More Tragic Cases of Veterinary “Care” at the Memphis Pound

Puppy ID #275425 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Puppy ID #275425 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Puppy ID #275425 was impounded as a stray by MAS on February 27, 2015. Her age was estimated as 8 weeks and she weighed just 7 pounds. Her intake condition was listed as “poor”. Records indicate she was unable to bear full weight on her right rear leg due to a dislocated hip. There was no x-ray taken at the “state of the art clinic” as notes indicate “system currently unavailable”. On March 5, it was noted that she had soft stool and that “overfeeding” must be ruled out as the cause. Records indicate she was being fed just 1/2 cup of food per day. A puppy this age and size would need to be fed this amount 3 – 4 times a day.  Feeding just 1/2 cup per day would presumably be prosecutable under local cruelty statutes.

A rescue group offered to take the puppy but MAS refused to release her intact.  Because policy, MSN, whatever.  On March 7, despite her young age, poor condition, dislocated hip and starvation diet, MAS spayed the puppy. She died shortly after the procedure.

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Dog ID #275494 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Dog ID #275494 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

An 8 year old dog, ID #275494, was impounded as a stray by MAS on March 2, 2015. The medical records indicate he was “emaciated” with a body condition score of 1/9 and had “deep degloving type wounds” to both front legs and “pyotraumatic dermatitis over rump”. The vet notes state that the dog needed “daily cleansing of wounds”. There are no notes to indicate the dog ever received this daily wound cleansing. There are no notes indicating the dog ever received any medication for pain. In fact, the note “monitor for pain” was entered in the vet notes on March 2, as if there was some doubt as to whether a dog whose front legs are flayed would experience pain.

Thankfully after 10 days at the pound, the dog was pulled by a rescue group.  I assume he finally got the care he needed immediately thereafter, thanks to the irresponsible public.

Taxpayers pay the head veterinarian at MAS $87,400 a year.  In case any vets out there are looking for a job where you don’t have to work too hard.

Arkansas Pound Kills Dog Whose Owner Tried to Reclaim

Muneka and her boy, as shown on the FOX 16 website.

Muneka and her boy, as shown on the FOX 16 website.

Two dogs belonging to Yadria Dorantes jumped their fence and were picked up by Beebe Animal Control on March 13.  Ms. Dorantes says she contacted AC to reclaim her shar pei/lab mix Muneka and her other dog.  Ms. Dorantes says AC told her that because the dogs kept jumping her four foot fence, she would need to put up a taller one before picking them up.  AC reportedly gave her two weeks to get the new fence installed.  Ms. Dorantes spent $1200 to get the much taller chain link fence put up then took her children to the pound to pick up their pets within the two week time frame, as agreed.  Upon arrival, Ms. Dorantes was shown a pile of dead dogs who had been killed at the pound.  Muneka’s body was in that pile.

“The guy told me that I could not get the shar pei back because she was really aggressive and that they were going to put her down. I asked ‘are you going to put her down or have you already?’ and he didn’t say anything,” Dorantes said.

Ms. Dorantes is understandably heartbroken and it’s clear in the video interview with the FOX 16 reporter that Muneka was family.  The tall fence is shown in that clip as well as a neighbor who says that the dogs were friendly.

The city of Beebe released this statement regarding the killing:

“On or about March 13, 2015, Beebe Animal Control personnel and Beebe City Police personnel responded to a report of “at large” dogs at or around the 600 block of N. Fir in Beebe. Two (2) dogs were impounded on that date; one (1) of the dogs was aggressive and both dogs did not have tags and there was no proof that the dogs had required vaccinations. Animal Control personnel were able to locate the owner of the two (2) dogs and that owner has had multiple dogs impounded by Animal Control on prior occasions. At the time the two (2) dogs were impounded on March 13, the owner was given verbal notice that the dogs were being impounded and the owner responded, “…take them.” On or about March 23, 2015, the aggressive dog was destroyed as authorized by the attached Beebe City Ordinance (6.04.15). Before the aggressive dog was destroyed, the owner made no attempt to seek release of this dog. After the aggressive dog was destroyed, the owner appeared and requested release of the second dog, which was granted on conditions that the dog be tagged and properly vaccinated. The owner has still not complied with those conditions as of the time and date of this press release.”

I guess the typewriter must have run out of ink before they got to the “Sorry for your loss” part.  But at least we know the owner is a no-license-no-proof-of-vaccines scumbag who doesn’t care about her pets.  It’s exactly these sort of heartless slackers who come up with $1200 on short notice to save their dogs from the pound.  The city should totally kill their dog, who no doubt was evaluated by a qualified behaviorist and given every opportunity for behavioral modification in an appropriate setting over a period of months.  Also, nice touch with the whole you-can-reclaim-your-beloved-family-member-from-this-pile-of-carcasses.  Stay classy.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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 terrible, horrible, no good, very bad optional.  Answer will be posted in the comments tomorrow.

nta

NYC Shelters Killing Animals People are Trying to Save

Sarge, ID #A1028331, on the kill list for today in Brooklyn, as posted on Facebook.

Sarge, ID #A1028331, on the kill list for today in Brooklyn, as posted on Facebook.

Even as New York City Animal Care & Control claims on its website that it has an 80% live release rate, rescuers and adopters complain that the shelter kills animals who have homes lined up as a result of the cumbersome and faulty process required to save animals from the kill room.  The complaint is not new but the NY Post ran an article on the issue this week, placing a spotlight on the problem:

Every night at 6 p.m., the shelter posts a list of “at risk” animals to be euthanized. Rescue groups and members of the public have until noon the following day to reserve them [via NYCACC’s online system]. But the “at risk” list was offline at least one night last week and several times in February due to technical difficulties. And the crashes have tragic consequences.

Remy was reserved via the online system by a rescuer one night last month who paid $52 for her via credit card.  When the rescuer arrived at at the shelter to pick Remy up, she was told there had been a problem with the paperwork and Remy had been killed.  Another rescuer reserved a dog called Lady last month but there was a problem with that hold too.  Lady was killed by shelter staff.

Another rescuer, who asked to remain anonymous, said she calls and sends e-mails to ACC staff after placing holds because she doesn’t trust the system.
“Frustrating things happen,” she said. “I’ve pulled two cats and gotten two different ones. I’ve pulled animals [that were advertised as] 3 years old and were actually 13 years old. “They always say this is because of computer problems,” she added.

When contacted by the Post, NYCACC refused to comment about the computer problems resulting in the needless killing of pets who had homes waiting.  But the spokesman did have a complaint to lodge:  the online system is often used to place “fake” holds on pets just to get them off the kill list for 48 hours.  Imagine that – people acting out of desperation to prevent animals from being needlessly killed at the shelter.  It’s as if the public actually cares about saving the lives of homeless animals.  But NYCACC isn’t going to be fooled into not killing animals and has designed the system to ensure that all animals with “fake” holds will definitely go to the kill room:

When the “fake” adopter fails to the show up within the 48-hour hold period, the animal is euthanized. During that time, a real adopter could have stepped in. But the online system doesn’t allow for a backup rescue after the deadline.

Evil.

Here’s a thought:  if the online reservation system is failing to save lives – both by accident and by design – and it’s evident that the public doesn’t want healthy/treatable animals killed at the shelter, maybe it’s time to consider ending the practice of killing animals and start doing the job of sheltering.  Make it NYCACC policy that no healthy/treatable animals are killed under any circumstances.  That way, it doesn’t matter if there are a hundred computer glitches a day because no animal is going to be killed as a result.  And the “fake” hold problem is eliminated by virtue of the fact that there is no kill list.  Problems all solved.

(Thanks Anne for the link.)

State Report: Lawton Pound Sucks but More Importantly, Facebook Sucks Worse

The Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners conducted an investigation into allegations of neglect and other wrongdoing at the Lawton pound at the request of the city manager.  The 464 page report starts out with a page titled “Conspiracy and Connection of Defendants”.  On one side of the chart featured on this page is a local spay-neuter clinic and on the other side is a Facebook page with various uh, conspirators named below each.  Yes, that says Facebook page.

The Facebook page is administered by a group called Lawton Citizens for Humane Treatment of Animals.  On that page, which I have not visited, people apparently post complaints regarding the mistreatment and killing of animals at the Lawton pound.  I know this because the board’s lead investigator has screencapped a ton of inflammatory posts from that page and included them in the report.  To show that some people act like dicks on Facebook, I guess.

If you are interested in reading a bunch of trash talk and the investigator’s wagging-finger-o-shame responses, knock yourself out.  The gist of the report, in my interpretation, is that oh sure, animals were being neglected and starved to death at the Lawton pound but you know, Facebook is terribleawfulsuperblech.  And the employees are doing the best they can.

Here are a few items I fished out of the muck and summarized that don’t have anything to do with Facebook:

Page 27, Item 69: Employees complained to the investigator that neither the kennel staff nor the ACOs had been properly trained; kennel staff refused to do their jobs and refused to follow instructions from supervisors; male staff refused to wash bowls or do laundry because it’s “woman’s work”; sick and injured animals were left to suffer without veterinary care.

Page 28, Item 70 and 72:  If the rescue group trying to pull a pet was not liked by the employees, they would kill the animal in retaliation.

Page 28, Item 73:  A dog was placed in a kennel with a dog who was known to be a resource guarder so that workers wouldn’t have to clean an additional cage.  (This was reportedly not an uncommon practice.)  The resource guarder prevented the other dog from eating and the dog starved to death after 3 weeks.  One of the employees responsible for the dead dog’s feeding and daily care has since transferred to the Lawton police department.

Recommendations, Pages 39 – 40:

  • Rotate animal killing shifts among the entire staff so that each person gets a longer break between killing shifts.
  • Ban all the people who talk smack on Facebook.
  • Sharing information and photos from inside the facility should be “strictly prohibited”.
  • The city needs to re-evaluate the practice of allowing animals discovered to be pregnant during spay surgery to give birth.
  • Staff should be trained in areas such as basic animal care.
  • A fresh coat of paint!

The city manager says that by July 1, all the violations noted in the report will be brought into compliance.  I would note that one of those violations was starving a dog to death.  But yeah, let’s silence the critics, start killing unborn puppies and kittens, slop some paint on the place and call it good.  The Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners must be so proud.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

Weekend Jade

Spring

Spring

Open Thread

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

well hullo there

Treats on the Internets

New resource for shelter pet advocates:  The website Saving 90 lists communities that self-report saving 90% or more of the animals in their shelters.

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Case Update:  The ACO in Elgin, OK who lied to the owner of a dog he had gassed to death using the exhaust from his truck has been fully reinstated.  No charges were filed despite the fact that the dog was mutilated before being killed and dumped into a dead animal pit at the unlicensed facility.  The city council says it supports the ACO and believes the community does too because a council member heard there was a petition with 600 signatures on it somewhere, which nobody ever saw, supporting the ACO.  Also, the pound is going to have its floor painted.  (Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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The Maine Department of Agriculture requires pet food companies to pay a surcharge in order to sell their foods in the state.  The money funds a spay-neuter program which helps low-income families get their pets fixed.  Supporters of the surcharge say it costs pet owners an additional 36 cents over the course of a year.  The governor wants to eliminate it but supporters say that will result in increased cat intakes at shelters which means increased cat killings.  Because I mean – hey, more cats.  Whatcha gonna do?

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Gir, a 30 year old miniature horse in Clackamas Co, OR, accidentally got out of his stall one night last month and wandered onto a neighbor’s property.  The neighbor called the sheriff’s office and a deputy came and shot the pet to death.  The deputy told the owners Gir had been hit by a car and had two broken legs but a necropsy found the horse was in excellent condition and had not been injured outside of the gunshot wounds to the head.  The Clackamas Co sheriff’s office is investigating itself in the matter.  And:

The Oregon Humane Society can’t confirm if it started, and then stopped, an animal cruelty investigation into Gir’s shooting.

Sounds legit.  (Thanks Bonnie for the link.)

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Robert Durst admitted dismembering his neighbor in 2001 and is currently charged with murdering an associate.  His brother believes that Durst practiced killing and disposing of remains on seven Alaskan malamutes before his first wife disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1982.

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The AP had a good story this week on street dogs who have been taken in by state organizations in Cuba.  I especially love the photo of Vladimir.

San Diego Police Officer at Wrong House Pets Friendly Dog, Watches Partner Shoot Him Seconds Later

Burberry celebrating his 5th birthday with his person and some bacon, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Burberry celebrating his 5th birthday with his person and some bacon, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Two San Diego police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call at 5am Sunday reportedly knocked on the door of the wrong house.  Resident Ian Anderson was awakened by the knocking as was his 6 year old service dog who began barking.  The dog, called Burberry, can be seen on surveillance video approaching the first officer who pets him in greeting.  Burberry then exuberantly approaches the second officer who was reportedly screaming at the dog for reasons unknown.  The second officer pulls out his gun and, out of camera view, shoots Burberry in the head, killing him while his owner watches in horror.

Burberry cuddling with a friend, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Burberry cuddling with a friend, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Mr. Anderson is devastated:

Anderson is heartbroken at losing the dog he says has helped children with Down Syndrome as well as helping him get through his own anxiety-ridden time dealing with his father’s death.

“They’re there to put their heads on your lap and you know everything is going to be okay. There’s just no way to explain the bond,” he said.

“He was the best dog in the entire world,” Anderson said through tears. “I would do anything to have him back right now. Absolutely anything.”

The San Diego police department is investigating itself in the matter and refusing to comment.

Burberry’s killing appears to be yet another case of police officers having one tool in the toolbox for dealing with dogs, whose body language and behavior as domesticated pets is apparently something alien.  Since so many people who pay police to protect them have dogs, officers should at least have a basic understanding of canine behavior as well as training in non-lethal restraint methods for use when appropriate.  The San Diego PD needs to do better than relying solely on the Scream and Shoot tactical response when encountering pets.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals: Monroe Co Edition

Monroe Co, FL contracts with three animal shelters for services. Here are the 2014 kill stats for each:

Humane Animal Care Coalition (aka Upper Keys Animal Shelter)

Cat kill rate: 81%
Dog kill rate: 43%

Safe Harbor Animal Rescue of the Keys

Cat kill rate: 31%
Dog kill rate: 18%

Florida Keys SPCA

Cat kill rate: 47%
Dog kill rate: 18%

While none of these shelters is no kill, one is clearly failing worse than the others.  Local media sought an explanation:

Marsha Garrettson, director of the Upper Keys Animal Shelter, offered little explanation as to why the euthanasia trends in the Upper Keys were far above the rest of the island chain.

She told the Free Press her nonprofit organization is financially sound and can afford to provide surgeries and healthcare to any animal brought it. Her shelter also provides free spay and neuter services, which she says has reduced overall intake of cats and dogs over the years.

“This was never about the money,” Garrettson said. “It never has been.”

M’kaaay, so money is not now nor has it ever been a problem.  Upper Keys can pay for veterinary care for any animal at the facility.  But the staff is killing them instead.  Why?

[Garrettson] said her shelter never euthanizes an adoptable animal. With the exception of feral cats, every cat or dog put down is either too sick or aggressive for adoption, she said. However, she acknowledged that the higher euthanasia percentages in the Upper Keys do not indicate that animals there are sicker or more aggressive than those elsewhere in the county.

Wait, what?  Money to pay for vet care is no object yet 81% of cats and 43% of dogs impounded were killed for illness or behavior?  How is one county facility being allowed to fail so miserably while stats from its two neighboring shelters show that less killing is achievable?

Meet Enabler Number One:

 Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said she was not concerned by the difference in euthanasia percentages.

“I’m perfectly happy with the services at the clinic,” she told the Free Press.

Murphy reiterated that the Upper Keys shelter only euthanizes ill, diseased or aggressive animals.

To be clear, the “service” most animals at the Upper Keys facility receive is killing.  Which this elected official is perfectly happy with.

And Enabler Number Two:

Tammy Foxe, director of the Key West shelter, declined to speculate why percentages were lower in her region.

“I think the three county shelters are working very hard for this community,” she said.

There are hundreds of open admission shelters all over the country saving 90% and more of their pets.  Those shelters are working very hard for their communities.  These three, not so much.  And one of the three is lagging way behind the other two, clearly disproving the notion that all three are fabulous.  It almost sounds like this person is ashamed of her work saving lives.

Mercifully, there was a quote at the end of the article from the token Regular Person Who Says What I Am Thinking:

Nancy Warner, a member of Forgotten Felines of the Florida Keys, said she was appalled by the euthanasia data.

[…]

Warner said the county should find someone else to run the Key Largo shelter.

“It would be better for people to let their animal run out the door than take it to the shelter,” she said.

Thank you.

The Upper Keys shelter has the financial means to treat every animal under its roof.  But they are putting most of the animals into garbage bags.  What’s the money being spent on – Fatal Plus?  Compassion fatigue counseling for the staff?  Cheery posters for the kill room?

I hope Monroe Co taxpayers stand up and demand accountability from their shelters and elected officials.  Get rid of the pet killers and their enablers and put people in place who are willing to do their jobs, even when – and especially when – it means ruffling feathers. That’s why they call it work.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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