pets or dangerous dogs.

3 dogs remain unaccounted for and I’m still looking for them.  HSUS presumably remembers where they dropped them but has declined to say where that was or what the status of the 3 dogs is now. 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the 3 unaccounted for dogs or the status of any of the “Unknown” dogs, please share.  I’d like to know if the dogs are alive and if so, if they are available for adoption.

BOLO – Lost Mama Dog in Charlotte, NC

Merry (FKA “Mary”) is one of the Alabama 44.  She was pregnant at the time HSUS surrendered her to the Lincoln Co shelter in NC.  Merry was transferred to the Humane Society of Charlotte on 12-18-10 and placed in a foster home.  She whelped her litter just before Christmas and 5 pups survived.

Sadly, Merry escaped her foster home at some point and is loose in the Charlotte area.  The HS of Charlotte says there have been sightings of the dog and they are working on getting a trap delivered to the area.  She is reportedly very wary of people.  If you have any contacts in the Charlotte area, please let them know about Merry.  It’s been so cold at night and I can imagine how scared she must be.  And Merry’s pups are surely missing her terribly.

I will update this post if I find any other online notices for Merry or get any additional details to share.

Update, 1-20-10:  Merry has been missing for a week, wearing green collar with butterfly print.  She has been spotted with other dogs on Eastway Dr. near Sugar Creek Rd. and Fitchley Dr. in Charlotte.  She seems to be staying near the railroad tracks.  AC has 2 traps in the area and has been checking in with the foster mom frequently for updates.   Craigslist posting for Merry here.

Shelter Pets of the Day

PAWS Atlanta took 10 of the Alabama 44 from HSUS.  Laura at PAWS Atlanta has kept me posted on their progress and wrote this weekend to tell me that 7 of the dogs are now on the adoption floor:

7 of the 10 dogs we received from Alabama have been made available for adoption.  The others will soon follow.  They are doing great and seem to appreciate all the attention the staff and volunteers are lavishing on them.

Here are the dogs currently available:

Imogen, female, 9months

Temple, female, 8 years

Grandin, female, 8 months

Morgan, male, 3 years

Livingston, male, 8 months

Punky, male, 1 year

Cora, female, 3 years

PAWS Atlanta
5287 Covington Highway
Decatur, GA 30035
770-593-1155

PAWS Atlanta is a no kill shelter.

Shelter Records Confirm Fates of 4 of the Alabama 44

From the HSUS statement on the Alabama 44 posted on their website:

It has come to our attention that four of the dogs sent to the Lincoln County shelter were deemed unadoptable and may have been euthanized via the gas chamber method of euthanasia.  [...]  It is deeply disturbing to us that these dogs may have been euthanized by this method, and we are disappointed and saddened that we were not notified in advance so that we could look for other options for the dogs. [emphasis mine]

Per the Lincoln Co Animal Shelter records on those 4 dogs, they were gassed to death.  In reviewing the records below, note that in the state of North Carolina’s report, it was indicated “for any shelter information sheets (disposition records) that did not state that the method of euthanasia was by injection, it meant that the animal had been euthanized by using the CO chamber or, where indicated, had been adopted”.  Further, there is no indication on the records that HSUS wanted to be contacted in the event LCAS decided to kill the dogs.

LCAS record for "Buddy", surrendered by HSUS on 12-3-10, killed in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

 

LCAS record for "Harry", surrendered by HSUS on 12-3-10, killed in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

LCAS record for "Murray", surrendered by HSUS on 12-3-10, killed in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

LCAS record for dog #38805, surrendered by HSUS on 12-3-10, killed in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

(To view the shelter records for the 4 gassed dogs in Google Docs, click here.)

It is also worth noting that the dogs were kept alive only 10 days at the shelter.  This is in no way a reasonable amount of time for any scared, unsocialized dog to learn to trust.  Therefore, I don’t consider these dogs to have been hopeless cases where all good faith attempts to help the dogs adjust had been exhausted and they were still deemed a threat to humans.  Furthermore, the odds that all 4 of the dogs would have reached the end of their rehabilitation efforts and been deemed hopeless on the same day are ridiculous.  Ten days in a kill shelter to a group of adult dogs who have never known life beyond their backyard pack is nothing.  Which is apparently the value HSUS and LCAS had assigned them.

But that’s not the value of these dogs to a true humane society – small h, small s.  And as such, I’d like to post the photos of the dogs to honor their memory.

Rest in peace Buddy.

Rest in peace Harry.

Rest in peace Murray.

Rest in peace dog #38805. (Name unknown, no photo available.)

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