Illinois – Bryan Jones, an ACO in Joliet Township for 14 years, was recently fired after taking action to save a Chihuahua from the pound’s kill room. A tech had deemed the little dog aggressive and, fearing the dog (whom he knew to be friendly) would be killed, Mr. Jones took the Chihuahua home with him. He later requested to adopt the dog, whom he named Chewie. The pound director and the township supervisor ordered Mr. Jones to return the dog saying Chewie would be kept for a week and, if the people who had already deemed him aggressive turned around and deemed him adoptable, the ACO would be allowed to save Chewie’s life. He was ultimately told to either resign or be terminated and that regardless of which he chose, he still had to return the dog. Mr. Jones took a pass on the uh, offer and was fired.
This is hardly the only injustice alleged at the facility. Mr. Jones said:
“If you’ve seen the stuff that’s gone on with dogs in the past there, it would make you sick.”
The Herald-News lays it out:
Others have said they believe animals are being misread as aggressive by inexperienced technicians, resulting in euthanization of adoptable animals.
“This (Chihuahua) is a perfectly adoptable dog,” said former volunteer Yvonne Polenc. “They wanted to kill this dog just to prove a point. They say (Jones) stole it. He did not steal that dog.”
Polenc volunteered at the center for more than two years, from 2009 to 2011. She stopped volunteering when she could no longer take the “injustice” there, she said.
“These dogs are laying in their filth. It’s slippery from all the urine on the floor. There aren’t enough people to clean,” she said.
Cindy Alberico, a kennel worker whose job will be eliminated from the township as of April 1, said several dogs — pit bulls and a Rottweiler — were euthanized Monday for aggression.
“I’m back there with these dogs day in and day out. I feed them, I water them, I walk them. Not one of those dogs was aggressive,” she said.
Cleaning the kennel, feeding and watering the animals often does not happen after she leaves for the day at 3 p.m., Alberico said.
Animal Control Officer Steve Fix said animals often are left in dirty cages without food or fresh water.
“Animals are being left to suffer,” he said.
Township officials insist the abuses are not happening.
It’s a conspiracy! And to prove it, the township continued to explore all options in finding a way to kill Chewie. Which would reassure the public that AC is a safe haven where pets are lovingly cared for until adopted, natch.
The township supervisor went so far as to meet with the township’s attorney, Franklin Burkey, in an effort to determine how they could get Chewie out of his loving home and back to the pound’s
kill table adoptability evaluation area. While this article doesn’t give details of the meeting, I presume the attorney told the supervisor to stop being such a stupid git and shut up about getting the dog back already:
Township officials decided Monday to let [Mr. Jones] keep the dog.
Yay for Chewie but I fear it probably sucks for whatever dogs these scumbags deemed aggressive and killed out of spite, revenge, or just trying to satisfy the craving for that special rush they get killing pets.
The attorney earns his pay:
“Once a dog is in the facility, everybody who has something to do with the dog is veterinary trained,” Burkey said. “Everybody who looks at the facility will find it clean. The results are there — adoptions are up, put-downs are down. We’ve got to be doing something right.”
“Veterinary trained” does not make one qualified to determine whether a dog is too aggressive for adoption. If a stool sample needs to be analyzed for parasites, veterinary trained is good. If behavioral assessment is being misused as a determining factor for who gets killed at the pound, veterinary trained is useless. I should say worse than useless, since not only are the assessments apparently being performed by unqualified individuals, they are being used to justify killing without benefit of behavior modification or other training efforts.
Since the pound doesn’t post its stats online, I requested a copy in order to verify the we-must-be-doing-something-right claim. The very fact that the stats aren’t available for the public to see on the pound’s webpage tells me they aren’t particularly proud of what they are doing there. We’ll see.
The good news out of all this: Chewie is in a loving home today instead of at the landfill. And Bryan Jones is available for employment. I imagine he would be an asset to any shelter working to save pets’ lives.