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.)

Lost Pets in Michigan Lose State Protection

The distressingly bad and wealthy Michigan InHumane has been trying for years to get legislation changed to reduce and eliminate mandatory holding periods for lost pets in shelters.  (And when MHS hasn’t gotten its way, it just blatantly ignores the law.)  Its current proposed bill is terrible.

mi hb4915

Portion of terrible HB 4915 in Michigan.

Unfortunately, the state department of agriculture recently caved on the issue and announced it will no longer enforce the law regarding mandatory holding periods in shelters.

Meanwhile, Michigan rescue groups continue to import shelter pets from the south, citing “no pressing need” to help locally.

If you are a Michigan resident, please take action to protect lost pets from being abandoned or killed by your local shelter before their owners have a chance to find them.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Some NY Shelters Hiding Their Killed Animals at Veterinary Offices

The Journal News submitted a FOIA request to the state of NY to find out how many animals are killed by shelters in the Lower Hudson Valley, along with a request for the controlled substances logs from each facility. The state sort of shrugged:

The state Department of Health, which is required by law to maintain records of all animals put to sleep at animal shelters or animal-control centers, only has a fraction of the mandatory quarterly reports it is supposed to collect. That means that, in addition to not keeping track of most animals that are euthanized by shelters, the state also has no record on how much sodium pentobarbital — the lethal chemical used to put animals to sleep — some shelters have in stock.

State health officials said they conducted “a diligent search” that lasted three months after The Journal News requested the records. But the department only produced partial records for just three of the seven active animal shelters in the Lower Hudson Valley — and no records for other types of animal-control facilities.

A spokesman for the Health Department did not reply to repeated requests for comment over the past two weeks.

Some of the shelters take their animals to private veterinary offices for killing.  Vets fall under different reporting requirements than shelters and when they dispose of dead animals, they don’t have to specify whether the pet belonged to a client or came from a shelter.  Five of the seven shelters contract with a crematory in Hartsdale, which estimates it cremates 30,000 pets a year with 1450 of those coming from area shelters.

The Yonkers Animal Shelter did have records on file with the state but the documents, which indicate only 5 dogs and zero cats were killed during a one year period, are clearly useless:

In 2015, [director of the Yonkers shelter Almira] Simpson said, 71 cats and 11 dogs from the shelter, including the five Yonkers reported to the state, were put down.

The shelter only reported five dogs to the state since the other 77 pets were killed at veterinary offices.

The Journal News, unable to obtain the actual records sought on pets killed in shelters, tried asking some of the non-compliant shelters for numbers:

[Robert] Kelly, the Mount Vernon police commissioner who acknowledged that the department had failed to file the state reports, said his city’s shelter euthanized 53 cats and 12 dogs last year.

M’kay. Not that there is any way to verify that with the state.

The Hudson Valley Humane Society said it only euthanized one animal, a dog, last year.

MMM’Kaaay. So they couldn’t fill out the form to report that ONE DOG?

The SPCA of Westchester did not return calls for comment.

Sounds legit. I checked the shelter’s website and it says:

The SPCA contracts with 13 different municipalities to accept delivery of their stray cats and dogs for return to owners or to arrange for adoption. Lost dogs and cats are held at the shelter for at least eight days before becoming available for adoption.

So 13 municipalities in NY are contracting with a facility that doesn’t follow the law by reporting to the state and doesn’t answer calls from media about pet killing.  I wonder if they take calls from owners looking for their lost pets.

But let’s definitely keep shipping our shelter animals to the magical north where everything is obscenely dandy, probably.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

A Response to Some Comments on Yesterday’s Post

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are likely a supporter of no kill, unless you just come here to hate read which – hey, we take all comers.  But if you are for no kill, you are a compassionate person who believes that shelter directors should do their jobs and not kill the animals in their care.  And it’s likely you do more than read about ending the killing – whether you have adopted an animal to save his life, addressed your local politicians about no kill, volunteered at a shelter or any number of other ways you might be engaged.

If you work with (or for) the director and staff of your local shelter for any length of time, you may come to consider them friends.  You may come to feel that, even though they kill animals, they are basically good people in a bad situation.  And you may be right.  Every pet killing facility that transitioned to no kill had some well-intentioned people working there who needed education and had a willingness to change.  You might be working with people like that.

Here’s the thing:  education and change don’t fall from the sky and bathe you in their glory.  There has to be someone to speak up and demand reform.  It can be demanded in polite terms.  It can be demanded respectfully.  It can be demanded with a bouquet of daisies.  But someone has to do it.

People are hesitant to bring criticism to their friends, especially when they have developed and want to maintain the relationship.  And many pet killing facilities make it clear on social media or even in their policy handbooks that criticism is not allowed.  Animal advocates sometimes have the concern, and rightfully so, that their ability to help animals at the shelter will be taken away if they speak up against the killing.  I get all of that.

fb posting valencia co

Portion of a Facebook posting

Still, someone has to do it.  If no one stands up and says unequivocally that killing is wrong and it needs to stop immediately, no one will hear it.  And if no one hears it, those good people you are working with, sympathizing with, making excuses for, enabling – whatever you want to call it – will maintain the status quo.  They will keep killing animals while you keep silent.

vera

Love comes in many forms.  (Photo by Casey Post)

I have no problem being the bad guy.  I will call out every director failing to shelter animals and killing them instead.  Every last one.  The ones who say they hate it, the ones who seem to enjoy it, and every one in between.  If they never hear it from anyone else, they will hear it from me:  killing shelter animals, including the unborn, is wrong.

My hope though, is that by bringing attention to the individual shelters doing the killing, someone local will be motivated to take action to protect the animals.  I’m not saying anyone is going to chain themselves to the kill room door and chant “No more killing” into a bullhorn or anything, but maybe a meeting will be sought.  Perhaps a conversation will be had.  Even if it’s only to say what a jerk that YesBiscuit is and what does she know and we’re doing the best we can but oh I did notice that no kill checklist she posted and I wondered if one of those things might work for us.  It’s a start.

Complacency is the enemy of reform. If you find yourself defending the killing of shelter animals, you have become complacent about the failure at your shelter.  Snap out of it.  Do not wait for a mandatory spay-neuter law to magically solve your challenges – mainly because MSN has never eliminated or reduced the killing of shelter animals anywhere it’s been tried.  It’s a proven failure with some communities seeing an increase in killing after the passage of MSN.  This is why MSN is opposed by most every major animal welfare group in the country including the No Kill Advocacy Center, ASPCA, Alley Cat AlliesAVMA, and the American College of Theriogenologists.  There is no excuse for continuing the killing while waiting to implement a failed plan and ignoring those practices which have been proven to be successful in saving shelter pets.  The programs and policies that will help you long term to maintain no kill can also be relied upon to help you in your immediate crisis.

It all starts with a hard working, compassionate director committed to lifesaving for whom killing is not an option.  Do you have that at your shelter?  If yes, you’ve got a head start.  If no, you need one.  You can’t skip that one for now and expect to move ahead.  There is no shelter saving more than 90% of its animals being led by someone who kills animals for convenience.  And yes, that is the right word.  You can call it killing for space, time, resources, population control or any name you like but the animals are being killed for convenience – yours, obviously.  And it’s entirely inconsistent with no kill.

There is no easy to be had in this world, I’m convinced.  Sheltering pets instead of killing them takes extensive, continuous efforts from the director, staff, volunteers and the community.  I guess that’s why they call it work.

Lincoln Co Pound Director Wants to Speed Up the Whole Dead Animal Thing

David Workman, director of the Lincoln Co pound which was recently fined by the state of NC after more than 200 animals were left to suffer to death during a 6 month period, wants to kill animals faster – before they have the chance to keel over in their cages presumably.

A proposal introduced at Monday night’s county commissioner meeting could soon impose a time limit on healthy animals in the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
LCAS Director David Workman suggested [a policy change] which would give animals 10 days to be adopted or rescued before facing mandatory euthanization.

Some animals might be allowed to live past the 10 days, at the discretion of the director. The one who wants the power to kill faster. Animal advocates side-eyed the guy:

Members of animal advocacy group Helping Animals To Survive were in attendance, and board member Tim O’Brien said his group does not support the proposal.
[…]
Workman said when he approached HATS members with the idea at one of their recent board meetings, they “did not seem to be quite on board with it.”

An animal advocacy group not quite on board with killing animals faster – well my stars, what will they think of next?  Oh wait:

[Workman also] proposed limiting drop-off times to between 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Limiting the intake, that’s something that we talked to David and (County Manager) Kelly (Atkins) months and months and months ago about,” O’Brien said. “It should be limited. It’s too easy to just drop off a stray animal. Limiting those animals absolutely will help that.”

So apparently everyone agrees that it should be harder to drop off stray pets at the Lincoln Co shelter. Super. I can’t think of any possible negative repercussions from that. I mean no more than a dozen. Twenty at most.

Limited intake is not open admission, which is what taxpayers are paying for in Lincoln Co. Managed intake, which is different from limited admission, can be successfully utilized by shelters while still offering full open admission services to the community. But making it harder for people to bring strays to the local safe haven is a terrible idea and not consistent with no kill, which the county supposedly hearts:

Lincoln County adopted a no-kill philosophy in 2013, and while live-release rates have risen since, the shelter hasn’t yet saved enough animals to officially qualify as a no-kill shelter.

And the shelter never will, so long as it has a director fighting to kill animals faster and local advocates who want to make it harder for residents to help stray animals.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

Scott Co Pound, So Killy

scott co wjhl

Screengrab from the WJHL website showing puppies at the Scott Co pound.

Volunteers at Scott Co Animal Control in Gate City, Virginia are speaking out against the needless killing of dogs at the facility and the staff’s failure to work with rescues. But surprise! – only joking, there isn’t any surprise:

News channel 11 spoke with the Scott County Animal Control today and they say they’re not doing anything wrong.
[…]
Jake Dougherty works at Scott County Animal Control and he said they are following procedure. He said, “the required amount of time that we have to keep [animals] is 7 days if they don’t have a collar. If they have a collar, we have to keep them 10 days.”

In addition to following procedure, Scott Co AC is functioning primarily as a pet killing facility where 65% of the animals are killed. Volunteers say that sometimes adopters inquire about a pet only to be told the dog was already killed. So why can’t slack-ass adopters get on the ball sooner and get down to the pet killing facility to adopt while the dogs are still alive? Maybe it’s the hours, which the county’s website (which shows zero dogs for adoption) states are 8 – 12 Monday through Saturday.

Dougherty says additional staff would help. He said, “If we had a full-time employee … that would, I’m sure, double our chances of people coming in to see what we’ve got.”

Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

Gosh, if only Dougherty’s wish could come true, the dogs would have double the chance!

Scott County Animal Control actually already has 2 full-time employees, including Dougherty, along with one part-time employee.

Oh. So the dogs already have what – quintuple the chance of staying alive but are still being killed at a rate of 65%?  But IF there is room and IF someone wants them, Dougherty says dogs might be allowed to live beyond the 7 days – up to a month even.  Gee whiz!  *kisses ring*  Except when they aren’t:

Volunteers, like Billy Denton, said that just last month animals at Scott County Animal Control Shelter were killed too soon.
Denton said they’ve got “21 kennels there and there were twelve dogs at the shelter and 6 dogs were euthanized.”

Oh. Well anyway ho, hum:

Dougherty says euthanizing animals is part of the job. He said, “You have to distance yourself a little bit from the animals.”
“I can’t look at them the way that everyone else does because you’re not going to find homes for every animal,” He said.

So the dogs are killed by someone who doesn’t look at them like other human beings do because he considers killing them to be his job. That puts a swell image in mind for every poor dog who draws his last breath at the Scott Co pound.

One thing you can’t fault him on though is his logic. It’s absolutely correct that you are not going to find homes for every animal when you’re only open for 4 hours a day, sit around pining for a full time employee when you are one of the full time employees, don’t work with rescues, don’t market your dogs and don’t regard dogs like everyone else does.  And you definitely aren’t going to find homes for dead dogs, which is what you make most of your live dogs into, because you think it’s your job.

Maybe he should distance himself further.  Like to Mars.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Another Video Rahm Emanuel Never Wanted You to See

Some of you may remember in spring of last year when it was reported that a Chicago ACC employee strangled a dog to death with a chokepole.  The city refused to release the internal video of the killing and the press had to sue to get it.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration fought against the video’s release, as it did in the case of the killing of a human being by a police officer, but was eventually forced to let the public see the truth.  And it’s as awful as you’d imagine:

The video (with no audio) shows the dog thrashing, then going quiet, lying motionless on the ground after one or more of the poles apparently cut off the animal’s airflow. A few seconds later, the video shows the dying animal being dragged down the hall by the neck.

Note:  poleS.  Pound employees strung the dog, named Spike, up in two chokepoles.  Other people stood watching while the dog was being tortured.  And if this isn’t vomity enough for you:

City records obtained by the [Better Government Association] under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act indicate the two ACC workers “struggled with the dog until the dog eventually collapsed,” and a supervisor “came into the unloading area and informed the Officers to ‘Let him breathe.’”

While one of the ACC workers indicated “his pole was loose,” the other employee “proceeded to drag the dog by his neck down the hallway and into the Euthanasia Room then proceeded to use the control pole to lift the dog by the neck into the cage,” the city records show.
[…]

After the choking incident, “a veterinarian examined the dog and confirmed he was alive,” the spokesman said. “However, the dog died within 30 minutes prior to the scheduled euthanasia.”

So they strangled Spike until he fell out, then dragged him by a metal noose around his neck, then hanged him in the noose to get him into a cage, had some sort of VET verify the dog still had a pulse, then left him to suffer until he died. But don’t worry, the workers who tortured the dog and those who watched but did nothing to save him – well actually, go ahead and worry:

Three employees were suspended without pay. The longest suspension was 20 days.

Gee.  Sounds serious.  Apparently the city of Chicago has a tiered justice system, with city employees sitting at the top, spitballing everyone below.  Prepare to be spat upon:

Today Chicago Animal Care and Control’s acting director, Ivan Capifali, says in a written statement:
[…]
“Following a review of the episode that occurred in March of 2014, CACC quickly disciplined three employees and provided special training on animal handling to CACC employees. In fact, a video on animal handling that was created by CACC in partnership with the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA) is not only shown to all new CACC staff, it is now used by NACA in training nationwide.”

Chicago, that shining city upon a hill, excels so damn hard at killing then trying to suppress the evidence, it must be held up as an example for the entire country. You know your city is good when protesters stand outside the mayor’s house, demanding he resign.

I’m sorry the people paid to protect you from harm tortured you to death, Spike.  I’m sorry too that everyone involved is still uh, protecting animals from harm at the Chicago pound.

The city is reportedly looking for a new director to run the pound.  I can’t imagine any compassionate person would be willing to work with animal abusers and enablers.  But I guess compassion is not a job requirement in Chicago.

(Thank you to everyone who sent me this story.)

Shawnee Pound Gasses 3 Dogs Because It Can

The animals at the long troubled gassing pound in Shawnee, OK have been getting some help from area rescuers.  With a paltry 48 hour holding period, rescuers must continually scramble to get pets out alive.  They have reportedly been able to pull every dog at the small pound since May.  But that streak ended last week when the city gassed three dogs, one of whom was reportedly slated to be pulled that morning.  Tragically, the public outcry is being directed at the former owners (who may or may not be known) instead of those who actually killed the animals.

The Shawnee city manager, Justin Erickson, says the pound will, at some unspecified time, stop gassing and start killing via injection.  He plans to talk more about that next year.  Cause I mean, what’s the hurry, right? As for embracing the proven programs used by hundreds of open admission no kill shelters around the country, that’s a no:

“We are not able to transition to no kill at this time,” said Erickson during Monday’s city council meeting.

I assume that explanation will satisfy everyone paying for the shelter to not shelter animals.  If not, maybe local animal advocates can stop dreaming up Evil Former Owner fantasies and start pressuring public officials to do their jobs.  Or just let the city keep rescuers in continual crisis mode, with them gassing the occasional pet because they can, and enabling them by failing to unequivocally blame those doing the killing.  The more the city is able to distract advocates, the more things stay the same.

Let’s be clear:  Some shelter pets are lost.  Their owners want them back.  Others are in between homes.  It doesn’t matter who used to own a shelter pet or how that animal arrived at the shelter.  There is only now.  Now is an opportunity to help the animal, starting with protecting his right to live.  Everything else is a distraction.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Nevada Pound Director Avoids Felony Charges, Enabled by Police Chief

As we are often chided by those opposed to hearing the truth about pet killing facilities, nobody wants to kill animals.  And this is true, with the exception of everybody who does want to kill animals, especially those who pee their pants a little every time a box of Fatal Plus arrives in the mail:

Jenny Silvia, a shelter volunteer, told police […] that [former Boulder City Animal Control Supervisor Mary Jo] Frazier “finds joy in killing animals.”

Police were talking to people who had worked with Frazier at the pound while they conducted an investigation into allegations of needless animal killings by Frazier:

A frantic phone call [in April] had prompted a Boulder City police detective to investigate whether the city’s head of animal control had, just for fun, been killing animals in the city’s shelter.

[…]

Boulder City Animal Control Officer Ann Inabnitt told police that Frazier, her supervisor, didn’t want to provide medical care to Lotus, an abused 11-week-old pit bull suffering from shattered teeth, a swollen head and a broken left hip. Frazier’s reason, her co-worker told police, was “we don’t spend money on pit bulls and because I’m just going to stick her anyway,” according to the detective’s affidavit to support an arrest warrant. […] Frazier refused to put the pit bull on the veterinarian-recommended diet of soft food, records show.

The police investigation reportedly found that Frazier had personally killed approximately half the animals who were impounded by Boulder City AC since being promoted to supervisor in 2006.  She instructed staff not to advertise animals for adoption online.  The Boulder City pound was never at capacity and animals were killed while cages sat empty.

Most of the animals who were killed by Frazier were killed upon impound, in violation of the city ordinance requiring a 5 day holding period.  Another city ordinance requires an exam by a veterinarian before any animal is killed but police determined Frazier was routinely violating that law too.

After Frazier’s husband divorced her crazy ass, he says she stole his dachshund, took him to the pound and killed him.

The police investigation culminated in the issue of an arrest warrant on felony and gross misdemeanor charges against Frazier – a warrant that was never served because the chief of police, who is in charge of the pound, quashed the whole thing.  Frazier retired two days later.  She is apparently collecting retirement checks from the city and has skipped town, probably to a place where they have drinks with little umbrellas in them.  Little umbrellas that look like needles filled with Fatal Plus, I’m guessing.

Police Chief Bill Conger defended sweeping the whole thing under a rug:

The chief said that he himself showed Boulder City Attorney David Olsen the investigation and that Olsen said felony charges would not stick, though “maybe a couple of misdemeanors” would.
“Why go forward with something that’s not going to go very far, number one, and number two, when she resigned this whole thing stopped,” Conger said.

A leetle problem:  the city attorney says he never heard word one from Conger about the case.

Another teensy snag:  After an area paper published the story about how Frazier was allowed to get her rocks off by needlessly killing animals on the taxpayers’ dime then retire before she could be arrested, take the taxpayers’ money and go someplace sunny, taxpayers were displeased.  They began an online campaign, held a protest at the police station and generally raised hell.

In response, the police chief decided he’d kick the ball down the field a little, then fall on the pile after the opponent was tackled to make it look like he was trying:

Boulder City officials have reversed course, saying they will submit previously dismissed information from a criminal investigation of the city’s former animal control supervisor to the Clark County District Attorney’s office for review.

As far as Conger’s role in enabling Frazier’s escape from justice:

“People get in trouble and resign all the time,” the chief said Tuesday.

Chief of Meh.

Also:  don’t criticize, we all want the same thing, if you don’t volunteer at your local pet killing facility you are part of the problem, blahcetera.

rooster

(Photo by Casey Post.)

(Thanks Clarice and Jan.)

 

Louisville Pound Director Under Investigation by Police

The Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit is investigating Jessica Jo Montgomery, director of Louisville Metro Animal Services, and O’Dell Henderson, metro government’s lead liaison to the city’s labor unions. At issue is the alleged transport of a controlled substance and the killing of Henderson’s 2 year old black lab by Montgomery at his home on September 10.

Louisville Magazine reports that official government records obtained by whistleblowers under the state’s open records law appear to show the following:

  • Montgomery was not licensed to kill animals on September 10.
  • Without this license, Montgomery did not have legal access to Fatal Plus, a federally controlled substance.
  • Montgomery’s signature appears alongside that of another LMAS employee, who was licensed to kill animals, in a log entry for the withdrawal of 8cc of Fatal Plus on September 10.

The sources — who requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal by the agency and by metro government — allege that Montgomery used her power over subordinates to gain access to the euthanasia drug, and that an LMAS employee accompanied Montgomery to Henderson’s home but refused to perform the euthanasia, which they claim Montgomery did herself. “I think she saw the opportunity to get in good with her higher-ups,” one of the anonymous sources said.

Tip: Anyone asking you to illegally kill his 2 year old pet is not someone you want to “get in good” with. Unless you want more of the same.

The allegations put Montgomery in potential violation of LMAS policy and/or state laws including that the only animals allowed to be killed by LMAS staff are those in LMAS custody who are taken to the kill room and that the killing must be performed by a licensed tech.

As for Henderson:

When initially reached for comment, Henderson answered the phone, confirmed his identity and hung up after being asked about the alleged euthanasia. On a follow-up call, he said, “I don’t know how you got this number, but don’t call it again.”

Mad negotiating skillz there.

Anyone know the reason Henderson wanted his 2 year old black lab killed or why he didn’t take his pet to a veterinarian?

No one in city government is commenting on the case.  The investigation, which reportedly began in mid-September, remains ongoing.

(Thanks Clarice.)

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