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.)

Case Update: “Peanut” Kilby Asks Judge for Reduced Sentence

Atlanta’s Fox-5 reporter Randy Travis will forever be a hero to me for jamming himself in the doorway of a fake “no kill” shelter he was exposing while a board member tried to shut him out.  The director of the facility he exposed, Lowanda “Peanut” Kilby, was found guilty on 60 counts of racketeering and theft charges in connection with the pet killings she conducted in secret.

This week, Kilby’s lawyer asked a Rabun Co superior court judge for a reduction in the 25 year sentence on the grounds that it was unfair and had been influenced by Randy Travis’s public expose on the news.  The judge refused.  Kilby had previously been heard on a jailhouse phone call attempting to cheat justice by suggesting a favor be called in from a judge she said owed her.  That didn’t work either.  She’s now requesting a new trial.

While it’s Kilby’s right as a citizen to work the court system to the best of her lawyer’s abilities, I just hate that she still has hope she’s getting out of this.  Through her “Lucky Dog” program, she snuffed the life out of countless pets whose sponsors thought they were being rehomed.  She showed no mercy.  She took all hope away from those animals.  She needs to serve her time and feel “lucky” it’s not yet a crime to needlessly kill healthy, friendly pets because if it was, she would have been prosecuted for much more than racketeering.  She’s in her own Lucky Dog program right now and should be thankful that there isn’t someone like her in charge of it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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.

Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals: Jackson, MS Edition

As we so often hear from killing apologists, people who take jobs at the pound do it out of a love for pets and of course, they don’t want to kill animals.  And other fairy tales.

Some yahoo from Jackson AC in MS is riding around in the back of a pickup truck, armed with a shotgun, shooting dogs in their yards.

One man who says he occasionally fed a stray female dog in the neighborhood was at home when the armed sadist killed her:

“She came in my yard. I was sitting there watching the dog and there was a loud boom,” he said. And when the bullet hit the dog, the force pushed the body down, knocked it over, pushed it over. The dog was screaming, making a lot of noise.”

The injured dog made it down the street and collapsed.

A woman down the street had just let her dog Charley outside when the nutter came for him:

“Charley is not going to growl at you, Charley is going to wag his tail even if one of you guys walked up, he would just wag his tail,” said Charley’s owner. “So they could have just got out of the truck and picked him up. Instead, they shot him.”

Charley’s owner describes the behavior of the armed and violent public servant as that of a sniper:

“Yes, he was in the back of the truck, like he was a sniper cause he didn’t get out,” she said.

Neither eyewitness account makes mention of even a minor attempt to capture the dogs or knock on the doors of the homes where they were to inquire about their status.  Just an armed ACO riding around in the back of a truck, shooting pets to death.  But don’t fret, it’s perfectly reasonable:

We went to Jackson Animal Control to get their response. Paul Perry, the manager, said his officers followed policy,that they can use lethal force after all peaceful means of capturing an animal have been exhausted.

Apparently in Jackson, “all peaceful means of capturing an animal have been exhausted” equates with loading the shotgun.

Oh but we can’t understand how hard the job is and compassion fatigue and fuck all.  So don’t judge unless you’re willing to go down there and start randomly gunning down pets yourself.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

PETA Asks KY Shelter to Kill More Animals

McCracken Co in KY parted ways with the local humane society after a whistleblower’s testimony resulted in cruelty charges (related to heartsticking fully conscious pets and unlicensed workers killing animals) against two employees in 2011.  In June of this year, the animal shelter task force recommended re-establishing a partnership with the local HS “as long as agreement is reached to provide humane care for the animals”.  Which this “humane” would somehow be different than the previous “humane” which resulted in the cruelty charges, I guess.

Also puzzling:

Diana Cruickshank of the task force outlined the policies of the Humane Society of Lexington, which has been listed as a possible model for Paducah. [...] A person in Lexington gave her data indicating that 40 percent of the 10,000 animals captured each year are euthanized[.]

*blink*

That’s the model?  If a 40% kill rate is your shoot-for-the-stars aspiration, you need a new task force McCracken Co.

And just because everything is FUBAR, enter PETA:

[Judge-Executive Van] Newberry said the county has received a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals asking them to euthanize more animals – something he found shocking.

Oh hey yeah, that is weird.  Except that PETA runs a large pet killing hellhouse itself and is known both for encouraging other facilities to kill more animals and giving them frowny faces when they stop.  But I love that the county politician was all head-scratchery:

The letter said keeping animals long-term in an overcrowded shelter was more cruel than euthanizing them, but Newberry said the county shelter currently takes any animal and tries its best to keep them until they are adopted.

Warehousing animals or killing them.  These are the only two options, per PETA.  And yet, like Mr. Newberry, I can’t help but long for Door Number Three.  The one where the shelter does the job taxpayers pay for and actually shelters animals or at least “tries its best to keep them until they are adopted”.  Just like hundreds of other open admission shelters are doing all over the country.  As if it’s their job.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to the community’s lost and homeless pets in McCracken Co and I’m concerned.  But at least they didn’t fall for the It Says ETHICAL Right Here On The Letterhead shenanigans from one of the killiest animal organizations in the country.  That’s encouraging.  I hope McCracken Co applies similar common sense strategies to the sheltering issues it currently faces.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

MI Politician Smears the South as an Excuse for Hiring a Pet Killer

In Leon Co, FL, animal control is run by Andrew Seltz.  On AC’s website, it states that more than 6000 animals are killed every year at the pound.  And there is one of those threats that the killing will continue until magic happens:

Unfortunately, until each citizen commits to preventing their pet from adding to the burden of pet overpopulation, the trend will continue to worsen.

We don’t have to stop killing animals at the pound.  The burden is not on the few of us actually doing the killing.  We are not going to change.  It’s up to the approximately 282,000 residents of Leon Co to change.  And until all 282,000 people meet our demands, the killings will not only continue but will “worsen”.  If you don’t like it, you can go… enact legislation, I guess.

This is the shabbiest, shirkiest form of blaming the public for the killings at the local pound.  Not only is Andrew Seltz refusing to accept responsibility for his actions, he is blaming the public he needs to partner with in order to stop the killings and setting an unachievable demand for the community to meet before he’ll consider stopping.

The fact is, most people have already neutered their pets.  Most of those who haven’t neutered them would do so if it was within their financial means.  Ordering this small group to get their pets neutered on pain of more needless shelter pet deaths does not cause free spay-neuter certificates and transportation to vet clinics to magically happen.  We can not neuter our way out of killing.  Any shelter director knows this and given that they do, it’s especially cruel to dangle that carrot in front of the public who is needed to foster, rescue, adopt and donate.  It’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Then stomping your face in the dirt.  While killing friendly dogs and cats.

When it was recently announced that Andrew Seltz was leaving Leon Co to take over the Ingham Co pound in MI, a concerned animal advocate contacted county commissioner Kara Hope.  This is the response received from Commissioner Hope:

From: “Kara Hope” <kara@votekarahope.com>
To:
Sent: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 1:54:45 PM
Subject: New animal control director

Ingham County is fortunate to have residents like you who care so much about animal welfare. But I hope that you’ll give Mr. Seltz a chance and reserve judgment until he’s had a chance to go to work here.

As someone concerned with animal well-being, you might know that there is a big cultural difference in how animals are viewed and treated in some areas of the southern U.S. To put it crudely, in some southern communities, animals are viewed as disposable. There is less effort and few resources put into re-homing animals. I’m sure that the statistics you refer to reflect policies that result from the difference in points of view.

And it might ease your mind to know that Mr. Seltz told us during his interview that one of the reasons he wants to return to Michigan is because he found the southern perspective on animals and their value to be troubling.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Kara Hope
http://www.votekarahope.com
@KaraHope7

Oh hell naw.  Don’t go blaming the south for your decision to bring in someone who kills animals instead of doing his job.  We here in the south love our animals just as much as anyone does anywhere in this country.  Our compassion for lost and homeless animals is not second-class.  Our perspective that animals in need should be sheltered and not killed is based upon the value we place on our pets.  Now if you want to charge the south with having an overabundance of regressive, good ol’ boy appointed shelter directors who keep killing animals because that’s the way they’ve always done it and why change when you can blame the public instead – well, that’s a conversation we can have.  Case in point:  Andrew Seltz.  (By the way, thanks for stabbing us in the back on your way to the top, sir.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.)

While employed in the south, Andrew Seltz blamed his local community for the killings he oversaw at the pound.  If Ms. Hope or anyone else in Ingham Co thinks that’s going to change when he gets there, brace yourselves.  I predict Mr. Seltz will find the unwashed masses just as blamable in Ingham Co as he did in Leon Co.  And he’ll continue killing animals until magic.

My message to Ms. Hope goes for Mr. Seltz as well: If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. And don’t expect the south to be your punching bag. We’re all full up on smack-talking shelter pet killers around here so find somebody else to kick around.  Or maybe you could stop looking for whipping boys and start doing your jobs, “to put it crudely”.

Outrage in Davidson Co, NC: “10 People Beating a Dead Horse”

Warning: Dead pet photos below text. Do not scroll beyond text if you wish to avoid.

In 2013, the Davidson Co pound in NC took in 3440 cats and killed 3167 of them. The facility took in 3319 dogs and killed 2322 of them. The pound also took in 8 bats, 3 foxes, 6 raccoons, 1 skunk and 1 snake and killed them all.  The Davidson Co pound is a gassing facility.

Some of you have likely seen photos of the dead pets on the NC highway after they fell out of a truck transporting them from the Davidson Co pound where they had been killed. The photos were initially posted on Facebook by a concerned citizen who thought a pet killer was at large in the community. It was later confirmed that the Davidson Co truck’s tailgate had come open while transporting the carcasses.

When asked for comment by the Winston-Salem Journal regarding the incident, pound director Judy Lanier made her views plain as day:

“It was an internal employee mistake that’s been dealt with in less than 30 minutes,” she said. “Basically it’s a nonstory. There is one thread on one Facebook page where you’ve got less than 10 people beating a dead horse.”

This is the leadership in your animal “shelter” Davidson Co. The concerned citizen who photographed the dead pets was correct – there is a pet killer at large in your community.  And you’re paying that person’s salary.

Davidson Co, get rid of this pound director and start fresh with someone willing to do the hard work of saving shelter animals’ lives like they do in hundreds of other open admission shelters across the country. The tools are available today, for free. Why not try? I don’t think there’s any chance you could possibly do worse.

Screengrab from Facebook showing a trail of dead pets on a NC highway.

Screengrab from Facebook showing a trail of dead pets on a NC highway.

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Screencap from Facebook showing the deceased pets removed from the highway by the so-called irresponsible public in an effort to give them dignity in death.

(Thanks Clarice and all who sent me info on this story.)

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.)

GA Pound Oops-Kills Owned Dog Because Math

The Whitfield Co pound in GA has some “animal facts” on its webpage that the county likes so much, it printed them twice. They read, in part:

Dogs and cats out number humans in this country at a ratio of about 6 to 1. [...]

Pet overpopulation is a serious and growing problem in the United States. It is estimated that between 10 to 20 million companion animals are unwanted and put to death every year.

The U.S. Census Bureau says there are approximately 318,649,000 people in the US. If dogs and cats outnumbered humans 6 to 1 in this country, that would indicate a dog and cat population of roughly 2 billion. Which would make it a tad difficult to get to work, what with all the freeways piled high with kittens, let alone the mountains of puppies covering the sidewalks.

The ASPCA says there are an estimated 144 – 176 million owned dogs and cats in the U.S. and that each year, shelters kill approximately 2.7 million pets.

I guess no one at the Whitfield Co pound majored in math. Or Google.  Or reality.

Wiz and family member, as pictured on the Dalton Daily citizen website.

Wiz and family member, as pictured on the Dalton Daily Citizen website.

Last month, a dog named Wiz bit a kid in Whitfield Co. Wiz was not current on his rabies vaccination so he was impounded by the county for a standard 10 day rabies quarantine.  After the holding period expired, the owner called the pound to make arrangements to bring Wiz back home.  But Whitfield Co had already killed Wiz because the person doing the killing couldn’t count to 10.  Because math is hard:

[County administrator Mark] Gibson said the employee claimed to have made a mathematical mistake in adding up the number of days since the dog had been brought in. So he euthanized the wrong dog.

Oops.  All two of the Whitfield Co pound employees have been suspended by the board of commissioners as a result of the killing – the director for 5 days and the guy who killed Wiz for 2 days.  And the county has instituted several changes at the pound to prevent a similar type of oops-killing from happening in future.  Specifically:

  1. Owners will be called at the end of the quarantine period to let them know their pet will be killed if not reclaimed.
  2. Animals being held on rabies quarantine will be separated from the general population and have their cages marked with the date the quarantine expires.
  3. The one guy who attempts to count to 10 to determine when the holding period ends needs to turn in his homework to the other guy for a double check.  Hopefully between the two of them, they might get it right.

The fact that they weren’t calling owners before killing their quarantined pets or separating rabies holds from other animals is shocking. The math thing is just frightening.

The director and the other employee both said they feel their punishment for killing Wiz is fair. The chairman of the board of commissioners also thinks it’s fair. As does commissioner Harold Brooker, third cousin to the pound director. No word from Wiz’s family on how fair they feel the punishment is but it’s swell to know the good ol’ boys are all satisfied.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

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.)

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