Linden Pound Ordered Closed by State Due to Massive Failures

On September 16, 2014, the NJ Department of Health wrote a letter to the health officer for the city of Linden ordering her to “immediately” close the pound due to failed inspections in July and August.  All the animals and records are to be transferred to another licensed shelter.

Among the most egregious violations found during the inspections at the Linden pound:

  • Impounded animals were being sold or killed before their 7 day mandatory holding periods expired.
  • Animals were not being scanned for microchips at time of impound, at time of sale, or before being killed.
  • Ketamine and euthanasia solution showed evidence of being used but no records were kept regarding their usage.
  • Animals were not being weighed before being killed (in order to determine appropriate drug dosages) and no records of animal weights or dosages of drugs used to kill them were maintained.
  • A veterinarian had not established or maintained a disease control or health care program at the pound, as required by law.
  • Housing for the animals was in severe disrepair.

It sounds as if the city was given an opportunity to correct problems noted in July but inspectors found conditions worsened when they returned in August.  Linden Mayor Richard “A Total Lie and an Exaggeration” Gerbounka says the state health department is “overreacting” and as of today, the Linden pound remains open in defiance of the state order as far as I know.

(Thank you Robert Scutro for the FOIA’d documents.)

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.)

No One Minding the Store in Dolton, IL as Stray Pets Suffer and Die

The Village of Dolton, IL indicates on its website that it uses Cook Co for its animal control services.  It’s not clear that either the village or the county has a facility to shelter animals.  But the ABC affiliate in Chicago reports that Dolton pays a private vet clinic, the Dolton Animal Hospital, to care for strays:

The Village of Dolton has had a long-time agreement with the hospital to drop off strays, even when the facility is closed. The hospital gets a fee from the village to take care of the strays.

On Sunday, a Dolton police officer was dropping off a stray dog at the vet clinic and observed conditions reflecting serious neglect.  Four of the dogs in the hospital were dead in their cages, urine and feces were everywhere, and nine other dogs and one cat were starving to death.

Dep. Chief Michael Anton of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police said the animals “were very close to dying” at the time they were removed by authorities on Sunday.

“As far as we know, we have not had any complaints here,” Dep. Chief Anton said.

That does not appear to be the case, per reporting form the CBS affiliate in Chicago:

Tina Robinson says her dog Duke was like a member of her family when she boarded the dog at the hospital for a week back in July. It that was the last time she saw her beloved pet alive.
She said the dog was healthy.
Robinson says she notified village officials about her concerns but was told nothing could be done about the hospital.

The Cook County sheriff’s police are investigating the clinic, which has been ordered closed, and have questioned an employee. No arrests have been made at this time. The CBS reporter got a brief moment to speak with the clinic’s owner on camera, but he seems lackadaisical about dead dogs rotting in his hospital, noting to the reporter that they were all strays, so pfft:

“It’s a sad situation, but we’ll look into it and get back to you if there’s anything more,” said Dr. Amardeep Sangha, describing what happened inside his hospital.

Sangha says he’s been in business for 20 years. He says some of the animals are strays brought to him by the village in many cases already sick and dying.

He says the four dead dogs had all been abandoned to the streets.

“Those are all stray dogs.”

Gee, if only there was someone who went to vet school who was getting paid to take care of these animals. dot dot dot

Cook Co AC took the surviving animals away to an unnamed shelter. No word on whether those animals are now being cared for properly or if they’ve been killed.  The vet reportedly hasn’t been seen since his interview with the TV news and police have not spoken to him.

It seems hard to believe this kind of squalor developed in a vacuum. What about the previous dog who was left by police officers or ACOs at this place – did anyone notice anything wrong then? Or the pet before that? Or anyone, anytime, anything?  Did Dolton officials simply keep handing over checks to Dr. Sangha, asking no questions?  Did they communicate with the officers who dropped off stray pets at the hospital?  What about the lady whose healthy dog died while being boarded there – was her complaint filed in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’? How deep does the incompetence run in Doltsville Dolton?

(Thank you to everyone who sent me this story.)

TZI Recommends Shelter Should Not Let You Have Your Lost Cat Back

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered, and whose caregiver loves her.  (Photo by Casey Post)

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered, and whose caregiver loves her. (Photo by Casey Post)

In August 2013, the Maddie’s Fund Shelter Medicine Program issued a summary of recommendations to the Hillsborough Co pound in FL following a consultation.  The recommendation regarding stray cats was particularly troubling to me since it threatened the bond between people and their lost pets.  From the report:

Eliminate the required hold period for stray cats. Stray cats lacking identification are extremely unlikely to be reclaimed by owners and are at high risk for shelter – acquired disease and euthanasia. Eliminating even a few days in the shelter may be the difference between life and death for them. The shelter can simultaneously have an option for immediate live release paired with a required hold period of 3 days prior to euthanasia.

Not only is Maddie’s Fund failing to attribute a low return to owner rate to its proper source – the pound, it fails to acknowledge one of the primary purposes of municipal shelters:  to reunite lost pets with their owners.

The No Kill Advocacy Center weighed in on the elimination of stray holding periods when HSUS suggested it in its 2013 white paper on California shelters:

[I]f a dog or cat comes in as a stray, and he does not have identification, he can be adopted to someone else immediately without giving his family any time to reclaim him. This is unfair to families who deeply love their animal companions. [...] Accidents happen; animals get lost and end up at shelters. Since the choice presented — immediate adoption or sickness/death — is a false one, breaking up families by having them lose all rights in their animal with no reclaim period of any kind appears draconian.

I am deeply opposed to the elimination of holding periods for any pet whose owner might be looking for him. It’s the shelter’s job to treat the bond between pets and their people as sacrosanct. Which is why I was shocked to read that the Target Zero Institute, in its recommendations to the troubled Amarillo pound in TX, has taken the travesty even further. TZI not only recommends eliminating the holding period for stray cats lacking identification but for all cats found outside – including friendly, possibly microchipped pets who may be wearing collars and/or tags and whose owners are searching for them:

The TZI recommends returning outside cats back to their original neighborhoods following sterilization, rabies vaccination and ear tipping. [...]TZI recommends returning cats to their ‘outside home’ where they have a food source as evidenced by a healthy body weight. These may be feral cats that cannot be handled or friendly cats found outside.

If Amarillo, or any other municipal shelter, adopts TZI’s barbaric recommendation regarding cats found outdoors, your pet could be turned into the shelter by a cat hating neighbor or anyone at all, or he could simply be trapped by an ACO and, so long as he appears to be “visually healthy”, he would be immediately vaccinated, neutered, ear-tipped and put back on the street. This would happen as a matter of policy – even if you were actively searching for your pet, even if you had microchipped him and even if you had placed a collar and an ID tag on him. If he’s found outside, TZI wants him immediately anesthetized, put through surgery and turned loose in the area where he had gotten lost (or presumably where the cat hating neighbor says he was found).

TZI says in its report that this practice will save money by reducing the number of cats who “have to be cared for, fed and ultimately [killed] in large numbers” at the pound.

No cats “have to be” killed.  Full stop.  If you don’t get that, get out of the shelter consulting business.

All cats impounded by shelters should be immediately – in the field whenever possible – scanned for microchips and checked for ID tags.  No exceptions.  A chip or ID tag should equate with a free ride home from the ACO.  Those cats lacking identification should be photographed and posted online by the facility immediately.  Anyone visiting the shelter looking for a lost pet should be shown every pet in the place as a matter of course.  Reuniting families is part of the job.  It seems to me to be one of the best parts, by the way, and I can’t imagine why anyone who supposedly cares about shelter pets would want to eliminate it.

Now that Maddie’s Fund and HSUS have opened this awful door and TZI has barreled through it with a bulldozer, I can’t help but wonder what’s next.  Will some consultant recommend that shelters stop housing all dogs found outdoors too?  Gee but we can’t turn dogs back out onto the streets, can we?  So what will “have to be” done with them?

I’m not a shelter consultant, just someone who loves pets and believes dogs and cats have a right to live, regardless of their status in the community.  I don’t get paid for my ideas nor do I have any big money backing me behind the scenes.  Here’s my unsolicited recommendation to shelters and their staff, for what it’s worth:  Do your jobs.  Stop looking for ways to avoid the hard work of sheltering by bringing in big money consultants.  You are accountable to the local taxpayers who pay your salaries and who love their pets.  Start acting like it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Dog #267442: Hidden and Illegally Killed by the Memphis Pound

Records obtained via FOIA request indicate dog #267442 was impounded as a stray by Memphis Animal Services on June 10, 2014. She was housed out of sight of the public, in the room reserved for animals being killed:

267442 cage card

MAS was obligated to hold her for the mandatory holding period which would have expired on June 17. Her medical notes indicate she was a generally healthy young dog.

267442 medical

On June 15, an MAS supervisor noted that no one had placed a hold on the dog who had remained hidden from the public since impound. And despite the fact that her owner still had 2 days to claim her, the supervisor noted the dog’s time had expired which appears to be a violation of the stray holding period law.

267442 MAS notes

Never having been made available to the public for adoption, rescue or foster, and not even having been held for the mandatory holding period for an owner to reclaim, MAS killed dog #267442 on June 15 (or June 14, if the date noted by the kill tech is accurate).

267442 cage card back

The first day that MAS would legally have been allowed to kill dog #267442 was June 18. I guess they just couldn’t wait.  Not that anyone WANTS to kill animals, of course.

Sadly, this dog is just one of so many whose right to life has been violently violated by MAS and whose legal right to be held for owner redemption was violated as well. Pound director James Rogers recently wrote:

By all accounts the death of one animal in error is unacceptable and MAS is diligently seeking to be error free.

How’s that working out for you? Ready to try something different? Is doing your job on the menu?

MAS Moves to Increase “Time and Space” Killings with Photo Ban

Memphis Animal Services (MAS) is a pet killing facility which has long cited “time and space” as its primary reason for killing dogs and cats.  In order to counter the alleged time and space issues at MAS, a group called Memphis Pets Alive has been photographing pets at the pound weekly, sharing them on Facebook.  In this way, owners looking for lost pets have an opportunity to see clear photos on an easily navigable and popular website – a service the pound does not provide.  In addition, rescuers and potential adopters can see the pets currently at the pound and begin making arrangements to get the pets out alive once the holding period expires, a date which Memphis Pets Alive notes on its posts.

The marketing of pets immediately upon impound is an important tool used by shelters wishing to increase their return-to-owner and overall live release rates as well as reducing their average length of stay.  MAS does not market pets upon impound, selectively choosing to photograph only some pets, using seemingly arbitrary criteria, and list them on a user-unfriendly website not designed for the public to navigate.  But Memphis Pets Alive has helped bridge the gap by photographing pets every week and sharing them on Facebook.

This week however, Memphis Pets Alive was informed by pound director James Rogers that they would no longer be allowed to photograph pets who are still within their mandatory holding period.  The “review date”, as MAS terms it on its cage cards, must be met before anyone is allowed to photograph the pets.

The Tiny Problem with That:  MAS typically kills pets the day of, or the morning after, their so-called review date.  Review is MAS-speak for Kill.  Some examples of pets who have been killed by MAS on, or within hours of, their review date:

  • Beauty and Rocko – two young, healthy dogs whose owner wanted them back.
  • Two owned dogs who were supposed to be quarantined at MAS for 10 days but who were killed after 72 hours because “review date”.
  • 3 year old mixed breed dog who was impounded after the owner fell behind on utility bills and killed by MAS on her review date.

In addition, the following pets listed on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page are just some who were recently listed as having been killed on their review date:

Dog #265867 at the Memphis pound, listed as killed on his review date.

Dog #265867 at the Memphis pound, listed as killed on his review date.  [Photo by Memphis Pets Alive]

Tragically, these dead pets are the “lucky” ones, in terms of MAS killing, since they were allowed to live until their review date.  MAS also kills pets before their review date.  Nola, a lost dog whose owner went to MAS trying to find her, was killed before her review date.  And pets who are owner surrendered do not get the “benefit” of a review date at all.  MAS often kills them upon impound.

Needless to say, shelter pet advocates raised hell about the photo ban.  After all, MAS is still killing pets for “time and space” but now actively blocking efforts by advocates to reduce the supposed time and space burdens placed upon the $7 million pet killing facility.  The city posted a response on its website which explains that the reason for the dick move ban is because MAS doesn’t want a potential adopter to see a pet’s photograph on Facebook and mistakenly believe the animal is immediately available for adoption.  Because MAS cares, really, so much:

MAS views the emotional trauma of such an unfortunate misunderstanding too great a risk[...]

I wonder how much of an emotional trauma it is to have your pet killed by MAS because of “time and space”, such as has happened to so many Memphis pet owners.  But I guess Memphis is all full up on caring.  The city can’t possibly care one iota more.  It’s too great a risk to consider more caring.  So please everyone, stop bothering MAS about its enormous level of caring.  Just leave it alone and quit bringing up how hugely much MAS cares.  Because the caring, it’s bulging and gigantic.  And space is an issue.

(Thanks Arlene for sending me info on this story.)

IL Pound Uses Holding Period as an Excuse to Extend Dog’s Suffering

Dear Animal Shelters,

1.  Don’t kill our pets.

2.  Don’t leave our sick or injured pets to suffer without veterinary care.

Sincerely, 

Everyone

Pets impounded at shelters are either lost, in which case their owners want them back, or they are in need of a home, in which case the shelter should release them to an adopter or a rescue group so that can happen.  Since it is unknown which category strays fall under at the time of impound, the shelter staff should get to work right away to determine that.  Check the pet for an ID tag and scan him for a microchip.  If either is found, start making calls to find the owner.  Photograph the pet and post him online.  Check the shelter’s lost pet list along with the local lost pet listings online and in the newspaper.  Shelter the animal for at least the mandatory holding period so that his owner can reclaim him.

Concurrently, get the pet checked out by a veterinarian.  Determine if he is in need of treatment.  If the need for veterinary care is urgent – that is, if it would cause the pet to suffer pain or other harm by not receiving treatment during the holding period – treat the pet.  Continue looking for the owner while the pet is receiving the needed vet care.  If the shelter refuses to provide care for stray pets, issue an immediate plea to the public for a foster or rescuer to provide the urgent vet care during the holding period while the owner is being sought by the shelter.  Obtain the urgent vet care – do not allow the pet to suffer simply because the shelter has not yet determined if the pet will be reunited with an existing owner or adopted to a new one.

This is so not hard.  Not killing impounded strays while simultaneously looking for a possible owner and obtaining vet care is an actual thing that is being done by hundreds of open admission no kill shelters all around the country.  Yet many pet killing facilities view these actions as contradictory in nature.  Owned cats are killed during the holding period for being elderly,  for exhibiting normal behavior after being trapped, and because some people get a thrill out of killing friendly kittens.  Owned dogs are killed during the holding period because staff allowed them to get into a fight with another dog, for being elderly, and because someone in the police department decides to play vet.

To make matters worse, so-called animal advocacy groups such as HSUS and Maddie’s Fund are actively encouraging shelters to not hold unidentified cats so their owners can find them but to instead give them to strangers as fast as they can get them out the door.  When did stray pets become the disfigured stepchild we need to keep chained in the attic?

In Granite City, IL last weekend, AC impounded a seriously injured dog as a stray.  Instead of looking for the owner while getting him the vet care he needed, AC apparently did nothing but toss him in a cage.  The dog’s hip was dislocated and his leg was missing bone and tendons.  Volunteers and rescuers advocated for the dog, offering to take him to a vet for desperately needed treatment of his injuries.  But AC refused all offers, citing the mandatory holding period as an excuse to extend the dog’s suffering for days.  Rescuers ultimately did the pound staff’s job for them and located the owner, who opted to surrender the dog due to an inability to pay for care.

Local pet lovers raised hell over the pound’s mistreatment of the dog, who is now receiving care at a local vet clinic.  In response, the mayor advised AC that in future, pound staff should not sling suffering pets into cages and leave them there for days simply because there is a holding period but instead should contact rescue groups so that urgent vet care can be obtained.

Just so we’re clear:  The mayor had to tell AC not to leave stray pets in pain for days on end and explain that the words “holding period” and “urgent vet care” are not impossible to reconcile.  If I am this mayor, I’m wondering what the hell else needs to be explained to the staff at the pound.

Holding periods are supposed to be a protective measure to prevent families from being torn apart.  They aren’t supposed to be eliminated because shelter directors won’t do their jobs.  They aren’t supposed to be used against us with egregious violations in the form of killings or an excuse to force an injured pet to suffer.  Shelter directors don’t get to punish the public by hurting our lost pets.  It’s obvious what holding periods are for and it has to do with protecting the human-animal bond, not using them as a weapon.

The dog who suffered at the hands of Granite City AC may lose his leg as a result.  But yeah, we all want the same thing and don’t be negative and blah.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

 

Lazy, Lying Kitten Killers at AL Pound Get Served

When a freshly bathed, neutered kitten called Porkchop accidentally got out the door of his owner’s apartment in January, he was found by an upstairs neighbor and taken to the Mobile Co pound in AL.  The pound killed the kitten within minutes of his arrival.  Now the owner has filed a lawsuit.

At issue is the pound’s failure to hold the cat for the mandatory five day stray holding period so that his owner could reclaim him.

The lawsuit names Mobile County and three employees, Andrew Stubbs, Carmelo Miranda and Donna Jones as defendants, claiming the employees violated a shelter policy placing a five-day hold on animals between the time they are received and when they are euthanized. There are a total of four counts including outrage, conversion, conspiracy and negligent supervision. Hughes is asking for a jury trial to consider compensatory and punitive damages.

“[The shelter] has a five-day stray hold policy for this very reason, if somebody lost a pet,” Barnard said. “It’s certainly not a 30-minute stray hold policy.”

Making a tragic situation worse, the pound staff attempted to cover up the unlawful killing when the owner came looking for her pet.  The staff eventually admitted they had killed Porkchop but later claimed he had been brought to the pound in a trap and was determined upon impound to be feral.

The owner’s attorney has obtained “a statement and pictures from the neighbor showing that the cat rode to the shelter in his lap and was acting like a normal, domesticated pet.”  The attorney contends that because Porkchop was admitted near the end of the day, the pound staff was too lazy to set up a cage for him so killed the pet instead.  Mobile Co is in the wrong here, in so many ways:

  • Killing healthy/treatable cats, whether tame or feral, is wrong.
  • Killing cats upon impound is wrong.
  • Evaluating cats’ behavior at time of impound is wrong.
  • Failing to hold a cat so the owner can find him is wrong.
  • Lying to the owner who is looking for her cat is wrong.
  • Fabricating a story about the cat being feral is wrong.

Anyone advocating for the removal of mandatory holding periods for stray cats lacking identification needs to remember Porkchop.  His owner was looking for him and wanted him back.  Had the staff at the Mobile Co pound done their jobs as required by law, Porkchop would be living at home today.  Presumably most AL shelters, though not Mobile Co obviously, abide by the law and hold unidentified stray cats so their owners can reclaim them.  If the stray holding period law were to be removed, there would be no legal protections in place to allow cats like Porkchop to be returned to their rightful owners.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

“Compromised Feline Welfare” at Hillsborough Co Pound

Screengrab from the Hillsborough Co pound's PetHarbor listings

Screengrab from the Hillsborough Co pound’s PetHarbor listings

It sucks being a cat at the Hillsborough Co pound in Florida.  Way.

Although the pound’s TNR program was officially sanctioned by local politicians on May 1, not one action has been taken to implement the program:

“I’m not [a] patient person,” said Sherry Silk, director of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. “Come on; it’s been six months and we haven’t saved a single cat.”

Not only has Hillsborough Co failed to save a single cat via its TNR-INO (In Name Only) program while citing colony caregivers for feeding TNR’d cats, its cat killing machine continues to mow down nearly every feline in its path.    In fiscal year 2012, the live release rate for cats was 18.9%.  The pound is currently killing 600 adult cats and kittens every month.

In August, the Maddie’s Fund Shelter Medicine Program issued a report detailing recommendations for the Hillsborough Co pound.  Some of the findings:

  • Nursing mama cats who are impounded as strays are automatically sent to the kill room after their mandated holding period expires.
  • Some kittens designated as available for adoption are housed in rooms which are off limits to the public.
  • Animals’ records – both computer and paper – regularly contain incorrect age, sex and holding period data.
  • Cats are often housed in tiny holding cages with the access door to the other side of the cage kept closed, even when the other side is empty, leading to “compromised feline welfare”.
  • Cats are left in uncovered traps and carriers in a high traffic hallway while awaiting cage placement, putting them at increased risk for illness due to stress.

One of the recommendations from the Maddie’s Fund consultants is to designate a feline advocate at the facility:

This person should assure individual cats are housed in the appropriate ward, have no unnecessary holds, and are tracked appropriately for foster, transfer, or adoption.

And by “unecessary holds”, Maddie’s Fund includes any holding period for stray cats who lack identification. A key recommendation from the report:

Eliminate the required hold period for stray cats. Stray cats lacking identification are extremely unlikely to be reclaimed by owners and are at high risk for shelter – acquired disease and euthanasia. Eliminating even a few days in the shelter may be the difference between life and death for them. The shelter can simultaneously have an option for immediate live release paired with a required hold period of 3 days prior to euthanasia.

So lost cats with their sex/age/holding period information data possibly entered wrongly by Hillsborough Co staff, possibly housed in rooms which are off limits to the public and possibly designated in advance as Straight to Kill Room are unlikely to be reclaimed by their owners?  And the recommendation is to eliminate the unidentified stray holding period entirely because they might get sick at this “compromised feline welfare” facility?  Snaaaaaap.

The No Kill Advocacy Center weighed in on the elimination of stray holding periods when HSUS suggested it in its recent white paper on California shelters:

[I]f a dog or cat comes in as a stray, and he does not have identification, he can be adopted to someone else immediately without giving his family any time to reclaim him. This is unfair to families who deeply love their animal companions. [...] Accidents happen; animals get lost and end up at shelters. Since the choice presented — immediate adoption or sickness/death — is a false one, breaking up families by having them lose all rights in their animal with no reclaim period of any kind appears draconian.

If Hillsborough Co accepts the Maddie’s Fund recommendation to eliminate the state mandated 5 day holding period for unidentified stray cats, it will not only cause undue harm to owners of lost cats trying to find them, it will fast track cats to the kill room – the most likely outcome for cats at Hillsborough Co.  What Hillsborough Co needs is someone to run into the cat ward and yell, “Iceberg – dead ahead!”  Instead, Maddie’s Fund is busy re-arranging the deck chairs.

Screengrab from the Hillsborough Co pound's PetHarbor listings

Screengrab from the Hillsborough Co pound’s PetHarbor listings

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

The Tuh Files: There is a Shortage of Dogs in Michigan

In August, Bloomberg ran a piece claiming there were 50,000 stray dogs in Detroit, MI – a claim widely disputed by various animal advocates.  (We talked about it on the blog at the time.)  Michigan Humane Society, which doesn’t hold an animal control contract but functions primarily as a pet killing facility anyway, was not one of the agencies disputing the figure at the time.  In fact, they tried to fundraise off the claim.

Regardless of the what actual number is, Detroit does have stray dogs and they are being killed at a horrifying rate at area animal shelters.  When asked about the ACOs who work in the field, rounding up the city’s stray dogs, AC head Harry Ward told Bloomberg:

“We are really suffering from fatigue, short staffed” and work too much overtime, he said in an interview.

Kristen Huston from All About Animals Rescue talked about the problem of widespread breeding among owned pets allowed to roam the streets of Detroit:

She said many dogs that appear to be abandoned actually have owners who allow them to wander. Those dogs often end up breeding with others, exacerbating the problem.

Daniel Carlisle of Detroit Dog Rescue also addressed the problem of uncontrolled breeding among stray dogs in the city:

“And the warehouses are large doghouses. They’re walking into these places, they’re bedding down in them and they’re mating.”

But while the city ACOs are working overtime to get stray dogs off the streets and into the kill rooms at area shelters, Michigan Humane is importing dogs from TN in a pretty white van with their logo on it, all shined up for the TV news crews.

Because there is a shortage of dogs in Michigan.

Because everyone in Michigan neuters their pets.

And other myths.

From WATE:

“Our centers are not full,” said Erin Campbell with the Michigan Humane Society. “We don’t often have small dogs or puppies. It seems spay and neutering has taken off so that’s why don’t have the puppies that are in the south.”

When a pet killing facility imports shelter animals from out of state, it appears they are doing it for personal profit and/or publicity.  They are obviously not doing it to save animals since they are killing pets they already have.  In the case of Michigan Humane, they are claiming to have empty space while simultaneously asking for donations to help save the supposed 50,000 stray dogs in Detroit.  And driving to Knoxville for more.  Apparently 50,000 dogs don’t stretch as far as they used to.

I hope the next time Michigan Humane sends its shiny logo van to the south to import more dogs into its pet killing facility, the local news will do a piece on displacement killing.  And fraud.  It’s always disappointing when reporters don’t lift the veil on the feel-good stories being fed to them.  All it would take is the tiniest bit of research to uncover the fact that Michigan Humane kills pets instead of saving them while bilking compassionate donors out of millions of dollars.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 921 other followers