Animal Neglect and Suffering Exposed in KY Pounds

Kittens suffering in a county pound in KY, as photographed by animal advocates and shown on the WAVE website.

Kittens suffering in a county pound in KY, as photographed by animal advocates and shown on the WAVE website.

Animal advocates in KY are suing some county shelters for failing to comply with the state’s humane care law for shelters.  Over the past 2 years, they have photographed numerous atrocities at county pounds around KY.  (Warning: There are suffering and dead animals in this slideshow of horrifying images.)

Investigative reporter John Boel from WAVE in Louisville went out to visit some county shelters to see the conditions for himself.  What he found ranges from troubling to  – uh, what’s the term I’m looking for? – organized crime.  Yeah, that’s it.

One county pound in KY is the dog warden’s house.  He doesn’t adopt out pets but sends people to another county which he doesn’t know the location of offhand.  Another county pound keeps dogs chained to a fence with no shade, even in 90 degree heat.  Other shelters either have signs posted stating that cameras are not allowed or outright refused entry to Mr. Boel.

The Edmonson Co pound is owned by Kim Carroll who operates the pound for personal profit.  Mr. Boel saw cages of dogs and cats piled high.  The cages were too small for the animals to stand up or turn around.  When Carroll refused to allow Mr. Boel and his photographer inside the facility, he asked her about the stacked cages and suffering animals he had seen.  And for real, don’t take a sip of your beverage just now.  Because this was Carroll’s response:

“If you press the issue, we can go in and put down anything you want to,” Carroll said.

“I’m just talking about humane treatment of animals. I’m not telling you to kill them,” I said.

“Do you want me to kill ‘em?” she said.

“No, I don’t want you to kill them,” I said. “I just want you to treat them humanely.”

If this isn’t make him an offer he can’t refuse enough for you, Carroll obliterates all doubt:

Kim Carroll said their private status means they don’t have to answer to the public. Then she pushed my photographer.

“If you don’t turn that thing off, that’s going to be the end of it,” she said.

Carroll said the shelter passed a recent inspection by the state, but she never let us in.

“I’m asking you, don’t air this,” she said. “This is a lot bigger than you and I.”

What the what?  This person is pocketing cash from taxpayers in four KY counties, flouting the law, forcing animals to suffer, threatening to kill them if a reporter gets too asky – all while doing her best Don Corleone impression.  Who are the people writing checks to her from those four counties?  Where are the police in Edmonson Co who are supposed to be enforcing the law?  Which state inspectors submitted passing reports on these facilities?  Are all these public servants in on this animal cruelty, perhaps skimming off taxpayers to perpetrate this fraud?  Because if not, how has Kim Carroll not been sent directly to jail do not pass Go do not collect $200?

The Contemporary Justice Review is about to publish a scathing analysis by two members of UofL’s sociology department of how Kentucky has complied with the Humane Shelter Law.

Let me guess:  Not.

I’m glad there’s a lawsuit.  I’m glad there’s been an analysis done.  But some people operating “shelters” in KY need to have handcuffs slapped on them and get put in the back of the police car for these failures to comply with state law.  Now.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

Shelter Pet Abuse and Cowards In Taos County, NM

In New Mexico, the city of Taos as well as the county of Taos pay a group called Stray Hearts more than $230,000 a year to perform animal control duties. Stray Hearts hired veterinarian Eugene Aversa to work at the facility in November 2013, providing medical care to the animals. He resigned last month, after a complaint made by shelter volunteers and staff led to a hearing before the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine, the findings of which were damning:

Eugene Aversa was found to have violated state codes in his treatment of or failure to treat 18 animals.
[...]
In its order, the seven-member board suggested Aversa was not qualified to work as a veterinarian at Stray Hearts. The order said Aversa “did not exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence that reasonably prudent New Mexico veterinarians would have employed” in several cases. The doctor’s care for some animals was found to have constituted “gross negligence,” including in the case of a dog with a fractured paw which eventually fell off, a dog with cancer and a cat with a fractured paw as well as exposed bone.

Details of individual animals forced to suffer under Aversa’s “care” are disturbing to read.

A cat named Taffy was being given fluids by Aversa when the needle slipped out from under Taffy’s skin and the fluids spray Aversa in the face. The state report indicates Aversa threw Taffy to the floor in response. A worker found Taffy dead in her cage the next day, “with blood everywhere.”

A dog named Petey came to the pound in March 2014 with a fractured paw and Aversa left him to suffer until late July when he finally performed surgery on the dog. The state report says Aversa subsequently refused to change Petey’s bandages regularly and his paw eventually “fell off.”

Felicia Valencia, who assisted Aversa during procedures, says it took 90 minutes for a kitten to die after being “euthanized” by Aversa, and that the kitten’s suffering was only ended when Aversa finally jabbed a needle in the pet’s heart.

Ms. Valencia says when she spoke up about the abuse she witnessed, the shelter administration fired her.  Several Stray Hearts board members have resigned this year and the director recently quit.  Aversa’s malpractice and the shelter administration’s failure to take action to stop it has obviously taken a toll.  Still, the administrators appear to be trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug:

 Asked whether Aversa had been qualified to work at the shelter, the nonprofit’s chair said Tuesday she was “not qualified to comment on the veterinarian’s qualifications.”

Yeah, that’s not the only thing the administrators for Stray Hearts aren’t qualified to comment on.

The state veterinary board suspended Aversa’s license for 30 days and ordered him to shadow a shelter vet for 64 hours without pay. Once the required hours have been put in, Aversa will again be allowed to practice, and will be on a probationary status with the board. Which will surely bring comfort to any animals he hurls to the floor or leaves to suffer in pain until their fucking feet fall off.

If you live in Taos County, contact county manager Stephen Archuleta and tell him you don’t want one more penny of your tax money paid to Stray Hearts unless the entire board steps down.  Let the vols and staffers who filed the complaint run the place while things get sorted out.  Or find another group to contract for animal control.  Maintaining the status quo is unacceptable.  If Stray Hearts won’t do right by the lost and homeless animals in Taos Co, it’s up to the public to demand immediate changes be made.  At minimum, the shelter animals in Taos Co deserve a vet who won’t hurt them but will instead do his job to help them and shelter administrators who recognize that hurting pets is intolerable and will take action to protect the animals, not the abuser.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Arkansas Pound Employee Fired After Dog Found Starving

Lucy, as pictured on the KATV website, after being starved in the Brinkley pound.

Lucy, as pictured on the KATV website, after being starved in the Brinkley pound.

The city of Brinkley, Arkansas has fired its sole employee who was paid to work at the pound after a dog was found starving in the facility. The German shepherd dog called Lucy had been in the pound since June and was taken by a rescuer last week. A vet determined she was 30 pounds underweight and sick. Brinkley mayor Billy Hankins was shown pictures of Lucy and swiftly fired the pound employee:

“In no circumstance would I ever do this to an animal, no way. If I had of known about the condition of this dog before the 16th of October, there would have been immediate action,” Hankins said.

The Brinkley city attorney said the city will investigate itself in the matter. But the rescuer is not satisfied and has retained an attorney:

According to the dog rescuer’s attorney, Clint Lancaster, the investigation is not good enough for her.

“My client has given me a recording which I am not authorized to release which tends to indicate that the mayor knew this was going on for [quite some time],” Lancaster said.

Hmm. The two people who volunteer at the pound say they have been locked out for the past month. But now the mayor says he’s meeting with the volunteers about how to improve conditions at the facility and it’s conceivable that the city might go so far as to maybe even paint the place, possibly:

“We’re looking at even painting it, trying to brighten it up, anything that is necessary to make this where we feel like the dogs are safe ,” Hankins said.

You know what would brighten up the Brinkley pound for Lucy? Groceries. Someone doing his job. Unlocking the damn place so volunteers can get in.

But the mayor says not to criticize because actually, they could be worse:

“Once we pick a dog up and impound him, after 5 days if the dog has not been claimed by the owner then we take charge in a humane matter. As far as disposing of the dog, that would be euthanized,” Hankins said.” I might say there has been 50 dogs, at least the report I’m getting, we have saved their lives by not sticking with this ordinance.”

Maybe 50 dogs (somebody said, I think) we let people save, even though we could have killed them under the ordinance we made, but we let the public take them out alive because we’re awesome like that. True, we paid one guy to run the pound while we provided no oversight whatsoever and he wasn’t even managing to throw food down regularly for the animals but hey, we could be even more killy so shut up.

In the meantime, the irresponsible public has removed all the dogs from the Brinkley pound while the city investigates itself and the mayor browses paint color palettes online. The city isn’t taking in more dogs until the current crisis is resolved. Or at least painted over, I guess.

(Thank you Arlene for the link.)

Philly Pound Oops-Kills Microchipped Lost Dog Whose Owner Filled Out Lost Dog Report

When Cailin Mulvihill’s 15 year old microchipped chihuahua named Rhonda accidentally wandered out of her yard, she immediately began searching for her.  She put up flyers around the neighborhood and went to the Philadelphia Animal Care & Control Team where she filled out a lost dog report.  One day later, a Good Samaritan saw Ms. Mulvihill’s flyer and called her with good news:  Rhonda had been found just a block from home and taken to the pound.  Ms. Mulvihill immediately went to reclaim her pet but the pound had killed her upon intake.  Oops.

The devastated woman asked for an explanation from ACCT’s staff, who initially told her they had scanned Rhonda’s microchip but it didn’t work, Mulvihill explained.

Ms. Mulvihill didn’t buy it. She drove Rhonda’s body to her veterinarian, Dr. Judith Tamas, where the pet was scanned three times and the chip was located three times. (There is a video of Rhonda’s body being scanned at the link but her face is not shown.)  So the pound staff had lied.

“This is the worst kind of negligence [and] laziness,” Dr. Tamas said.

I was thinking that too but pound director Sue Cosby seems to be of the mind that the
rush to kill Rhonda was a kindness:

“I believe the expediency was based on concern for the condition of the dog. It was not callous,” says Cosby, “but policy was overlooked.”

Policy being to scan every animal for a microchip – twice. Staff failed to scan Rhonda even once in their rush to kindness her. Then they lied about it to the owner in an effort to cover up their wrongdoing. I never thought “expediency” could be made to sound so creepy.

Rhonda’s vet said her health was that of a typical elderly dog and that she suffered from sporadic seizures – something which could have been quickly clarified by the pound staff had they done their jobs and gotten the owner’s contact info off the chip. Or failing that, checked their own lost dog reports to find the owner’s info. Or you know – kill, lie, whatever.

After admitting the error, the ACCT put the staff member responsible for the euthanization on unpaid leave while the agency decides what steps to take next, Cosby said.

Maybe a roundtable discussion on expediency and the value of life? Just a suggestion.

The director is refusing to release the name of the employee. But we should just take her word that there is someone on unpaid leave and the pound is taking this seriously, I guess.

Meanwhile Ms. Mulvihill grieves for the loss of her family member and gave the local NBC affiliate a message for her beloved pet:

“I love you Rhonda and you are perfect in every way.”

We have tragically seen callous pound workers fail to protect the lost pets in their care and kill them instead of returning them to their owners countless times. Often, they blame the owners for failing to microchip their pets. Except when they kill chipped pets like Rhonda, in which case – uh, lie.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Suffering Dog Left for Dead by AL Pound Staff Survives Despite Their Lameness

The Associated Press has picked up a “feel good” story which some of you may have seen regarding a dog in the Ozark City pound in Alabama who was injected with drugs designed to kill him but who survived.  It’s a story that pops up in the news somewhat regularly – pets who have been either injected or gassed for convenience at the pound but do not die.  Sometimes they are re-killed, sometimes the staff decides to do their jobs and find placement for the animals.  In the current Alabama case, it’s the latter and the dog is now living in a foster home, reportedly doing well.

Where the AP dropped the ball in its reporting:

The dog was owner surrendered to the Ozark City pound on August 19 after having been hit by a car.  His leg was broken and he was bleeding from various cuts.  The pound left him to suffer until September 10.  On that day, the contracted vet, whose identity is being kept hidden by the city, showed up to kill all the animals the pound didn’t want to deal with anymore.  This dog was one of them.  He was killed in a kennel, likely in view of other animals, and left on the concrete because it was late afternoon and apparently no one felt like bagging all the bodies before quitting time.  He was walking around the pen when workers showed up the next morning.

The AP describes him as a “dog that nobody wanted” but clearly he was wanted, as he was pulled by a rescue group and is now living in a foster home.  The Ozark City pound attempted to have him killed for convenience – theirs, after leaving him to suffer with a broken leg and various injuries for 3 weeks.  The contracted vet’s name should be a matter of public record since taxpayers are presumably footing the bill for this person’s convenience killing services.

I’m glad this dog survived, that his broken leg is now in a cast, and that he is living in a home.  I’m considerably less pleased with the AP for painting such a rosy picture of the entire horrifying ordeal.  And needless to say, I’m completely disgusted with the city of Ozark for failing to shelter animals in need and trying to hide the name of its contracted pet killer from the media.

This feel good story does not feel so good to me.  And I wasn’t the one dragging a broken leg around for weeks only to get injected with poison by the people charged with protecting me.

Texas ACO SorryNotSorry He Got Caught on Camera Dragging a Dog

The Humane Society of Northeast Texas is no stranger to violence against the animals in its care.  But an incident of an ACO dragging a dog around the pound by a leash was caught on video last month, forcing the city to take action.  Prepare to be underwhelmed.

The little dog can be seen on multiple camera views being dragged like a sack of potatoes by Saylor Knox, the ACO paid to protect him from harm:

Knox’s boss, Environmental Health Supervisor Buck Farrar, says there is no excuse for the behavior, but here are some excuses:

Farrar said that while nothing excuses the behavior, the office was short-handed that day, Knox was hurrying, and the dog was behaving in an unruly manner.

“There is nothing that can condone taking action that can be perceived as abusive toward the animal. Do I believe that there was any ill intent on his part, that he was deliberately doing that? Absolutely not,” Farrar said.

“It’s the perception.”

Short-handed. In a hurry. Bad dog. He wasn’t deliberately dragging the dog. That’s just the perception of anyone who watched the video. It’s all in your mind.

As part of the city’s discipline, Knox was forced to write a letter to the HS regarding the incident. It looks like he copied one out of the Shelter Pet Abusers Handbook:

“I apologize for the way it appeared and for anything I did that implied I intended to harm the animal in any way,” Knox wrote.

Sorry for your stupid perceptions, people.

“I was attempting to expedite the call quickly being that the dog was being extremely unruly and vocal in the eyes of the public. I did the best I could in the circumstance, taking ample time both on the truck as well as once I had the dog secured in the animal control officer run, trying to get the dog to warm up to me.”

We’re doing the best we can, yay. Also, have we mentioned lately that the little dog was B-A-D? Because he was.

Apparently the wheel has not yet made it to Longview because if it had, the pound could keep a cart handy to move cages containing dogs too frightened to walk.

Knox refused to be interviewed by local media, as did the pound’s director.  There is no mention in the article of whether the dog survived the pound or was killed.  As far as the remainder of Knox’s disciplinary action, he was suspended for two days.  A city employee in another department was also suspended for two days in August “after administrators discovered she incorrectly filed paperwork for several months”. So I PERCEIVE that the pet mistreating ACO who gets paid to issue citations to citizens who mistreat pets is exactly the same as the paperwork messer-upper. Got it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Jefferson Co, OH Dog Warden Charged with Animal Cruelty

Misty, as shown on the WTOV website.

Misty, as shown on the WTOV website.

Allegations of animal abuse at the Jefferson Co pound in Ohio are not new.  In fact, county commissioners installed cameras at the facility specifically to address these concerns.  On Saturday, a camera at the Jefferson Co pound reportedly caught dog warden William Bell hitting a dog named Misty in the head with a shovel.  There were volunteers who witnessed the incident as well, including children.

Bell had reportedly broken up a fight between Misty and another dog in an outdoor yard by separating the two.  After Misty was alone and lying down, Bell reportedly returned with a shovel and whacked her in the head with it.  Misty sustained head and neck injuries and was apparently treated by a vet.

The vet’s report, along with the video evidence, hasn’t yet been made public by Jefferson Co but they won’t be able to hide it forever.  The county prosecutor has reviewed the evidence and charged Bell with misdemeanor animal cruelty.  Bell is currently on paid leave.

And the excuses are already pouring in.  Jefferson Co commissioner Tom Gentile told a local news reporter that no situation is “perfect”:

Any time you have human beings as employees, things are going to happen. That’s just part of management.

Those problematic humans.  You never know whether they are going to pilfer paper clips from the supply closet or take a shovel to a dog’s head.  It’s all in a day’s work.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla wanted the TV news to know that Bell could have swung the shovel harder:

“I thought at first it was gonna be a heavy swing where he really hurt that dog, but I don’t think that that’s the way it was, but apparently it was bad enough.”

Maybe the sheriff would like to demonstrate a light swing of the shovel on his own head, so we can better understand.

If convicted, Bell faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail.  The Jefferson Co prosecutor explained that Ohio law is limited when it comes to punishing animal abusers and that even if Bell had beaten Misty to death, the charges would be the same.

Bell’s violence against Misty is obviously part of a pattern of abuse.  It’s why the cameras were installed in the first place.  And he is paid by taxpayers to protect the community’s animals from harm.  The county commissioners are supposed to decide on Bell’s future as dog warden by the end of today.  Because that’s a thing that must be thinked about.

Ho hum.  Another day in We All Want the Same Thing Land.  And remember, don’t criticize unless you are willing to go down there and start beating dogs in the head your own damn self.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Van Wert County Dog Warden Indicted on Felony Cruelty Charges

One year ago, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio was assigned supervision of the county pound due to concerns about the lack of response to calls.  On July 20, 2014, the sheriff’s office received a complaint from a concerned citizen that pets were being neglected and starved to death at the pound. An investigation was opened and Rich Strunkenburg, the county dog warden and the sole humane law enforcement agent, was placed on paid leave. County commissioners voted to fire Mr. Strunkenburg on July 31 and last week, a grand jury indicted him on 4 felony counts of animal cruelty.

Mr. Strunkenburg, who has been living rent-free in a home next to the pound, was allegedly tossing animals into cages and leaving them there with no veterinary care, food, or water, to suffer and die in their own waste.

Sheriff Tom Riggenbach said an investigation found three dogs and six kittens dead in their kennels. He said some kennels appeared not to have been cleaned in weeks, others in several days. The deceased animals, some of whom may have been dead for two or three days, had not been removed from their kennels.

It took officers four days to sufficiently clean the pound.

Mr. Strunkenburg is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday:

If he’s convicted, each count of a fifth-degree felony carries a jail term of six months to a year, with a fine of up to $2500.

The prosecutor says the severity of the crimes against these animals could certainly warrant arguing that if there’s a conviction, the judge stack the sentences on top of each other instead of combining them into one, meaning a potential of up to four years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.

Talk is cheap.  And crimes against animals are typically not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, especially when police would be testifying against one of their own.  It sounds as if Sheriff Tom Riggenbach is already making excuses for the horrifying conduct of Mr. Strunkenburg:

“We do know that an attempt was made to contact the company that is used to dispose of dead animals from the kennel, and they were not able to respond that week,” the sheriff said.

The animals appeared to have been ill when they arrived at the shelter and died of those illnesses, though the sheriff said they were not provided with medical care.

Did the sheriff go to vet school and did he conduct full necropsies on these animals?  Because if he didn’t, I don’t see how in PonyLand he is qualified to eyeball a pile of dead pets that happened on his watch and determine that they were sick upon impound and died of their ailments.  Oh and yes let’s make careful note that the indicted dog warden called the disposal company to haul off the evidence of his crimes but they couldn’t come out fast enough.  Still, full credit for mashing the buttons on the phone in the right order.

Although would-be volunteers have been turned away when they offered to help care for the animals at the pound in past, the county says they will now be allowed in.  Gee, how bold.

Has the county kicked the indicted dog warden out of the rent-free house yet?  I’d like to see him on the streets and relying upon the county system to make sure he is sheltered during his time of need.  See if he ends up in the hands of a kindred spirit.

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for sending me this story.)

Action Item: Demand Shelter Pets in Charles Co, MD Be Immediately Protected from Further Abuse

There is a video on Facebook of a dog being physically and emotionally abused by a pound employee in Charles Co, MD.  I’m not posting it here because I want to make sure that no reader views it without reading a warning first.  It’s disturbing.  As in, I have had trouble sleeping since I first saw it on the weekend.  I don’t think I’ll ever get the horrifying audio and visuals out of my mind.  For anyone who chooses not to watch but would still like to know the basics of what happens in the video, I will summarize from memory but bear in mind that I only watched it once.  I won’t be watching it again.

The dog, an apparently young black lab mix, is ostensibly being temperament tested by a pound worker using the method popularized by Sue Sternberg.  There is at least one other person in the room.  The worker holds a bowl of food over the dog, which the dog attempts to reach by jumping repeatedly.  The worker screams at the dog and slaps her in the face.  When she finally sets the bowl on the floor, the confused dog avoids it, obviously trying to offer a different behavior than the one that earned the abuse.  The worker then encourages the dog to eat the food which she does.  Then the worker pokes the dog in the face with a plastic hand on a stick and again abuses the dog.

It’s heartbreaking how the dog is trying so hard to please, placing her trust in the person, getting betrayed, trying again…

Someone with a stronger stomach than me might be able to correct my summary or offer a better one by re-watching the vid.  But that’s what I remember from my one viewing.

Let me be clear:  I think the Sue Sternberg behavioral assessment for shelter dogs is rubbish when applied correctly.  This worker clearly is not applying it correctly.  And questions must be asked:

  • Is the worker in the video still being paid to work with animals at the pound?
  • How many shelter dogs has this worker abused – during “testing” and at other times?
  • Who trained this worker in temperament testing?
  • Are all the workers at the pound conducting their temperament tests in this same manner?
  • Is the pound killing dogs based on the workers’ assessments?

I reached out to the pound for comment on the video and Kim Stephens, a supervisor at the pound sent me a statement from the chief of AC:

As the Charles County Chief of Animal Control, I am responsible for day-to-day operations at the Tri-County Animal Shelter (TCAS) located in Hughesville, Md. Recently, I became aware of a video posted on Facebook depicting an interaction between a TCAS employee and an animal in the shelter’s care. The behavior depicted in the video is inconsistent with adopted TCAS practices and procedures, and will be thoroughly investigated.

C. Edward Tucker, Chief
Charles County Animal Control

The statement does not answer any of my questions.  I believe the public has an immediate right to know if this worker is still hurting animals and being paid by taxpayers to do it.  Further, I believe it is incumbent upon Mr. Tucker to immediately publicly disclose what steps he has taken to protect the animals at the pound from abuse in light of this video.

If you wish to contact Mr. Tucker, please keep your comments respectful. We can condemn the actions depicted in the video in the strongest possible terms while still being an effective voice for the animals by maintaining civility:

C. Edward Tucker, Chief (301) 609-3400, ext. 3, (301) 609-3425
e-mail: tuckere@charlescountymd.gov

Other parties to contact:

Charles County Sheriff’s Office
Charles County Commissioners

And since the Charles Co pound advertises on its website that it participates in the HSUS Emergency Placement Partner program, you may wish to contact HSUS to let them know what’s going on at the facility where they are sending animals in need of care.

(Thank you Arlene for sending me this video.)

Action Item: Ask Dothan Police Chief to Thoroughly Investigate Abuse at Pound

In Dothan, AL, animal control is run by the police department.  On the pound’s Petfinder page, which has zero animals listed for adoption, it states:

Because of the high number of dogs and cats we receive each week, we are forced to euthanize animals regularly.

And by forced to euthanize, they apparently mean getting kicks by torturing puppies to death.

William Henry Roberson, age 57, has reportedly worked for the city of Dothan for 21 years, including the last 14 as an ACO.  Shortly after showing up for work on Friday, ACO Roberson allegedly intentionally locked a live mixed breed puppy in the facility’s freezer, which I presume is full of dead pet carcasses.  Approximately 20 – 30 minutes later, another employee found the puppy, who died shortly thereafter.

ACO Roberson has been placed on administrative leave, arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.  Bond was set at $500.

If this is the first time this man has tortured an animal, I will eat my hat.  I will eat all the hats.  No compassionate person shows up for work at a job he’s been doing for 14 years and suddenly decides to inflict pain and suffering on a puppy for the first time.  It seems only logical to believe this is part of a pattern of abuse with this ACO, one which his co-workers may or may not have observed over the last 14 years.  The difference this time is that someone turned him in.  Thank you, someone.

“It’s obviously disheartening when somebody who’s charged with protecting and caring for these animals then intentionally harms one,” [Dothan Police Lt. Will] Benny said.

Not ONE.  There is a pattern here, I guarantee it.  Will the Dothan police department, investigating itself in the matter, bother to dig deeper to determine if evidence of a pattern of animal abuse exists?  Or will they just take a play from the city shelter abusers handbook and label the guy a bad apple, the torture a one time incident, and move on quietly with the business of animal killing?

Politely worded e-mails to Dothan police chief Gregory J. Benton requesting a thorough investigation to include any possible incidents of previous animal abuse at the pound and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law may be sent to dpd@dothan.org. And while you’re writing, maybe include a link to No Kill 101 from the No Kill Advocacy Center. In case the police don’t want to be “forced” to continue the needless killing of pets at the pound. Hundreds of other communities have ended the killing. The tools are available, at no cost. Can’t hurt to try. And we already know it hurts not to try.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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