Mass Cat Killing Threatened in Indianapolis Pound

Vaccination is the name of the game when it comes to preventing and minimizing outbreaks of panleukopenia in shelter cats.  Some takeaways from the Koret Shelter Medicine Program info sheet on panleukopenia:

Kittens are at highest risk for this disease, and adult cats with current vaccinations are at very low risk.

[…]

Vaccination for panleukopenia is highly effective if performed correctly.

[…]

All cats 4-5 weeks of age and older should receive a modified live panleukopenia vaccine immediately upon shelter entry[.]

In addition to vaccination upon intake, shelters must follow appropriate cleaning protocols and housing requirements for all cats in order to prevent and minimize panleukopenia outbreaks. During an outbreak, Koret’s recommendations include:

  • Quarantine and isolate all at-risk cats for [the virus’s incubation period of] 14 days.
  • Minimize foster kitten return and place new intakes into non-contaminated rooms.

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control is currently facing an outbreak of panleukopenia. Last week the pound killed 20 cats in response to the outbreak and announced that 80 more would be killed. Dawn Contos, the pound’s community outreach coordinator, told the media that the public is being asked not to drop off cats in need for the next 2 weeks. Any cats who are brought to the pound will be killed.

When asked about how the outbreak could have been prevented, Ms. Contos told WTHR:

“I don’t know that a vet could have prevented this. Honestly, what prevents panleukopenia is vaccinating your cats.”

She doesn’t know whether a vet could have prevented the outbreak. Because Indianapolis ACC doesn’t have one. The position, along with that of director, has been vacant almost all year. So in the absence of a leadership team, I guess the plan is kill every cat in the place and let the flying spaghetti monster sort them out.

She’s right on the vaccination issue though. So totally right. Although I notice she terms it as “your cats”, implying the so-called irresponsible public is at fault, when the cats currently at the shelter are in effect your cats, Ms. Contos. Taxpayers pay you and the rest of the staff to shelter them and protect them from harm.  And the question must be asked, have you been vaccinating your cats per standard shelter protocols? Because if you have, there is no reason to worry about your adult cats – they are protected. In addition, some of your cats have likely already been vaccinated by their previous owners – so they are protected even if you have failed in your duties. And your kittens can safely be quarantined and monitored for symptoms.  There is simply no need for a mass killing, whatever the case.

As often happens when these stories make it to the media, the irresponsible public immediately stepped up to save lives:

Several animal shelter and rescue organizations have worked to save more than 100 cats from what they considered unnecessary death at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control[.]

So while the Indianapolis pound continues to flail without a director or veterinarian, the public continues to work hard, trying to do the staff’s jobs for them, even as the pound spokesman attempts to foist blame on the very people networking, donating, fostering, and adopting.

IACC – your cats are alive today and safe in the care of the public.  You’re welcome.  But you’ll be taking in more cats, since that’s what taxpayers pay you to do.  Will you start doing your jobs now?

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

Lake Co Pound Director Kills 147 animals in 9 Days, Gets Fired

Last year, Jacquelyn Johnston was a clinic supervisor at the Miami Dade pound.  She killed animals for convenience in spite of the fact that the county commission had unanimously passed a no kill resolution after voters overwhelmingly demanded it.  In an e-mail to rescuers last summer, Johnston described some of the pets she was going to kill unless rescuers saved them with just a few hours notice:

“Sweet big boy, now has URI’’ — upper respiratory infection.

“Nervous and shy, but warms up if you spend time with her.’’

“Older pet but would make a great senior retiree…’’

“Adopter never showed up, super sweet, already spayed, 35-40 lbs.’’

“This is the one who came in from a caring homeless man, conformed pittie’’ — pit bull terrier, illegal in Miami-Dade

“Has ticks that we are treating. Needs out by tomorrow, no more time.’’

“Just a puppy and been here too long.’’

On October 1, the troubled Lake Co pound in FL hired Johnston as director. The sheriff’s office that runs the pound reportedly clearly explained to Johnston that getting animals out alive was her number one priority and that killing animals was only to be done as a last resort.

Johnston apparently thought she was in keeping with this directive when she immediately embarked on a massive killing spree. In nine days, Johnston had killed 147 animals. Someone alerted the sheriff’s office and Johnston was fired on the spot. Too late for 147 animals, including “some dogs that could have made good pets for people” according to Lt. John Herell with the sheriff’s office.  But let’s face it, the death toll could have climbed even higher had she not been shown the door.

While I do not claim to know what Johnston was thinking while she was on her killfest at Lake Co, it seems to me the situation is symptomatic of our broken shelter system.  Instead of sheltering animals, they kill them.  Instead of calling it killing (which is what it is), they call it euthanasia – a kindness.  Instead of doing their jobs to protect and rehome animals, they violate their most basic right – the right to live.  When we criticize them for killing, they tell us they are doing the best they can, we all want the same thing and that we shouldn’t judge unless we are willing to go down there and kill animals ourselves.

Everything is ass backwards and tragically, this is the norm, not the exception in our broken shelter system.  When you explain to someone who would kill “just a puppy” for convenience that killing is a last resort at your facility and her job is to get animals out alive, she likely recognized the same old song and dance.  Riiiight, nobody wants to kill animals, nudge nudge, wink wink.

And then she started in doing what she apparently perceived to be her job:  Say one thing publicly, do the opposite behind closed doors.  Call it pet overpopulation, kill animals.  Blame the irresponsible public, kill animals.  Say you’re doing your best to get pets into homes, kill animals.  This is what these people do.  They are monsters.  I don’t know if they were always monsters or if working a job where they kill friendly dogs and cats for a paycheck made them that way, nor do I care.  What I care about is saving shelter pets.

If Lake Co cared about protecting the lives of the animals in their care, they wouldn’t have given this new hire a few talking points, a box of Fatal Plus and sent her on her way.  Lake Co should have built protections for the animals into the system.  No animal killing without veterinary authorization, for example.  No animal killing without approval from the sheriff’s office.  No animal killing without a minimum 2 business days notice posted online listing all animals to be killed along with their photos.  But apparently all Lake Co gave Johnston was the key to the drug cupboard and a nudge nudge wink wink directive that killing is a last resort.

Johnston is not an anomaly.  She is typical of the type of long term employee who seeks out work in pet killing facilities.  She knew the routine.  She listened to the Lake Co sheriff’s office talk about saving animals and got the message:  kill.  This is why shelter reform is so desperately needed in this country.  Not only are shelters killing animals, they are employing monsters.  In Lake Co, Johnston was stopped and the animals she hadn’t yet managed to kill got lucky.

Are the animals housed in your local pet killing facility lucky?  Or is the director there still killing at will, probably with the support of your elected officials who don’t care to know the truth?  And are you being marginalized for your animal advocacy, being told you don’t understand what a hard job it is and that nobody wants to kill animals?

To the person or persons who spoke up for the animals being needlessly killed in Lake County – thank you.  Keep going.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

411 Empty Cages at the Memphis Pound Today but Dog #271273 Can’t Be Allowed to Live in One of Them

Memphis taxpayers were bled for $7.2 million to build a new pound containing 555 cages.  The city has never filled them.  Today, there are only 144 cats and dogs listed on PetHarbor as being housed at the Memphis pound:

Screengrab from PetHarbor, October 8, 2014.

Screengrab from PetHarbor, October 8, 2014.

This means that even if every single animal is in his own cage at MAS right now (which is probably not the case since litters are commonly housed together with their mothers), there are 411 empty cages.  But MAS keeps killing healthy, friendly pets anyway.

This email exchange between a pound supervisor and rescuer Jody Fisher regarding a young dog she was networking will leave you cold:

On Oct 7, 2014, <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov> wrote:

Jody:

The animal referenced above has a note in the system stating that you are networking this pet.
Please be advised that this pet must be adopted no later than close of business today (6:45pm).
To date, no one has stepped forward.

Thanks,
De Keishia

___________________

On Tue, Oct 7, 2014, Jody Fisher wrote:

Thank you for your email. I am still networking her. Why does she only have til end of business today?
Jody

_____________________

From: Jody Fisher
Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014
Subject: Re: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab
To: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>

Please advise status of this dog. I did not receive an answer to my question- what is the answer?
Thank you
Jody

_____________________

From: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>
Date: October 8, 2014
To: Jody Fisher
Subject: RE: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab

Jody:

This pet has been here since 9/18/14.
We are not a long-term holding facility.

De Keishia

_____________________

From: Jody Fisher
Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014
Subject: Re: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab
To: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>

I understand that MAS is not designed to be a permanent home for pets but so long as there is a cage available, can I not be allowed some additional time to network this dog?
Thank you
Jody

________________________

From: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>
Date: October 8, 2014
To: Jody Fisher
Subject: RE: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab

Jody:

I cannot grant any additional time. The pet has been here for 3 weeks.

De Keishia

____________________________

From: Jody Fisher
Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2014
Subject: Re: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab
To: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>

I understand she has been there for 3 weeks but since her cage is not needed for another animal, I am asking for additional time to try to save her life.
Jody

____________________________

From: <DeKeishia.Tunstall@memphistn.gov>
Date: October 8, 2014
To: Jody Fisher
Subject: RE: A271273 – 1 Year Old Female Black Lab

Jody:

I’m sorry, but I am unable to grant any additional time.

De Keishia

Gee, ya don’t sound sorry.

But remember folks, don’t criticize, nobody WANTS to kill animals, we’re all on the same team and fuck all.

Dog #271273 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Dog #271273 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Arizona Humane Society Kills 13 Neglected Dogs

The Arizona Humane Society, which some of you may remember as the place that killed a beloved kitten named Scruffy then lied to the owner to try to cover it up, charges $60 to surrender an animal, with a “discount” available to low income individuals who meet the facility’s requirements.

A local resident who lived on property owned by his mother had 13 adult pitbull mixes and 4 puppies living outdoors and authorities received a tip the dogs were being neglected.  Police responded and the man said he was unable to afford the surrender fees to take the dogs to the pound.  He claims that he was not the owner of the dogs but that he would toss food over the fence for them since they lived on his property.  He surrendered the dogs voluntarily to the Arizona Humane Society:

On Thursday, the Arizona Humane Society sent a report to Chandler police on the condition of the dogs. The dogs were described as fearful and difficult to handle and some suffered from sarcoptic mange, a serious condition that is contagious to humans and other dogs. All of the dogs had hair loss as a result of conditions including skin mites, malnutrition and filthy living conditions, according to the report.

Gee, malnourished dogs living in isolation who had food thrown over the fence to them were fearful and difficult to handle after being seized by pet killers? Anyone see that coming? Some had sarcoptic mange, a common skin condition which can be treated very cheaply. Sounds like these dogs needed some TLC and protection.  What they got was the Arizona Humane Society.  The Arizona Humane Society killed every last one of the adults, treating only the puppies.  The man who was living on the property with the dogs has been charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty.  Yay?

It is absolutely tragic that these dogs were better off with the person who would do no more than throw food at them periodically than they were with the Arizona Humane Society.  At least then they were alive.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.  They could have possibly been rescued a truly humane society – small h, small s.  One that sees dogs as individuals, even if they have suffered emotional abuse and neglect, whose lives have value.  Instead, they fell into the hands of monsters and now all hope is lost.

(Thanks Arlene for sending me this story.)

RSPCA Killing Healthy/Treatable Pets with Bolt Guns and Bullets

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK reportedly killed 53,000 animals in 2011, many of them healthy or treatable.  The RSPCA’s 44% kill rate can not be blamed on an open admission status:

In 2009, the RSPCA, which is one of Britain’s biggest charities and receives £120 million a year in donations, stopped accepting stray animals and unwanted pets.

While the number of animals being adopted to new homes by the RSPCA has fallen, the number of convictions against pet owners has risen by 20%.  Critics claim that the organization’s focus on securing convictions has led to the drop in animals being adopted out as well as thug tactics against pet owners:

[In 2011], spinster Georgina Langley, 67, of West Hougham, Kent, was raided at her home by the RSPCA and had five of her 13 cats put down.
The charity prosecuted her for neglect, but Mr Smith, 62, came to her aid. After sending two of the cats’ bodies to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) for an independent post-mortem, he said: ‘There appears to be no good reason why the RSPCA allowed these animals to be put to sleep.
‘The RVC post-mortems concluded the cats were healthy, with no signs of incorrect feeding or major problems with fleas or other illnesses.
‘They were very heavy-handed with an elderly lady and kept her standing out in her garden in the rain for hours while they searched her house.
[…]
Following a three-day trial in May 2012, the RSPCA dropped 11 of the 13 charges against Miss Langley.

The RSPCA, which routinely kills animals with a bolt gun, also shoots healthy/treatable pets to death as a form of “euthanasia” according to a whistleblower who worked for the organization for 2 years:

Ms Aubrey-Ward claimed large numbers of animals, particularly dogs, were put to sleep after being classed ‘unsuitable for rehoming’, but that the definition could be widely drawn to often include older animals, those needing veterinary care, dogs deemed ‘aggressive’ or larger dogs which were ‘hard to home’.
[…]
Ms Aubrey-Ward, 44, a divorced mother of four from Martock, Somerset, joined the RSPCA as a trainee inspector in 2007. But she soon found herself at odds with what she described as its ‘antiquated military-style’ regime which placed ‘prosecution and persecution’ of owners ahead of protection of their pets.
[…]
Later, she rescued a heavily pregnant ‘staffie’ bitch from a cruel owner, along with an aggressive male dog. ‘With some TLC in a nice kennels, and someone to work on her behaviour, she would have been OK. The dog warden and I tried hard to find a space for her but we couldn’t,’ she said.

‘The warden took the dogs to RPSCA Hillingdon, where a vet said they should be put to sleep if nowhere could be found for them, and they were killed round the back. The dog warden noosed them and I shot them.’

An RSPCA spokesman told the Daily Mail:

‘We do need to put animals to sleep when it is in their interests.
‘Nobody who works for the RSPCA wants to have to put rehomeable animals to sleep but it is a sad reality of the work that we do.’

Unadoptable.  Putting to sleep.  Killing is a kindness. Nobody WANTS to kill animals. DOMFL. I see pet killing hypocrites are exactly the same across the pond as they are here.

If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

Greenville Co Illegally Kills Lost Dog Whose Owner Wanted Him Back

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Kalel was a five year old Siberian Husky whom owner Mandi Nalley describes as “my heart, my son”. Kalel was temporarily living with a trainer in the Greenville Co, SC area in July 2014 when he became lost. On July 30, the trainer notified Ms. Nalley that Kalel was missing. She immediately filled out a lost pet report on the Greenville Co pound’s website and included photos. The next morning, she received an e-mail from someone affiliated with the pound that Kalel had been impounded on July 24 and instructing her to bring in proof of ownership, a leash and $85 in order to reclaim him.

Ms. Nalley went to the pound but did not see Kalel. She asked an employee at the desk to look up the dog’s ID number. The employee advised her Kalel had been killed 2 days ago due to heartworms and a leg injury. Ms. Nalley burst into tears and was unable to compose herself for further conversation so she left. She asked a friend to go in and retrieve Kalel’s body. Upon arrival, the friend says she was told Kalel was alive. Then the director came out and explained that not only was the dog not alive, his body had already been sent to the landfill. And that he’d been killed for aggression.

Greenville Co pound records obtained via FOIA request indicate Kalel was impounded on July 24 and killed on July 29 for “heartworm positive/aggression/space”. The behavioral section of his profile is blank. There are no records indicating his temperament was ever evaluated. There is one handwritten note on his records that reads: “Have to be muzzled to touch mouth or do medical. Otherwise he’s good.” The supposedly injured leg was x-rayed and found to be sound, aside from some inflammation which was treated with medication.

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Because too many so-called shelters were ignoring the state law regarding the mandatory holding period for strays, the attorney general’s office for the state of SC issued a clarification for all municipal facilities accepting stray animals. In the November 2013 release, the AG’s office clearly states that stray animals must be held for five days. In calculating the five days, the day of impound must be excluded, as must weekends and holidays.

Kalel was impounded on Thursday, July 24. Day One of his five day hold was July 25. Day Two was Monday, July 28. On Day Three of his five day hold, Greenville Co killed him. When his owner came to reclaim him on July 31, he was still within his five day holding period. Greenville Co appears to have violated state law by killing Kalel before his mandated holding period expired.

The letter from the state AG’s office seems perfectly clear. And yet public shelters such as Greenville Co continue to kill at will, disregarding the law and tearing families apart in the most violent and permanent way possible. What will it take to get Greenville Co and other kill-because-we-can pounds to comply with the law?

Kalel and owner Mandi Nalley  (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Kalel and owner Mandi Nalley (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

A lost dog who needs to be muzzled to be examined in a pet killing facility but “otherwise he’s good” is hardly a threat to public safety. There is no information in the records indicating Kalel bit, tried to bite or even growled at anyone at the pound. Heartworms are a treatable medical condition and in fact, Kalel’s owner was already giving him medication under guidance from her veterinarian. Space is not a justification to kill a shelter animal under any circumstances and when it’s done during the five day holding period in SC, it’s illegal.

Shame on the Greenville Co pound for needlessly killing a lost pet whose owner loved and wanted him. There is no excuse. Will there be any justice?

Rowan Co Institutes Mandatory Killing for Cats After 7 Days, Pretends It’s to Prevent Disease

The Rowan Co pound in NC group-houses cats in a dog run.  Kittens are in a neighboring dog run.  The pound sells all pets for $70 with no discount for rescue groups.  There is no foster program listed on the website.  Rowan Co killed 1452 cats in 2013 – more than half of all the cats they took in.  The pound currently has 11 pets listed on Petfinder – all dogs.

A dog named "60881" posted on Petfinder by Rowan Co and described as "**LAST DAY IS MONDAY 8/4/14!!**", as shown on the website on August 7, 2014.

A dog named “60881” posted on Petfinder by Rowan Co and described as “**LAST DAY IS MONDAY 8/4/14!!**”, as shown on the website on August 7, 2014.

Yesterday, Rowan Co issued a public notice via e-mail and social media that states the county wants to keep the pound free of feline panleukopenia virus and as such, has instituted some new cat policies. My summary:

  • Please don’t touch the cats.
  • In order to reduce “airborne dust particles”, the county is switching the kind of cat litter it uses.
  • All cats and kittens will be killed after 7 days.

The notice further asks that people help educate the public about the importance of vaccination and provides a link to an article on Wikipedia as well as one on the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program website. I clicked that link and snipped the following bits of information on panleukopenia:

  • [A]dult cats with current vaccinations are at very low risk.
  • Control is dependent on effective vaccination, keeping cats separate during the time they may be incubating the disease, and careful cleaning and disinfection of all areas in which cats are housed.
  • Vaccination for panleukopenia is highly effective if performed correctly. A good vaccine program can substantially reduce spread of infection in a shelter. […] All cats 4-5 weeks of age and older should receive a modified live panleukopenia vaccine immediately upon shelter entry.

I didn’t see anything about not touching cats or cat litter or arbitrary killing of all cats after 7 days on the Koret page.  Maybe they forgot.  Or maybe Rowan Co, whose pound primarily functions as a killing facility with regard to cats, is simply giving itself excuses to kill cats.  More.

It sounds to me as if Rowan Co should be implementing a vaccination upon intake policy for all cats, appropriately quarantining new arrivals, developing a foster program and conducting the prescribed housing and cleaning routines recommended by Koret.  The county’s newly announced protocols are not based on current shelter medicine science.  If the county truly wants to reduce the occurrence of panleukopenia in the pound, they might start by reading their own link and doing their jobs.  But that sounds like work.  And arbitrary killing is apparently so much easier.

(Thanks Jane for the story.)

Enablers Desperately Cling to Killing in Glynn Co as Public Supports No Kill

The Florida Times-Union shamefully published a killing apologist piece whitewashing the weekly killing done by Barbara Sancomb, the manager at the Glynn Co pound in GA.  Framing the manager as an animal lover and showing a photo of her paw print tattoos to prove it, the paper talks about the terrible “burden” of killing animals who trust her and willingly submit to her while she’s killing them.  Like we’re supposed to be all aw when in reality, I expect most people’s reaction to the disturbing visualization is more AHHHHH!

The article also talks about how sad it is that no kill advocates have complained online about animals being mistreated, deplorable conditions and needless killing at the pound.  That hurts the shelter staff’s feels.  Plus, the paper says, the animal advocates are liars anyway.  Because other places are worse:

“Everybody who criticizes us, they have obviously never been to a bad animal shelter because this is a really good one,” [Sancomb] said.

Yes, it does sound really good.  Animals in need of homes who come to trust you and willingly allow you to inject them with poison so they can die.  I’m trying to think of anything that would be better but nothing is jumping to mind.  Unless you want to touch upon that doing your job to actually shelter animals thing.

The shelter has been a public relations nightmare for the county. Earlier this year, Animal Control Advisory Committee Chairman Marci DeSart released startling statistics describing the shelter’s euthanasia rates. Since 2006, 18,000 dogs and cats have been put down.

The county kicked that person to the curb post haste.  But then one of the commissioners started talking about no kill and it seemed to resonate with the public:

A town hall meeting he called last month drew a couple of hundred animal advocates in favor of no-kill including DeSart and members of No-Kill Glynn, an organization she co-founded. No one spoke against it.

No one spoke in favor of killing.  Zero.  A couple hundred were in favor of lifesaving.  But veterinarian Bill Disque says reality is an illusion:

But Disque, a retired vet who spays and neuters animals at the shelter several times a month, said there’s a silent majority in the county who realize no-kill is not an achievable goal as things stand now.

A silent majority who really want to see the killing at the pound continue unchecked.

Now you’re just making shit up.  There is no silent majority of the public who secretly rub their hands together in hideous delight when thinking about puppies and kittens being sent to the landfill by the local pound.  There just isn’t.

What there is:

The overwhelming majority of the public, 71% of those surveyed, believes shelters should only be allowed to euthanize animals who are medically or behaviorally hopeless.  Sorry to rain on your Pet Killing Parade with my Actual Data from Reputable Agencies but oh, not sorry.

The vet goes on to invoke the too many animals, not enough homes myth and blames the irresponsible public for the killing. In a county where a couple hundred people showed up in support of no kill at the town hall meeting.  They do sound so irresponsible.  I wish they would move to my county.

(Thank you Valerie for the link.)

Nobody at the Dallas Pound Forced to Do Anything Ever

Dog ID #847991 at the Dalls pound, as posted on PetHarbor.com

Dog ID #847991 at the Dallas pound, as posted on PetHarbor.com

The NBC affiliate in Dallas recently ran a story with the headline “Overload Forces Shelter To Euthanize Dozens of Pets” which needs to be stomped on. Get on your heavy boots.

Overload. This makes it sound as if intake has skyrocketed at the Dallas pound recently and Lucy and Ethel can’t keep up with all the chocolates coming down the line. In reality, the pound’s intake numbers have been down slightly in comparison with 2013 for the months of January through May. While June did see an increase over the 2013 numbers, it was only 32 additional animals in a facility that takes in roughly 2000 animals every month. Clearly “overload” is not the proper word to characterize the pound’s population – maybe “usual load” would be more accurate.

Forces. I hate to see this word used when describing why shelters kill animals. I hate it so much, I think we need to nuke it from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure. Nobody ever in the history of the known universe has been forced to kill a shelter pet. By the same token tragically, nobody who works in a shelter has ever been forced to do their job of sheltering animals. There is no way to force anyone to do their job any more than they can be forced to kill. They have to want to do it. Which says it all when you look at what they choose to do when it comes to sheltering vs. killing.

Shelter. Wrong. The Dallas pound has killed approximately half the pets who have come through its front doors this year. This is not a safe haven. Animals are not being protected from harm at the Dallas pound but in fact the opposite – they are being subjected to the ultimate form of violence by those paid to shelter them.

Euthanize. If you went to journalism school, you may already know how to use a dictionary. If not, crack one open now. Euthanasia, or “good death” is the appropriate word to describe ending the suffering of a pet deemed medically hopeless by a veterinarian. Killing friendly, healthy, happy dogs and cats for convenience instead of doing the hard work of sheltering them is not “euthanasia”.  It’s killing. Own it.

Dozens of Pets. This puts a picture in the reader’s mind of some number of shelter animals who were killed, relatively small in comparison to the thousands being taken in by the pound every month. A minor tragedy, if you will. The truth is, in May and June of this year, the Dallas pound killed 3274 animals. Sure, there are dozens of pets being killed but that’s happening every single day of the week. The mountain of dead animals being needlessly killed at the Dallas pound is staggering and characterizing it as dozens is misleading.

Here’s your headline:

Usual Load of Animals Results in Usual Outcome at Dallas Pound: Needless Killing of Thousands of Happy Pets.

There, I fixed it.

(Thanks Mike for the link and the stats.)

NJ Department of Health Investigating Linden Shelter

The city of Linden, NJ operates a shelter where they impound animals from several area cities.  The shelter failed its last inspection.  Animal control falls under the city health department.  Now the state health department is investigating the facility:

“The department is investigating numerous complaints received about the holding of animals at Linden Animal Shelter relating mostly to animals not being held appropriately, unsanitary conditions and improper euthanasia,” state Department of Health communications manager Daniel Emmer said in an email.

Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka says the allegations are “a total lie and an exaggeration” which seems to be wildly contradictory but hey, I didn’t go to Mayor School.

“Our goal is always to unite animals and their owners. And although we have the right to euthanize an animal, our policy is to try working with rescue groups to find good homes for animals that are not claimed.”

They have the right to kill any animals of their choosing.  But they have goals, which you know, kinda balances everything out.

Only animals that are not adoptable, because of age, illness or poor temperament, are euthanized, said Linden Health Officer Nancy Koblis, who oversees animal control.

Not adoptable and euthanized are my least favorite euphemisms in the world.  And in the mouths of killing apologists, they always seem to fall out together.

On Friday September 6, 2013, an area family’s 15 year old pitbull accidentally got lost.  The family began searching for him immediately and called Linden AC but no one there bothered to pick up the phone or call the family back.  The next day, the family went to the local police department and was told their dog had been picked up by Linden AC and taken to an area vet hospital.  They called the hospital, called the hospital emergency number and even drove there in hopes of finding their beloved pet.  The only person they were able to speak with was a veterinarian who had no idea what they were on about.  The family was forced to wait until Monday morning.  But as it turns out, their pet had been killed shortly after arrival at the vet clinic on Friday.  Linden Health Officer Nancy Koblis explained:

“It was an older dog and was not in good shape. The recommendation was to euthanize, which is what we did.”

According to the hospital’s medical history report, the dog was underweight, had a small tumor and was walking with difficulty, possibly from severe hip arthritis.

Yep, sounds like a 15 year old pitbull.  Who was dearly loved by his family who was looking for him and being given the runaround by pet killers.  But nobody WANTS to kill animals, ‘specially on Friday afternoons before quitting time for the weekend.  They have goals there and stuff.

Another complaint made against the Linden shelter from an area resident concerns the hosing of filthy dog runs with dogs still inside.  The resident is upset that the dogs are sprayed with their own urine and feces under the guise of “cleaning”.  But the mayor says people are mistaking what sound like spa days at the pound for mistreatment of animals:

“Our animal control officers do spray the dogs on a hot day and they enjoy getting a shower,” the mayor said. “If someone sees that, they might think something is improperly being done.”

What’s the wording again – a total lie and an exaggeration?  It’s growing on me.

AND there are improvements:

The facility also is making a more visible attempt to reunite animals and owners.

“We’ve done it all along, but probably not as much as people would like us to do,” Koblis said.

Probably not as much as the owners of the 15 year old pitbull we killed on a Friday afternoon then tried to hide so we could at least enjoy our beers over the weekend would like but hey, there’s no pleasing some people.

Workers at the shelter will be taking pictures of animals at the shelter that will be placed on the Internet by a rescue group in hopes that owners will be located, she said.

With no computer access at the facility, she said, animal control workers are unable to search the Internet for missing dogs.

Gee, they are going to start taking pictures.  Welcome to 2014.  But they don’t have computer access and there is no possible way to get that in New Jersey apparently.  Plus they don’t want to encourage the unwashed masses to come in trying to save lives or anything like that:

While the shelter has walk-ins who are looking to adopt, Koblis said, “we would rather give them to rescue groups, who will put them up for adoption.”

“We are not an adoption facility,” she said. “We do animal control. We hold the dog for at least seven days. Hopefully, the owner will come and look for it.

And by hopefully, I take it she means hopefully not since obviously they don’t hold all the dogs for 7 days – or 7 hours even – and nobody really feels like answering the phone or calling back owners looking for their lost pets.  But let’s not criticize.  For the love of ponies – these people have no computer access!

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

 

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