The Walker Co Humane Society in AL hardly seemed thrilled about having video from their security cameras posted online when it proved their shelter director had killed a friendly dog named Boost and then lied about it. In fact, the director’s attorney tried to go through the courts to get the video removed from the web.
But this month, the shelter was only too eager to post footage from their security cams on YouTube when it showed a man abandoning 6 puppies at the shelter after hours. They wanted to identify the man and lecture the public about not abandoning animals at the shelter. The shelter director, Lane Reno, says “[T]his really happens a lot”.
Reno said he appears to have left the dogs at the side of the building where employees leave several bowls of food for abandoned animals.
Only 4 of the pups were found by the shelter staff the morning after they were abandoned. Of those, one reportedly died not long after admission. I don’t have any details on that pup but I wonder what it is that affected him and not the littermates. How did he die so quickly while in the shelter’s care?
At any rate, the shelter is located on a busy intersection and near railroad tracks. If, as Ms. Reno says, people are abandoning pets at the shelter after hours “almost every day”, why hasn’t the shelter addressed this issue long ago? Why don’t they have “drop boxes” like other shelters so pets left after hours can be safely confined until the morning crew arrives for work? To my mind, they could at least leave some crates outside with food and water in them and maybe a tarp (if it’s not too much trouble). No wonder the report says someone left a pet in the shelter’s dumpster one night – there isn’t anyplace else to put them!
For the life of me, I can’t figure out what on earth Walker Co HS is thinking by leaving bowls of food out for abandoned pets on a busy intersection. I hate to break this to you all sudden like but: Bowls of food does not equal safe, temporary confinement. I shudder to think pets are being abandoned at this shelter “almost every day” with nothing more than a bowl of food to protect them from being squashed by a car or meeting some other dreadful end. I don’t know how the taxpayers of Walker Co can allow the shelter to continue ignoring this issue. On top of that, they then have to stomach a lecture from the director on irresponsible actions regarding pets! Ugh.
I have no idea what the story is with the man in the video – or for that matter, with any of the people who are abandoning pets at this shelter. Maybe they’re all evil. But I doubt it. It’s plausible to my mind that at least some of these people are simply facing difficult circumstances and using poor judgment. I’ve been known to make bad decisions when stressed myself. I bet at least some of these folks are well intentioned, heading to the shelter with their pets, thinking they are doing the right thing. After all, they’re not throwing them into a river or leaving them in a rural neighborhood far from home. They’re trying to get them to a place where they think they’ll be cared for and adopted out. But after finding the shelter closed, a difficult situation turns into a sort of panic – people don’t know what to do. They still don’t want to go the turning-loose-in-the-country route, so they try to think. That’s possibly what the man in the video is doing. He walks around, doesn’t find anyplace suitable to leave the pups, and makes a bad decision.
Maybe the man with the 6 puppies knows better – maybe he doesn’t. The same goes for everyone abandoning pets at the shelter after hours. But you know who absolutely should know better? The Walker Co HS. They are paid by taxpayers to know better. Get your act together Walker Co HS and come up with some drop boxes so no more pets die because you repeatedly fail to respond to a crisis that greets you “almost every day”.
A posting on the shelter’s Facebook page says that the man in the video came forward voluntarily and told his side of the story and gave the shelter a donation. They seem to consider the matter closed. I hope the taxpayers of Walker Co hold the shelter accountable for its part in these needless tragedies.