AZ Rescue Owner Charged with Felony Cruelty

Scott William Beadles and his wife reportedly operate a tax-exempt rescue called Furry Smiles in Buckeye, AZ.  On January 12, Beadles went to a Petsmart to pick up some kennels belonging to Furry Smiles and told an employee that his pitbull had gotten into a fight with a maltipoo at his home and that he’d killed the maltipoo:

The report stated that Beadles does not own a gun so he “put it out of its misery” by kicking and stomping its head.

The employee apparently notified police. With any luck, this is the most disturbing thing you’ll read today:

The employee told police that Beadles said the small dog was whimpering and trying to crawl to him when he decided to stomp its head until it was dead, according to the statement.

The Beadles’ landlord found the tiny dog’s remains in a trash can on the property.  A necropsy on the dog found puncture wounds and numerous fractures of the skull.

Beadles was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

I wonder how many hoops applicants have to jump through in order to be approved to adopt a pet from Furry Smiles.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

Crazy Town, Georgia in the News Again

Screengrab from the Toys R Us website.

Screengrab from the Toys R Us website.

Toccoa, Georgia – Remember late last year when a high school teacher in Stephens Co brought two cats to class and had students hold them down while he neutered them?  The community rallied behind the teacher’s actions and the pound director seemed very apologetic about doing his job with regard to issuing a summons for two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.  The message was clear:  Toccoa is the place to play vet and get away with it, if you feel so inclined.

Another Stephens Co resident apparently felt so inclined and reportedly performed a do-it-yourself castration on her dog this month. Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley met with a judge and determined no criminal charges would be brought because the owner’s employment history includes work in the medical field. She reportedly made some effort to reduce the pain experienced by the dog as well as to minimize risk of infection. The article doesn’t provide any specifics but maybe she gave the dog an aspirin and washed her hands before cutting the dog open, I don’t know. The sheriff also found:

There is no direct evidence supporting the dog felt any particular level of pain during or after the procedure.

Translation: dogs can’t talk and cutting out testicles isn’t painful, probably.

But don’t try this at home:

However, Shirley says that while there may not be enough probable cause for a criminal charge in this particular case, he would like to remind everyone that this is not a procedure that just anyone should undertake.

Right. You should at least be a file clerk in a hospital or something. Then just strap your pets down and start cutting because it’s anything goes in Stephens Co I guess.

There is no mention of local animal control being involved in this investigation.  Maybe they’ve given up any pretense of doing their jobs.  And like the cat case, there is no mention of rabies vaccination and whether the state’s rabies law has been violated by these Vet for a Day yahoos.

How long before the dangerous precedent that has been set by local authorities results in someone attempting an at-home spay on some poor pet?  Why isn’t AC acting as the voice of reason here and working to protect pets from harm in Stephens Co?  Where is the area veterinary association to condemn these failures in the strongest possible terms and explain why pets should never be castrated by people who haven’t been to vet school?

(Thank you Teresa for sending me this story.)

Police Officer Fired after Standing Up to City Officials and Refusing to Shoot Loose Dogs

Walker Co, AL used to have a pound but the place closed a few years ago after it was exposed as a dog killing hole.  Since then, the city of Carbon Hill in Walker Co has apparently been trying to avoid the issue of homeless pets on the streets.  That brilliant plan did not work out for some reason and this month the city attempted to address the issue:

Carbon Hill City Councilor Billy Jenkins says the dog problem there is out of control, and people are complaining.

He thinks it’s time the city revisited an ordinance that was passed in 1991 but never enforced.

[…]

The ordinance references the responsibilities of a dogcatcher, but Carbon Hill Police say the city doesn’t have a dogcatcher and officers feel they’re being pressured to shoot strays because of Section 8 of the ordinance.

“It says the police department shall have the authority to destroy any stray domestic animal running at large within the city limits of the city. When in the opinion of the (Carbon Hill Police Department) such animal constitutes a public nuisance or is a danger or a menace to the life or health of the citizens of the city,” said Jenkins.

While Jenkins specifies that the city is not asking officers to shoot dogs on the streets, the police chief says his department has no resources to catch and transport dogs, even if a new Walker Co shelter opens as planned next year.  He says lethal force against a dog is only a last resort:

“We just don’t go around firing our weapons off in town. You know I mean if our weapons are ever then it’s a threat to us or to someone else, you know someone’s life. We’re just not going to go out and shoot a dog for no reason just because it’s a stray,” said Chief Jason Richardson, Carbon Hill Police Department.

“Things have changed since 91 this is 2014 fixing to be 2015. There’s a lot of things changed. You just don’t go around, you don’t go around killing dogs,” said Richardson. “In my eyes that’s animal cruelty.”

Well say, that’s refreshing.  And it looks like the chief isn’t the only one with that attitude:

Carbon Hill’s mayor says alleged statements from city leaders that stray dogs should be shot to eliminate the problem are not true.

However, the city’s acting assistant police chief tells Alabama’s 13 city leaders did make such statements[.]

[…]

[A]cting assistant police chief Johnathan Yerby says he notified city leaders last week that state law prevents officers from shooting stray dogs. A week later, he’s out of a job for what the city says is budget cuts, but Yerby says the timing is no coincidence.

“I was the one chosen to be laid off because I’m the one that stood up and printed out the state law and told them that we couldn’t shoot dogs,” Yerby explains.

The police chief is reportedly very upset at Yerby’s firing and the mayor has no comment.  The mayor did however offer this greatly comforting reassurance:

“There ain’t going to be no dogs shot,” Mayor Chambers stresses. “We’ll catch them and try to give them away, adopt them out, or do whatever we got to to please everybody.”

Sounds like a well thought out plan of action there.  I can’t imagine how it’s not going to succeed, especially when the police officers charged with the catching and the giving away or the doing whatever say they lack the resources for the job and now they’re down an officer.  Stay tuned for success, I guess.

(Thanks Clarice for the story.)

Rotting from the Head Down: How the Neglect of a Dog at the Louisville Pound Went Public Despite a Political Cover-up

Sadie, as shown on the WHAS website.

Sadie, as shown on the WHAS website.

Regular readers may remember the tragic story of Sadie, an injured dog who suffered for months at the hands of Louisville Metro Animal Services before finally being euthanized by rescuers.  Heather Adkins, an employee at LMAS during the time Sadie was there who later became her foster owner and advocate, was smeared by the city of Louisville after she went public with Sadie’s story.  Due to public outcry, the city appointed an ad hoc committee to investigate what happened with Sadie.  The committee’s report was released Wednesday and can be read here.

Terrible:  The committee found “that by the clear and convincing evidence made available, the LMAS Department did knowingly neglect Sadie by failing to provide proper health care for the animal in a timely fashion”.  Despite the finding, there is no recommendation that the appropriate authorities should determine whether criminal charges should be brought in the case.

Also Terrible:  The committee was not only denied access to records and certain personnel involved with Sadie’s case by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, it also found that the administration lied to the public in an August press release in an attempt to whitewash the neglect.  Despite the corruption and fraud apparent throughout the office, there is no recommendation that the appropriate authorities should determine whether criminal charges should be brought against anyone in the administration.

More Terrible:  After the city retaliated against Ms. Adkins for going public with Sadie’s story and she ultimately left her job, the Fischer administration stamped her personnel file with the words DO NOT REHIRE, while promoting and shielding those who were instrumental in Sadie’s neglect.  The committee recommended that Ms. Adkins’ personnel file be corrected, exonerating her of any wrongdoing, and that the mayor’s office issue a public statement clearing her name.  The committee also recommended that the city enact a whistleblower protection ordinance and that there should be more oversight into LMAS donations.

Cherry on Top Terrible:  At the same time the committee was scheduled to release its report, Mayor Fischer “abruptly called a news conference” to announce that he does not back a $10.10 proposed minimum wage and that poor people need to learn how to live on $8.75 an hour – the most he’s willing to back.  Some noticed the uh, coincidence:

A Democratic council member said the mayor was trying to “distract” from the findings, while a Republican called the timing “unusual.”

Astonishingly, Mayor Greg Fischer later e-mailed a response to the media regarding the report:

“The council found some weaknesses during its review and we’ve already responded with improvements to our donation and open records policies,” Fischer said in a statement. “It’s very unfortunate what happened with Sadie. We remain committed to moving forward and helping save as many animals as we can.”

Found Some Weaknesses.  I like that.  Although I’d like it better if it was the name of a prison wing housing everyone guilty of neglecting Sadie, smearing her advocate and shielding her abusers.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride as the Fischer administration moves forward, what with all those bodies under the bus.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

Fort Worth Grand Jury No-Bills Police Officer Who Hunted Down and Killed Lost Pet

Bentley, as pictured on the Star-Telegram website.

Bentley, as pictured on the Star-Telegram website.

Remember when a freak with a gun Fort Worth deputy police chief Kenneth Flynn was charged with animal cruelty after chasing down an owned, lost dog called Bentley with his SUV and shooting him in the street?  A grand jury failed to indict Flynn, who retired after the killing:

Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, a dog or coyote that has recently attacked a domestic animal may be killed by any person witnessing the attack or by the attacked animal’s owner if that owner had knowledge of the attack.

Welcome to Vagueville, home of gun nuts and regular people trying to live with their pets – and never the twain shall meet.

But yeah, that “knowledge of the attack” thing? A bit sketchy:

Flynn initially denied any involvement but later admitted to investigators that he shot at the dog with his city-issued .45-caliber Glock 30 after learning in a phone call from his sobbing wife that their cat was dead and being told by a neighbor that a German shepherd had been standing over the dead cat.

Denied any involvement. A hallmark of justified police actions – because when you know what you did is righteous, lie. And apparently no one saw any animal kill the cat. But a neighbor saw a German shepherd checking out the dead cat – a normal response from any dog – and she told someone who told someone who had a Glock. The perfect beginning to any story.

The Fort Worth police department meanwhile continues to investigate itself in the matter of the three responding officers who failed to file any report on the shooting. That too is more than a little dodgy:

When questioned by the officer, Flynn identified himself as a deputy chief with the department. Asked if he had shot at any dogs, Flynn “said he was not involved,” the affidavit states.

Two of the officers visually inspected Flynn’s city-issued SUV while the third officer chatted with Flynn and asked if the officers needed to “look further.”

“No, you’re good. You don’t need to keep looking,” Flynn responded, the affidavit states.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. No need to file a report.  But I’m sure the Fort Worth PD is doing a bang-up job on the investigation.

Flynn’s lawyer applauds the no-bill from the grand jury but laments that his client decided to retire a few months earlier than originally planned due to his arrest – which the lawyer says was all just a bunch of political BS.  Right.  Because seeking a grand jury indictment on police officers when it’s obvious they’re going to get no-billed is totally the hottest thing right now.  Every politician wants one.  If nothing else, for the good will and feeling of trust it engenders within the community.

I hope Flynn takes up some other hobbies in retirement besides playing the Glock version of the telephone game.

Bentley’s owner, who only wants to be identified by his first name for fear of retaliation by the public servants he pays to protect him, still mourns the loss of his pet:

Bryan said he keeps Bentley’s cremated remains in a hallway of his home.  He said the circumstances behind the dog’s death —and whether anything would happen to the former deputy chief — had weighed heavily on him.

So uh, yay – one less thing to worry about.  Thanks Fort Worth!

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

Cats Castrated in High School Agriculture Class

In early November, the teacher of an agriculture class at Stephens Co High School in Georgia brought 2 cats into class and castrated them without anesthetic, having students hold the pets down.  One student was bitten.

So that happened.

The teacher, Daniel Hebert, is not a licensed veterinarian and I was unable to find any information as to whether the cats had been vaccinated against rabies prior to the incident.  I am guessing he owned the cats although I couldn’t find a source for that information.

The state department of agriculture investigated and said nothing illegal had happened.  Which is swell news for every wannabe vet yahoo looking for a place to set up shop – Georgia is your destination.  You can play vet there, and apparently there are no rabies laws either.

The ACO from the Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter was asked to investigate and determined there was cause to issue a summons for two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.  The pound director, Jeff Roberts, seems apologetic about having to do his job:

“I can’t really go into specifics of the case, other than to say that we have investigated it. We’re required to enforce county codes, and as part of our investigation we made the determination that it was warranted to issue a summons for 2 counts of animal cruelty, Then, it will be up to the judge to make the final determination in this case.”

I am not sure why the pound director seems hesitant to call out animal cruelty when in fact he should be the one leading the charge for justice for the poor cats.  Maybe it’s because the director realizes no one in the community has his back.

At the Stephens Co commission meeting this week, people came out in support of Hebert and things got ugly:

A host of people who spoke to the county commission Tuesday night questioned where animal control received its authority to issue the summons.

“He has not been sworn in,” said Revonda Seymour. “I talked to all the judges. Where is he getting his authority from?”

In fact, county code specifies that an ACO is empowered to enforce the animal cruelty laws in Stephens Co.

Becky Deitz-Payne said what has happened to Hebert is ridiculous and has been blown out of proportion.

“He is a wonderful teacher,” she said. “I think what he did in class is completely okay. They would not have been able to see that under any other circumstance unless they went to college if they were going for some type of degree in that field.”

The kids would never have been able to witness the miracle of animal cruelty if the teacher hadn’t tortured the cats in class.  And don’t worry about obtaining “some type of degree in that field” – the state department of agriculture says it’s unnecessary!

A fellow agriculture teacher from Stephens Co Middle School also spoke in support of Hebert, decrying the social media exposure the case has received and condemning those annoying people who oppose cat torture:

“Just because we have animal rights activists out there that get all bent out of shape.”

And then there’s this guy:

Stephens County Commission Chair Dean Scarborough told the students that came to show their support for Hebert to take this as a lesson of the dangers of social media, noting that once you put something out there on social media, it is out there and can be as harmful as something that is said face to face.

Let this be a lesson to you, kids.  Torture animals discreetly and ixnay on the acebook-fay.

Hebert resigned immediately after the incident went public then yoinked his resignation and decided to stay until the end of the school year in June.  Apparently the school is fine with that.  The department of agriculture is fine with it.  County officials are fine with it.  And the animal shelter staff is just sorry they had to do their jobs and follow the law.

Has anyone checked the lesson plans for Hebert’s class over the next 6 months?  Maybe somebody should – I mean, if they’ve been sworn in and they ask super nice and all the county judges say it’s ok and they don’t talk about it online or anything.

Way to make the south look progressive there, Stephens Co.  Thanks.  Hebert is scheduled to appear before the magistrate on December 18.  I’m sure those proceedings too will reflect positively on all of us here in the south.

Geez, twice in one week.  What are the odds?  Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

(Thank you to the reader who sent me this story.)

Case Update: Contracted Dolton Veterinarian and Employee Indicted on Felony Cruelty Charges

The Village of Dolton, IL contracted a private vet clinic, the Dolton Animal Hospital, to care for stray pets.  The animals were housed in the clinic’s basement.

In September, a Dolton police officer was dropping off a stray dog at the vet clinic and observed conditions reflecting serious neglect.  Four of the dogs in the hospital were dead in their cages, urine and feces were everywhere, and nine other dogs and one cat were starving to death.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Police removed the surviving animals and shut the place down.  A reporter spoke briefly with the clinic’s owner who seemed unimpressed with the public interest in his basement torture chamber:

“It’s a sad situation, but we’ll look into it and get back to you if there’s anything more,” said Dr. Amardeep Sangha[.]

This week, there is something more.  Although Sangha and one of his employees, Sharon Cargile, had been initially charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, charges were upgraded after necropsy results came back on the dead dogs revealing the pets had been starved to death.  Sangha and Cargile now face 3 felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Sangha’s attorney, Scott Frankel, appeared with him in court on Wednesday.  He seems about as unimpressed with dogs being starved to death as his client:

“Obviously, we are very disappointed, we believe, at the worst, what happened here should have been resolved as misdemeanors, if anything.”

If anything.  Because starving pets in cages next to dead pets whom you’ve already starved while pocketing cash from taxpayers to care for stray animals is nothing, basically.

“I’m sure when we get into the details it will be obvious to everyone that he is a responsible doctor, he is a great guy, he’s a family man, he’s supporting a family. And he still feels terrible that he has to answer all of these charges in court,” Frankel said.

I can’t wait to learn these amazing “details” so I can get on board with this Great Guy thing.  What a life transforming event that’s going to be – journeying from here to way, way over there.  And oh, how distressing that he has to answer for his crimes.  In court, even.  Like a common Not Great Guy.

Cargile failed to show up in court so there is a warrant out for her arrest.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Orange Co ACOs Under Investigation After Cutting Deer’s Throat

On the night of September 29, California veterinarian Kathleen Johnson and her husband were walking their dogs when they came upon a deer whose rear leg was impaled on a wrought iron fence.  He was hanging upside down, screaming and thrashing.  Dr. Johnson called 911, assessed the deer and waited on Orange Co ACOs to arrive.  When they did, she introduced herself as a vet and explained that the deer could be saved.  The ACOs said the deer should be killed.  Although the vet disagreed, she asked if they had euthanasia drugs with them.  They told her no and she offered to get some from her home which was nearby.  They refused.

The ACOs hogtied the injured deer, who was still hanging upside down and thrashing, and pulled out a knife to cut off his leg:

“I told them it was inhumane to cut off the buck’s leg while he was still alive without any anesthesia,” Johnson said. “The officer told me, ‘What does it matter, he’s going to be euthanized anyway?’”

Dr. Johnson offered to have her husband cut the fence but the ACOs told her to leave, threatening to let the deer to suffer in pain and do nothing at all so long as she was there.  After she left the ACOs slit the deer’s throat and watched him to bleed to death.

Dr. Johnson filed an animal cruelty complaint with Orange Co Animal Care:

Scott Weldy, a Lake Forest veterinarian who for years has helped Fish and Wildlife officers as well as animal control officers deal with wildlife, was called to do a report on the buck’s death.

When Weldy and fellow veterinarian Kristian Krause went to perform the necropsy, they were horrified. The buck’s front legs were tied together and one hind leg was attached to his neck.

Dr. Weldy characterized the suffering endured by the deer after his throat was slit as “inhumane and unbearable.”  The two ACOs have been on paid leave since October 1.  The Orange Co DA is investigating but the results of the investigation sound like a foregone conclusion:

“Whether you agree with what they did or not, it’s not a crime,” said Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff at the District Attorney’s Office.

If that’s the case I imagine Ms. Schroeder will have no problem pointing out the applicable statute which states that ACOs can hack up animals with knives as they see fit.

Mercifully, it sounds like there is at least one person willing to do his job in Orange Co:

County Supervisor Todd Spitzer has been investigating this on his own since being notified by Johnson.

“County training does not authorize the slitting of an animal’s throat so it can bleed out slowly,” Spitzer said. “It’s inhumane and unconscionable with folks we want in the county dealing with animals.”

Yeah, that would be like the minimum requirement for an ACO I would think:  the not cutting animals thing.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

WV Pound Employee Charged with Animal Cruelty, Again

I last wrote about Fayette Co, WV sheriff Steve Kessler in April when he was making excuses for one of his ACOs who illegally shot a dog to death with a small caliber rifle as a form of “euthanasia” when the owner had already paid to have the county euthanize the dog via injection.  It took 3 shots for the dog to finally die but sheriff Kessler said the ACO would not be terminated because working as an ACO is a “dirty, nasty” job and that law thing – whatevs.

Fayette Co AC is once again in the news and it’s still suckage.  Last week, Fayette Co ACOs and sheriff’s deputies received a tip that dogs had been abandoned at a vacant home in a trailer park.  Upon arrival, they found the dogs had no food or water and one was severely malnourished.  Neighbors said the homeowner, Crystal Lowery, came by daily.  Authorities probably had no trouble tracking Lowery down since she works at the Fayette Co pound.  And this wasn’t her first rodeo:

After investigating, deputies found, Lowery, who worked at the Fayette County Animal Control Center, had previously been charged with animal cruelty and had entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement on the previous charge on August 6, 2014.

One of the conditions of the agreement was that Lowery wouldn’t maintain ownership of any animals while the agreement was in effect. Based on the violation and the neglect of the animals, deputies filed a criminal complaint against Lowery.

All the dogs were seized.  Lowery was arrested and released on $2500 bond.  It boggles the mind that she wasn’t tossed out on her ass in August after the previous animal cruelty charge.  I wonder whether anyone checked to see if she has other cruelty charges prior to August.

The county contracts with the New River Humane Society to manage the pound.  Sheriff Kessler issued a press release to make sure everyone knew he was still the excuses king:

“All of the individuals employees at this Animal Control Center are employees of the New River Humane Society,” Kessler said. “The county administration does not play any role in screening or employing any of these individuals or in determining their suitability for continued employment at this Animal Control Center.”

Well gee, maybe the county administration uh, should play a role in determining the suitability of employees of groups it contracts to perform county duties.  At least to the extent of making sure they aren’t past and current abusers of the living beings in their custody.  Anyone else wondering who’s watching the kiddies at the county daycare or caring for the elderly in the county nursing home?

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Pitt Co Pound Oops-Kills Mama Dog Being Held for Cruelty Case

The Pitt Co pound functions primarily as a pet killing facility.  In 2013, Pitt Co killed 57% of the animals in its care:

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The carefully developed system of checks and balances employed at the Pitt Co pound to determine which pets are to be killed on any given day is this:

Each kennel has a paper on the front of it stating the name and circumstances of the dog. Then, when it’s time for certain animals to be put down, that paper is turned around so that the plain side is facing out.

Gosh, I hope there isn’t any breeze in Pitt Co or any other circumstance which might result in paperwork being placed the wrong way around on a kennel.  Because obviously the staff doesn’t question the killing of healthy/treatable animals.  Nor do they have supervisors signing off on killings.  OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.  Just if one person, any person I guess, says they saw a backwards paper:  kill.  Brilliant.

Last month, a Greenville pet owner was charged with animal cruelty after authorities found a dead puppy in a crate on her porch and 4 more puppies, aged 12 – 16 weeks, near death inside the home.  The puppies and mama dog were seized and all 4 pups died later that day.  The mama dog, called Venus, was sent to the Pitt Co pound to be held as evidence:

“We specifically asked for a hold, a special hold… because of the case. We wanted to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of pending the case outcome,” said [Greenville Police Chief Hassan] Aden.

Aden says his Animal Protective Services Officers regularly checked in on Venus.

The last time an officer went to the pound to see Venus, the “Pitt County Animal Staff, sort of, reacted a little oddly” and later admitted they had killed Venus that morning because the paper on her kennel was facing backwards.  Oops.  But no worries, there was an e-mailed apology:

In an email to police, the Director of the County Shelter, Michele Whaley, admits that Venus was accidentally put down, stating: “I am truly sorry for the unfortunate situation where the pit-bull we were supposed to be holding for Officer Nichols’ court case was euthanized. I take full responsibility for this mistake.”

So has anyone lost their job over this needless killing?  Anyone disciplined?  Anyone anything?  I suppose it’s back to business as usual at the Pitt Co pound.  And that business is killing.

This is a tragedy.  Mother dogs love their puppies and grieve for them when they die.  Venus would have been suffering deep emotional pain after the loss of her pups and I’m sure it’s no picnic living in a cage in a pet killing facility either.  Her last days in this life were dark indeed and then her life was needlessly snuffed out by pet killers.  This is another case where, as dreadful as it sounds, the dog was actually better off with the person charged with cruelty over her care.  At least then she and her pups were alive.  Now all is lost.

Tip:  Don’t send a dog you want “to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of” to a pet killing facility.

Other Tip:  Get some people in there willing to do their jobs to actually shelter animals.  Then the worst Pitt Co would have to worry about is a pet being oops-sheltered.

I hope Pitt Co taxpayers demand better of their public servants at the pound.  Until they do, killing will remain the default, oops-killings will continue, and e-mailed apologies will be the cherry on top of this awful pie.

(Thank you Anne for the link.)

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