Disability? I’ll Drink to That! *clink*

drinkingproblemThe city of Fort Worth hired a contract veterinarian, Joel Akin, to neuter animals at the city shelter.  Some of the surgeries reportedly didn’t go well.  After a dog he spayed died at the facility, the rescuer intending to pull the dog asked to speak with him but she says he refused.  A technician at the clinic reported that Akin was drunk on the job.  The city immediately suspended and later fired her for making “irresponsible and unfounded” allegations.

Cue the enabling:

Akin’s boss, code compliance director Brandon Bennett, told a local paper, “Akin had a disability that sometimes caused him to get dizzy and slur his speech but that he was a skilled vet.”

He’s a deadbeat dad who’s also gotten into trouble for assaulting and harassing people BUT, it’s a disability.  I hope we can get him a special parking space.

“He’d had a troubled life,” [Fort Worth assistant city manager Fernando] Costa said. “But not withstanding those problems, he appeared to be fully certified as a veterinarian.”
The I-Team found those problems included a criminal record for driving under the influence, public intoxication and police reports alleging akin was shouting racial slurs in public.

Akin reportedly posted a number of disturbing comments on Facebook while employed by the city, some calling on people to kill Muslims, others described as “suicidal” in nature and uh, some other stuff.

At a hearing in November 2015, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners found that Akin was a “continuing threat and a real danger” to his patients and/or the public and suspended his license.  The city finally canceled Akin’s contract.  After the state vet board took his license away.  Cause before that, he appeared to be fully certified as a veterinarian.  With a disability.

(Thanks Clarice.)

El Paso Shelter Oops-Kills Dogs and They Can’t They Won’t and They Don’t Stop

fox and person

Fox and his person, as shown on the KTSM NBC website.

In October, Juan Gudino was worrying over his lost dog, Fox.  The five year old German shepherd had been missing for two days and to Mr. Gudino, he was family.  He was very relieved when he received a call from El Paso Animal Services letting him know Fox was at the shelter.  He dropped what he was doing in order to immediately head to the shelter to pick up Fox and bring him home.  Upon arrival, Mr. Gudino was shown three German shepherds, none of whom was Fox.  There could not have been any mix-up as Fox had been impounded wearing his collar and ID tag and the shelter had called the owner from that info.  So where was Fox?

It turns out, despite Fox having his ID tag, despite the shelter calling the owner and despite the fact that the owner was on his way to reclaim his pet, the vet at El Paso decided to kill Fox because of a fractured leg and a lack of professionalism communication compassion everything:

Guanina De La Torre is the veterinarian who authorized the euthanization. She says Fox’s death is a result of miscommunication between the office.
“If I had known that there was an owner, I would have not made the decision on my own. And we’re working on systems to improve our communication within the shelter,” says De La Torre.

Oops.

De La Torre said that while she doesn’t regret making the decision to kill Fox, she would not have done so if she had known he had an owner.  Here’s the problem.  Here are all the problems:

  • Fractured legs in dogs are generally treatable.  You know who treats them?  Vets.
  • Euthanasia is only appropriate when an animal is deemed medically hopeless and suffering by a veterinarian.  Had De La Torre examined Fox and determined he was medically hopeless and suffering?  If not, why did she kill the dog?
  • Does the vet at El Paso Animal Services you know, check with anyone before killing a dog to ask any questions like say, is any owner racing over here right now thinking he’s going to be reunited with his lost family member?  Protocol should dictate a system of checks with multiple shelter staff being involved in verifying a pet’s identity before any action is taken against an animal which can’t be undone.  Does El Paso adopt out pets without verifying there isn’t any known owner?  I hope not.  And if they don’t, why do they kill pets without verifying same?  The former is not easily reversed and the latter – not at all.
  • What the hell is up with the staff showing the owner three other German shepherds before figuring out their vet had killed his?  Oh you’re here for a GSD?  Here are some.  They are interchangeable, yes?
  • How many other pets have been killed at El Paso because of this unprofessional and outright alarming lack of communication?

I don’t know the answer to that last question except to say:  at least one.

tank el paso

Tank, as shown on the Fox Baltimore website.

A few weeks ago, a dog owner received a call from El Paso Animal Services advising her that her brown pitbull, Tank, had gotten out of his yard and bitten a person.  He would have to be quarantined for ten days.  The owner waited ten days then went to the shelter on March 6 to reclaim Tank.  After the proper paperwork was completed, staff brought out a brown pitbull and gave him to the family:

“Right away my husband said this is not our dog, you need to take him back and give us back our dog.”
She said the dog was a skinny, dark brown and looked different than her dog, Tank.
“I pulled out my phone. I showed them a picture of my dog and the veterinarian came out and said, ‘OK we’re sorry we’ll go ahead and find your dog.'”
She said she was told they couldn’t find her dog, but to come back tomorrow.

Dang, these owners must be the snooty, “only our dog will do” type. Apparently brown pitbulls are not as interchangeable as German shepherds.

The owner returned and met with a supervisor:

“As soon as we sat down, he said that there was no easy way of telling me, but that they had accidentally euthanized the wrong dog,” she said. “That they had confused him with another pit bull that was brown and had killed him.”

Oops. El Paso had killed Tank before his ten day quarantine had expired:

She was told her dog got moved from his cage and switched with another dog scheduled to be euthanized.

Oops.  The owner is understandably distraught and considering legal action:

“I believe they should have a better system. Maybe separate the quarantine animals from the animals that need to be euthanized,” she said.

Ya think?  El Paso’s multi-person, multi-check system to verify pets’ identification before killing appears to be non-existent. Like their sense of responsibility:

KDBC requested an on-camera interview with the City of El Paso, but they declined. Instead they issued the following statement:
“Animal Services did erroneously euthanize a dog that had been quarantined at the shelter as a result of a biting incident. We sincerely apologize to the family for the loss of their pet. Animal Services is investigating the incident and will take corrective measures necessary to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”

Similar incidents. I like that. It’s not killing someone’s family member out of incompetence, it’s an incident. Like the cashier getting your coffee order wrong after you told him twice. Although they presumably meant to say “similar more again incidents that we can’t stop doing” but that’s probably just me being picky. Oh and nice taunt putting that “biting incident” right there in the first sentence to make sure everyone knows Tank was not a good dog so no big whoop. Just taking out the trash for you, El Paso.  You’re welcome.

I hope the owner sues their lazy, inept asses.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Former Nevada Pound Director Charged with Cruelty

There have been some developments in the case of the former head of Boulder City AC in Nevada. Readers might remember Mary Jo Frazier as the lady organism accused of killing healthy/treatable animals “for fun”, who was the subject of a police investigation resulting in a recommendation of criminal charges but whose boss decided to sweep the whole thing under the rug and allow her to retire.  Frazier reportedly fled the state.

Frazier’s then-boss, police chief Bill Conger, has also hit the highway:

Conger resigned in January after his staff went to human resources to complain that Frazier’s behavior had been reported to him a full year before taking in action, and resulted in an abrupt departure of its police chief.

A Clark Co grand jury indicted Frazier yesterday on two felony counts of animal cruelty and a warrant has been issued for her arrest. One charge relates to Frazier’s alleged refusal to provide care for a badly injured pitbull puppy because, as a whistleblower told police, “we don’t spend money on pit bulls and because I’m just going to stick her anyway.” The second charge relates to Frazier’s alleged spite-killing of her ex-husband’s dachshund, Oscar.

Thanks, once again, to the irresponsible public for bringing all the irresponsible to their elected officials and shoving it in their faces until they did their jobs:

Public outcry turned into passionate rallies and protests with several victims in attendance.

And several more under mountains of trash at the landfill.

“This is somebody who is being paid to take care of these animals who was killing these animals,” said Nevada State Senator Mark Manendo, who helped lead the fight for the city to submit the case to the Clark County District Attorney for consideration.

Gee, what a thing.

“We had people even saying listen ‘we’d come into be shelters with food and blankets and we were going to walk the animals and there were no animals there,'” Manendo said.

Sooooo everyone was under the assumption the place had a 100% adoption rate and those adoptions happened instantaneously upon impound? No one noticed the dumpster overflowing with pets and attempted to reconcile that with this empty pound? I have to think that someone, probably many someones, did notice. But there was a powerful enabler in the police chief and an environment of hostility and violence. Frazier wielded her absolute power in the cruelest possible way, betraying the animals she was being paid to protect from harm.

I’m glad Frazier is finally being charged. I wish it was more. And I hope the former police chief is next.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Good Ol’ Boys Taking AZ Shelter Back to the Bad Old Days

The Benson Animal Shelter in Arizona reportedly transformed under the leadership of ACO Laurie Fivecoat, about whom area animal advocates had many good things to say at a recent city council meeting:

Rica Powell, founder of Smiling Dog Rescue out of Benson, said that prior to Laurie Fivecoat’s appointment as shelter manager, the rescue community of Southern Arizona was not involved with the Benson Animal Shelter “in any way, shape or form,” citing a closed door policy and lack of transparency. She described the facility as a “shelter of the past, with a 1950s attitude.”

Powell said Fivecoat changed that when she came on board. “The changes that happened are astonishing,” Powell added. “She brought your shelter from an archaic situation to a vibrant up and coming shelter which was community involved, with volunteers and social networking, low cost spay and neuters,” and more.

[…]

“Last year almost 90 percent of the animals that were taken to the Benson shelter left alive and well,” [animal advocate Geir] Hundal said. He spoke of Fivecoat’s networking efforts with outside rescue organizations and other shelters, describing those efforts as “an unshakeable commitment to save every life possible, even at the expense of extra time and effort,” adding that “Staff would spend up to a year finding the right home for the right pet. That’s a job well done.”

The city’s good ol’ boy police chief apparently longed for that “shelter of the past” and re-hired a good ol’ boy former Benson ACO, Paul Teza, near the end of January, appointing him shelter manager. Fivecoat is still employed as an ACO but is no longer manager.  Teza had managed the facility several years ago, with a live release rate of just 59%. The first things he did upon being re-hired were to cease the transfer of animals to other shelters, shut out the team of volunteers except for those he personally approved, terminate all rescue partnerships except those he personally approved (reportedly none) and kill a dog named Rusty, a shelter favorite who was described by volunteers as “goofy”.

rusty

Rusty, as shown on the Benson News-Sun website.

Two year old Rusty had been “fawned over” by the public at adoption events and was one of the few dogs an elderly volunteer was able to walk regularly. Teza reportedly noted in Rusty’s records that the dog was “aggressive, a bite risk, nervous in confined spaces and that he actively avoided direct observation.” So he ordered him killed. Teza seems to have seen in 11 minutes behavioral traits that none of the volunteers saw in Rusty in the past 11 months.  I don’t think I would like that guy staring at me either.

When the local paper asked police chief Moncada about the killing, as well as the quashed networking and volunteer programs, he provided a statement.  It doesn’t adequately explain any of these issues and ends with the following:

Prior to Paul’s hiring, conditions at the shelter were poor at best. Now, between his and Sgt. (Floyd) Graf’s efforts, the shelter is in better condition.

So the shelter saving 89% of its animals was a hellhole but things are looking up now that Mr. 59% is in charge?  Maybe we should ask Rusty’s opinion – oh, never mind.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Arapahoe Co Just Backdoored BSL on You. Oh and While They’re Backdooring You…

A recent announcement appearing on the Arapahoe County, Colorado website reads, in part:

Arapahoe County has partnered with the City of Aurora to provide sheltering and related services, such as veterinary care for sheltered animals, for lost, stray and impounded dogs through the Aurora Animal Shelter. County Animal Control Officers will have 24-hour access to the facility to ensure animals get shelter and care as soon as possible.

Care as soon as possible. Gee, that sounds swell.  Except that Aurora has a ban on pitbull type dogs and therefore refuses to adopt them out to the public.

This new partnership also provides opportunities to improve efficiencies in daily operations for the County’s animal control program.

And by efficiencies, I assume they mean faster pitbull extermination.

I reached out to Arapahoe Co regarding this issue and asked about the pitbulls impounded by the county, where there is no BSL, being taken to Aurora, which does have BSL.  I received a response from AC supervisor Caitlyn Cahill.  It reads, in part:

Due to the breed restriction laws for the City of Aurora, the shelter is not able to adopt out Pit Bulls; however, once a dog has passed the County required stray hold period and is able to be adopted, it will be transferred to another facility. The Aurora shelter works with many other agencies to ensure that dogs are able to be transferred.

She went on to list a number of private shelters where pitbulls “will be transferred”. My BS indicator light started blinking fast enough to host a dance party so I asked:

To be clear, all pitbull type dogs are guaranteed a space at one of these other shelters after the hold period expires?

Ms. Cahill responded, in part:

I cannot speak for the shelter regarding their statistics but know that they put a large amount of time and effort into working with partners to transfer out adoptable animals that they are unable to care for or adopt out to the public due to their limitations.

Oh. I see. Pitbull killing is a “limitation”. And if you like that doublespeak, or even if you don’t, prepare for more since the Aurora pound is a member of the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance.  The  MDAWA is all about controlling language from its members, including rescuers and fosters, in order to deceive the public about what goes on in the kill rooms of its pounds. Rescuers for example, are not allowed to say they “rescue animals from shelters” or use the terms “no kill” or “high kill”.  I wonder what happens to someone who slips up and exercises his First Amendment rights as a U.S. citizen.  I hope it’s not enhanced interrogation techniques.

So Arapahoe Co managed to effectively institute BSL without a vote to get approval from the people.  And then came up with this great Pitbulls Will Be Transferred to Private Rescue Groups bit of fiction in order to give the appearance that pitbull killing is not the fault of people doing the killing (they put in time and effort), it’s the rescue groups who don’t step up that are to blame.  Rescues which already have pitbulls in every kennel, bathroom, broom closet and dresser drawer they can manage.  But if they don’t take every pitbull from Arapahoe Co, the Aurora pound will have to kill them.  I mean limitation.  Er – efficiencies.

 

Lying Idaho Shelter Kills, Lies, Blames and Lies

bunny

Bunny, as pictured on the KIVI website.

When Sheila Combs lost her family’s six year old Chihuahua/Boston Terrier, Bunny, on January 31, she immediately began looking for her.  Unable to find her beloved pet, she went the next day to the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell. Bunny was not there so Ms. Combs filed an official missing pet report including an 8 X 10 photo and a detailed description of Bunny’s size, markings, wonky rear leg and three missing teeth. She was told that all missing pet reports are checked against new arrivals at the shelter. The family continued trying to find Bunny daily.  Although Ms. Combs never heard from the shelter, she visited again on February 9 to look for Bunny, just in case:

“They took me through all the rooms in the back where the dogs are in crates, and the new dogs that come in,” Combs said. “She wasn’t there.”

In fact, Bunny was there, having been picked up by AC on February 4:

West Valley Humane Society Executive Director Jonathan Perry says it’s unclear how Combs didn’t see Bunny in the lost and found area.
“As far as we know, it was always in the same kennel in the back, so it should’ve been seen,” Perry said.

Oops.

A stranger who had seen Ms. Combs’s online posts about Bunny contacted her on February 11 to let her know Bunny’s photo was on the shelter’s website.  Ms. Combs immediately called the shelter, understandably frantic over her lost family member:

“I said, ‘Listen! You’ve got to listen! That dog, “Tanna” on your website is my dog, I made a report, it’s in your book. I’m coming, it’s my dog don’t adopt her!” Combs explained.
By the time Sheila made it to the shelter roughly 20 minutes later, it was too late.

The director told the Combs family Bunny had already been adopted and initially, he declined to contact the adopters. After being pressed by Bunny’s family, he did make a phone call to the adopters, because you know, he cares, but had to leave a message.

Oops.

Turns out, those were all lies. The phone call? Fake.  The truth was that West Valley Humane had killed Bunny while the owner was on her way to reclaim her dog.

Oops.

Perry says the shelter vet saw stroke or seizure-like symptoms several times in Bunny beginning on February 7, and decided on the eleventh it was best for the dog to be put down.

See, the killing was totally justified. The vet saw seizures. Or strokes. Or something else medical sounding that begins with S. It was such a righteous killing that the director was motivated to fabricate an adoption story and make a *winkety wink* phone call to The Land of Make Believe to show he cared.

The whole wad of oopses and lies surrounding Bunny’s killing is the owner’s fault though, obviously:

Bunny wasn’t microchipped and due to her sensitive skin, she wasn’t wearing a collar at the time – something the shelter’s executive director says could have prevented the whole mix up.
While he says they plan to make procedural improvements to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again, he recommends all pet owners keep a current photo of their pets, always keep a collar on, and be sure all tag and microchip information is current and regularly updated.

And more blame from Brenda Cameron, president of the shelter’s board of directors:

“We had no way to call and inform the family their dog was in the shelter,” Cameron said.

No way except for the lost pet report. Or telling the owner in person when she was there looking through the kennels. Twice. No OTHER ways.

We do everything we can to reunite that animal with the family. Microchips help. Anything that we can identify the animal with. The owners did supply a picture but Bunny was actually an older dog with grey hair so that issue could have made things more difficult for volunteers or staff,” Cameron explained.

bunny at west valley

Bunny with grey on her face, as pictured on the KIVI website.

Oh my stars. Bunny had some grey hairs on her face therefore: unrecognizable. If only there was some way shelter professionals might be able to know that dog faces sometimes grey with age and that if the breed, markings, size, missing teeth and wonky leg are all a match between the lost pet report and the newly impounded lost pet, it’s worth a phone call to the owner. But I guess that’s just pie in the sky.

Oh and thanks, shortened hold periods:

In previous years, families have had their pets adopted out because they missed the three day deadline to pick up their missing dog or cat from the shelter. Cameron said the deadline used to be five days for lost strays, but the decision was made to shorten that time frame.

“When I came in, the shelter was overpopulated,” Cameron said. “We needed a way to move the dogs out of the shelter.”

When animals are in shelters for an extended period of time it can cause the pet to have mental, emotional and health problems in the future, she said.

A pet might go mental if they hold him for an additional two days. Must be a nice place.  It’s touching how concerned they are about moving the merchandise the possibility of PTSD in their dogs’ future but it sort of seems like the definite condition of DEATH should trump those concerns.

The board fired the director after he went on television and embarrassed them.  And they posted an apology to Bunny’s family on Facebook.  So obviously they take the killing very seriously.  I mentioned the apology, right? On Facebook.

*boop boop beep* I am pushing the buttons on my pretend telephone to call the Mayor of Impudentville because you know, I care.

(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)

Discussion: Pet Leasing

charlie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pet Leasing Company Kills Shelter Dogs

pipkelsocharliebear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

I Do Not Care

Judgmental cats sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)

Judgmental cat sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)

A shelter’s job is to shelter animals.

Animals have a right to live.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Oklahoma Pound Tossing Dogs in a Hole, Shooting Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)

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