Treats on the Internets

The city of Jackson, MS has cleared its ACOs of any wrongdoing after they were seen riding around in the back of a pick up truck, shooting pets to death.  The money quote:

Animal Control officers are special individuals who must have a genuine concern for the animals they encounter and care for, on a daily basis. It is not the intent or desire of animal control officers to impose lethal force upon any creature.

This is totally consistent with hunting pets, apparently.  (Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Every pet owner should know what to do if AC comes knocking, especially if you live in an area where thieves posing as ACOs are trying to take your pets.  (Thanks Valerie.)

Researchers in TX have been testing shelter dogs for zoonotic diseases, including chagas, which is on the rise among dogs in the state.  (Thanks Clarice.)

In a recent study of 52 pet foods, testing revealed only 31 were labeled correctly “and 1 contained a non-specific meat ingredient that could not be verified.”

National Geographic looks at the problem of miniature pigs, sold as pets, who turn out to be SONOTMINIATURE.

If this headline doesn’t depress you, please send me a generous sampling of your meds.

Hero animals of all shapes and sizes.

Snake Coffin could be an excellent band name.

Helmetta Pound Mired in Failure, Director Appears Oblivious

After receiving a number of complaints regarding the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter in NJ, the Middlesex County Health Department inspected the pound on September 26 and September 30.  The South Brunswick Post reports that the first inspection report indicated multiple problems including the importation of dogs from the south without proper health certificates, housing healthy cats in the isolation area with sick cats, failure to record identification numbers on dog and cat records, failure to record parvo test results and cages not being cleaned with appropriate frequency.

Also on September 26, a letter from the Director of the Office of Health Services for the Middlesex Department of Public Safety and Health to the Helmetta pound advised that a cat was adopted out and subsequently diagnosed with panleukopenia.  The letter indicated “that all felines adopted within the next 10 calendar days must be seen by a veterinarian and cleared for adoption prior to finalizing of said adoption.”

This lead to conflicting reports of whether the Helmetta pound was closed for adoptions or not.  Pound director Michal Cielesz further muddied the waters by making what appear to be wildly contradictory statements to the South Brunswick Post:

“We are doing our due diligence to make sure we do the right thing,” she said.
[...]
Ms. Cielesz said that there were two or three cats in the adoption room with “upper respiratory infections coming on.”

We’re doing the right thing but there are sick cats in the adoption room with healthy cats?

“The cats were checked in the morning and we had a vet here,” she said. “We were examining the kittens. The kittens were bright, alert, and responsive. We came back a half a hour later and (one had) passed away. I don’t know what happened and there was a veterinarian here.”

Bright, alert and responsive to dead in 30 minutes or less?  How does this not raise an All Hands on Deck emergency within a shelter housing 150 cats?

But this isn’t the Helmetta pound’s first rodeo.  The NJ SPCA has also issued written warnings to the facility and will conduct unannounced follow up inspections to verify compliance.  And the New Jersey State Humane Police sent a letter to the Helmetta Borough Administrator last month regarding an investigation conducted in August.  The issues detailed in that letter include “failure to supply a living animal necessary care” for 3 sick kittens and administering improper doses of medicine to animals.

The Helmetta pound kills feral cats as a matter of policy.  And not only are they importing animals from the south, they reportedly shipped a group of cats to a shelter in SC.  Gee, last I checked, we have plenty of shelter cats already in SC.  And since most of them are going to the landfill, there is no way we should be importing more from NJ.  I don’t know what brain trust was behind that brilliant plan but hopefully they’ll go back to their day jobs soon.

In the meantime, the Helmetta pound director dismisses critics because haters gonna hate:

“It’s a personal campaign,” Ms. Cielesz said. “It’s not about the animals. I don’t think this (controversy) benefits the animals.”

Well it doesn’t “benefit the animals” in the same way that housing sick cats with healthy ones does or setting up shop as an animal importer/exporter when you can’t manage to get vet care for sick kittens or even notice when one is just minutes away from death.  But yeah, it’s prolly a personal thing.  Whaddaya gonna do?

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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.

#SalvemosaExcalibur

Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic fever.  It’s not supposed to cause uninfected politicians to lose their minds and yet dot dot dot

Politics inevitably inserts itself into anything insertable and ebola hysteria is no exception.  Here in SC, one of our own pols is calling for the immediate execution of patients infected with ebola.  Not because science tells us this is indicated, but because – well, I’m not 100% clear on the reasoning there.

Last night, news from Spain emerged that the country’s sole patient infected with ebola – a nurse who is receiving treatment at a hospital and whose husband has been quarantined for observation – owns a dog named Excalibur.  And authorities want to kill Excalibur because he lived with someone who tested positive for the virus.

The NY Times reports:

The husband has also led calls for the Madrid health authorities not to euthanize the couple’s dog, Excalibur, who was left at their home. The authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that they had ordered that the dog be put down as a precautionary measure, but there has been no confirmation that the order was carried out. A social media campaign has sprung up to spare Excalibur until it can be proved he has Ebola. One of the top hashtags on Twitter worldwide on Wednesday morning was #SalvemosaExcalibur.

excalibur

Excalibur, as pictured on Facebook.

As far as I know, there is no available science on the subject of whether a dog who has lived with a person infected with ebola can cause anyone else to get sick with the virus.  Given that, there appears to be no scientific basis for killing Excalibur “as a precautionary measure”.  In fact the opposite is true:  Quarantining and testing Excalibur’s blood and saliva could help to answer a question where scientists currently have penciled in a question mark – Can dogs spread ebola to humans?

Quarantining dogs is commonplace and relatively easy to do in developed countries such as Spain.  The quarantine would serve as the precautionary measure authorities say they desire.  The subsequent testing would provide vital information for health care professionals and authorities concerned with managing ebola outbreaks.

All of this is in addition to the fact that Excalibur is a sentient being with a right to live.  Full stop.

In addition to the Twitter campaign to save Excalibur, an online petition has garnered 300,000 signatures in 24 hours and dozens of protesters have gathered outside Excalibur’s home, in an effort to protect his right to live.

The message is clear:  Even in the face of ebola hysteria, the so-called irresponsible public, whom shelter directors blame for the systematic killing they do, does not want pets needlessly killed.  The public believes that dogs have a right to live and considers them family.  And they will make their voices heard.  Shelter directors killing pets for convenience and blaming the public for your failure to do your jobs, take heed.  Politicians providing cover for the killing, ditto.  Your power to act in defiance of the will of the people is diminishing every day.

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.

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.)

Weekend Jade

Although Jade was originally scheduled for spay surgery in August, she came in season at the time of her appointment and was thus rescheduled to October 3.  While she was anesthetized, she was also microchipped and had a follow up pelvis xray taken.  This is a photo of that xray:

Jadebones (click to enlarge)

Jadebones (click to enlarge)

The vet said the femoral head on the right side appears to have stopped growing. Necrosis of the femoral head is apparently a common result of traumatic injury to the hip (which in Jade’s case was being run over by a truck). The blood supply to the femoral head was cut off and that part of the joint basically died.  She has less muscle mass on the right rear leg than she does on the left.  Despite this, she does very well and the vet said so long as she continues to do well, no surgery is needed.  If however she goes lame on the right side at some point in future, a femoral head ostectomy would be recommended.

Meanwhile, a bum hip and major abdominal surgery be damned, there is flopping for belly scratches to be done:

Jadeflop

Jadeflop

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments.

[x]

[x]

Name That Animal

This is just for fun and the only rule is: no researching.  Post your best guesses in the comments.  Reading other people’s answers before posting your own is optional.  Answer will be posted in the comments tonight.

nta

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.)

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