Forsyth Co Oops-Kills Cherished Pet, meh

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Forsyth Co forced the owner of a dog who scratched someone to surrender him for an 8 day quarantine at the pound.  Ashley Burton had adopted the border collie/labrador retriever mix, whom she named Maximus, as a puppy 5 years ago.  It was heartbreaking for her to surrender her pet:

“I was in tears and could barely speak with him because I just didn’t want to let him go,” Burton said.

After the 8 days expired on July 2, she went to the Forsyth Co pound to pick up her beloved Maximus.  Pound staff gave her a pitbull mix named Spike instead of her own pet.  She waited for 30 minutes while they looked for Maximus then was taken to the manager’s office:

“He said, I don’t want you to panic right now, but we can’t find your dog,” Burton said.
Burton was then told there was nothing else she could do, and to go home while the shelter investigated.

Yeah don’t panic.  And definitely don’t look at the numbers Forsyth Co reported to the state of NC last year, reflecting the killing of 63% of the dogs and cats in its care.  OK, do panic.  But please, do it at home.  We’re busy killing animals here.

Ms. Burton later received a phone call from the pound manager explaining that staff meant to kill Spike but killed Maximus instead.  Oops.  The local Fox affiliate went to the pound director, who never contacted Ms. Burton personally, to find out what happened:

“At some point, either the identifying kennel cards were switched, or the dogs themselves might have been switched,” said Tim Jennings, Director of Forsyth County Animal Control.

Jennings said, since the picture taken of Maximus was not clear, and their descriptions were similar, it resulted in the mistake.

“The photograph is to be the definitive security issue, and in this case we could have done a better job there,” Jennings said.

So basically something got switched, we don’t know what exactly, and we took a crappy picture which is our “definitive security issue” but whatevs, and big black dogs, and did I mention we kill 63% of the pets here?  So I mean, odds are…  Also:

Jennings also told FOX8 that this is not the first time the wrong dog has been euthanized at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter. He said a similar incident happened some time in 2014.

Some time in 2014, some incident, some thing.  Oh but don’t ask for any sort of reform because Forsyth Co is on it:

Jennings said the photograph issue, among others, has been addressed.

See, it’s a photograph issue.  Like cropping.  And it’s been addressed.  Whew.  So just forget about the oops-killing of an owned pet and whoever might have been responsible for that still working at the place and the fact that 63% of the pets who come through the front doors leave in garbage bags.  We’re keeping the public safe!

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

 

Name That Animal

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

nta

Caddo Parish Pound Director Posts Repulsive Image on Social Media

The alleged nice guy in charge of the Caddo pound in LA is in the news again.  This time, he uploaded an anti-Semitic/anti-dog image to the pound’s Facebook page, captioned it, then started taking massive heat for it about 4 seconds later.  Who knew that drawing Stars of David on pictures of shelter dogs’ faces like they were concentration camp prisoners and putting the SS logo above them would be received so poorly?  Holocaust jokes are usually just fall-down-funny and the mass killing of shelter pets is another knee slapper so pairing the two seems like a very good idea.  But the public outcry failed to reflect the awesomeness of the stunt.

Pound director Everett Harris deleted the post amidst all the outrage and ended up posting a non-apology on the page, claiming that uploading the photo was an oops (and presumably typing in the caption, “How to deal with the difficulties of life”, was too) while he was uploading photos of adoptable dogs. But that explanation apparently wasn’t the first draft:

While Harris’ official apology and [Caddo Parish administrator Woodrow] Wilson’s statement claim that the posting of the photo was in error, Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn says that was not the explanation he was given when he called Wilson while the post was still up, concerned that the page had been hacked.

“I found out through talking to Dr. Woodrow Wilson, that Everett had put it up there and Everett was proud that he put it up there. He wanted to share with the citizens of Caddo what someone had sent him and did it without the second thought.”

Linn characterized the whole oops explanation as “a bold face lie.”

But the director was proud.  I guess if you can’t be proud of what you do to animals at your job, you can look to concentration camp/dead dog jokes as a source of pride. Harris added:

“I have to endure what some would call a hostile work environment from a group of people with a dated mindset. I have been called a liar, a dictator, profanity laced, scumbag, rude, and racial comments that no human should say because of a select few who want to influence, control and make decisions for this department.”

In that initial explanation, Harris went on to say, “The picture that you see is one of many that I received since becoming the Director of ASMC because some take hatred too far.”

You guys – he’s the victim here. Have a little sensitivity.

That caption though.  Makes both the oops and the victim claims a hard sell.  He photographed the image, uploaded it to Facebook, then typed in the caption.  It seems like Wilson, the only person who can fire Harris, is the only one buying what he’s selling.  Except for commissioner Lyndon B. Johnson.  He knows Harris is innocent because God:

“I pretty much believe that’s probably what happened because he just preached his first sermon last Sunday or the Sunday before,” he said. “So somebody who has been called, I don’t think they would do anything like that.”

Right.  I know I’ve never heard of any sort of wrongdoing associated with someone involved in a church.  It’s like, impossible.

Good for animal advocates for screencapping the postings and raising hell.  Keep going.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Georgia ACO Lets Friendly Dog Suffer and Die in Vehicle

Brad Pitt, as shown on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.

Brad Pitt, as shown on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.

When a 17 month old dog called Brad Pitt got lost in Georgia last month, owner Holly Roth and her family began looking for him.  They searched for him physically, put up fliers around the neighborhood, and reported him missing to Cobb Co AC.  The family kept checking in with AC to see if their pet had been picked up but they were repeatedly told no.  Then a neighbor called the Roths and said he had seen a Cobb Co ACO pick up Brad Pitt.

Oh, THAT dog.  Well, ok.  He was picked up but he was dead after having been hit by a car. It says so right here in the ACO’s notes.

Really?  Because the neighbor said:

“He (was) just a friendly dog. (The animal control officer) just put a leash on it (and) put him in the side of the truck and then drove away,” [David] Spontak said.

Oh, THAT that dog.  Well, ok.  He was perfectly fine when he was loaded onto the truck by the ACO but he was left in the metal box all day to suffer a horrible death from heat stroke.  So, still dead.

Gee, I’m afraid we’ll have to charge someone for that.  But don’t worry, just misdemeanor animal cruelty and misdemeanor obstruction for the attempted cover up.

The ACO, Matthew Cory Dodson, quit his job, was arrested and spent an hour in jail before being released on his own recognizance.

“Cobb County authorities want to reassure our citizens that this type of behavior will never be condoned and that the safety of any animal while in our custody (or otherwise) is paramount. We have met with the owner of the dog, advised them of the results of our investigation and are working with them regarding this tragic situation,” Cobb police said in a news release Monday.

I, for one, am so totally reassured.  It’s vewy sewious.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Animal Advocates Continue to Protest Legal Decisions in KY Dog Case

In April, Boyle Co Animal Care and Control in Kentucky seized twelve presa canarios from owner Christopher Pope who was charged with twelve misdemeanor animal cruelty counts.  Five of the dogs were returned to him while the other seven were housed at the local HS while the court case proceeded.  In June, Pope’s house caught fire and three dead presa canarios were found on the property – two in a bathtub and one decomposing in a plastic bin.  The cause of death was never sought.  Last month, Pope made a plea agreement with Boyle Co on reduced charges.  His seven dogs were returned to him despite protests from rescuers:

Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell decided to release the dogs into Pope’s care despite some public outcry and requests from “rescue” organizations to take the dogs. Campbell said in a recent interview that he made the decision because if Pope went to trial on the charges and was found not guilty, he could rightfully reclaim his dogs.

Days after Pope put the dogs in kennels on property in Lincoln Co, six of them chewed through the fencing and escaped.  They reportedly mauled a woman in her yard, causing her serious injuries.  One dog was shot to death at the scene and the others, including a pregnant dog named Fiona whose belly was too fat to escape the kennel, were taken to Lincoln Co AC.  There, Fiona whelped a litter of ten puppies.  Local animal advocates hired an attorney to fight for Fiona’s right to live along with her puppies, noting none of them were involved in the attack.

Lincoln Co judge executive Jim Adams ordered all the dogs, including Fiona, killed on August 10.  All ten of her puppies are also reportedly dead, although the county is refusing to say exactly how they died.  Adams has also put a stop to rescues and volunteer transporters pulling animals from the pound, citing liability concerns.  Animal advocates protested the judge’s decisions on the steps of the Lincoln Co courthouse this weekend.

The case appears to have been mishandled from the beginning with multiple points along the way where the counties involved could have prevented further harm.  Instead, they have ended up with a seriously injured resident, a pile of dead dogs and puppies, protesting animal advocates, and presumably more dogs languishing at the pound.  Maybe they figure they’re in a hole and it’s too late to stop digging now, I don’t know.  I hope the locals stay on them.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Weekend Jade

Jade keeps watch at the window until Billy comes back inside the house.

The payoff.

The payoff.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

Treats on the Internets

An anonymous whistleblower is accusing Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services of killing treatable animals, falsifying their records and turning away strays in need in order to make their numbers look good. (Thank you Clarice for the link.)

The Washington Co Animal Shelter in TN killed 276 cats last month because they had colds.  But the director falsely told the local paper the shelter is “no kill” because they don’t kill “healthy, sociable” animals.  (Thanks Jan.)

A family dog who was lost on a road trip was picked up by Caddo Animal Services in LA.  The owner, who is 8 months pregnant, lives in Houston so a local rescuer offered to drive the dog halfway to reunite the family.  But the pound director refused.  The owner says she asked multiple times to allow the dog to be released to the rescuer as she was experiencing pre-labor contractions and has another young child to care for but the director yelled and cursed at her in response.  She says her mother also called to request release of the dog to the rescuer out of concern for her daughter’s well-being but the director still refused.  For his part, the director says he never spoke with the owner and when he spoke with her mother, she “asked and begged and pleaded with us that we give the dog to the actual owner and not release it to a third party”.  The owner was forced to drive all the way to the pound in Shreveport to reclaim her pet.  (Thanks Clarice and Lisa.)

This article about a feline kidney transplant seems to adopt the posture that the donor cat was found in a shelter and probably would have been killed anyway so it’s fine to harvest him for parts.  Plus the family of the recipient is forced to adopt the donor cat, regardless of how anyone gets along so… it’s all good?  (Thanks Karen.)

A cinematic history of dogs

This kiddie pool in NJ was just right.

More on United Animal Coalition Allegations

As posted yesterday, the secretive non-profit United Animal Coalition has had its registrations to run the Guilford Co and Davidson Co pounds revoked by the state of North Carolina.  The county editor for the Rhino Times, a paper in Guilford Co, reports that the allegations made by the state “are only the tip of the iceberg” regarding wrongdoing by UAC.

Citing a source who was in attendance at a secret meeting on July 27 held at the workplace of UAC president Carolyn Cudd, the Rhino reports that Cudd explained to the group how the investigation began:

On Tuesday, May 19, a severely injured dog that was paralyzed from the shoulders down and appeared to have a broken back was brought into the Davidson County shelter.

The next day, a shelter official assured a Davidson County sheriff’s deputy that the dog would be euthanized by the end of that day.  On Thursday, May 21, a deputy discovered the paralyzed dog still alive with maggots on its body and on the floor of the cage.

On Friday, May 22, a worker at the Davidson County shelter noticed a “bloody blowout” from the dog’s rear and took pictures of the animal’s plight and sent the pictures to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department.  The crippled animal was finally put to death later that day.

That led authorities to the investigation that expanded to Guilford County.

[…]

A picture of the dog with the broken back at the Davidson County shelter was also passed around at that time.

After the meeting attendees, including UAC’s former president, a current board member as well as county reps from both Guilford and Davidson, got a look at the maggot infested dog whose rear exploded while he lay paralyzed in UAC’s care, there was a discussion on whether UAC should suspend and/or hire a lawyer for Marsha Williams, the executive director of both shelters.  Because yeah, you know, not sure.

A Guilford Co pound volunteer told the Rhino that Davidson Co, the more recent contract awarded to UAC, was under greater scrutiny than Guilford Co.  In an effort to make Davidson’s numbers look good quickly, UAC set up a racket whereby dogs from the Davidson pound were sent to Guilford for killing and counted as adoptions on their way out of Davidson.  Hey, they went out the front door, technically.  I guess they were “adopted” by Fatal Plus at Guilford.

The vol also says UAC specifically directed employees to neglect suffering animals so that they would eventually die in their cages in order to manipulate the number of animals killed.  Hey, they weren’t “euthanized”, they just happened to be called to the Rainbow Bridge, la la la.

In addition, the volunteer told the paper the Davidson Co pound had no one licensed to kill animals for some period of time, donations were not being used for the stated purpose, the financial numbers being given to the county were false, and people were afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation by UAC.

Other allegations made in the piece:

  • Williams, who was paid more than $92,000 a year, hired several family members to work under her at the Guilford facility.
  • Controlled substances were not tracked and recorded as required by law.
  • Cats weren’t given sufficient quantities of food.
  • Animals were put in cages together without consideration of compatibility resulting in fights and food deprivation for weaker animals.
  • Bleach was poured directly into dog runs each day without rinsing causing dogs’ feet to burn.
  • Although severely injured and ill animals were often left to suffer, pets with minor ailments were regularly killed by UAC (I assume because they would take too long to die in their cages).

And of course, as is all too often the case in these situations, follow the money:

Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Col. Randy Powers said this week that the Sheriff’s Department is looking into multiple issues including concerns of financial fraud.  Powers also said the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has some computer forensics specialists who were working with Davidson County in its investigation as well.

Several of the UAC board members have recently resigned and replacements have reportedly been made but the president won’t name them.  I’m guessing the UAC board, along with the officials in Davidson and Guilford counties, will claim they had no idea about the killing schemes, the animals forced to suffer for the sake of deceptive reports, the financial fraud and all the rest.  Did they have some obligation to make themselves aware of at least the surface appearance of things at the pounds?  Should someone/anyone who was writing checks to UAC have poked their head in the door at some point and asked why dozens of animals were literally dying in front of their faces?  Those are questions which will hopefully be asked by local animal advocates – asked until reasonable answers are provided.

The appalling level of suffering endured by the animals in Davidson and Guilford counties under UAC is enough to keep most anyone awake at night.  Hopefully, it’s enough to land those responsible in jail.  But anyhoo, should we hire a lawyer for the director?  Iffy.

State of NC Shuts Down Operator of Two County Pounds

The state of North Carolina has revoked the shelter registrations issued to the United Animal Coalition – one used to operate the Guilford Co pound and the other for the Davidson Co pound.  In letters dated August 17, the state ordered UAC to cease and desist operating both facilities within 5 days “based on UAC’s willful disregard” of the laws pertaining to the care of shelter animals.

In Davidson Co, the state investigated a complaint regarding a severely injured dog.  The state found that UAC had left an apparently paralyzed dog with a possible broken back to suffer without a vet exam for 3 days before killing the dog.  A review of records dating back to January 2015 revealed an astonishing number of animals who were left to die in their cages.  A few examples cited by the state:

  • From April 15 – 30:  40 animals found dead in their cages
  • In May:  91 cats and 5 dogs found dead in their cages
  • In June:  86 cats and 5 dogs found dead in their cages
  • In July:  78 cats and 14 dogs found dead in their cages

While the obvious suffering of animals at Davidson Co is disturbing, the state cited scores of specific examples of dogs and cats suffering at Guilford Co which are absolutely heartbreaking to read.  Among them:

    • A dog who had been shot in the face and had an eyeball hanging out was given pain medication upon intake and then left to suffer without a vet exam or meds of any kind for 12 days before being killed.
    • A cat who had been hit by car and had his tail degloved was given pain meds but never received a vet exam, wound treatment or antibiotics by the time UAC killed him 4 days later.
    • A cat who had been hit by a car came in with a missing leg and his chin degloved.  He never received a vet exam and UAC waited 10 days before killing him.  He may have received pain meds but the records contain conflicting information so that information is unclear.
    • A dog who had been hit by a car was bleeding from his penis and had abdominal swelling, possibly due to internal bleeding.  His breathing was labored and one of his legs may have been broken.  He suffered in this condition for 2 weeks without so much as a veterinary examination.
    • An elderly dog who appeared to be suffering was brought in by an owner requesting euthanasia.  UAC failed to obtain proof of ownership but took the dog and left him in a cage for 4 days before killing him.  He was never examined by a vet.
    • Another dog, circumstances similar to the above, was left for 6 days before being killed.
    • A dog with apparent neurological problems and leg wounds was left to suffer without a vet exam for 4 days before being killed by UAC.
    • A cat who had “severe diarrhea, anus and vagina swollen and raw, and hair under the tail missing” was given medication for one day then left without exam or treatment for 11 days before UAC killed her.
    • A dog whose feet were raw and who had a large mammary tumor was left in a cage and discovered with the tumor ruptured the following day.  The dog never received a vet exam and was killed after 5 days.
    • A cat who had a maggot in an infected hole in his neck was given pain meds without a vet exam, had the maggot removed and the wound flushed.  No antibiotics were administered.  The cat was found dead in his cage 6 days later.
    • An emaciated cat who appeared hypoglycemic and exhibited symptoms of conjunctivitis and a URI never received a vet exam or meds by the time UAC killed him, 11 days later.
    • An emaciated dog with multiple bite wounds, both old and new, came in with a swollen face and abdomen, a hematoma on the ear and the smell of infection in the mouth.  The dog was placed on pain meds without a vet exam and never received any wound treatment or antibiotics by the time UAC killed him 5 days later.

HSUS has listed Guilford Co as one of its “top ten emergency placement partners” and encouraged the public to bring the staff cupcakes to say “thank you”.  If anyone does plan on bringing cupcakes, please contact me for a top ten list of suggested places you can cram them.

While shutting down UAC is obviously good news for animals, it’s not good enough.  For one thing, the criminal douchebags responsible for what is likely years of animal suffering and death need to go to jail.  For another, Guilford Co taking over the pound is not exactly the knight on the white horse anyone was hoping for – unless the county has changed from doing basically all the same things UAC is accused of by the state.  Trouble behind, trouble ahead.  Annoying animal advocates needed in Guilford and Davidson counties.  Huge.

(Thanks Lisa, Laura and Arlene for the links.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 984 other followers