NY Dog Control Officer Charged in Connection with Dog Death

Shaheen R. Shaheen, the dog control officer for the Town of Tupper Lake, was arrested by NY state police this week and charged with “one count of torturing or injuring animals or failure to provide sustenance, a class A misdemeanor, and one count of neglect of an impound animal, a class U misdemeanor.”

Shaheen had reportedly picked up a stray dog on October 2 after receiving a call about a loose dog in need of help from a neighborhood resident.  He took the dog, who police say was in rough shape, to the Tupper Lake Animal Shelter.  It’s not clear what else, if anything, Shaheen did for the dog after leaving him in a cage:

“The dog was in poor health at the time of confiscation, and its health continued to deteriorate while at the shelter,” the [state police press] release said.
“Shaheen failed to provide the dog with proper care and needed veterinary service.”

The dog was found dead at the shelter on October 26. The town council met with Shaheen about the death on October 27 and the town supervisor requested his resignation. He resigned his position, effective October 31.

Shaheen is due to appear in court on November 25.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Cat Needlessly Suffers at Fort Bend Co Pound

A004477 cage cardThe failing Fort Bend Co pound in Texas has claimed another victim.  Cat ID #A004477 was impounded as a stray on October 7, 2015.  On that date, his records show he received a vaccine and his condition was listed as “normal”:

Portion of medical records for cat ID #A004477 at Fort Bend Co.

Portion of medical records for cat ID #A004477 at Fort Bend Co.

At some unknown point, the cat’s condition became abnormal. What is known is that on October 29, animal advocate Elizabeth Welch was at the Fort Bend Co facility pulling a litter of kittens for a rescue group when she noticed cat ID #A004477 was sick. She notified 2 staff members who were in the room that the cat had diarrhea and needed to be seen by a vet.

On November 2, volunteer Taylor Cook found the cat limp, gasping for air, his body and cage covered in diarrhea with kittens housed below him. She alerted staff to the cat’s condition and snapped this photo:

Cat ID #A004477 at the Fort Bend Co pound. (Photo by Taylor Cook)

Cat ID #A004477 at the Fort Bend Co pound. (Photo by Taylor Cook)

Staff killed the suffering cat, later named Gabriel by a volunteer, and listed his condition as “severe”.

Records from Fort Bend Co, obtained via FOIA request, show that after the initial vaccination at time of impound, the cat was never treated again. No observations were recorded at any time. No notation was ever made that he was sick nor did he receive any vet care. He appears to have suffered, nearly to death, for at least 4 days while staff cashed their paychecks.

When outraged animal advocates complained to the county about the needless suffering and death of Gabriel, they all received the same form letter in response. The letter is basically the county patting itself on the back for all its “achievements” at the pound and refers to “marked improvement in the live release rate”, “a veterinarian walk through twice weekly” and donations earmarked for vet care for sick animals. And:

In addition to the improvements noted above, the staff has implemented a new schedule of monitoring all cages and all animals by senior staff three times each day. This is in addition to the usual walk-throughs by staff as they clean and feed the animals. This increased vigilance will assist the staff in identifying illness or other issues that can be promptly dealt with either by shelter staff or the volunteer community through their donations to rescues or 501(c)3 organizations. As always, we also appreciate volunteers and other visitors pointing out concerns as they see them to staff at the shelter at the time of their visit.

I interpret this letter to indicate that senior staff failed to note Gabriel’s desperate condition 3 times a day for at least 4 days. That’s 12 fails right there. Staff failed to note Gabriel’s deterioration every day during feeding and cleaning. More fails. And it seems logical to speculate there would have been at least one vet walk-through during those 4 critical days where no notes were made about Gabriel dying in his cage. Another fail.

But the county appreciates the public “pointing out concerns as they see them to staff” – so they can do nothing, apparently. Well staff did manage one note in the records – to list Gabriel’s condition as “severe” at the time they killed him. Gotta keep that marked improvement in the live release rate. Remember: euthanasia to relieve suffering is a kindness and we can’t blame staff. They’re doing the best they can, we’re all on the same team, blah cetera. I wonder how many other kindnesses Fort Bend Co has doled out to pets whose conditions are listed as “severe”.

(Thank you Elizabeth and Taylor for information in this post.)

Detroit Animal Control Being Sued by Everybody

Warning:  There are disturbing images at the links.


ACO Brittany Roberts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Detroit Animal Control after she says she was fired in September for advocating for the animals in the facility.  Ms. Roberts says she saw seriously injured pets impounded and left to suffer without vet care until they died.  One dog who had been hit by a car was left in a wheelbarrow at the pound for days.  The wheelbarrow is normally used to transport dead bodies to the freezer.

In interviews with local media, Ms. Roberts said the dogs were never walked and were forced to live in their own waste.  Illness was rampant throughout the facility and she often saw healthy animals become sick very quickly.  Many animals died in their cages from illness or starvation.  Workers would walk around the facility each morning to count the number of animals that had survived the night.  Those still alive would get food thrown onto the feces and urine covered floors of their cages.

Ms. Roberts was appalled at the cruelty she observed but says no one in a position of leadership would listen to her concerns.  After she began documenting the inhumane practices, she was fired.

Among the other allegations made in the lawsuit:

  • Pets were not scanned for microchips.
  • Sick animals were housed with healthy animals.
  • Animals were cramped into cages which were too small for them.
  • A litter of six orphaned pups was impounded and the director refused to release them to rescue or allow another mama dog to nurse them.  They slowly starved to death.
  • A 7 pound dog was hanged in a chokepole by the neck while an ACO carried the pole around the facility.

The whistleblower lawsuit is just one of many currently filed against Detroit Animal Control.  Several owners whose dogs were impounded due to lack of licenses have also filed lawsuits.  The dogs are held at the pound until the owner can produce proof of ownership deemed acceptable by DAC and pay the penalty fees which accrue daily.  One owner says he was visiting from South Carolina when DAC took his dogs away for lack of Michigan licenses.  Another says her two dogs were licensed but she couldn’t produce the documentation to prove it so her dogs were impounded.  Both got sick at DAC and one died.

Then there’s this bit of say whaaaaa:

That brings us back to [pound director] Harry Ward. He also has a dog being held in the shelter. His 6-year-old Mastiff, Peaches, lives in the shelter, but he’s not paying the daily fees.

“It makes you want to do a better job with everybody’s dog, when you know that your dog is here too.” Ward said

Peaches will not be adopted out to a home, and will continue living in her cage. All the while, her food, room, and board is all being paid for by taxpayers.

And if you don’t like them apples, I guess you know, so what.

The city’s response to the lawsuits and allegations was initially uh, hide but when that failed to make the situation go away, they tried announcing that the pound will now super generously allow other groups besides the scammy Michigan Inhumane to pull animals.  So come on down to DAC and grab yerself some sick animals out the wheelbarrow to take to your vet for expensive treatment.  Just remember not to take the director’s dog.  Because she lives there.  Because I don’t know.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Florida Animal Advocates Ask State Officials to Investigate Putnam Co Pound

A group of 12 shelter animal advocates in Florida sent a letter to the governor and the state attorney general requesting an investigation of Putnam Co Animal Control for animal cruelty and other illegal acts.  Among the allegations made in the letter:

  • Animals are left to suffer in cages without treatment for serious injuries and illnesses.  Some of them have suffered to death.
  • Animals are killed via “cruel and barbaric methods” including heartstick without sedation.
  • Dogs are left in the cages while they are being pressure washed.
  • ACOs have taken pets from their yards and listed them as stray.
  • Animals are not scanned for microchips upon intake.
  • Microchipped/tagged animals are “routinely” killed without ever contacting the owners.
  • Friendly animals are labeled aggressive and killed.
  • Animals who have rescues or adopters on the way are killed.
  • Animals are killed while cages sit empty.
  • Sick animals are not isolated and the facility is not properly cleaned on a daily basis.
  • Donated vaccines were left untouched in the refrigerator until they expired while county officials claimed that consistent vaccination upon intake has not been possible due to lack of vaccines.
  • Repeated offers of veterinary care from various members of the community have been refused.
  • Donated medicine and equipment have gone unused.

The letter specifically mentions that previous efforts to address the issues on a local level have failed.  It sounds like at least one local official has read the complaint and swiftly issued a meh:

Brian Hammons, the director of Putnam County planning and development services who oversee the animal shelter says it has received the letter and had no plans on acting on it. And had no further comment.

I am not a public official so maybe I’ve got this all wrong buuuut:  If I received a letter signed by 12 of my constituents alleging criminal acts being committed on a daily basis at a facility I’m in charge of, I’d be inclined to say something to the media that at least gave the impression I was vaguely concerned.  Even if I wasn’t.  Even if I had zero intention of performing due diligence and was content to let the alleged criminal acts continue unchecked.  Even if my only action plan in response to the letter was to fold it up and use it as a coaster for my coffee, I do believe I’d try to avoid letting on about that publicly.  Just to keep my job maybe.  Or is Brian Hammons the One True King of Putnam Co?

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Cats Chemically Burned by Unsupervised Inmates at Memphis Pound

On May 31, 2015, a kitten named Snowflake, ID # 277907, was sprayed with an undiluted cleaning chemical (San-O-128) by an unsupervised inmate at Memphis Animal Services.  She suffered painful chemical burns on her legs, tongue and mouth.  She was treated by an outside veterinarian and survived.  This is security camera footage, obtained via FOIA request, of Snowflake being burned with the chemical by the unsupervised inmate at MAS.  (Note:  I edited this video to show both incidences of the kitten being sprayed with the chemical.)

On June 1, 2015, a one year old cat named Sydney, ID #277271, was also abused by the same unsupervised inmate at MAS.  She suffered painful chemical burns on her eyes, tongue, mouth and ears.  Sydney was treated by an outside veterinarian and survived.  (Warning: The video below depicts animal abuse and readers will find it disturbing.)

A month and a half later, it was noted in Sydney’s medical record by the MAS vet that she has a corneal defect:

Portion of MAS records for cat ID #277271.

Portion of MAS records for cat ID #277271.

On June 5, 2015, an owner was trying to reclaim his spayed, 10 year old cat called Uptimus (ID #278237) from MAS.  Due to the mandatory spay-neuter law in Memphis, MAS refused to release the cat without verifying a spay scar.  Uptimus had spent her whole life as an indoor pet and was very scared at the pound.  She would not allow a stranger to shave and examine her abdomen and so MAS continued to hold her until the veterinary staff could sedate her for an exam.

While Uptimus was waiting to go home, another inmate, also unsupervised, intentionally sprayed her with the same undiluted cleaning chemical used by the inmate in the previous videos to hurt the other 2 cats.  Uptimus was trapped in her cage and could not escape her torturer.  (Warning:  Although Uptimus can not be seen in the video, some readers will find it disturbing.)

Uptimus, her face swollen as a result of chemical burns, at MAS.

Uptimus, her face swollen as a result of chemical burns, at MAS.

Uptimus was found on June 6 wedged between the feral box and the side of her cage with severe facial swelling, severe drooling, and suffering from severe dehydration.  MAS staff determined she had been exposed to the undiluted cleaning chemical and sent her to an emergency vet clinic.  At the emergency clinic, Uptimus had an IV catheter placed as well as a feeding tube as her mouth was so swollen, she was unable to eat normally.  X-rays revealed she was suffering from chemical pneumonia.  She was found dead in her cage at 2am.

In light of the abuse which MAS failed to prevent and the terrible suffering endured by Uptimus as a result of this abuse, it is very difficult to read the notes from MAS staff members regarding their interactions with the pet’s owner, Mr. Kotee:

Portion of MAS records for Uptimus, cat ID #278237.

Portion of MAS records for Uptimus, cat ID #278237.

MAS staff wasn’t any nicer to Mr. Kotee after his pet died either:

Portion of MAS records for Uptimus, cat ID #278237.

Portion of MAS records for Uptimus, cat ID #278237.

I am so sorry for the needless heartbreak Mr. Kotee must be suffering. MAS management should have followed protocol and supervised inmates at all times. Instead inmates were left alone with cats to hurt them. And then MAS staff treated the owner like he was second class. I can absolutely understand Mr. Kotee not wanting to give these people his ID. MAS staff are apparently sticklers for following the rules when it comes to EVERYONE EXCEPT THEMSELVES.

Records for Snowflake and Uptimus, obtained via FOIA request, can be read here.  Additional records on Snowflake and Uptimus, as well as records for Sydney, can be read here.

A local paper reported that both inmates were charged with animal cruelty.  On July 11, a shelter supervisor who allowed the inmates to work unsupervised – a failure which resulted in the torture and death of a beloved pet and painful injuries to two other cats – received a written reprimand from MAS.  A second supervisor also received a written reprimand but it was rescinded 2 weeks later by MAS director James Rogers.

Number of cats chemically burned by inmates whom MAS staff failed to supervise:  three.  Number of cats who died as a result of their injuries:  one.  Number of MAS staffers who lost their job as a result:  zero.

How many more, Memphis?

State of NC Revokes Certifications from Two ACOs

The NC Department of Agriculture received a complaint from a citizen in June regarding improper pet killings at the Stokes Co pound.  On July 2, the department revoked the euthanasia technician certifications from two ACOs at the facility. An investigation conducted by a state inspector found that Phillip Handy, then director of the Stokes Co pound:

  • killed animals before the required 72 hour holding period expired
  • improperly killed at least one animal in May 2015 “which involved the cruel and inhumane treatment of the animal”
  • “performed, participated in and/or witnessed” the inhumane killing of multiple animals
  • treated multiple animals cruelly and inhumanely causing them pain and suffering
  • shot an animal as “euthanasia” and failed to report it
  • failed to cooperate with the state during the investigation

The state further found that ACO Darryl Sheppard:

  • killed animals before the required 72 hour holding period expired
  • witnessed at least one inhumane pet killing incident in May 2015 and failed to report it
  • “performed, participated in and/or witnessed” the inhumane killing of multiple animals
  • shot or had knowledge of the shooting of an animal as “euthanasia” and failed to report it
  • failed to cooperate with the state during the investigation

Neither Sheppard nor Handy has been charged with any crime in connection with the department’s findings but the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating both men.  They no longer work for Stokes Co.  The facility failed its most recent inspection in late August.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

NC Shelter Workers Indicted for Torturing Dog Were Previously Praised by HSUS

In January of last year, HSUS issued a press release announcing its “top ten emergency placement partners”.  Number one on the list was the Guilford Co Animal Shelter in NC, run by the United Animal Coalition.  The press release reads, in part:

Although every placement partner is deeply valued, these ten groups went above and beyond to help animals rescued from large-scale crisis situations. Throughout the year, they showed tireless enthusiasm and dedication to helping animals.

This wasn’t the first time HSUS offered special recognition for the Guilford Co pound.  In February 2012, HSUS also named the facility on its top ten emergency placement partners list and issued a press release which reads, in part:

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, visited the Guilford County Animal Shelter Thursday to tour the facility and meet with staff members.

“Guilford County Animal Shelter has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to come to the aid of animals in need,” said Michelle Cascio, manager of the Emergency Placement Program for The HSUS.

There was a backlash among animal advocates as the United Animal Coalition was widely known for its secrecy and its reputation as an abusive killing hole.  Apparently Wayne Pacelle didn’t notice anything amiss during his tour or if he did, didn’t contact authorities about it.

This week, a grand jury indicted Marsha Williams, the director of the United Animal Coalition along with two employees, one of whom is the director’s daughter.  The charges stem from alleged illegal activities at both the Guilford Co pound and the Davidson Co pound, which was also run by United Animal Coalition.  A grand jury found that all three women “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did cause to be maliciously tortured an animal, an injured dog named Nana[.]”

In addition to the animal cruelty charge, Williams was indicted on several other offenses:

The indictment also alleges Williams possessed more than 100 tablets of Tramadol and kept tablets at the Davidson County Animal Shelter. The indictment further alleges Williams hindered a federal drug investigation by ordering workers to remove controlled substances from the shelter and creating false invoices showing the transfer of controlled substances from one shelter to the other.

The horrifying and long-standing allegations of widespread animal suffering, needless killing and rampant fraud perpetrated by United Animal Coalition have finally been moved into the judicial sphere.  It’s a shame Wayne Pacelle and HSUS spent so much time praising the work of these alleged animal torturers instead of blowing the whistle on them years ago.  It’s staggering to think of how many animals could have been saved, including Nana.

(Thanks Lisa for posting this link in the Open Thread.)

State Inspector Finds Animals Suffering at NJ Pound

An inspector from the New Jersey Department of Health found numerous problems during a July inspection of the East Orange Animal Shelter.  The full report can be read here.  Among the items noted by the inspector (my summary):

  • The guillotine doors in two of the dog runs were glued shut.
  • Dogs were given broken beds that failed to get them off the floor.
  • Kittens were fed dry food from an unlabeled bin so it could not be determined whether it was actually kitten food or something else.
  • Food and water bowls were not cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Some animals were left in cages with water bowls too small for their size despite appropriate sized bowls being in plentiful supply.  The small bowls were dry.

    Screengrab from the News12 website.

    Screengrab from the News12 website.

  • Many animals were left without water, including a mama cat and her three kittens.  The inspector asked an ACO to water them and once the water was put down, the inspector made this heart-wrenching note:  “The mother cat and kittens showed signs of excessive thirst and crowded to the water bowl after it was filled.  The mother cat was clenching her rear toes while drinking.”  The family drank all the water and the ACO was again asked to provide water.  The mother cat continued drinking from the refilled bowl.
  • Cats were not removed from their cages during cleaning which consisted of wiping down the cage with a paper towel that was dipped in a cleaning solution.
  • Cages were not being cleaned and disinfected properly.
  • Many empty cages, including those in the cat isolation area, were left dirty after the animal was removed.  Moldy food, decaying feces and other debris were left in the cages.
  • Sick and injured animals were not provided with prompt veterinary care, including a cat with a fractured, swollen leg that “crunched” when palpated.

    Screengrab from the News12 website.

    Screengrab from the News12 website.

  • One emaciated, dehydrated cat was vocalizing in distress.  The inspector was told by the staff the cat had not been eating or drinking during the 9 days she had been at the facility.  The vet had been informed of the cat’s condition one day prior to the inspection and responded he would check the cat the next week.  The cat weighed 11 pounds at intake and just 4 pounds on the day of inspection.  Her water bowl was empty.
  • The supervising vet showed up during the inspection and the inspector asked him to take the two most severely ill cats with him to his clinic for treatment but the vet refused.
  • There were no records indicating that animals were being medicated.
  • Sick animals were not moved to isolation and healthy animals were put in isolation upon impound as a holding area.  The ventilation for the isolation area goes directly to the general population housing.
  • Surrendered animals were being killed without proof of ownership nor any efforts to locate possible owners.  Some were killed the same day they were surrendered.
  • Animals were not weighed prior to being killed and the controlled substance log book was not being maintained accurately.  The ACO told the inspector that when the vet was on vacation for a week, they called him on the phone and he “walked them through” the killing procedure.
  • The crates in the AC vehicle were cracked and broken and contained dried blood and dirt.
  • Records were not kept properly and the inspector could not determine the disposition of many animals.
  • The same ID numbers were given to multiple animals and cage cards did not always match the animals inside the cages.
  • Some animals were unidentified, including both living and dead animals (in the freezer).
  • A microchipped dog who was surrendered with an adoption contract from another facility was killed.  The records did not indicate any reason for the killing nor any effort to contact the other facility to reclaim the dog.
  • Animals were being scanned for microchips upon intake only and not rescanned before disposition as required by law.

Yet another house of horrors disguised as a safe haven for animals.  But the truly baffling part is that this facility is in the magical north where we are told everything is daisies and My Little Pony for shelter pets because of MSN and responsible citizens.  So gee, how did this happen?  All the shelters shipping animals to the utopia north, take note.

(Thanks Nathan for sending me this story.)

More on United Animal Coalition Allegations

As posted yesterday, the secretive non-profit United Animal Coalition has had its registrations to run the Guilford Co and Davidson Co pounds revoked by the state of North Carolina.  The county editor for the Rhino Times, a paper in Guilford Co, reports that the allegations made by the state “are only the tip of the iceberg” regarding wrongdoing by UAC.

Citing a source who was in attendance at a secret meeting on July 27 held at the workplace of UAC president Carolyn Cudd, the Rhino reports that Cudd explained to the group how the investigation began:

On Tuesday, May 19, a severely injured dog that was paralyzed from the shoulders down and appeared to have a broken back was brought into the Davidson County shelter.

The next day, a shelter official assured a Davidson County sheriff’s deputy that the dog would be euthanized by the end of that day.  On Thursday, May 21, a deputy discovered the paralyzed dog still alive with maggots on its body and on the floor of the cage.

On Friday, May 22, a worker at the Davidson County shelter noticed a “bloody blowout” from the dog’s rear and took pictures of the animal’s plight and sent the pictures to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department.  The crippled animal was finally put to death later that day.

That led authorities to the investigation that expanded to Guilford County.


A picture of the dog with the broken back at the Davidson County shelter was also passed around at that time.

After the meeting attendees, including UAC’s former president, a current board member as well as county reps from both Guilford and Davidson, got a look at the maggot infested dog whose rear exploded while he lay paralyzed in UAC’s care, there was a discussion on whether UAC should suspend and/or hire a lawyer for Marsha Williams, the executive director of both shelters.  Because yeah, you know, not sure.

A Guilford Co pound volunteer told the Rhino that Davidson Co, the more recent contract awarded to UAC, was under greater scrutiny than Guilford Co.  In an effort to make Davidson’s numbers look good quickly, UAC set up a racket whereby dogs from the Davidson pound were sent to Guilford for killing and counted as adoptions on their way out of Davidson.  Hey, they went out the front door, technically.  I guess they were “adopted” by Fatal Plus at Guilford.

The vol also says UAC specifically directed employees to neglect suffering animals so that they would eventually die in their cages in order to manipulate the number of animals killed.  Hey, they weren’t “euthanized”, they just happened to be called to the Rainbow Bridge, la la la.

In addition, the volunteer told the paper the Davidson Co pound had no one licensed to kill animals for some period of time, donations were not being used for the stated purpose, the financial numbers being given to the county were false, and people were afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation by UAC.

Other allegations made in the piece:

  • Williams, who was paid more than $92,000 a year, hired several family members to work under her at the Guilford facility.
  • Controlled substances were not tracked and recorded as required by law.
  • Cats weren’t given sufficient quantities of food.
  • Animals were put in cages together without consideration of compatibility resulting in fights and food deprivation for weaker animals.
  • Bleach was poured directly into dog runs each day without rinsing causing dogs’ feet to burn.
  • Although severely injured and ill animals were often left to suffer, pets with minor ailments were regularly killed by UAC (I assume because they would take too long to die in their cages).

And of course, as is all too often the case in these situations, follow the money:

Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Col. Randy Powers said this week that the Sheriff’s Department is looking into multiple issues including concerns of financial fraud.  Powers also said the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has some computer forensics specialists who were working with Davidson County in its investigation as well.

Several of the UAC board members have recently resigned and replacements have reportedly been made but the president won’t name them.  I’m guessing the UAC board, along with the officials in Davidson and Guilford counties, will claim they had no idea about the killing schemes, the animals forced to suffer for the sake of deceptive reports, the financial fraud and all the rest.  Did they have some obligation to make themselves aware of at least the surface appearance of things at the pounds?  Should someone/anyone who was writing checks to UAC have poked their head in the door at some point and asked why dozens of animals were literally dying in front of their faces?  Those are questions which will hopefully be asked by local animal advocates – asked until reasonable answers are provided.

The appalling level of suffering endured by the animals in Davidson and Guilford counties under UAC is enough to keep most anyone awake at night.  Hopefully, it’s enough to land those responsible in jail.  But anyhoo, should we hire a lawyer for the director?  Iffy.

State of NC Shuts Down Operator of Two County Pounds

The state of North Carolina has revoked the shelter registrations issued to the United Animal Coalition – one used to operate the Guilford Co pound and the other for the Davidson Co pound.  In letters dated August 17, the state ordered UAC to cease and desist operating both facilities within 5 days “based on UAC’s willful disregard” of the laws pertaining to the care of shelter animals.

In Davidson Co, the state investigated a complaint regarding a severely injured dog.  The state found that UAC had left an apparently paralyzed dog with a possible broken back to suffer without a vet exam for 3 days before killing the dog.  A review of records dating back to January 2015 revealed an astonishing number of animals who were left to die in their cages.  A few examples cited by the state:

  • From April 15 – 30:  40 animals found dead in their cages
  • In May:  91 cats and 5 dogs found dead in their cages
  • In June:  86 cats and 5 dogs found dead in their cages
  • In July:  78 cats and 14 dogs found dead in their cages

While the obvious suffering of animals at Davidson Co is disturbing, the state cited scores of specific examples of dogs and cats suffering at Guilford Co which are absolutely heartbreaking to read.  Among them:

    • A dog who had been shot in the face and had an eyeball hanging out was given pain medication upon intake and then left to suffer without a vet exam or meds of any kind for 12 days before being killed.
    • A cat who had been hit by car and had his tail degloved was given pain meds but never received a vet exam, wound treatment or antibiotics by the time UAC killed him 4 days later.
    • A cat who had been hit by a car came in with a missing leg and his chin degloved.  He never received a vet exam and UAC waited 10 days before killing him.  He may have received pain meds but the records contain conflicting information so that information is unclear.
    • A dog who had been hit by a car was bleeding from his penis and had abdominal swelling, possibly due to internal bleeding.  His breathing was labored and one of his legs may have been broken.  He suffered in this condition for 2 weeks without so much as a veterinary examination.
    • An elderly dog who appeared to be suffering was brought in by an owner requesting euthanasia.  UAC failed to obtain proof of ownership but took the dog and left him in a cage for 4 days before killing him.  He was never examined by a vet.
    • Another dog, circumstances similar to the above, was left for 6 days before being killed.
    • A dog with apparent neurological problems and leg wounds was left to suffer without a vet exam for 4 days before being killed by UAC.
    • A cat who had “severe diarrhea, anus and vagina swollen and raw, and hair under the tail missing” was given medication for one day then left without exam or treatment for 11 days before UAC killed her.
    • A dog whose feet were raw and who had a large mammary tumor was left in a cage and discovered with the tumor ruptured the following day.  The dog never received a vet exam and was killed after 5 days.
    • A cat who had a maggot in an infected hole in his neck was given pain meds without a vet exam, had the maggot removed and the wound flushed.  No antibiotics were administered.  The cat was found dead in his cage 6 days later.
    • An emaciated cat who appeared hypoglycemic and exhibited symptoms of conjunctivitis and a URI never received a vet exam or meds by the time UAC killed him, 11 days later.
    • An emaciated dog with multiple bite wounds, both old and new, came in with a swollen face and abdomen, a hematoma on the ear and the smell of infection in the mouth.  The dog was placed on pain meds without a vet exam and never received any wound treatment or antibiotics by the time UAC killed him 5 days later.

HSUS has listed Guilford Co as one of its “top ten emergency placement partners” and encouraged the public to bring the staff cupcakes to say “thank you”.  If anyone does plan on bringing cupcakes, please contact me for a top ten list of suggested places you can cram them.

While shutting down UAC is obviously good news for animals, it’s not good enough.  For one thing, the criminal douchebags responsible for what is likely years of animal suffering and death need to go to jail.  For another, Guilford Co taking over the pound is not exactly the knight on the white horse anyone was hoping for – unless the county has changed from doing basically all the same things UAC is accused of by the state.  Trouble behind, trouble ahead.  Annoying animal advocates needed in Guilford and Davidson counties.  Huge.

(Thanks Lisa, Laura and Arlene for the links.)


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