Maricopa Co ACC in AZ impounded this obviously pregnant dog as a stray on April 22, 2013. Records obtained via FOIA request indicate that four days later the pound’s vet cut out her uterus which contained 10 full term puppies, old enough to survive outside the womb. These pups had a right to live. Medical records contain no mention of how the uterus containing the puppies was disposed of nor is there any notation of Fatal Plus being administered to the pups. They were presumably thrown into the trash can to suffocate and die.
Although this poor dog was cruelly subjected to a behavioral evaluation just 3 days after the killing of her pups, she passed. The day after, Maricopa Co noted she was “not kenneling well” and put her on the kill list. This dog had a right to live. Mercifully the so-called irresponsible public came through to save this dog from additional harm at the pound and she was taken in by a rescue group.
Remind me again how the mistreatment and killing of pets in animal shelters is the public’s fault?
May 14, 2013
Rebecca Coleman, the shelter vet at the Memphis pound on whose watch numerous dogs have starved to death, including a puppy who was forced to eat his own littermate to survive, and who scrubbed a degloved cat’s wounds without providing pain medication and left him to suffer in a cage for 5 days has again been implicated in an animal cruelty incident at the pound. This time the victim was a mixed breed puppy who was impounded with a collar embedded in her neck:
According to city records, for days MAS Medical Director Rebecca Coleman did nothing, leaving the dog in its cage with an embedded collar.
According to shelter records, Coleman was the only veterinarian on duty the week the dog arrived. Four days after the dog arrived, it finally received medical attention for what was described as a “severe collar injury.” It was ingrown into the neck with a foul odor. It was so bad that not all of it could be removed; the clasp was left inside the dog because tissue had grown in.
Two days after treatment the dog was euthanized to ease its suffering.
That’s one way of putting it. Killed to hide the evidence of Rebecca Coleman’s negligence also comes to mind.
The cruelty occurred last fall but no charges have been filed. Someone did write a note in Rebecca Coleman’s personnel file about the incident.
In related news, there are fresh victims awaiting Dr. Coleman since the city seized two allegedly starving dogs with embedded collars from a Memphis firefighter this week:
According to neighbors and the police, the dogs had chains dug into their necks so deep the dogs were cut and bleeding. Police found bowls filled with dirt and out of reach from where the dogs were chained.
The dogs were taken to the Memphis Animal Shelter, where both are listed at a substantial risk of death.
You don’t say?
Fire. Them. All.
(Thank you Karen and Clarice for the links.)
Metro Animal Control in Nashville has been killing every Pitbull they touch for 15 years. Pet advocates have been pushing for reform of this nonsensical excuse for killing and indeed have achieved something. Kind of a lousy, stinking something but um, yay I guess.
Here’s the deal: Metro AC has decided to end the policy of killing all dogs deemed “Pitbull” simply because they’ve been labeled that by Some Guy. It could potentially mean a lot less killing since they take in so many Pitbull type dogs every year. But apparently they can’t just go cold turkey on the less killing thing – they have to wean themselves off slowly. So Metro AC has set up a weaning program for their pet killers. They’re going to kill every Pitbull puppy they get their hands on until June 1. It’s going to be hard to stop killing Pitbull puppies though so to ease the pain, they’ll keep killing all adult Pitbulls until September.
Come September, they’ll only kill Pitbulls who have “behavioral problems”. Determining that is about as easy for an ACO as determining which dogs are Pitbulls because:
- No dog behaves normally in a pet killing facility and no single behavioral assessment should ever be used as an excuse for killing a dog.
- “Pitbull” is not a breed of dog and it is impossible to determine genetics on mixed breed dogs based upon body shape.
So I assume even after they wean off killing everything that looks like a Pitbull just because Some Guy said so, Metro AC will still be killing plenty of Pitbulls just because Some Guy said they look like a Pitbull and have a behavioral problem. Win?
Here’s your money quote from Metro Animal Services manager Billy Biggs:
“Hopefully it’s going to be a big reduction in euthanasia here. Nobody here likes to euthanize things.”
There is a sweet Pibble type dog – I mean thing – in a red harness wagging her tail off in the video of Metro AC at the link. I guess they’ll be killing her and all the other dogs shown because they got impounded during the weaning phase.
Nashville, you know the public believes killing dogs based on body shape is wrong. That’s why you are changing your policy. Don’t be a bunch of whiny asses who need to wean off killing. Just stop it. Today. Right this second. You know, since you don’t “like” doing it anyway. And let that waggy dog in the red harness out of your pet killing facility.
(Thanks Devry for the link.)
Rufus, a 1 one year old Beagle in Orange Co, FL was surrendered by his owner to AC after he bit a kid in the face. The owner, Nicole West, was reportedly filling the dog’s food bowl when her 4 year old son came up behind the dog and accidentally startled him. Rufus bit the kid’s lip and sutures were required.
West says she was told the beagle would be “tested for aggression,” and if he was found not to be aggressive, Rufus would be put up for adoption. But last week, West learned that her former pet was scheduled to be euthanized because of the severity of the bite.
The West family never believed there was any chance that Rufus would be killed and when they learned otherwise, they retained a lawyer to fight for his right to live. The attorney has filed an injunction to stop the killing temporarily and the family has utilized social media to spread awareness of the dog’s plight. Not only is the local news following the story now, but the mayor is involved as well. She has issued a statement saying that the dog will be well cared for by the pound while the legal case proceeds.
One of the most troubling aspects to this case is the pound’s position that Rufus must be killed because FL state law says so:
Orange County Animal Services has gone on record, saying because of the severity of the injury, state statute says they must euthanize Rufus even if the dog is not found to be aggressive.
Read the FL statutes about dogs who bite for yourself. I am not a lawyer but what I see is an outline for a legal process to determine whether a dog is dangerous after his first bite. I see nothing that indicates the pound is required to kill any dog after his first bite, regardless of the severity.
The pound’s position makes me concerned not only for Rufus but for all the other dogs who may have bitten a person or animal in Orange Co. How long has the pound been misrepresenting the law with regard to killing dogs who bite? How many dogs have they killed already and how many are they going to kill under this false representation that the state law requires it? Many dogs don’t have an owner with an attorney to protect them from Orange Co Animal Services. Is the mayor concerned about that?
(Thank you to everyone who sent me links about Rufus.)
The Wake Co pound in Raleigh, NC kills roughly half of the 11,000 animals it takes in each year. That’s a lot of pet killing and a lot of soul killing of human beings who work and volunteer in that environment. Perhaps that’s why no one at the pound apparently noticed they were working with someone who sexually abused dogs:
Wake County Magistrate J.D. Saferight said [Seadon Collins Etienne] Henrich first began working at the animal shelter as a volunteer and was eventually hired full time. He left the agency but returned as a volunteer who worked by himself at night, alone with the dogs.
The guy allegedly raping dogs over an 18 month period apparently didn’t raise any red flags with those who worked or volunteered at the pound. He got caught because he posted photos of himself raping the pets on the internet. Mr. Henrich was arrested last week “and charged with four counts of crime against nature and three counts of felony dissemination of obscenity.”
He has been offered bail:
Henrich was placed in the Wake County jail early Thursday afternoon under $70,000 bail. If he does post bail, he has been ordered to not go into any public or private facility where animals are kept.
Fine. What about the dog (or dogs) he may have at his home? When a local news reporter visited the man’s home, he was greeted by a barking dog outside who was quickly put indoors by a woman there.
Mr. Henrich appeared in court on Friday and is due for his next court appearance on May 9. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 14 years in jail.
The pound has offered no comment. I hope they seriously reconsider killing thousands of pets every year in favor of saving them. The killing environment does more than harm animals – it hurts people too. If the Wake Co pound had anything close to a compassionate environment full of people dedicated to protecting animals, I question whether a dog rapist might not have shown up on someone’s radar at some point during the 18 months these crimes allegedly took place. It’s too late for Wake Co to protect the dogs allegedly abused by Mr. Henrich or to protect any of the animals they’ve already killed. But they could start protecting the animals they have today. I hope they do.
(Thank you Clarice for the links.)
On April 11, 2013, I spoke with Carrie Crunk, a rescuer in Memphis. She told me that at the public meeting of the pound’s advisory board the previous evening, several local advocates were concerned about a pregnant dog at MAS. She says interim director James Rogers reassured concerned citizens that time would be provided to allow them network this dog and that no mention was ever made of killing her unborn puppies. The next day, Ms. Crunk says she called MAS and was placed on speaker phone with James Rogers, Tracy Dunlap and DeKeisha Tunstall. She says her group offered to rescue the pregnant dog but one of the people on the call (she’s not sure which one as the person did not identify himself/herself when speaking) said that the dog can not leave the building until she is spayed because it’s state law. When Ms. Crunk expressed concern that spaying a pregnant dog would mean killing the unborn pups inside her, someone on the call replied that the dog was “not far along” and that they had a rescue group from CO which was fine with killing the unborn pups and had offered to take the pregnant dog after the spay surgery. Ms. Crunk also told me she had heard from another local advocate who had visited MAS on April 11 with the intention of visiting the pregnant dog but was turned away because the dog had been “adopted”.
Under the TN open records law, records were requested for the pregnant dog on April 11. This is the wording of the request:
I am requesting all records for the dog ID #252910 – records to include all notes by ACO , behavioral notes, front and back of kennel card and all pertinent information on this dog including her final disposition. I also want all veterinary notes including other records which reference the disposition of the unborn pups in this dogs uterus at the time she was at MAS. I also am requesting the drug log for the day she was spayed.
The records indicate the dog was impounded as a stray on April 3. On April 9, her weight was recorded as 35 pounds and a notation was made that she appeared to be pregnant. She was vaccinated and dewormed. A noted dated April 10 says that Ona Cooper was given 48 hours to network the dog. Medical records from April 10, the day of the public meeting at which James Rogers reassured advocates they had time to network her, indicate she was spayed and her unborn puppies taken from her belly to die. Her weight was recorded as 47.2 pounds. The notes include the following:
Approx 11 puppies, approx 3 weeks old
Puppies given Fatal Plus en utero
On April 11, the day after the meeting, the day after the spay, and the day the records were requested, the following note appears in the records:
Puppies euthanized after spay surgery. 10 puppies estimated to be about 3 weeks in development. 0.1cc per puppy of Fatal Plus, bottle #40.
I have some serious concerns:
- Why did MAS refuse to allow Carrie Crunk’s local group to rescue the dog and her unborn pups in favor of an out of state group which agreed with the killing of the unborn pups?
- Where is this state law that does not allow exceptions for the release of intact dogs from shelters and if it exists, why has MAS ignored it so many times in the past when releasing intact dogs and cats to rescuers?
- Why was James Rogers reassuring concerned citizens at the public meeting on April 10 that they would be given time to network the pregnant dog when in fact she was already spayed, her puppies already removed from her body?
- How can the 12 pound discrepancy in the dog’s weight between April 9 and April 10 be accounted for?
- Why is there only one page containing a single line entry for the pound’s entire drug log on April 11, 2013? Assuming this was a normal day at MAS and numerous pets were killed, how were the other dogs and cats in their care killed that day? Because apparently they didn’t use controlled substances to do it. Is this an indication that strangling dogs and crushing cats to death is still practiced in the MAS kill room?
- Why would anyone at MAS contend that the dog was “not far along” when in fact it was ordinary citizens noticing the size of her belly who alerted MAS to the fact that this dog was pregnant? A pregnant dog’s belly does not begin to enlarge until the second half of pregnancy because the puppies do not develop to any significant size until then. In other words, by the time it’s obvious to casual onlookers that the dog is pregnant, she is near term.
- Why would the vet note that the 11 (or 10?) puppies were only about 3 weeks in development and killed with injections of Fatal Plus when in fact canine embryos at that stage are merely 1 centimeter in size? See a photo of a puppy at that stage of development here. (This is an actual medical photo from a teaching facility and may not be appropriate for sensitive readers.)
- Why are the note about the Fatal Plus injections for the unborn pups and the drug log for those injections both dated April 11 when the spay was done April 10? When the vet indicated the puppies were killed “after” the spay surgery, did that mean one day “after”?
This pregnant dog had a local rescue willing to take her and her unborn puppies but MAS refused in favor of an out of state rescue which raised no objection to the killing of the pups. The unborn puppies had a right to live. The records appear to show deception and incompetence, at best, on the part of MAS. How many more, Memphis?
April 17, 2013
The Campbell Co pound in TN has been at the center of a hot mess this month. On April 2, I posted the following on Facebook in response to the e-mails I had been receiving about the pound:
Several people have e-mailed me links to a video and petition about the pound in Campbell Co, TN. I watched the video. While the allegations may be accurate (I don’t know), there is nothing in the video to substantiate the allegations. There is no one named as a source to provide eyewitness testimony. The only records shown are from 2011 and in fact show the correct amount of Fatal Plus being used for each dog, contrary to the allegations in the video.
I am the last person to defend cruelty and killing in an animal shelter and I am not defending those practices, if they exist, in Campbell Co. What I am saying is that it’s irresponsible to throw anonymous allegations around on the internet. If someone with first hand knowledge and/or other evidence of wrongdoing at Campbell Co would like to contact me, my e-mail is email@example.com If the evidence exists, I will help you bring it to light in a responsible manner.
On April 5, the local NBC affiliate WBIR ran a story titled “Knoxville veterinarian: spaying & neutering are keys to reducing animal euthanasia rates” which mentions the Campbell Co pound but does not focus on it. Since then, WBIR has been linking back to this piece in other articles about Campbell Co, characterizing the piece as as their own “investigation” of practices at Campbell Co:
A 10News investigation found the shelter was not using the recommended procedures or dosage of euthanasia drugs.
I find this claim to be a mischaracterization of the article’s text. I am unable to watch the videos on the website but unless they contain information which is entirely different from the printed articles, I don’t think the claim can be validated.
On April 4, WBIR posted a piece saying they had been allowed inside the pound for a tour and an interview with the director, Betty Crumley:
Inside, we found a clean, sterile environment; dogs and cats that are well-fed, and heated floors. The center was not at full capacity. There were less than 10 adult dogs, five puppies, two adult cats, and five kittens being held in kennels or cages. All had water, and or food.
Ms. Crumley offered this disturbing account of how Campbell Co kills dogs:
“When a dog comes in to be euthanized, you guess the poundage. Usually on the big dogs, it takes both of the technicians. They get the juice out and give them a shot. It’s called an “IP”. Then within minutes they die. At that point when there’s no heartbeat, then they are put in the freezer.”
I guess I should pause here so you can finish recoiling.
The deputy mayor threatens that whoever posted the video online will face criminal charges and claims Ms. Crumley is under police protection due to death threats in the comments sections of some websites. Ms. Crumley reiterates the police protection claim to the news crew.
10News did not see any law enforcement officers or vehicles at the center during the two hours we were there.
Maybe they were like, stealth units.
On April 9, a pound employee went to the media to report that there is true animal abuse occurring there. (Warning: details may be too disturbing for sensitive readers.)
The Campbell Co mayor closed the pound last week, despite an internal investigation involving the mayor’s office, the sheriff’s office and the district attorney general’s office which resulted in no substantiated claims of wrongdoing. The staff has been placed on administrative leave and the animals have apparently been placed with outside agencies while the state conducts its own investigation.
At least one of the groups caring for the Campbell Co animals says that all the animals they took had to be carried and describes pets in a very different state than what the news crew observed:
[T]he Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, who took in 20 of their animals, says the animals they rescued weren’t properly taken care of.
A nursing dam is described as having been locked in a cage with her pups, covered in fleas and ticks.
The Campbell Co pound remains closed at this time. It’s hard for me to make sense of this case where there seems to be no shortage of unsubstantiated and contradictory claims from all sides. I can’t imagine that it was any animal advocate’s hope to create mass confusion and doubt about the pound. That’s usually a tactic employed by those trying to hide wrongdoing. I guess we’ll see what comes out in the wash.
In the meantime, put me down in the “massively relieved” column regarding the closing of a facility where dogs have their dosage of kill “juice” guessed before they are stuck in the gut and left to suffer for some unknown number of “minutes” before being carted off to the freezer.
April 10, 2013
In February, the Alberta SPCA seized 58 horses from a Canadian farm:
“In addition to suffering from long-term neglect, these horses were not used to being handled,” says Roland Lines, Communications Manager for the Alberta SPCA. “Only four geldings showed evidence of having been ridden, and a large number of the horses were extremely difficult and dangerous to contain and control during the initial seizure.”
Neglected horses were difficult to control when strangers came to put them in trailers and take them away from their home? Gee, whodathunkit? The SPCA killed 19 of the stallions after the 10 day holding period for “public safety” and another 5 for “medical reasons”. Roland Lines, spokesman for the Alberta SPCA, “confirmed the animals were euthanized [in March] by drug, which he said was more humane than being shot.” Five horses were “rehomed”. And then there were 29:
The numbers include 8 geldings, 8 mares (6 of which are pregnant) and 13 young stock.
Twenty-five of those horses were sold at public auction last week. Although the SPCA had intended to send all 29 to auction, the group decided to hold 4 back to “get them healthy”. A licensed livestock dealer bought 16 of the horses and killed 3 to sell for meat because they were “too crippled”. I was unable to find any details on the other 9 horses bought at the auction. Local horse lovers were not pleased:
“I think it’s horrendous that this is happening today, that we haven’t had an emergency adopt-a-thon of these horses,” complains horse enthusiast Keely Dobbyn. “I know lots of people that would go out and try and rescue these animals, and instead this is the easy way out.”
The Alberta SPCA posted a media release on its website in response to the public outrage. In it, the organization blames the former owner (under whose care the horses were at least alive and there was hope for true rescue) and defends horse auctions as transparent.
“Yay transparency!” – No Dead Horse, ever.
I am including the end of the SPCA’s media release and would remind you as you read it that the the group’s spokesman said injection is a more humane method of killing than gunshot. Horses who are sold for their meat can not be killed by injection. If you want to read the gory details, try Google or check out the Wiki page on horse slaughter. I would also remind you the SPCA killed 24 of the horses after their holding period expired and that 6 of the mares from the remaining 29 were pregnant.
The actions of the Alberta SPCA have improved the welfare of these horses. Their new owners, whatever their reasons for buying the horses, are required to protect them from distress and see to their needs for food, water, shelter and veterinary care.
How much food and water does a dead horse need?
Thanks for the horse care tips and best practices information, Alberta SPCA.
(Thank you Brandi for alerting me to this story.)
April 10, 2013
Oh NYC ACC, you rascal you.
Here is the text (replete with misspellings/typos) from the FB post by Urgent Part 2 – Urgent Death Row Dogs
SUPER URGENT 4/9/13
CHEWY – A0961371
*** POSSIBLE SPINAL INJURY; NEEDS TO LEAVE ASAP ***
MALE, CREAM / SILVER, LHASA APSO MIX, 5 yrs
STRAY – STRAY WAIT, NO HOLD
Intake condition NONE Intake Date 04/06/2013, From NY 10028, DueOut Date 04/09/2013, I came in with Group/Litter #K13-133014.
Medical Behavior Evaluation No Initial Behavior
No Initial Exam
Brought to medical by ACO this early morning
with reports of not moving
QARH, MM- pink
OD- hyperemic conjunctivea
unable to use hindlimbs, no fx palpated, painful on palpation of thoracolumbar spine, rear legs have deep pain
reports that *the dog was on top cage of Ward B, may be the dog jumb/fall dawn on floor
dog was given 0.8cc of Hydromorphone IM, 0.5cc of Dexamethasone IM, early in the morning
A: parareresis rear legs r/o- IVDD vs other
P: methacarbamol 100mg/ml 3cc IV
rec rads , NH placement
Rx- tramadol 1 tab po bid
Brought to medical by ACO Walton this early morning
with reports of not moving
redness of eyes
unable to use hindlimbs, no fx palpated
pain elicitd on thoracic and lumber area
*the dog was on top cage of Ward B, may be the dog jumb/fall dawn on floor and get hurt
spoke to Dr Stewart and explained
Dr Rec 0.8cc of Hydromorphone IM, 0.5cc of Dexamethasone IM, monitor in medical and follow up vet check.
4/7 Initial: GREEN
Mild dental tartar
Rt mandibular K9 chipped
It “may be” that the staff at NYC ACC took in a healthy dog and then allowed him to take such an extreme fall that it damaged his spine and rendered him unable to use his hind legs. But they don’t know for sure. Either way, I guess they should fast-track him to the kill list. Because the NYC pound is just awesome like that.
(Thank Susan for the link.)
April 6, 2013
Regular readers might remember the post on the Salisbury, MA junkyard dog catchers – a father and daughter team allegedly defrauding taxpayers. One owner described to a local news reporter how the female ACO came into her yard and cut the rope to which her dog was tied. The owner says she tried to reclaim the dog and was informed she would need to come up with more than $1000, payable personally to the ACO. When the owner was unable to pay the fees, the dog was “adopted by someone else”.
Salisbury officials recently determined that, in taking the dog, “proper procedure wasn’t followed”. They found the dog, a boxer named Shelby, and reunited her with the rightful owners 6 months after the ACO stole Shelby from her home. Local officials have also deemed the housing of the dogs at the ACOs’ junkyard a “conflict of interest”. The state is involved as well:
The state Department of Agricultural Resources, which oversees local animal control officers, also started an investigation. A department spokesman said Thursday the investigation is still ongoing.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)