SC Pound Policy: Take Newborn Kittens Away from Nursing Mothers and Kill Them

Mama cat and newborn kittens, saved by a member of the public.  Because kittens.  (photo by Casey post)

Mama cat and newborn kittens, saved by a member of the public in Ohio. Because kittens. (photo by Casey Post)

The Greenville Co pound in SC has implemented two new policies concerning cats:

1. Kittens born at the pound who weigh less than 100 grams will be taken from their mothers and killed immediately.  The reason, as stated in an e-mail written by Susan Bufano, the community relations coordinator for the Greenville Co pound, in response to a concerned citizen:

It is not a normal, healthy birth weight and our vet has determined that they will probably not survive.

“Probably not” indicates to me an inherent admission that there is some hope for survival. And I think that hope is very reasonable, considering the following:

  • The ASPCA says 100 grams is “an average birth weight for kittens… depending on breed and litter size.”  Average means some kittens will weigh a little more than 100 grams, some a little less.  Size of the mother cat and number of kittens in the litter must be taken into account when evaluating birth weight of each individual.
  • This government study which looked at newborn kitten weights in five different cat breeds found that only two breeds, Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat (both large cats), had kittens which averaged more than 100 grams at birth.  The other three breeds studied – Birman, Persian, and Siamese/Oriental Shorthair – all had kittens whose average weight at birth was between 82 and 97 grams.
  • A random veterinarian I found via Google wrote: “Kittens have a normal birth weight of 100 ± 10 g (3.5 ± 0.35 oz). Kittens with a birth weight of less than 90 g (3.2 oz) have poor survival rates.”

Given this information, it’s not at all clear to me that the Greenville Co pound policy is based in science.  That is, the notion that kittens weighing less than 100 grams at birth “will probably not survive” appears dubious, at best.  And to be clear, taking newborn kittens of any weight away from their nursing mothers in order to kill them is something only monsters would do.  Kittens have a right to live and their mothers have the right to care for them.  No animal “shelter” policy trumps those rights.  Any “shelter” staff members who do not recognize that fact should resign immediately, before any additional animals are harmed due to their failures.

The other new policy at the pound:

2. Orphaned kittens under one pound are deemed “rescue only” and must leave the shelter within three hours. The reason, per Ms. Bufano’s e-mail:

We want our fosters to focus on the animals who have the highest likelihood for survival[.]

It was so hard on wonderful, loving fosters to take these neonate kittens home only for them not to thrive (and, the small weight also ended up indicating illness in the mothers) and pass away, regardless of how hard they cared for them. I witnessed the agony of many fosters who blamed themselves, when we all know that some kittens just don’t make it. They will be fine one day and die the next.

So, the decision was made to save the animals that had the most chance at survival. In doing so, we are anticipating more life saving, not less.

Wow, apparently it takes a whole mountain of bullshit to allow monsters to sleep at night.

By branding pets “rescue only”, shelters shut out an enormous pool of potential help:  the general public.  It’s not a good strategy to increase lifesaving.  Also bad:  using phony we-care-about-rescuers’-feelings as an excuse for killing kittens.  How did someone even think this twisted thing up?  Also also bad:  requiring rescue groups, typically operated out of people’s homes on shoestring budgets, to somehow get orphaned kittens out of the Greenville Co pound within three hours of arrival.

Rescuers often have day jobs, families, and other pets in need of care and will rarely be in a position to drop everything in order to quickly snatch kittens from the kill room at the pound.  That is, assuming the pound has promptly notified rescue contacts by mental telepathy since e-mail or voicemail obviously won’t suffice in these situations.  How would you like to be the rescuer who checks her e-mail at lunch or after work and finds out a litter of orphaned kittens you would have been willing to save was killed by Greenville Co because you didn’t check your messages sooner?  How is threatening to kill newborn orphaned kittens consistent with the county’s purported concern for rescuers’ emotional well-being?

While those who kill shelter pets instead of doing their jobs often blame the so-called irresponsible public for the killing, it is the shelter staff, following antiquated and inhumane policies designed to kill pets instead of helping them, who are to blame for the killing.  In fact, no rescuers, fosters, adopters and no one outside of the Greenville Co pound should blame themselves for the needless killing being done there.

Greenville Co pretends to be interested in lifesaving and pretends to care about the emotional toll taken on the compassionate public willing to help shelter pets, all the while implementing policies so cruel and archaic, no one with a conscience need perform more than a cursory examination to determine how heartless and inconsistent with animal sheltering those policies are.  Shame on Greenville Co for pretending to care.  There are few worse things in this world.  And they do those there, too.

Added, April 19, 2014:

Bringing up from the comments, from spaycritter, for those wanting to know who to contact about the needless killing of kittens at the Greenville Co pound:

Just an FYI– emails/calls to GCACS will be spun into gold.. Seriously , they will be said to ” create drama , and take away from the staff’s ability to care for the animals in our facility”… at least , that’s what has been said on past attempts to shine a light. A better tactic is to contact the bosses of the boss..Here is contact info for those interested
Go to the county admin and county council..And since Greenville County contracts with Spartanburg County, contacting the same offices of S’burg county would be good..
https://www.greenvillecounty.org/Departments.asp#sectC
http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/cc/index.htm
http://www.co.spartanburg.sc.us/govt/depts/admin/index.htm

 

 

Denver Police Threaten a Good Samaritan While Dog Suffers and Dies

A 14 year old mixed breed dog named Harley ran out a door accidentally left open by his kids last week.  His family began searching for him by putting up fliers around the neighborhood and online.  Unbeknownst to owner Dani Juras, Harley had been hit by a car just 2 blocks from home that night.  Ross Knapp, a compassionate resident who lived near the scene of the accident, brought water out to Harley, who was severely injured, and stayed by his side to comfort him while waiting for help to arrive.

Instead, the Denver police arrived and told Mr. Knapp he could not comfort Harley or take him to a vet for treatment.  Mr. Knapp tried repeatedly to get back to Harley’s side as he lay gasping for breath in the street but the police threatened to arrest him if he did not leave.  Denver police contacted the on-call ACO and stood guard over the suffering pet for more than an hour, preventing anyone from assisting.  Harley finally died shortly before the ACO arrived.

Screengrab from the ABC 7 website depicting Harley's owners meeting the Good Sam who tired to help him.

Screengrab from the ABC 7 website depicting Harley’s owners meeting the Good Sam who tired to help him.

The heartbroken owner would like to see the officers held accountable for their cruelty in some way.  One local pet advocate wrote to city council, asking that the city stagger its ACO shifts so there would be better coverage for community pets in need during evening hours.  Dozens of people attended a memorial for Harley last night.  But the police department has stood by the actions of its officers:

Denver Police said injured dogs are unpredictable and helping them puts both the animal and the person at risk.  Police posted a YouTube video in which a veterinarian and animal control officer explain why it’s best to wait for professionals to handle an injured animal.

While we can all agree that allowing a trained professional to handle an emergency situation sounds ideal, it’s not always practical in real life.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to allow the Good Sam to transport the dog to a vet and free up the resources of the police department so they didn’t have to stand guard over a dying pet?  I mean, assuming Denver still has actual crime happening?

Harley’s right to live should have been protected.  Instead, he was left to suffer an agonizing death while the police threatened someone willing to try to save Harley’s life.  Trying to help an injured dog is not a crime.  If these officers are not needed in Denver to fight real crime, perhaps they should be laid off or at least transferred to the Threateners of Good Samaritans department, since Denver apparently sees such a need.

(Thanks Tonya for sending me this story.)

PETA Shames Medina Co for No Longer Killing Cats

Allegra, a cat at the Medina Co SPCA, judges your stupidity.

Allegra, a cat at the Medina Co SPCA, judges your stupidity.

PETA kills animals – mainly dogs and cats in need of love, temporary sheltering and new homes.  But the organization goes a step further by encouraging and rewarding (with vegan cookie gift baskets) municipalities that threaten to kill pets and shaming those that implement changes designed to eliminate needless killing.

Such is the case with Medina County, Ohio, where officials were pressured by the so-called irresponsible public into finally giving up the gas chamber which they’d been using to kill most of the cats impounded at the shelter.  The county stopped accepting cats and entered into an agreement with the Medina Co SPCA to take over cat sheltering from the county late last year.

Medina Co SPCA executive director Stephanie Moore writes:

The Medina County SPCA mission is to care and rehabilitate animals that are suffering from cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment. We entered an agreement with the county on December 16th 2013 to start taking in the healthy adoptable stray cat population that previously went to the county facility and were then euthanized by carbon monoxide. We entered this agreement so they would stop using the gas chamber, which they did.

We told the county that we would have to wait list cats as we do not euthanize for space here and we would need to have room before a healthy stray could enter our program. Initially we had many people bring us cats from hoarding homes and our first one was the day after Christmas with 49 cats. All of our animals must be quarantined for 10 days, spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before adoption, all of which does take time.

But in a letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, PETA equates the SPCA’s responsible management of cat admissions with “refusing to take in cats who are in need” and then drags out all the yawn-inducing tricks from its tired trick bag:  

  • Nobody wants to kill animals.
  • Killing is a kindness.
  • The cats who aren’t immediately accepted by the SPCA will be hit by cars, purloined by hoarders or placed in iron maidens by people “desperate” to deliver cat kindness.
  • We have to keep killing pets until EVERYONE IN THE GALAXY spays and neuters.  (Which will be never, for anyone keeping track.)

I asked Stephanie Moore for some details on the Medina Co SPCA’s managed admission program for cats.  She writes:

 We currently have a wait list of around 2 weeks. We have 11 people waiting to surrender a total of 32 cats. Sick, injured, abused, or neglected cats we will take anytime as that is our mission (even ferals if they are sick or injured). We never turn an animal away that is suffering.

We feel we are doing a tremendous job in saving the healthy stray cat population in our county and our number of cats has nearly tripled compared to the same time frame before we started this program.

Well gee, apparently homeless cats in need of sheltering in Medina Co have more options available to them than the iron maiden.  Despite the claims made in PETA’s shammy letter, cats can go to the SPCA immediately if they are in need of emergency care or they can go to the SPCA within about 2 weeks if they are healthy.  And unless they are medically hopeless and suffering, they won’t be killed – which sounds pretty damn good.  To everyone except PETA obviously.

(Thanks Casey for the link.)

WV Animal Control Officer Violates Law in Dog Killing, Will Keep Job

A Fayette County dog bit a child on March 11, 2014 and stitches were required as a result of the injury. Fayette Co ACO Russell Parker seized the dog and was advised by the owner that the dog had not been vaccinated for rabies. The owner stated the dog had attacked another person in past and agreed to have the dog euthanized.

The Fayette Co animal control director is the only person licensed to euthanize animals for the county and she works at a veterinary clinic. When ACO Russell was advised by the county health department on March 12 that the dog’s head needed to be sent to a lab for rabies testing ASAP, the individual licensed to perform euthanasia was contacted. She stated she would come to the county facility after her shift ended at the clinic that afternoon to perform the euthanasia. The dog’s owner had already paid the vet clinic for the euthanasia.

ACO Russell decided the euthanasia could not be delayed and opted to shoot the dog to death with a small caliber rifle. He did not inform the animal control director of his intentions.  Nor did he exercise the most obvious option of immediately transporting the dog to the vet clinic for the euthanasia. After killing the dog, he reportedly used some sort of tool to remove the head and sent it to a lab for testing.

West Virginia code allows for the shooting of dogs under limited circumstances and there are specific protocols which must be followed:

(c) In an emergency or in a situation in which a dog cannot be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, a dog may be destroyed by shooting if:

(1) The shooting is performed by someone trained in the use of firearms with a weapon and ammunition of suitable caliber and other characteristics designed to produce instantaneous death by a single shot; and

(2) Maximum precaution is taken to minimize the dog’s suffering and to protect other persons and animals.

The animal control director filed a complaint with the sheriff’s office regarding the killing. The sheriff’s investigator determined that ACO Parker was in violation of the law as he did not use a firearm capable of killing the dog with one shot. In fact, ACO Parker shot the dog three times before he finally died, causing needless pain and suffering.

Fayette Co sheriff Steve Kessler concluded that despite the violation of the law which resulted in the dog’s agonizing death, there were no grounds to fire ACO Parker. His reasoning:

  • ACO Parker was trying to to get the dog’s head to the lab as quickly as possible for the sake of the bitten child and thought this was the only way to do it.
  • Using a weapon of insufficient caliber to kill the pet with a single shot as required by law is exactly the same as when a technician tries to euthanize a pet by injection, misses the vein and must re-insert the needle.
  • Serving as an ACO is a “dirty, nasty” job which pays slightly more than minimum wage.

As to the first point, it does not seem credible to me that ACO Parker thought shooting the dog to death was the only way to get the head submitted for testing right away. He didn’t even explore the alternatives such as driving the dog to the clinic himself or requesting the services of another clinic. Regarding the second point, a missed venipuncture with a small needle is in no way, shape or form the equivalent of a small caliber rifle shot. One does not cause the same pain and suffering as the other, as posited by Sheriff Kessler in his press release.  And lastly, whether or not the sheriff thinks sheltering animals is a “dirty, nasty” job is irrelevant, as is the pay.  The sheriff is sworn to uphold the law which in this case, was violated.

Local animal advocates had been calling for ACO Parker’s termination.  Sheriff Kessler stated that ACO Parker has been disciplined but refused to elaborate.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Main Line Animal Rescue Refuses to Return Lost Pet to Owners

Many people looking to add a pet to the family are open to the idea of getting one from a rescue group.  It’s got a built-in feel good that people enjoy.  And a satisfied customer is likely to refer friends and family in future.  In these ways, rescue groups have got a good thing going.  In fact, they would have to work hard in order to negate the positivity inherent in their work and turn it into disdain.

Unfortunately, there are too many rescue groups doing exactly that.  They discourage people from adopting by employing restrictive screening protocols, shut poor people out of the opportunity to rescue by selling pets for large amounts of money and/or sell lost pets whose owners want them back because the rescue deems the owners unworthy.  That’s a lot of effort to shoot oneself in the foot.  And it’s widely accepted that unsatisfied customers tell many more people about their bad experiences than satisfied customers.  Homeless pets continue to be homeless and so-called shelters continue to kill, citing the long debunked “not enough homes” reason for the killing.

When a PA family’s beagle accidentally escaped his home last week, the owners immediately began searching for him.  The Kreksteins left their contact information with both the police and the local SPCA.  Their dog Flash was microchipped and they were reassured that if any animal group scanned that chip, they would receive a phone call.  And they did – from Main Line Animal Rescue, the place where they’d adopted Flash two years ago. But it wasn’t about getting their dog back:

The Kreksteins say the organization’s executive director, Bill Smith, then sent them an email letting them know that Flash would not be returned to their care because the family violated the adoption agreement. The message said the family failed to call the animal rescue and notify them the dog was missing and said they were not properly caring for him.

The Kreksteins are understandably outraged. They love Flash and consider him a member of the family. And they want their family member back home with them. Main Line Animal Rescue is refusing to reunite Flash with his family because the owners have been deemed unworthy due to the failure to contact Main Line to advise Flash was lost.

Rob Krekstein says the family technically broke the adoption contract, but that he doesn’t consider his dog “a contract.”

“I didn’t rent the dog. The dog lives in my home. It’s a member of my family,” Rob Krekstein said.

Smith said The Kreksteins know what they agreed to when they signed the contract.

Apparently what they agreed to was to make a homeless pet a part of their family, to love and cherish him, and to allow Main Line Animal Rescue to abruptly tear their family apart if the group ever determined the contract hadn’t been followed to the letter, regardless of circumstances. Now everyone knows. If you adopt from Main Line Animal Rescue, don’t get too attached, don’t fall in love with the pet and definitely don’t consider him a member of your family because one mistake and Main Line will smash that bond to bits. Tell all your friends.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Open Thread

Share animal related links, questions, stories, etc.

ten with kitten

Summary of 2012 Undercover Police Report on Memphis Pound

The following is my summary of the animal cruelty observed by a Memphis police detective who worked undercover at the Memphis pound in late 2011 and early 2012.  Read the full report hereWarning:  This material ranges from disturbing to fucking atrocious.  And I’m putting that as diplomatically as I can.  Proceed with caution.

***

2011 image from MAS webcams of a dog being dragged on a chokepole.

2011 image from MAS webcams of a dog being dragged on a chokepole.

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Glenn Andrews tell a small dog who was loose in the break room to come to him.  When the dog ignored the command, Andrews kicked the dog and cursed at her.  (page 8)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Glenn Andrews drive away with two Pitbull puppies after hours.  An MAS employee named Tameka Booker told Detective Arrington that she had taken a Pitbull puppy she did not intend to keep home with her and that if he wanted one, he should talk to Glenn Andrews since that is how she got hers.  (page 9)

An MAS employee named Mario Jiles advised Detective Arrington that he took home a Pitbull adult and a puppy without paying the fees because he cleared it with Glenn Andrews.  (page 10, two entries)

Detective Arrington was advised by MAS employee Billy Stewart (later convicted of animal cruelty and fired) that another way to get free pets was to tell the surrendering party to wait in the MAS parking lot.  If the person gave an employee the pet outside the shelter, there need not ever be any record created nor any fees paid.  (page 10)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Kirby Hankins kill 6 puppies from the kill list.  Immediately afterward, MAS employee Glenn Andrews walked into the kill room looking for one of the pups as he had been adopted the previous day.  Upon finding the pup dead, MAS employee Glenn Andrews called the adopter with a fabricated story about the puppy having to be killed due to parvo exposure.  (page 10)

Detective Arrington was ordered to conduct an inventory of dogs in the facility and found that four dogs on the inventory were missing.  He also found many dogs who had incorrect or missing records.  (page 10)

Detective Arrington observed several animals who were injured while caged at MAS, including a dog with a broken leg.  (page 10)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Billy Stewart kick a dog in the face in the kill room and strike another in the head with a chokepole.  (page 11, two entries)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Frank Lightfoot (later convicted of animal cruelty and fired) administer Fatal Plus to several cats.  Four of the cats were still alive several minutes post injection.  MAS employee Lightfoot killed three by dropping them on the floor in their cages from a height of six feet and the fourth by stepping on the pet with both feet while the cat urinated and defecated.  (page 11)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employees Kirby Hankins and Billy Stewart killing animals in the MAS kill room.  When MAS employee Stewart brought in a dog on a chokepole, he said, “We are not going to be able to wrap its mouth.  I’m going to have to choke it out.”  MAS employee Hankins waited to inject the Fatal Plus until after Stewart strangled the dog which took approximately a minute while the dog gasped for air before falling unconscious.  (page 11)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Stewart choke a Rottweiler with a chokepole and while the dog lay gasping for air, MAS employee Lightfoot jabbed the unsedated pet in the heart with Fatal Plus.  (pages 11 – 12)

In a separate but similar choking/heartsticking incident with another dog involving MAS employees Stewart and Lightfoot, Detective Arrington observed that the dog was not killed by the Fatal Plus injection and left to suffer for 5 – 10 minutes.  The detective then saw MAS employee Lightfoot jab the empty needle into the dog’s heart again, this time drawing blood into the syringe and injecting that blood into the lower abdomen while telling the dog, “I’m going to put this blood where it don’t suppose to be so you can get dead.”  The dog finally died 1 – 2 minutes later.  (page 12)

MAS employee Stacey Miller advised Detective Arrington she had witnessed MAS employees Archie Elliott (later convicted of animal cruelty and fired) and Tameka Booker killing pets in the MAS kill room.  MAS employee Miller said she saw MAS employee Elliot hang a dog from the sink counter on a leash.  Miller said she asked Elliot why he was hanging the dog and he replied he was sedating the pet.  Miller told the detective she was aware of her duty to report incidents such as these but chose not to do so.  Booker told the detective the dog “was acting a fool so Archie hung him.”  (page 12)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Lightfoot heartstick an unsedated puppy who cried out in pain.  (page 12)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Glenn Lanton working in the kill room with Elliot and Lightfoot.  Elliot brought in a scared dog who was not walking well on the leash so Elliot hanged him.  The timid dog gasped for air, urinating and defecating, and Lightfoot jabbed the unsedated pet in the heart with Fatal Plus.  (page 13)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Billy Stewart choke a friendly female Pitbull with a chokepole until she collapsed on the floor and Lighfoot injected her with Fatal Plus.  (page 13)

Detective Arrington observed MAS veterinarian Rebecca Coleman placing a very sick puppy in a cage with another puppy inside a room containing a mama dog nursing a litter.  When the detective questioned Coleman, she explained she would sign off on the killings of all the dogs in the room since they could get sick too.  (page 13)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Elliot attempting to kill a dog via IV injection but was unsuccessful as the dog pulled away.  Elliot then attempted to heartstick the unsedated dog but the dog again pulled away as he pissed himself.  The detective pleaded with Elliot to put the dog in the squeeze gate on the wall to restrain the dog, to which Elliot replied, “If I use the gate it’s going to mess up the floor and I do not feel like cleaning.”  Elliot then hanged the dog but stopped when a noise was heard outside the kill room.  He finally put the dog in the squeeze gate and jabbed the unsedated pet in the heart with Fatal Plus.  (page 14)

Detective Arrington observed MAS employee Elliott tell a Pitbull puppy in the kill room, “You are going to get stuck in the heart because you are too small and I do not feel like fooling with you.”  Elliott then jabbed the puppy in the heart.  The puppy cried out in pain before dying.  (page 14)

***

With the exceptions of Elliot, Lightfoot and Stewart (who, as noted, were later convicted of cruelty and fired), the other MAS employees named in the detective’s report are still working at the pound as far as I know.  If anyone has any different information, please leave a comment.  To the best of my knowledge, none were reprimanded or fired for their roles in the torture and killing of pets at MAS as described in this report.

 

 

Cruelty Allegations against Franklin Co Dog Pound

The Franklin Co dog pound in Ohio killed more than 40% of the dogs in its care in 2012.  Among the thousands killed by the pound each year are dogs who don’t pass a behavioral test administered by the staff.  The pound’s assistant director, Deborah Finelli, e-mailed a local reporter regarding the process:

“To be selected for adoption, all dogs 6 months and older must pass a behavior assessment, which evaluates the dog’s ability to be safely handled, reaction to people and other dogs and any situations that might provoke aggressive behavior,” she wrote.

“No dog that is perceived to be a threat to the safety of other dogs or humans will be permitted to be sent to rescue and/or foster, or placed on the adoption floor.”

If this place was truly following this absurd rule, presumably no dogs would be made available for adoption since ALL DOGS BITE. Some bite people, some bite other dogs, some exhibit incredible restraint, some exhibit no restraint – and there are as many variations on these parameters as one would care to contemplate.  But the bottom line is that all dogs represent a potential threat to the safety of people and other dogs, even though that risk is small in the vast majority of cases.

Testing a dog in a pound environment is of very little value since the dog is not behaving normally due to severe stress.  Franklin Co’s statement that they test dogs for “any situations that might provoke aggressive behavior” suggests to me a pokey-in-the-face-with-a-plastic-hand-on-a-stick type deal or a take-food-away-from-a-hungry-stressed-out-dog-while-he’s-eating-it or maybe both monstrosities.  Whatever the tests, they should not be used as a justification to kill dogs.

To make matters worse, there are allegations that Franklin Co pound veterinarian Vincent Morton intentionally mistreats dogs in order to fail them on the behavioral tests and runs needless medical tests for the purpose of failing dogs he couldn’t sufficiently provoke to fail on behavior.

One complaint submitted in August 2013 says Morton would “purposefully be rough with them almost like he was trying to get them to growl or bite.”

Another complaint says Morton made fun of one employee for being gay and another for being Mexican. “Dr. Morton is very rough on the dogs and is rude to the employees and belittles them,” the complaint states.

But wait, there’s more!  There are allegations of oops-killings of dogs who had adopters waiting, dogs left to suffer without vet care for days, and dogs killed for behavior who had never been touched or let out of the cage.  And, despite employing a full time volunteer coordinator, Franklin Co has allegedly been shutting out volunteers.  Because volunteers, so complainy.

Local advocates voiced their concerns to the county commissioners this week and were told basically that their complaints weren’t going to be addressed as the county was already conducting its own investigation.  So tattle your tales elsewhere because we already know everything and you didn’t even know about our ultra secret investigation that is totally happening as we speak so sit back down, I guess.  Neither the vet nor the director have responded to the allegations at this time.

(Thanks Jan and Clarice for the links.)

Hillsborough Co Describes the Needless Suffering and Death of a Mama Dog and Her Pups as a “Distraction” from “Progress”

The troubled Hillsborough Co pound in FL has placed a veterinarian on administrative leave after she allegedly left a pregnant dog to suffer and her puppies to die.

The pregnant mixed breed dog was impounded on Saturday and the ACO informed the vet tech upon intake that the dog appeared to be in labor and in need of urgent vet care.  The tech examined the dog, confirmed that the dog was in distress during labor and alerted the vet on duty.  That vet, unnamed as of yet, did nothing – maybe painted her nails, I don’t know – but not one thing for the dog.  She never even looked at the poor pet.  When her shift ended, she went home for the night, leaving the pregnant dog in agony.

When staff arrived the next morning, they found the dog had managed to deliver one dead puppy but had lost so much blood overnight that the on-duty vet determined euthanasia was appropriate to end the dog’s suffering.  Unless this dog had been carrying a single puppy (unlikely for a dog described as a Pitbull mix), her remaining pups smothered to death inside her.

Taking a page from the well worn Killing Apologist Playbook, the county says that other than this bit of a wrinkle, everything is shiny:

“It’s really uplifting to see where the progress is, and that is what makes this situation even more disappointing,” said [Hillsborough County Pet Resources Director Ron] Spiller. “And it’s a distraction from the positive direction the shelter is now headed.”

A distraction?  It’s criminal neglect to my mind which should be prosecuted with the same fervor as Hillsborough Co would if a private breeder allowed this needless suffering and death to occur.  The county is currently investigating the distraction.  Vols say the vet in question has a history of similar behavior.

Here is an opportunity for Hillsborough Co to put their money where their positive direction mouth is:  Fire this vet immediately and ask the county prosecutor to bring charges.  Demonstrate to the community that animal neglect will not be tolerated, including and especially when it’s perpetrated by those charged with protecting animals from neglect.  Lead by example.  Anything less will indicate to me that Hillsborough Co is still piloting the same fail boat over the same waterfall.  Except now they have a mouthpiece to point out how refreshing the mist is.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Treats on the Internets

What is your local shelter doing to prepare for kitten/puppy season this spring when shelters are hit with very high intake levels?  The Washington Co shelter in VA is emptying out its facility in advance by offering free adoptions for a month.  Awesome.

In Newnan, GA, a retired couple has fostered more than 100 dogs during the past 2 years for the local pound because they say they have the time, space, resources and desire to save lives.  Gee, wouldn’t it be great if the local pound director adopted that same attitude?

A NC shelter dog being shipped to ME was lost by the transport company when she wriggled free from her collar.  The dog was found injured 2 days later.  The new owners were cited by ME state police for allowing the dog to run across I-95.  (Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Diamond Pet Foods has settled a class action lawsuit brought by owners whose pets were sickened and/or died after consuming Diamond products tainted with salmonella in 2012.

Spotted salamander porn – NSFW.  (Courtesy of Valerie, because where else would I get this stuff?)

Headline of the week, posted on April 1st no less (but apparently not a joke):

La. state senator opposes anti-cockfighting bill, saying it hurts legitimate ‘chicken boxing’

Mercifully the state senate took the issue seriously and refused to support Senator Guillory’s claim that chicken boxing is just like human kickboxing. Guillory’s proposed chicken boxing exemption was defeated 29 – 8. Also: chicken boxing. (I had to say it one more time because obviously.)

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