New Year, New Blog Feature

I’d like to start posting a Shelter Pet of the Day and would be happy to accept reader submissions for these posts.  For each post, I’d like to include:

  • Photo of the pet (dog, cat or bunny)
  • Name, address and phone number of the shelter
  • Links to shelter’s website (if they have one) and to pet’s listing online (if applicable)
  • If it’s a kill shelter, a link to their stats (if available)

I’ll be posting pets from anywhere in the U.S. (with an occasional Canada listing thrown in for good measure).  Suggestions and feedback welcome.

A few hours early, but I’m going to start off with a two-fer:

Mother and daughter, senior Chows – Jenny and Jezebel

Robeson Co Animal Shelter

255 Landfill Rd

Saint Pauls, NC

910.865.2200

This shelter’s kill rate for 2009 was 88%

UPDATED: Military Family’s Dog Lost by Delta Airlines – BOLO

Moving overseas for her husband’s Army assignment, a San Diego woman brought along the family’s two dogs.  One made it to Germany, the other was lost by Delta on a layover at the Atlanta airport.  The missing dog, named Nala, had been taken out of the kennel the owners had bought for her and put into one of Delta’s crates.  It’s unknown how she became lost.

The owner went to Atlanta, hoping to find her dog.  One week after Delta lost her, they offered to help the owner look.  She is described as “a German Shepherd mix, she’s smaller than a normal shepherd. She has shorter legs, she has a gray muzzle, a white fluffy tail”.  Delta is offering a $1000 reward for Nala’s safe return.  If you know anyone in Georgia or neighboring states, please ask them to be on the lookout for Nala.

Thanks to reader Rebecca for sending me this story.

Update, January 3, 2011CBS Atlanta is reporting that Nala was found dead on the interstate.

News on the HSUS “Rescued” AL Dogs

Here’s where we stand on tracking the dogs HSUS secretly “rescued” from a home in AL, shipped off to various undisclosed locations and have since tried to dangle shiny objects in front of anyone who inquires about the case:

10 dogs sent to Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – a gassing shelter with a high kill rate.  They killed 3 of the dogs shortly after arrival.  After the local paper published an expose on flagrant mismanagement at the facility, HSUS asked other NC groups to take the surviving dogs.  Four went to Humane Society of Charlotte including a pregnant bitch.  Three went to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  2 of the 3 are listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A797513) and an unnamed male (A797514).  The 3rd dog remains unaccounted for.  (Searches for pets with ID #s A797512 or A797514 come up empty.)

10 dogs went to PAWS Atlanta, all remain in quarantine.

10 dogs went to the Nashville Humane Association.  I had a very brief phone conversation with a gal there this week and she said none of them are up for adoption but when they are, they’ll appear on the group’s website.  I was unable to ask if all 10 are still alive so their statuses remain unknown at this time.

3 dogs went to Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA (Thank you reader Samantha!):

Bliss is an Emergency Services Placement Partner with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  When there is a hoarding case seizure or puppy mill rescue in our region, we are sometimes contacted and asked to take in some of the rescued dogs.  The three boys below came from a hoarder in Alabama who had a total of 48 dogs living in filth and neglect on her property.  We are glad to have Jake, Quinn, and Trevor in our care!  They are learning how to socialize and be around people, putting on weight, and slowly gaining confidence.  These three boys deserve the best, loving homes out there!  Check them out at our Adoptable Pets tab.  And if you would like to sponsor Jake, Quinn, or Trevor (who is being treated for heartworm disease), please send us an email:  blissdogs@gmail.com

(Note:  48 dogs?  The HSUS press release said 44.  Is one of these a typo and if so, which one?)

4 dogs went to New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN  (Thank you reader Jeanne!)  Bringing up from comments on previous post:

4 of the missing dogs found at New Leash on Life. [...] Sadly, one puppy ran away from her foster home and hasn’t been found. Two others sound like “adoption pending” and the third is on their website for adoption.

I’m assuming the one for adoption is Sassy (D10-496).  The description for Sassy also refers to a total of 48 dogs.

3 dogs remain in Marshall Co.  Deets:

Kevin Hooks, the ACO for Marshall Co, offered to help track down the missing dogs taken from his county by HSUS without his knowledge.  He found that 3 of the dogs remained at a humane society in Marshall Co.  One has since been killed due to unsocial behavior.  The group continues to work with the other 2 dogs who are apparently also very unsocial but are up for adoption.

Mr. Hooks learned that HSUS arrived in Marshall Co from Washington D.C. in a big van filled with HSUS staff.  No one besides the large HSUS group participated in the surrender and removal of the dogs at the home.  All 44 dogs were taken to a local sheltering facility where a veterinarian tested them for heartworm (only 1 positive, the other 43 negative) and issued health certificates.  The dogs were all physically healthy, most of them had red coats and appeared to be mixes but there were a couple black dogs.  The dogs stayed overnight at the local facility before HSUS drove away with 41 of the dogs to be dropped off at various locations on the trip back to D.C.

Mr. Hooks lamented the several missed opportunities in the case.  Had he been advised of what was happening in his county, he would have liked to have participated.  He said that while he could pay hundreds of dollars to attend a seminar somewhere to talk about how to photograph, tag and ID a large group of dogs, there’s nothing like hands-on experience.  He would have been happy to volunteer his time in order to get that experience.  It would have been an excellent training opportunity for the 7 ACOs in the area to be involved in this operation in his view.  In addition, he feels it was a missed opportunity to educate the public about the benefits of neutering, the nature of animal hoarding, etc.  He is very receptive to the idea of improving the lives of pets in need in Marshall Co and comes across as someone genuinely trying to do the best he knows how for the animals.

“If anyone wants to come to Marshall Co, we would love to have help,” Mr. Hooks added.

He related a story to me of a rescue operation in Marshall Co involving 14 poodles.  He said the story was on the TV news the night it happened and within 24 hours, all the dogs were adopted and a local groomer had offered to groom them all for free.  He mentioned a couple of no kill shelters in the area that he felt would certainly have helped out with the 44 dogs had HSUS advised them of the situation.

It sounds to me like Marshall Co, AL has a lot of good, caring folks who love their pets.  I wonder why HSUS wrote them off without even giving the community the opportunity to step up and take care of their own?  Why would they drive off with 41 Marshall Co dogs and scatter them in cities throughout the south who already face their own challenges saving their communities’ pets?  Did the owner surrender all her dogs with full knowledge that they might be killed if the receiving groups made the decision to do so?  There are still so many unanswered questions in this case.  But, with everyone’s help (everyone except HSUS, of course), at least we are finding out what happened to the dogs.  Thank you to everyone who has been looking for these dogs!

4 dogs remain unaccounted for (assuming there were 44 total), possibly with a rescue group or shelter in TN, GA or NC.

Anyone with info on the whereabouts of those dogs, please share.

Thanks to HSUS, Animal Survivors Die in 2010

Wayne Pacelle’s current blog post reads, in part:

Preventing cruelty is The HSUS’s number one charge. But we also rush in to help animals in crisis, typically when local groups don’t have the resources to handle large numbers of animals in dire circumstances.

One of the most rewarding parts of our work is seeing the happy faces of formerly abused animals in their new homes.

[...]

The actual rescue itself can be harrowing and exhausting. But in the end, it’s the support of local rescue groups and foster homes that helps us complete the mission, ensuring that every adoptable animal has a safe place to rest his or her head at night.

In 2010, The HSUS intervened in more than 50 puppy mills, animal fighting operations, animal hoarding situations, and the like. Of the thousands of animals rescued, each has his or her own unique story. Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared the survival stories of Boomer, Powell and Second Chance.

Good for Boomer, Powell and Second Chance (see update at end of post).  Sadly, sometimes when HSUS staff “rush in to help animals”, the survivors never get to be happy faces in new homes. Because as Mr. Pacelle points out, small rescue groups and troubled shelters are often hard pressed to handle the products of HSUS “rescues”. They don’t have $100 million budgets or millions of donors to fund them. And HSUS doesn’t stick around to assist with infrastructure building on the local level. They simply dump and run.

So while Mr. Pacelle touts the stories of those animals who got lucky after their HSUS “rescue”, allow me to share a few stories of the ones who didn’t. I’m sure these pets would have loved to have a safe place to sleep at night. Tragically, they’re dead. But they are not forgotten.

This puppy was one of 265 dogs illegally seized by HSUS and Second Chance Rescue in SD. 28 of them died after contracting diseases in the care of the "rescuers".

HSUS and a group called Second Chance Rescue unlawfully seized approximately 200 dogs from a breeder in SD in September of last year.  In February 2010, it was revealed that dozens of the dogs had been healthy at the time of seizure but sickened and died in the care of their “rescuers”:

The new court documents show none of the dogs had the highly contagious parvo virus when they were seized. A letter from Veterinarian Laura Byl says none of the dogs had the disease, but another document shows at least ten of the dogs contracted the virus while they were in the care of Second Chance Rescue and some got so sick, they died.

[...]

A complete list of all the dogs seized shows a total of 28 dogs under Second Chance’s care have died since last September’s raid.

The search warrant used to seize the dogs was later ruled illegal because an ACO had failed to tell the judge “the animals looked okay just days before the raid”.

They looked ok before the raid.  But after being “rescued”, 28 dogs died from a deadly disease they contracted at the facility where they were kept.  Ironically, HSUS claimed the dogs had been rescued from unsanitary conditions.

Rest in peace, 28 pups from SD “rescued” by HSUS.  You are remembered.

***

Harry (left) and Murray were killed after HSUS "rescued" the backyard pack they were living in and sent 10 of the dogs to the Lincoln Co shelter in NC. The shelter also killed a 3rd dog (no picture available) from the group "rescued" by HSUS.

In early December, HSUS went into Marshall Co, AL without involving the county’s sole ACO, took 44 dogs who appear to have been adequately cared for, labeled the owner a “hoarder”, and then distributed the dogs to groups in other southern states (who already face serious challenges themselves).

Ten of the dogs went to a gassing shelter in Lincoln Co, NC. The shelter killed three of the dogs for being “sick” according to shelter records. We still don’t know where many of the other dogs went and how many are still alive. HSUS refuses to say. They are probably hoping people will move on to other matters and forget. I won’t forget. I remember the 146 Pitbulls in Wilkes Co NC, including 19 puppies still nursing from their dams, that HSUS “rescued” and was so intent on killing, they went to court to do it.

Rest in peace Harry, Murray, and male retriever #38805 “rescued” by HSUS.  I don’t know how many of your packmates might be with you, but may you all know love and compassion next time around.  You are remembered.

Update, 12-30-10Humane Watch reports that Second Chance – the horse mentioned in Wayne Pacelle’s post – is deceased.

HSUS Fails to Understand Concerns Regarding Missing AL Dogs

Background info:

HSUS Rescues 44 Dogs from AL Home – Where are they Now?

and

Tracking the Dogs “Rescued” by HSUS from AL

_______________

I received this comment from a reader who saw it posted on the FB page of the NC HSUS group in a discussion about the AL “hoarding” situation and HSUS “rescue”.  It appears to be from HSUS staffer Sarah Barnett:

Sarah Barnett Also [...] to address the issue raised on YesBiscuit – we never had a press release on our website about this, we sent out a targeted release to the NC area, to encourage people to go and adopt from the shelter.

If Ms. Barnett – or anyone – got the impression that “the issue” I was raising on this case was about a website press release, please let me eviscerate that notion here and now.

The Issues:

HSUS went into Marshall Co, AL without involving the county’s sole ACO, took 44 dogs who appear to have been adequately cared for, labeled the owner a “hoarder”, and then engaged in what one commenter appropriately referred to as dog laundering.  The dogs were distributed to other southern states, who already face serious challenges themselves, without even attempting, so far as I know, to get the dogs into rescue in AL.

Further, HSUS refused to answer where they sent the dogs and it took a small army of volunteers (Thanks to all who have been helping!) to find that information out.  Of the dogs we’ve been able to track down, several are confirmed dead or suspected to be dead.  Again, we can’t get definitive answers in some cases.

In response to the many requests for information, HSUS staffers have been posting tidbits of info online describing the dogs as “unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered and [...] were in fact injuring and killing each other”.  If this information is accurate, it boggles the mind to think that HSUS took these dogs and sent 10 of them to Lincoln Co Animal Services – a gassing facility in NC – where they would be “walked every day by volunteers”.  HSUS then sent out a press release encouraging the public to adopt the dogs which, in their words, “had developed true pack behavior”.  HSUS further alleges that one of the dogs bit someone at the shelter and had to be killed.  Again, if accurate, this borders on criminal negligence to this layman’s mind.

To recap what the Web of Sleuth has learned to date:

44 dogs “rescued” by HSUS from a home in AL early this month

10 dogs sent to Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – a gassing shelter with a high kill rate.  They killed 3 of the dogs shortly after arrival.  After the local paper published an expose on flagrant mismanagement at the facility, HSUS asked other NC groups to take the surviving dogs.  Four went to Humane Society of Charlotte including a pregnant bitch.  Three went to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  2 of the 3 are listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A797513) and an unnamed male (A797514).  The 3rd dog remains unaccounted for.  (Searches for pets with ID #s A797512 or A797514 come up empty.)

10 dogs went to PAWS Atlanta, all remain in quarantine.

10 dogs went to the Nashville Humane Association.  I had a very brief phone conversation with a gal there yesterday and she said none of them are up for adoption but when they are, they’ll appear on the group’s website.  She said she doesn’t know where the other dogs went.

14 dogs remain unaccounted for, possibly with a rescue group in Nashville.

Anyone with info on the whereabouts of those dogs, please share.

If any of the original 44 are in need of assistance, I will gladly refer readers to the appropriate links.

Additional reading:

Humane Watch – December 27

KC Dog Blog – December 27

Pet Connection – December 27

Examiner – December 24

UPDATED (X2): Tracking the Dogs “Rescued” by HSUS from AL

I still have a number of irons in the fire and am quasi-hopeful something definitive will emerge in the form of where these 44 dogs are now and what their statuses are.  To recap:

44 dogs “rescued” by HSUS from a home in AL early this month

10 sent to Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – a gassing shelter with a high kill rate.  They killed 3 of the dogs shortly after arrival.  After the local paper published an expose on flagrant mismanagement at the facility, HSUS asked other NC groups to take the surviving dogs.  Four went to Humane Society of Charlotte including a pregnant bitch.  Three went to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  2 of the 3 are listed on Char-Meck’s site – Daisy (ID#A797513) and an unnamed male (A797514).  The 3rd dog remains unaccounted for.  (Searches for pets with ID #s A797512 or A797514 come up empty.)

From a couple of internet postings purportedly written by HSUS staffers (see below), we can surmise the following:

An unknown number of dogs went to “a humane society” and “a rescue group” in Nashville. 10 dogs went to the Nashville Humane Association.  I had a very brief phone conversation with a gal there this afternoon and she said none of them are up for adoption but when they are, they’ll appear on the group’s website.  She said she doesn’t know where the other dogs went.  At this point, 14 dogs remain unaccounted for, presumably with a rescue group in Nashville.

An unknown number of dogs went “a rescue group” in GA. 1o dogs went to PAWS Atlanta, all remain in quarantine (see details in update at end of this post)

Anyone with info on the whereabouts of those dogs, please share.  If any are in need of assistance, I will gladly refer readers to the appropriate links.

Here are the two postings from HSUS staffers (unconfirmed):

“From: Mindy Gilbert
Sent: Sat, December 25, 2010 11:48:29 AM
Subject: Marshall County dogs

Hello,

Thanks you for contacting me regarding the Marshall County dogs. I apologize for answering to a group of you at once.

This is a reply I sent to an angry e mailer yesterday:

I am happy to give you a bit of accurate information about the Marshall County Dogs. An individual in Georgia asked for any assistance that I might give as the result of a hoarding situation in Alabama. The hoarder was his sister, who was living with her elderly mother and aunt. At his request I traveled to their home and met with them. The 44 chow x retriever dogs in the back yard were unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered and although were being provided with food and water to the best of the owner abilities, were in fact injuring and killing each other. They were loose in a large fenced area and had developed true pack behavior. The owner insisted that the only reason she had them was because the rednecks in Alabama didn’t know how to care for animals properly(her words). There is not an animal shelter in Marshall County. The reality is that all of the dogs were basically offspring of a few dogs that she originally owned. The dogs were surrendered and we had them heartworm checked, vaccinated, wormed, frontlined and health certificates issued for them to be transported to adoption programs.

Some of the dogs went to a humane society and to a rescue group in Nashville, some went to a rescue group in Georgia and 10 went to the shelter in NC. The NC shelter is large, clean and has a large volunteer base. They have worked closely in the past with our NC State Director. The dogs are walked every day by volunteers. Since we knew that these dogs needed a lot of socialization, we appreciated their offer to help. They also placed slightly over 1,000 animals last year through their rescue contacts. It is my understanding that one of the dogs bit a caregiver and one shut down and was not responding to care. Since there have now been allegations of wrongdoing at the shelter, the dogs have been moved. We cannot substantiate any of the allegations, however.

We did not do any local media on this case in order to protect the elderly family members, for whom the hoarder is the primary caregiver. I hope that you will respect that .

I am happy that HSUS was able to assist animals in need in an underserved county in Alabama. We placed the dogs with adoption partners that were willing to give this difficult population of dogs a chance at being adopted.

You are welcome to contact me at any time with any questions you may have,

Happy Holidays,

Now I feel the need to add to the message. The article printed in the Mobile Examiner was written by Sandra Nathan. She is an activist that has done a great job of bringing the plight of unwanted animals in Alabama to light. Unfortunately, in this instance, although Sandra has my contact info, she never contacted me about this case.

You may know that Alabama law requires each and every county to provide an animal shelter. 26 Alabama counties do not comply. Marshall County is one of them.

Anyone receiving this e mail is welcome to contact me.

Thank you for caring about animals.

Mindy Gilbert”

From the Examiner article on the subject, comments from “Sarah”:

I work at the HSUS and would like to make a few clarifications. I understand that this issue is extremely passionate – but here are the facts. The 44 chow x retriever dogs in the back yard were unsocial, inbred, unvetted, unaltered and although were being provided with food and water to the best of the owner abilities, were in fact injuring and killing each other. They were loose in a large fenced area and had developed true pack behavior. The dogs were surrendered and we had them heartworm checked, vaccinated, wormed, frontlined and health certificates issued for them to be transported to adoption programs

AND:

Some of the dogs went to a humane society and to a rescue group in Nashville, some went to a rescue group in Georgia and 10 went to the shelter in NC. The NC shelter is large, clean and has a large volunteer base. They have worked closely in the past with our NC State Director. The dogs are walked every day by volunteers. Since we knew that these dogs needed a lot of socialization, we appreciated their offer to help. They also placed slightly over 1,000 animals last year through their rescue contacts. It is our understanding that one of the dogs bit a caregiver and one shut down and was not responding to care. Since there have now been allegations of wrongdoing at the shelter, the dogs have been moved. We cannot substantiate any of the allegations, however.

We placed the dogs with adoption partners that were willing to give this difficult population of dogs a chance at being adopted. If you are with a shelter or rescue that wants to help in the future, you can find out more about our Emergency Shelter Placement Partner program at http://www.animalsheltering.org/espp

If these comments are indeed from HSUS staffers, I find them troubling at best.  Inbred dogs who were killing each other in a yard and lacking in socialization would be terrible candidates to send to a shelter where they would be walked daily by volunteers.  But before it even got to that point, why were they all tested for heartworm and given flea medicine?  Wouldn’t the primary need be for behaviorists to work with and assess each dog’s needs so they could be placed appropriately for further training?  I simply don’t understand how HSUS would look at dogs such as those described in this situation and think they should be treated for fleas and shipped off to be walked by volunteers at a gassing shelter (and whatever circumstances existed at the other locations dogs were sent).  How could such dogs even be considered as adoption prospects without a qualified behaviorist being involved?  And then allegedly one of the dogs bit someone at the Lincoln Co shelter.  Gee, can you say “preventable”?

And how does any of that information jive with the now evaporated HSUS press release on the dogs?

“These dogs are already starting to warm up to their new caretakers at the shelter and want nothing more than to be part of loving homes this holiday season,” said Ashley Mauceri, deputy director of cruelty issues for The HSUS. “Please consider visiting the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and giving one of these resilient dogs a second chance at a happy life.”

Please reach out to the Lincoln County Shelter directly to find out how you can adopt one of these dogs.

Yes, what a super idea for the holidays – Adopt an inbred, unsocialized dog who may kill your other dogs. Flea-free!

Again, anyone with information on the whereabouts of any of these dogs – please share.  There are many people here with expertise in canine behavior and surely we could come up with some help for the dogs who are still alive.  But we can’t help if we don’t know where they are.

Update #1, 12-27-10:  I have a snapshot of stats for the Lincoln Co Shelter in NC where 10 of the dogs were originally sent by HSUS.  These numbers cover the period from January through August 2010:

Total Intake:  3071

Adopted/Transferred to Rescue:  1378 (553 adopted, 825 rescued)

Killed:  1470

That works out to 45% saved, 48% killed for this 8 month period.  The trend for the year, when viewed on a month-by-month basis, is adoptions declining and killings increasing.

***

I also received a response from Laura at PAWS Atlanta who confirms they did receive dogs from HSUS on this case.  I’m amending the summary info at the beginning of this post and sharing her reply, with permission:

We did receive dogs from the hoarding situation, but they are not yet available for adoption.  We quarantine all of our animals for a period of time before adopting or fostering them out so that we can ensure they are healthy, well-adjusted, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped.  The dogs were very timid upon arrival, though all of them were exceptionally sweet and kind-hearted.  They are quickly coming out of their shells.  The staff spends a lot of time showing them attention, getting them use to leashes, and just overall trying to make them feel less scared.  I am not sure when the dogs will be released to the public.  It will be on their own time, when they are ready.  We will update everyone on the website and on Facebook when that happens.

Update #2, 12-27-10: 10 dogs went to the Nashville Humane Association. I had a very brief phone conversation with a gal there this afternoon and she said none of them are up for adoption but when they are, they’ll appear on the group’s website. She said she doesn’t know where the other dogs went. Further, she said she could not give me any other information about the dogs they received from HSUS so I don’t know if all 10 are still alive or what their statuses are.

At this point, 14 dogs remain unaccounted for, presumably with a rescue group in Nashville.

Updated (X2): HSUS Rescues 44 Dogs from AL Home – Where Are They Now?

You might remember this collection of stories of the goings-on at the Lincoln Co shelter in NC.  One of those stories was about Lincoln Co Animal Services accepting 10 dogs from AL earlier this month as a “favor” to HSUS:  “Thousands of local animals put to death, but county accepts dogs from Alabama”.  The dogs were part of a group of 44 retrievers whose owner surrendered them to HSUS after becoming “overwhelmed”.  In keeping with standard HSUS “rescue” practices, they farmed the dogs out to various groups.  One of those was the Lincoln Co shelter, headed by Jack Kerley:

Kerley said he is hopeful that the dogs will be adopted but admits that they may be gassed to death if they are not adopted, even though the Humane Society of the United States deplores putting pets in the gas chamber.
[...]
Kimberley Alboum, state director for the Humane Society, said she was glad Lincoln County graciously stepped up and took the dogs.

I wanted to find out what happened to these 10 dogs, as well as the other 34.  So I made a few phone calls and sent out a few e-mails.  Failing to get results, I extended my Web of Sleuth.  Then things got really challenging.  There seemed to be a roadblock at every turn.  Here’s a summary of what I found out over the past several days:

The HSUS press release was either removed from or never published on their website, which is very odd to me.  This is the text of the original press release:

The Humane Society of the United States Transports Rescued Dogs to Lincolnton Shelter

(Dec. 8, 2010) – The Humane Society of the United States transported 10 dogs rescued from Alabama to Lincoln County Animal Shelter. These dogs, mostly retriever mixes, are among 44 rescued by The HSUS from poor conditions in Marshall County, Ala. The owner surrendered the dogs when she became overwhelmed and could no longer properly care for all of the animals.

“These dogs are already starting to warm up to their new caretakers at the shelter and want nothing more than to be part of loving homes this holiday season,” said Ashley Mauceri, deputy director of cruelty issues for The HSUS. “Please consider visiting the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and giving one of these resilient dogs a second chance at a happy life.”

Please reach out to the Lincoln County Shelter directly to find out how you can adopt one of these dogs.

I e-mailed the HSUS staffer listed as the contact on the media release to ask about the dogs.  She replied promptly that HSUS had “transported them to several area shelters” and she would send me a list of those shelters.  I never heard back.  E-mails to the NC and AL state directors for HSUS went unanswered.

I called the sole ACO for Marshall Co AL to ask about the case.  He said he knew nothing about it and suspected the story was either fabricated or didn’t happen in Marshall Co.  He suggested I contact a couple of local humane societies in the area.  I tried but no luck there either.

The Lincoln Co shelter is in the midst of major upheaval after the local paper ran their expose.  Even so, the two people I spoke with there were both very helpful and looked up each individual record for me.  Of the 10 retrievers they got from HSUS, 3 were killed shortly after arrival.  Their records indicate “sick” but offer no additional details.  One of the dogs killed was Murray, whose photo was featured in the Gaston Gazette article.  Harry, who was kenneled with Murray, was also killed.  This is Harry’s Petfinder listing as posted by Lincoln Co:

Murray, whose owner surrendered him to HSUS, in a photo taken a few days before he was killed by the shelter where HSUS sent him.

The third dog killed was ID #38805.  He was a male retriever but for some reason was never listed on Petfinder.  Lincoln Co shelter staff also told me that 4 of the dogs, including a bitch in whelp called Mary, went to the Humane Society of Charlotte on 12-17.  Mary apparently whelped 10 puppies according to a source.  I e-mailed a couple of people at the Humane Society of Charlotte but didn’t receive a response.  The last 3 dogs from Lincoln Co were sent to Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C, also on 12-17.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  I don’t know the status of those 3 dogs.

Beyond that, I have almost no information.  If anyone knows what shelters the remaining 34 dogs were taken to and/or what has become of any of the dogs, please share.  I realize it’s very close to a major holiday and some people may be away from the computer.  If I receive any additional responses to my queries from any of the folks I’ve contacted about this case, I will update this post.

Update, 11am, December 24:  I was sent a link to the HSUS NC Facebook page with a note indicating most of the comments discussing the HSUS sending 10 AL dogs to the Lincoln Co shelter have been removed.  I did find a few left and they are posted below.  (Note:  Kim Alboum is the state director for HSUS in NC and Sarah Barnett is a media manager for HSUS.)  The original commenter asked:

Hi Kim, I am hoping you can diffuse my anger at the situation with Lincoln County Animal Control and the poor dogs that were taken there from a bad situation in Alabama. Do you know what has happened with the dogs??? I am worried sick about them since this is a gassing shelter that has been embroiled in illegal killing… and wrong doing for many months. I have been thinking to myself and now out loud about the donations that the Humane Society must have received from this act. Any of you that think this was a wonderful move I am positive thing was wrong! I had no idea this was the kind of activity the Humane Society of the US condones. There are many rescues out there that would have been happy to help those dogs. I have given money to the HSUS for years…so sad my support as well as my family members will no longer be with HSUS. Will you at the very least let everyone knows what happened or is happening with those sweet pups? I think it is wrong to dress AC in sheeps clothing.

This info differs significantly from what both people I spoke with at the Lincoln Co shelter said.  The entirety of the notes in the records explaining the reason the dogs were killed was “Sick”.  One staffer told me they had consulted with a vet on the illness but she didn’t know any details because there was nothing besides the word “Sick” in the notes.  The other person I spoke to (on a different day) also looked up the records and confirmed this information.  Both pets were listed on Petfinder as “adult”, neither was listed as “senior”.  And none of these comments addresses the killing of dog #38805, who was also killed due to being “sick” according to his record.

Update, 2pm, December 25:  From an Examiner article on the subject:

Calls to HSUS went unanswered, but a concerned Alabama animal rescuer, Tammy Mooreland, spoke with AL HSUS Rep Mindy Gilbert today:

Gilbert confirmed that she assisted other rescue groups in removing the dogs from a woman in Marshall County, and explained that the reason for no publicity was to “protect the hoarder’s privacy.” Gilbert added, “Due to recent controversy raised about LCAS, we have asked other NC agencies to take some of the dogs.”

Mooreland commented, “I asked if she, or anyone with HSUS, was tracking the dogs’ outcome. She didn’t really respond to that question. However, she did say that she was always happy to answer any questions from Alabama animal advocates, so she can dispel any rumors or misinformation.” (mgilbert@humanesociety.org)

If any AL animal advocates receive any additional info on this case from Mindy Gilbert, please share.  My own inquiry to Ms. Gilbert remains unanswered.  There are still dozens of dogs unaccounted for and interestingly, this post has received more hits from HSUS HQ in Maryland than anyplace else so far.  Hopefully while HSUS is reading, they will respond and let us all know the whereabouts of these dogs.

Attention Canine: Halt in the name of the law or I’ll shoot!

Three teenagers were at home in Clayton Co, GA Sunday and the family Golden Retriever, “Boomer”, was hanging out on the porch.  When a police officer approached the home, Boomer barked and ran toward him:

The officer ordered the dog to stop and when it didn’t, the officer shot and killed the animal in its yard, [Captain Tina] Daniel said.

If Boomer had stopped, would the officer have read him his rights?

“My neighbor saw the whole thing,” [owner Lawrene] King said. “He was shocked how quickly the officer pulled his gun.”

Boomer was killed about 25 feet from his spot on the front porch, close to her front door, King said.

Hullo, ever hear of non-lethal force?

Before anyone argues that Boomer should have been on a leash:

The family had an electric fence, but there was not a sign alerting the officer it was there, Daniel said.

I’m wondering if there was a sign, would the officer have noticed it before shooting the dog?  Did he really scan the property for a sign about an electric fence before firing?  I don’t know of course but any way you look at it, this was an entirely unnecessary killing.

 

Thanks Clarice for the link.

Another Oops Killing at Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C

In March, a NC man’s two Pitbulls got out of his fenced yard through a hole and were picked up by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control.  He fixed the fence and tried to redeem the dogs but animal control had “mistakenly” killed them.  They could not explain why.  Adding insult to injury,  CMPD-ACC then sent the owner a bill for $100.  Despite the promise of a full investigation, no such investigation or its results have ever been made public.  The devastated owner, Will Harlee, said at the time of the killings:

“I need to know why and who,” he said. “I want somebody to lose their job over this. I need an impression that this can’t happen to anybody else.”

Not only do we still not know who or why, but it happened again in September.  Another escaped Pitbull picked up by CMPD-ACC, another oops killing, and another distraught family:

On Sept. 16 the dog escaped the Moore family home. The family put up reward signs around their home in Wilmore. A couple of days went bye [sic]. The family then searched the shelter.

“We went to the pound, and that’s where we found her,” said Moore. “She was so happy, she jumped on the cage, and was like, ruff, ruff.”

Mecklenburg County Animal Care and Control requires reclaimed dogs to be spade [sic] or neutered and a chip implanted. When the Moore’s went to pick up “Lil Mama” three days later the dog was dead. The Moore’s said the person at the desk said the dog was accidentally put down.

The shelter issued a statement which says, in part:

“While a similar situation occurred earlier this year, it does not involve the same employee,” Animal Care and Control said in a statement. “We are currently conducting an internal investigation to determine the course of events that led to the dog’s euthanasia and whether disciplinary actions are warranted.”

Let’s all hold our breath until the internal investigation is complete, shall we?  Perhaps there’s a backlog of internal investigations going on at the shelter because in addition to the Harlee and Moore cases, we’re still waiting on the results of the playing-dress-up-with-drugged-cats investigation.  In the meantime, maybe someone on the shelter staff can pull a ferret out of her car for the TV news to distract us.  Ooh – furry!

Another Approach to No Kill

A group of volunteers in KY has spearheaded the success of Shelby Co as a no kill community.  Read an interview with Henry Bergh Leadership Award recipient Kelly Jedlicki of the Shelby Co No Kill Mission.  Of particular interest to me was the story of how and why the group was created – another example of creative thinking to save lives.

A quick recap on Shelby Co’s success:

  • A no kill community
  • In the rural south
  • Led by volunteers

Any questions?

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