I Deleted Almost All the Profanity From This Post and It Took Me an Hour

A now former ACO with Indianapolis AC & C allegedly stole ketamine, a drug which immobilizes animals but still allows them to feel pain, from her job and used it on puppies at her house.  Specifically, she would allegedly inject a puppy with ketamine, place him on her washing machine, tape his mouth shut so he couldn’t defend himself, then cut up his ears.  One of these puppies reportedly threw up after having his first ear cut up and because his mouth was taped shut, choked to death on his vomit.  She allegedly tried to hide the evidence:

Ashley Chastain, a commander with animal control at the time, then buried the body of the 2-month-old puppy in her backyard, the affidavit says.

Someone who knows Chastain apparently went to the police, providing them with photos of bloodied puppies on the uh, washing machine surgical suite. He also gave police a bag of ears.

Well fuck. After all the horrifying things I’ve had to write on this blog now I’ve got to add bag of ears to the list.

Chastain has been charged by Marion Co with three counts of torturing an animal. News of her arrest spread on social media and one heartbroken man says he recognized her as the ACO who stole his puppy.

But let’s not be part of the problem by complaining with our keyboards.  Remember, it’s a hard job and nobody wants to kill animals and they’re doing the best they can and instead of hating you should donate some money so the shelter can buy more ketamine.  I hear they’re running low.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Treats on the Internets

The director of the long-troubled Maricopa Co pound in AZ is quitting his job on Friday.  Some shelter watchdogs believe the resignation is in response to the latest controversy plaguing the director:  a 22 year old lost dog who was killed upon impound and whose owner came in minutes later to reclaim her beloved pet.  (Thanks Claudia and Clarice for the link.)

A man who has multiple prior convictions for disorderly conduct has again been charged with disorderly conduct along with animal cruelty after he was seen on surveillance cameras choking and throwing a dog at the IL animal shelter where he was performing community service.

Golden Retrievers were recently imported from Puerto Rico to Chicago and from Istanbul to Tennessee.  Last I heard, both Chicago and Tennessee were still killing for convenience because you know, too many dogs, not enough homes – except ASTERISK too many homes, not enough Golden Retrievers, apparently.  (Thanks Ona.)

Anderson Co, SC – The owner of a 2 year old female Boxer who was found starved and shot in the head multiple times will not face any charges.  The owner, whose identity is being protected by authorities, reportedly explained that the dog had bitten his wife so he decided to shoot her.  The dog, now in the care of a rescue group, is blind from her injuries.

Photographer captures the precious bond between homeless children in Bangladesh and their dogs.  (Thanks Billy.)

Juvenile apes in Rwanda find and destroy traps set by poachers.  (Thanks Valerie.)

Discussion: Pet Leasing

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Charlie, an adoptable dog in Ohio (Photo by Casey Post)

Pursuant to yesterday’s post on the pet leasing company that reportedly killed dogs in violation of the agreement it made with the dogs’ shelter of origin, I thought a separate discussion was warranted on the whole pet leasing issue.  I think there are many points to be made regarding the topic but I will limit my input to a few points with respect to shelters:

  1. Everyone likes the idea of saving a shelter pet and, provided the pet leasing company is sourcing its animals from shelters, it makes people feel good to give a home to a shelter animal.
  2.  Pet leasing companies claim they provide a safe place for a pet to go if, for whatever reason, the owner is unable to keep the pet for life.
  3. If the owner must return the pet, he need not fear being shamed for his actions.
  4. A pet leasing company is a business – they provide the services, you provide the cash.  And while they are hopefully at least doing minimal screening (such as checking applicants for animal cruelty convictions) they presumably accept most paying customers with few questions asked.

All of these factors may be in stark contrast to an adopter’s previous (or anticipated) experiences with area shelters or rescues.  For example, the adopter may want to save a shelter pet but can not get to the shelter due to it being closed to the public, having limited hours or being in a remote location.  Some adopters don’t want to go to shelters simply because many are depressing places where you are forced to look at animals knowing they will likely be killed if you don’t take them home.  The leasing company probably has an easily accessible location, convenient hours and may even offer home delivery.

Life happens.  Circumstances change.  While an adopter’s intention may be to keep a pet for life, that’s not always possible or even advisable in some cases.  Having a safe place to rely upon where the adopter knows the animal will be rehomed and not killed provides a sense of comfort if such a need were to arise.  And making the difficult decision to return a pet more of a business type transaction eliminates the fear of being shamed by shelter staff.

The adopter may have previously applied for a pet with a rescue and been subjected to intense questioning and harsh judgment.  They may have been made to feel very uncomfortable or even unworthy.  Applying to a pet leasing company is likely a more straightforward process where one would not expect to be severely scrutinized.

So while I don’t like the idea of pet leasing, I can understand part of its appeal, at least regarding this aspect.  The sad fact is that local shelters and rescues could make themselves equally as appealing (and even more so) in this regard but too many choose not to, driving away potential adopters.  As I have often said, people who are turned away or just plain turned off by shelters and rescues are going to get pets from somewhere.  And we may not like the somewhere.  A savvy businessman saw a potential market and hung out a pet leasing shingle.  Cha-ching.

Please add your thoughts on pet leasing, including some of the other considerations I did not touch upon in the post.  How might the people and the animals be affected by a leasing agreement?  Would you ever consider leasing a pet?  If you run a shelter or rescue, would you ever consider giving a homeless animal to a pet leasing company?

Pet Leasing Company Kills Shelter Dogs

pipkelsocharliebear

Pip, Kelso and Charlie Bear, as pictured on the KGW website.

Apparently pet leasing is a thing.  Veterinarian Scott Campbell founded a pet leasing company called Hannah the Pet Society in Oregon after running Banfield (the vet clinics inside Petsmart stores) for 20 years.  People pay to lease a pet, obtained from a shelter, and Hannah provides the food and veterinary care.  If the pet doesn’t work out in the home for whatever reason, Hannah will take the animal back and find him another home.  Or not.

At Thanksgiving last year, Campbell reportedly ordered the killing of 3 dogs, Pip, Kelso and Charlie Bear, who had been leased and returned.  Hannah had obtained Kelso and Charlie Bear from the Columbia HS, which had provided a number of other pets to the company in past.  The standing agreement between the organizations stated that the dogs would be returned to the Columbia HS if they didn’t work out in a home with a Hannah customer.

Instead of returning the dogs, Hannah killed them without informing the Columbia HS:

“You can’t print our reaction because it’s profane,” said Lori Furman, board president at Columbia Humane. “We were very unhappy. They didn’t call us to take the dogs back.”

Hannah claims all three of the dogs were so aggressive, they had to be killed:

“Dr. Campbell, a licensed veterinarian with decades of experience, worked in consultation with members of his team to reach the conclusion that euthanasia was the only option in this case,” said Kara Hansen, a spokeswoman for Hannah the Pet Society. “The dogs that were euthanized had multiple documented instances of aggressive behavior, including biting. The company stands by the decision to put them to sleep rather than return them to a shelter, where they could face years of re-adoption and return and could hurt people.”

Hansen said there is documentation showing aggression, but it’s considered confidential medical and proprietary information and they do not plan to release it.

If Hannah’s only supposed evidence supporting why the dogs had to be killed instead of being returned to their original shelters is on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of The Leopard”, I’m going to have to put on my skeptical face.

Then there’s the Hannah customer who returned Kelso – not for aggressive behavior, but because the other dog in the house kept picking on him:

“He was floppy and sweet,” she said. “He was wonderful.”
[…]
“He was great, it was just our Boston terrier was so alpha female and wouldn’t allow us to have another animal in the house,” she said. “She was very protective of her domain.”
[…]
She said Hannah told her Kelso was previously returned to the company, but not because of any aggression issues. The previous owner just didn’t have time for a puppy.

Even the employees were at a loss to explain why the so-vicious-all-we-can-do-is-kill-them dogs were allowed to interact with the public at the Hannah stores and then suddenly killed:

“We were all pretty shocked,” said a current employee, who asked not to be named for fear of legal retaliation, citing a nondisclosure agreement. “Vicious would not be how anyone would describe them.”
[…]
Current and former staff say they are not sure why Hannah would euthanize the dogs instead of give them back to shelters. They said if the company had offered the dogs to employees, as they have in the past, the dogs would have been adopted in a heartbeat.

Hannah has received backlash from the public over the killings but has doubled down on the take-our-word-for-it strategy:

“The company does not plan to start releasing confidential medical and proprietary information to the general public,” said Hannah CEO Fred Wich. “We hope you can understand why setting that type of precedent could be bad for the company, for our members and pets – this is private medical and proprietary information.”

Uh, the media is not seeking to publish the name of a rape victim who had an abortion here.  The company is being offered an opportunity to explain, with documentation, the killings it claims were so righteous.

You know what precedent is definitely bad for the company?  Failing to honor the agreements made with shelters they get pets from, killing dogs who appear to have been easily adoptable and then claiming they will make their last stand protecting the privacy of the dead dogs’ records because for the love of ponies, Fluffy’s name will not be dragged through the muck while there is breath in my body.

The Columbia HS has terminated its agreement with Hannah and taken all their pets back.  Every other group that gave animals to Hannah will hopefully do the same.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Weekend Jade

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tennis ball roll

Open Thread

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

nap

[x]

I Do Not Care

Judgmental cats sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)

Judgmental cat sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)

A shelter’s job is to shelter animals.

Animals have a right to live.

These two things trump all the excuses offered by killing apologists.

Therefore, I have zero fucks to give about the following:

  • An owner didn’t microchip a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t see his lost pet’s photo on the shelter’s website as soon as it was posted.
  • An owner let a cat outside.
  • An owner accidentally left a gate open, had a hole in the fence, whatever.
  • An owner couldn’t come up with the cash to pay the shelter’s ransom for a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t neuter and/or vaccinate a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t have a collar and/or ID tag on a lost pet.
  • An owner was unable to physically visit the shelter during its open hours throughout the holding period to look for a lost pet.
  • An owner failed in some other way to meet the standards set forth by people who defend pet killing.

Nothing eclipses an animal’s right to live or mitigates a shelter’s obligation to shelter.

And while I would not condemn an owner for any of the above, I want to make myself perfectly clear so let’s just take this all the way.  I don’t care if the owner was on crack and punching baby pandas in the face when he lost his intact, unvaccinated, unmicrochipped pet from his unfenced yard and didn’t sober up enough to look for him for 2 weeks.  And when he finally staggered into the shelter, he was holding a neon sign that said KILL MY PET! and announced he was willing to sign any waiver the shelter had for him so long as they killed his animal.  Because even if – IF<—-get this! IF the owner is a total jerk who doesn’t deserve to have a pet, that’s for a court to decide and has absolutely no bearing on whether the animal has a right to live or whether shelter directors must do their jobs to protect animals from harm.

Killing healthy/treatable shelter animals is never, ever, under any circumstances, the fault of anyone but the people killing the animals.

I don’t like victim blaming.  Pet owners, along with their animals who were needlessly killed at shelters, are victims.  I put up with it on this blog to some extent in order to educate and hopefully change wrong thinking.  But if you’re new here and just popped up to blame the victim and defend people who kill shelter animals, don’t take your coat off.

 

 

Oklahoma Pound Tossing Dogs in a Hole, Shooting Them

FOX 23 in Oklahoma reports that the pound in Bristow shoots pets for convenience and that the mayor is aware of the method being used to kill the animals. Local animal advocates told The Daily Beast that a city employee digs a large hole behind the water treatment facility (where the pound is located) and the ACO drags dogs from the pound, throws them into the hole then shoots them with a small caliber pistol.  When the pit gets filled with dogs, the worker covers it over and digs a new one.  The ACO reportedly has sole discretion on which dogs he chooses to kill and how long they get to live before he does.  The mayor says that shooting dogs is legal under OK law and he is utterly baffled as to why anyone cares:

When reached by phone Wednesday, Bristow’s mayor Leonard Washington admitted the city—some 33 miles southwest of Tulsa—was dragging poor pooches to the back of the water treatment plant and shooting them.
“This is something that’s been a practice for 40 years,” Washington told The Daily Beast. “I don’t know why it’s a controversy … why such outrage now?”

Well gee, if it’s been going on for 40 years, it must be ok. Because no wrong thing has ever happened for any length of time and finally had to be changed because it was so obviously despicable. That’s what they taught us in American history class – everything was swell since ever and that’s why our textbooks are blank.

Animal advocates further allege that before the dogs are shot in the head, they suffer at the pound due to neglect and poor conditions.  They also claim the ACO hates pitbulls.  I wonder how many small caliber bullets the ACO puts into the fat heads of pitbulls before he jumps into the pit and verifies death via stethoscope, corneal reflex and other standard methods clocks out for lunch.

The mayor stressed that the main objective is to find homes for pets[.]

The Bristow pound is closed to the public. Locals offering to volunteer or donate say they have been turned away. I was unable to find any online listings for pets at the pound.  I guess the main objective of finding homes is something the ACO does during the drag to the hole before shooting the dogs. Maybe a city employee who got lost might happen to see a dog on the way to the pit and run over there and want to adopt him on the spot or something. I’m fuzzy on the details there.

Anyway it’s all legal and it’s been going on for 40 years so don’t get huffy.

(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)

Shelter Pet of the Day

This precious senior is at the Memphis pound.  He was impounded as a stray and is heartworm positive.  If he has owners, I hope they can find him.  If anyone can give him a home for whatever time he has left in this life, I will mail you a bag of homemade treats which I guarantee he will enjoy.  His ID number at MAS is 284664.  His “review date” is February 5.  (Thanks Jody Fisher for submitting this pet.)

284664

Dog ID #284664 at the Memphis pound.  Photo by Memphis Pets Alive.

 

Memphis city pound
2350 Appling City Cove
Memphis, TN 38133
(901) 636-PAWS (7297)
MAS@memphistn.gov

NC Pound Closes to the Public Due to Weather but Heroically Keeps Kill Room Open

little boy

Little Boy, as pictured on the ABC 11 website.

There are levels of appalling.  This story is all top tier appalling.  It’s the appallingest.

On Monday, January 18, Teresa Panameno let her cat outside.  Little Boy never came home.  He was trapped by a neighbor and Wake Co ACOs picked him up the next day.  Like many pets who get trapped by cat hating neighbors and taken to places that kill roughly half the cats they are supposed to be sheltering, Little Boy was not in a ball of yarn playing mood.  Instead of recognizing his behavior as normal under the circumstances, the Wake Co pound rushed to deem him unowned and unadoptable:

Dr. Jennifer Federico, Director of Wake County Animal Services told ABC11 that the cat was immediately deemed feral for his aggressive nature, and given the state-mandated stray hold of 72 hours.

Meanwhile Ms. Panameno continued searching for Little Boy, including looking at the animals listed on the Wake Co pound’s website. She finally saw his picture posted on the site on Thursday, January 21 and began calling the shelter.  No one was answering the phone so she sent an email.  But no one was answering emails either.  The office staff had gone home in preparation for a storm that was moving through the area.  The front office stayed closed on Friday due to inclement weather but Wake Co kept the kill room up and running for business as usual.  Little Boy was killed on Friday, while his owner was trying to get him back.

Someone from the pound finally answered Ms. Panameno’s email on Sunday, advising that her pet could not be handled at the time he was impounded, failing to mention that he had been killed while the place was closed to the public.  So the next day, Ms. Panameno drove to the pound, cat carrier in hand, to bring Little Boy home.  Gee, I bet that was a swell conversation to have.

But the director is all NO REGRETS:

Federico maintains the shelter followed procedure[.]
[…]
“It’s just sad all around,” Federico said.

Noooo.  When you wait by the mailbox for weeks for your Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring and then it finally arrives and you figure out the special message Little Orphan Annie had for you was a crummy commercial, that’s just sad all around.  When you accept an owned pet from a cat hating neighbor, immediately label him unowned, then close for business due to weather but keep your kill room open, then fail to admit to the owner what you’ve done so that she walks into your facility full of hope, expecting to take her beloved family member home, that’s unconditionally appalling.  Your precious procedure sucks.  If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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