Caddo Parish Pound Director Posts Repulsive Image on Social Media

The alleged nice guy in charge of the Caddo pound in LA is in the news again.  This time, he uploaded an anti-Semitic/anti-dog image to the pound’s Facebook page, captioned it, then started taking massive heat for it about 4 seconds later.  Who knew that drawing Stars of David on pictures of shelter dogs’ faces like they were concentration camp prisoners and putting the SS logo above them would be received so poorly?  Holocaust jokes are usually just fall-down-funny and the mass killing of shelter pets is another knee slapper so pairing the two seems like a very good idea.  But the public outcry failed to reflect the awesomeness of the stunt.

Pound director Everett Harris deleted the post amidst all the outrage and ended up posting a non-apology on the page, claiming that uploading the photo was an oops (and presumably typing in the caption, “How to deal with the difficulties of life”, was too) while he was uploading photos of adoptable dogs. But that explanation apparently wasn’t the first draft:

While Harris’ official apology and [Caddo Parish administrator Woodrow] Wilson’s statement claim that the posting of the photo was in error, Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn says that was not the explanation he was given when he called Wilson while the post was still up, concerned that the page had been hacked.

“I found out through talking to Dr. Woodrow Wilson, that Everett had put it up there and Everett was proud that he put it up there. He wanted to share with the citizens of Caddo what someone had sent him and did it without the second thought.”

Linn characterized the whole oops explanation as “a bold face lie.”

But the director was proud.  I guess if you can’t be proud of what you do to animals at your job, you can look to concentration camp/dead dog jokes as a source of pride. Harris added:

“I have to endure what some would call a hostile work environment from a group of people with a dated mindset. I have been called a liar, a dictator, profanity laced, scumbag, rude, and racial comments that no human should say because of a select few who want to influence, control and make decisions for this department.”

In that initial explanation, Harris went on to say, “The picture that you see is one of many that I received since becoming the Director of ASMC because some take hatred too far.”

You guys – he’s the victim here. Have a little sensitivity.

That caption though.  Makes both the oops and the victim claims a hard sell.  He photographed the image, uploaded it to Facebook, then typed in the caption.  It seems like Wilson, the only person who can fire Harris, is the only one buying what he’s selling.  Except for commissioner Lyndon B. Johnson.  He knows Harris is innocent because God:

“I pretty much believe that’s probably what happened because he just preached his first sermon last Sunday or the Sunday before,” he said. “So somebody who has been called, I don’t think they would do anything like that.”

Right.  I know I’ve never heard of any sort of wrongdoing associated with someone involved in a church.  It’s like, impossible.

Good for animal advocates for screencapping the postings and raising hell.  Keep going.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Animal Advocates Continue to Protest Legal Decisions in KY Dog Case

In April, Boyle Co Animal Care and Control in Kentucky seized twelve presa canarios from owner Christopher Pope who was charged with twelve misdemeanor animal cruelty counts.  Five of the dogs were returned to him while the other seven were housed at the local HS while the court case proceeded.  In June, Pope’s house caught fire and three dead presa canarios were found on the property – two in a bathtub and one decomposing in a plastic bin.  The cause of death was never sought.  Last month, Pope made a plea agreement with Boyle Co on reduced charges.  His seven dogs were returned to him despite protests from rescuers:

Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell decided to release the dogs into Pope’s care despite some public outcry and requests from “rescue” organizations to take the dogs. Campbell said in a recent interview that he made the decision because if Pope went to trial on the charges and was found not guilty, he could rightfully reclaim his dogs.

Days after Pope put the dogs in kennels on property in Lincoln Co, six of them chewed through the fencing and escaped.  They reportedly mauled a woman in her yard, causing her serious injuries.  One dog was shot to death at the scene and the others, including a pregnant dog named Fiona whose belly was too fat to escape the kennel, were taken to Lincoln Co AC.  There, Fiona whelped a litter of ten puppies.  Local animal advocates hired an attorney to fight for Fiona’s right to live along with her puppies, noting none of them were involved in the attack.

Lincoln Co judge executive Jim Adams ordered all the dogs, including Fiona, killed on August 10.  All ten of her puppies are also reportedly dead, although the county is refusing to say exactly how they died.  Adams has also put a stop to rescues and volunteer transporters pulling animals from the pound, citing liability concerns.  Animal advocates protested the judge’s decisions on the steps of the Lincoln Co courthouse this weekend.

The case appears to have been mishandled from the beginning with multiple points along the way where the counties involved could have prevented further harm.  Instead, they have ended up with a seriously injured resident, a pile of dead dogs and puppies, protesting animal advocates, and presumably more dogs languishing at the pound.  Maybe they figure they’re in a hole and it’s too late to stop digging now, I don’t know.  I hope the locals stay on them.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals – Pittsylvania Co Edition

The Pittsylvania Co pound in Virginia has an 80% kill rate for cats.  Pete Boswell, the county’s chief ACO, has an excuse:

Boswell said the county’s shelter picks up feral cats throughout the year, which drives up rates, he said.

It only drives up kill rates if you actually kill the cats.  But that’s probably just me being persnickety.

Most cats impounded by Pittsylvania Co get sent to the Danville Area Humane Society.  Which has a 93% kill rate for cats.  So long frying pan, hello fire.  Paulette Dean, the Danville pound’s executive director also has an excuse:

“Have you seen the number of cats we receive?” Dean said via email Friday.

Apparently if you saw the number of cats, you’d be all right with killing 93% of them.  Because number.

The Pittsylvania facility has no director and never has had one in its 30 years of existence.  The ACOs go out on calls and the pound is unattended while they are in the field.  But they’re doing the best they can:

Boswell said the shelter makes every effort to adopt out its animals.

[…]

As for adoptions, Pittsylvania County animal shelter officials promote them by running four photos of animals per week in a local weekly publication, Boswell said.

Four photos.  Not one – not two – not three – but FOUR PHOTOS.  The county really is doing all the things to save lives.  Except TNR.  They don’t do that.  Because it’s stupid:

“It has not been proven that it reduces the number of cats,” Boswell said. Of course it decreases euthanasia rates if they’re picked up and released back into the wild, Boswell said.

Yeah I mean OF COURSE if you aren’t actually killing the cats, it makes the kill rate go down.  That doesn’t mean it’s some kind of good idea or anything.

Hound at the Pittsylvania Co pound who was killed while rescuers offered to save him.

Hound at the Pittsylvania Co pound who was killed while rescuers offered to save him.

Pittsylvania Co has 3 ACOs, one of whom has been out sick the past 3 months.  If someone wants to adopt or rescue an animal and the place is locked, they have the option of waiting around to see if an ACO shows up.  Can’t call because no one is there to answer.  Can’t email because no one has time for such tedium, as evidenced by the case of a starving, mangy hound who was picked up by Pittsylvania Co last month and killed while offers to save him were ignored:

[Franklin Co HS director Anita] Scott says she made several attempts to contact the shelter to save the dog but says her calls and emails went unanswered. “So, there was never a reply.”

Boswell claims he didn’t have time between himself and the other officer to respond to Scott’s emails. “The email says “Is this guy going to be released. That’s all it says. The next day I didn’t get to reply due to the work schedule.”

The email did not say DO NOT KILL in red typeface with many exclamation points and the “oh no” emoticon and anyway I can barely squeeze in all the animal killings what with the four photos a week and such.

So many more cupcakes are needed.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Be Here Now: Loving Pets Available in Shelters

I was researching a public shelter and couldn’t find a website for the facility so visited its page on Petfinder.  At the top of that page, the shelter had a quote from another website which reads, in part:

ALL SHELTER DOGS WERE ONCE NORMAL PUPPIES eager to learn how to live with people. Yet far too many dogs are surrendered to shelters largely because their owners were unaware of how to prevent predictable puppy/adolescent behavior, temperament and training problems.

While I understand the desire to promote responsible puppy ownership, putting this quote on a shelter’s webpage is a terrible idea because it translates to:

ALL SHELTER DOGS ARE ABNORMAL. They were once normal but that time has passed. As adult shelter dogs, they don’t want to learn how to live with people. It’s not their fault they are defective. Their ignorant former owners saddled them with the behavioral, temperament and training problems they now have.

Myth:  Shelter dogs are damaged goods.  There is a reason they are sitting in a shelter.

Reality:  Shelter dogs are dogs, just like owned pets.  They come in all varieties of behavior, temperament and training, just like owned pets.  They may have had an ignorant owner in the past or a loving owner who was simply unable to care for them any longer or perhaps they haven’t had an owner in quite some time.  Verifiable information about the pet’s past is often not available.

Nearly all dogs are happy to learn how to do what is required of them in order to have a place within a family home.  This is true for dogs adopted from shelters as well as dogs obtained from friends, family or other sources.  Adopters should expect to put some work into their new pet – not because he came from a shelter but because he is a dog.  Adopters can also expect to experience the joys of living with a companion animal.

Wendy, former and current normal dog, was adopted from a shelter and readily took to her bed hog training.

Wendy, former and current normal dog, was adopted from a shelter and readily took to her bed hog training.

Shelter dogs don’t dwell on their past.  Neither should we.  Every dog is an individual with the right to live, love and be loved.  At most public shelters, animals’ right to live is violated by the very people we pay to protect them from harm.  The notion that anyone at a shelter would do anything to discourage adoptions, and thus increase the number of pets going to the kill room, is tragic.

If you are considering adopting a shelter pet, don’t be fooled by the myths.  A dog sitting in a shelter is a dog – no more, no less.  It’s possible they might be a little more appreciative than average because you saved their life but you can probably manage.

Lost, Microchipped Pets – Emphasis on LOST

In theory, microchipping your pet is an excellent way to help get him back home should he ever get lost.  In reality, microchips are useless if the organization taking in lost pets doesn’t scan for them or contact the registered owner (and the alternate contacts, if necessary).  There have been a spate of stories recently involving microchipped lost pets being found and the owner not being contacted.

A Pennsylvania family who left their microchipped German shepherd Sophie with a relative while they went on vacation this month only found out she had gotten lost on July 4th after they returned home on the 13th.  They immediately called the HS of Westmoreland Co and learned their pet had been impounded on July 6 and adopted to a new owner six days later.  The HS says it tried to reach the registered owner (whom the family obtained the dog from) listed on Sophie’s microchip but the voicemail at that number was not set up.  After the 48 hour holding period elapsed, they offered the dog for adoption.  The original owner disputes the shelter’s claim about her voicemail.

Either way, if a chip’s first phone number doesn’t yield results, there are always the alternate contacts as well as registered mail and good old knocking on door.  But I guess that sounds like work.  The HS claims the adoption is legal and that the family never legally owned Sophie anyway because they hadn’t licensed her.  So stuff it, basically.

***

In Sonoma Co, CA, a lawsuit has been filed by the original owner of a 10 year old tuxedo cat who was microchipped at the time he went missing several years ago.  The current owner, who says she bought the cat 5 years ago from a rescuer she met through her veterinarian, only found out the cat was chipped last year when she took him to a new vet who scanned him.  She attempted to register the chip in her own name, prompting the chip company to contact the original owner.  The original owner says she bottle fed the kitten from birth, searched for him extensively when he got lost and still wants him back.  The current owner loves him too and doesn’t want to give him up.

Had either the rescuer or the first vet scanned the cat at the time he was found, he could have been returned to the original owner.  Now two people are heartbroken over the matter and a cat is caught in the middle.

***

The city of Alton, IL recently eliminated funding for its ACO position, turning those duties over to police.  This week, Alton police responded to a call about an injured dog in a store parking lot.  The 15 year old dog, called Buster, had wandered away from home and apparently hurt his rear leg.  His owner had filed a missing pet report with the police department including a description of Buster and his microchip information.

A witness says she saw police coax him into their car with bologna.  State law requires the officers to take the dog to a vet’s office to be scanned for a microchip.  Once the chip’s information had been read, the owner could have been contacted.  Instead, the officers reportedly drove the dog to the AC facility where one shot him twice with a .12 gauge shotgun and the other put two bullets from his .40 caliber Glock 23 into the pet.  After Buster was dead, a chip scan provided his owner’s information and the owner was notified of his pet’s killing.  Oh and the police love animals:

“We know what our protocol has been up to this point,” said Emily Hejna, public information officer for the Alton Police Department. “We were presented yesterday with some law saying something that might contradict what what we have been using as practice.”

Rather than task the police department with figuring out how to work compliance with some law into their protocol, the city voted to reinstate the ACO.  Hopefully the ACO has – and uses – a chip scanner.  While animals are still alive.

***

(Thanks to everyone who sent me links for this post.)

Roswell: Some People Just Don’t Get It

The city of Roswell, New Mexico, whose mayor Dennis Kintigh may be under alien mind control, has an ordinance stating that lost and homeless animals must be killed after 7 days at the shelter, regardless of how many cages sit empty.  Animal advocates have called for an end to that policy but the mayor and the police chief have refused, in the most gleeful sounding ways.  But now the city is planning to hire someone new to run the shelter and will begin accepting bids for the position on July 28.  Major reform may be within reach:

“If they want to keep animals longer, they can,” Kintigh said.

That’s because the shelter is getting new management. The city will take applications, and rescue groups will be included.

“The idea is those that have a passion for caring for animals would step up and provide a level of care and service that those that don’t have the passion wouldn’t be able to provide,” Kintigh said.

Note the they – just one side-eye short of those people.  At issue is management of the public shelter paid for by taxpayers in the city this mayor runs.  Where is he coming up with this they notion?  If the mayor is not invested in his own community’s shelter, why would anyone else?

As a reminder, the primary complaint is that management needlessly kills animals they have resources to shelter – because they can.  It would seem that the only thing the current management has a passion for is killing animals.  Regardless, the mayor’s assertion that people who don’t care passionately about animals are unable to perform the same quality of work as those who do is ludicrous.  He’s giving a pass to animal killers for not doing their jobs because of some perceived lack of ability.

First off, many people who work for a living do not have a passion for bagging groceries, driving a cab, buffing floors or what have you.  That’s why they call it work.  We do it for a paycheck and if we want to keep those paychecks coming, we do it well.  I have never worked for a boss who told me it was fine to be a total slack ass because hey, if you don’t feel it, you just don’t.  Secondly, human beings have free will and can choose to feel empathy for the animals entrusted to their care.  Just because management in Roswell has chosen not to do so in no way excuses the needless killing of shelter pets.

I hope Roswell is able to attract a compassionate manager for its shelter.  I hope that not every decent candidate looks at the job opening and thinks they would not work for that mayor for love or money.  I fear that the applicants who would think working under this ready-made-excuse-mayor sounds appealing would not be the type to buck the system and institute meaningful reform at the shelter.  I also question whether the mayor is truly willing to allow for major changes.  Maybe if they do their work quietly and don’t cause a fuss.

(Thanks Karen for the Open Thread link.)

Study Finds Low Numbers of Purebred Dogs in U.S. Shelters

Nala, a dog listed for adoption by the Northeast Animal Shelter in MA, is one of the dogs whose listings were screencapped for the NAIA study.

Nala, listed for adoption last year by the Northeast Animal Shelter in MA, is one of the dogs whose listings were screencapped for the NAIA study.

The National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) has just published a study regarding the number of purebred dogs in U.S. shelters.  The study aimed to determine the total number of purebred shelter dogs available to the public for adoption by counting the animals listed online each week at eighteen shelters over a one year period.  (The project originally included more than eighteen shelters but those that didn’t update their listings regularly were eliminated.) I am assuming that some purebred dogs never made the online listings, and therefore were not counted, because they were reclaimed by owners, pulled by rescues, or shipped to other areas for adoption.

While the study acknowledges that some dogs listed as purebreds by shelters are actually mixed breeds, the group did not have the resources to send breed identification experts to eighteen shelters every week for a year and therefore agreed to accept the shelter’s listings as accurate.   However, in reviewing several of the screenshots taken of the available weekly listings of dogs and the number of purebreds who were counted that week, it appears the study excluded dogs who were listed as purebred but had no photo (see example).  On the flip side, there were presumably some purebred dogs who were incorrectly listed as mixed breeds.

Among the conclusions:

According to this study, the number of purebreds in US animal shelters is closer to 5% (5.04%) than to the 25% so commonly cited by national animal organizations and quoted by the media. It is interesting to observe that the number of purebreds in shelters would be 3.3% were it not for two breeds that are overrepresented, Chihuahuas and dogs described as Pit Bulls. Together, these two breeds account for 35% of all purebreds listed by shelters in this study. The public seems to be aware that dogs described as Pit Bulls are overrepresented in American shelters. What is not well known is that Chihuahuas are the single most numerous purebred found in shelters today.

Shelters who regularly import large numbers of dogs from other areas had the highest number of purebreds, as might be expected.

Portion of the NAIA study showing data on purebred dogs in shelters.

Portion of the NAIA study showing data on purebred dogs in shelters.

In a press release regarding the study, NAIA is calling for changes to federal and state laws:

  1. Prohibit the importation of rescue dogs from foreign countries immediately
  2. Impose the same oversight requirements on animal rescues and shelters as those imposed on other animal dealers
  3. Require animal shelters to report the source and number of the dogs they take in and the disposition of those dogs

There is a lot to digest here. I hope readers will weigh in with their thoughts.

Shelter Sold Owned, Microchipped Lost Dog to Strangers While Owner Searched

Jingle and Toby, a pair of Schnauzers owned by Anita Sloan in Bedford, Texas, wandered away when someone accidentally left a gate open at the family’s home.  Ms. Sloan raised the pair from pups and considers them family.  She began searching for them immediately, hoping the microchip she had implanted in Jingle would help the family get reunited.

Ms. Sloan visited Bedford Animal Services but did not find her pets.  She was given a lengthy list of shelters to search.  She dutifully visited each one although there was some confusion about the two shelters in Keller:

Sloan explains she visited all but one shelter in Keller. The number printed for the shelter on the list she has, got her nowhere.

“The person you are trying to reach is not available,” a recording says when she dials the number.

The city apparently has two shelters:  Keller Animal Services and Keller Regional Adoption Center.  As it turns out, Jingle and Toby had been picked up by police and left at Keller Animal Services.  The city says it checked both dogs for chips but found none.  After the mandatory holding period, the dogs were transferred to the Keller Regional Adoption Center which is run by the HS of North Texas.  Staff there did detect Jingle’s chip but sold the dogs to a new owner anyway.  Because it’s not their job to return dogs to owners:

“At that particular facility we don’t handle lost and found animals. We just handle adoptions,” says Whitney Hanson, Director of Development & Communications.

Hanson explains that the facility would have only been looking at finding homes for the pets since Keller Animal Services had already processed the animals.

[…]

The Humane Society of North Texas says there is no existing system that allows all municipalities to communicate.

There is no existing system which allows all municipalities to communicate.  Fair enough.  But the HS knew Jingle was chipped.  Finding that chip should have prompted the HS to check the transfer paperwork and see if Keller Animal Services had followed up on the chip and what the outcome was.  The HS had an obligation to verify that the chip was a dead end before proceeding.  A statewide communication system is not required for that – just a phone call or email to Keller Animal Services to ask about the chip’s status.

And while it may not be the Humane Society’s job to return animals to their owners, common sense would dictate that a pair of schnauzers, typically a professionally groomed breed purchased from a breeder, aren’t walking the streets because they are homeless and just happened to meet each other in an alley and decided to pal around.  There would be every reason to suspect Jingle and Toby were owned, likely by the person who registered the chip, whom the HS never bothered to call.

Jingle and Toby are now living with people in Houston.  The HS of North Texas says that “according to Texas law, the schnauzers are the legal property of their new owners”.  The situation has been explained to the new owners and Ms. Sloan has offered to reimburse them for any expenses if they would return her family members.  They are reportedly considering what to do with the dogs.

Keller Animal Services failed to detect a lost dog’s microchip.  The HS of Texas detected the chip but made no effort to find out if Keller Animal Services had attempted to reach the registered owner.  The city says no one is at fault.  The situation looks bad.  It looks like the first shelter is either incompetent or lying and the second shelter is a money-grubbing doggie retail outfit where no one could be bothered to slow down in the rush to sell a bonded pair of little purebred dogs.

It’s 2015, Keller.  Time to step outside the Only This Thing is My Job and I Do Only This Thing box.  You may not have a statewide shelter communication system but I’m guessing there is such a thing as phone service in Keller.  Shame on everyone involved in the needless break up of this family because apparently no one at either shelter knows what the right thing to do is when it comes to pets.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

MI Shelter Records Appear Falsified to Hide the Killing of Healthy Pets

Nancy Hornberger, a pet owner in Michigan, had a multiple cat household with one cat who kept fighting with the others and spraying urine.  Aside from this, Spitz was a loving pet and Ms. Hornberger felt he might enjoy life more in a single cat home.  She called the Oakland Co Animal Shelter and asked about having the shelter rehome Spitz.  Ms. Hornberger says she was told that as long as the cat was healthy and adoptable, they would put him on the adoption floor.  She packed up Spitz’s favorite food and toys and wrote a two page letter about him to be given to whoever adopted the cat.  Ms. Hornberger then surrendered Spitz, his belongings and the letter to the Oakland Co shelter so he could find his perfect home.

But Oakland Co killed Spitz minutes after the former owner hit the door.  Ms. Hornberger found out later, after animal advocates filed FOIA requests and received records for animals who were killed and categorized as “owner requested euthanasia” by the shelter.  When informed of Spitz’s killing, Ms. Hornberger collapsed.  She could not understand why her lovable pet would be killed instead of being offered for adoption by the shelter.  And she says she absolutely did not ask the shelter staff to kill him:

We never, in any way, requested that.

The Oakland Co shelter’s website indicates they are limited admission for cats:

Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center will operate as an open admission shelter for cats based on available capacity starting January 2, 2015. That means we will not accept cats when we do not have room to house them. After consulting with veterinary staff and other experts in animal shelter operations, we will implement the industry’s best practices.  By limiting the number of cats we house, we will be able to offer the very best care to our existing cat population.

It would seem to follow that the facility had adequate space to house Spitz at the time he was accepted.  Also, for those trying to re-read that last paragraph:  open admission=limited admission in Oakland Co, apparently.

(Photo by Casey Post)

(Photo by Casey Post)

WXYZ asked Oakland County Director of Public Services Mark Newman why Spitz was killed. He says that the cat was deemed unadoptable due to the urine spraying and too bad so sad the owner failed to understand that at the time she surrendered Spitz. Ms. Hornberger says if she would have known Spitz would be killed, she would never have left him at the shelter.

So what exactly makes an animal “unadoptable” at Oakland Co?

As for the shelters written policy on what makes an animal adoptable, it won’t be posted at the shelter or its website.

“It is not something we disseminate to the public, but it is our information,” said Newman.

It’s classified. But WXYZ got a copy of the document detailing the excuses used by Oakland Co to kill animals, which the shelter titled “CARES” because aw. Among the excuses:

  • Animals designated “treatable/manageable” may be given one week before being recategorized as “untreatable/unhealthy” – not because these animals actually are either untreatable or unhealthy, just because it’s been a week and hey, we’re not running a doggie hotel here people.
  • Examples of treatable/manageable conditions include: cough, cold, arthritis, fleas, worms, cherry eye, missing eye/limb or other physical disability, and having the audacity to be born while being cared for by a mother. One week to get over that lost eye or that being born thing.
  • Examples of untreatable/unhealthy conditions include: healthy feral cats, dental disease, ringworm, and skin mites. I love that healthy feral cats are included in the definition of unhealthy because that just makes sense. Healthy=unhealthy, what’s the problem – you stupid or something?
(Photo by Casey Post)

(Photo by Casey Post)

One thing I didn’t see on the list was spraying, which is supposedly a capital offense in Oakland Co. The closest thing I could find:

Have a behavioral, temperamental or medical characteristic that would pose a danger to other animals, themselves or the public.

Does Oakland Co think cat urine is a public health threat?

Lest anyone think that Spitz’s killing represents an isolated incident at Oakland Co, the shelter’s own records seem to reveal it is a regular occurrence. Records appear to be falsified as “owner requested euthanasia” on numerous animals, including strays killed upon impound instead of being held for the legally mandated holding period and pets who are given nail trims and vaccines prior to being killed, supposedly by owner request.

Why the shell game? Oakland Co boasts on its website that it “currently has the best save rate in Michigan among public open-admission shelters whose intakes are greater than 5,000 animals”. But that save rate specifically excludes animals categorized as being killed by owner request, such as Spitz. (There is also an exclusion for animals killed and categorized as “contracted” which I don’t recall coming across before and don’t know what it refers to.)

Oakland Co taxpayers are getting the shaft with regard to their public shelter.  The shelter is limiting admission of cats while claiming to be open admission, arbitrarily designating healthy animals as unhealthy, and falsifying records to blame the needless killing of pets on “owner request” where no such request ever existed.  It is up to local residents to demand better.  As for Oakland Co workers, if you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Bringing Up from the Comments

Regarding the issue of animal shelters requiring proof of ownership in order to surrender/redeem pets, a reader commented:

If they ‘found’ a dog yesterday, got it vac for rabies today, and ‘surrendered’ to a shelter Tomorrow – presenting valid Rabies Vac as proof of ownership — will that make the dog theirs? should there be a 6 month limit on Rabies Vac before being accepted as ‘proof’ of ownership?
I would appreciate any reasonable suggestions or what your county/state is using as ‘Proof of Ownership’ Thanks!

Do you know if your state, county and/or city has any language on the books defining what constitutes proof of ownership with regard to surrendering and/or redeeming pets at shelters? I checked SC state law and could not find any references to the issue at all. I failed to find any relevant county ordinance either. In checking my county pound’s website, they have no information whatsoever on the surrender or redemption process. So I am operating on the assumption that my local pound falls under the Anything Goes protocol, probably based upon the whim of the person in charge of the pet killing facility at the time a person attempts to surrender or reclaim a pet.

Does your state, county or city have any laws addressing the issue of proof of ownership for shelter surrender/redemption? Does your local shelter set its own policies on that matter and if so, are they published online? Please share your location and whatever relevant info you have on this subject.

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