Orange Co Shelter Director Intent on Killing Service Dog

Karma, a service dog trained to help with PTSD, as shown on the Orang Co Register website.

Karma, a service dog trained to help with PTSD, as shown on the Orange Co Register website.

An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled this month that a service dog named Karma must be killed at the Orange Co shelter in CA before October 20. The ruling was based upon the recommendation of the shelter’s director/veterinarian:

OC Animal Care Director and Chief Veterinarian Jennifer Hawkins has deemed the husky mix too dangerous to be released in the community or to live at an animal sanctuary. OC Animal Care designated Karma a vicious animal because the dog killed at least one cat in 2012 in Anaheim, and because of the dog’s partial wolf ancestry, the effectiveness of required rabies vaccinations is unknown.

The “partial wolf ancestry” being referenced:

Animal Care ordered a genetic test on the dog – the first ever by the agency – after her owners were arrested and family members told police the dog was part wolf. The genetic test suggested that Karma likely had a wolf ancestor two or three generations back.

Suggested? Gee, that sounds… inconclusive. To complicate matters further, the CA Veterinary Medical Association says:

The California Department of Health Services (CDHS) requires that if an animal contains any wolf, even 1 percent, it must be considered a wolf hybrid and handled as an exotic animal. The California Department of Fish and Game, however, only requires a permit for the animal if it is 50 percent or more wolf. According to CDHS, a veterinarian can vaccinate the animal with canine rabies vaccine, but if it bites someone or is bitten by a rabid animal, it will be treated as unvaccinated.
The AVMA Trust cautions veterinarians to inform owners that the vaccine is not licensed for use in wolf hybrids, and no studies have proven efficacy of the vaccine in the animals.

It appears that in CA, owners of any animal designated a wolf hybrid run the risk of having the animal ordered killed if the animal bites a person or is exposed to a rabid animal due to the unknown efficacy of rabies vaccine on hybrids. But as far as I can tell, Karma has neither bitten a person nor has she been exposed to a rabid animal. It’s unclear to me why the OC shelter director is recommending she be killed.

Orange Co Supervisor Todd Spitzer also questioned the director’s recommendation and asked the Board of Supervisors to override the director at a hearing this week:

Spitzer argued that a liability release drafted by county lawyers Friday and approved by OC Animal Care outlining the requirements of how Karma must be kept should be enough to spare the dog from death.

But Hawkins would not relent:

“I stand by my recommendation that euthanasia is a reasonable means to assure public safety,” Hawkins said during the Board of Supervisors meeting. “I don’t know if it will distinguish between domestic animals or a small child.”

Oh geez. So let’s kill the dog because the director doesn’t understand canine behavior and can’t predict the future. Sounds like solid reasoning. Spitzer was apparently caught off guard:

“When county counsel gave me a draft of what it would take, I believed, mistakenly, she supported that,” Spitzer said. “I had no idea even if a rescue (group) signed the agreement she would not support it. The fate rested in the board’s hands. We’re the only ones who have the authority to overrule the recommendation of our Animal Care director.”

Spitzer was the only board member advocating for Karma’s right to live. None of the other members were willing to support Spitzer. The wolf sanctuary that originally agreed to take Karma backed out. Because Karma is a dog. There are reportedly several other rescues willing to take her. But it sounds as if the OC shelter director is committed to killing Karma, despite all offers and all reason. I dread to think how the director applies her form of logic to saving – or ending – the lives of other pets at the shelter.

(Thanks Kellee for the link.)

Sangamon Co Suspends Volunteer Who Changed Cage Card

When a 16 year old volunteer took an exuberant dog out of his cage at the Sangamon Co shelter in Illinois last week, the dog was very excited.  The dog, called Alpha, hadn’t been walked in more than a day.  In expressing his enthusiasm, Alpha scratched the girl.  She reported the scratch to the staff who then made a note of it on the dog’s kennel card.  Another vol, Leland Grove Mayor Jill Egizii, felt this was unfair to Alpha and would present an obstacle to adoption.  She told the local paper that she gets scratched by exuberant dogs all the time and doesn’t consider it to be a strike against the dog.  So she replaced Alpha’s cage card:

The new card had Alpha’s name and a note that said, “Good Boy.” In the section for “energy level,” the box for “high” was marked.

“It’s a different way to say the same thing, really, but in a more positive light. It allows the dog to be pulled out so that somebody could look at him for a potential forever home,” Egizii said.

Egizii added that volunteers routinely make notations on kennel cards. She said she didn’t think she was breaking any rules when she made the change, and she doesn’t think Alpha is dangerous.

Sangamon Co Administrator Brian McFadden didn’t see it that way.  At all:

“The fact is, her actions violated the rules and put the county at a huge risk and potential liability if that dog were ever adopted out without full disclosure of its actions, and then it harmed someone… I think we would find ourselves in a courtroom pretty quickly.”

Plus there is apparently some sort of state law about cage cards in Illinois (which I’d like to read, if it exists in this plane):

McFadden added that once the volunteer notified staff that she had been scratched, the county was legally obligated to make that notation on the kennel card.

“That set in motion a chain of events dictated by state law. We can’t ignore it,” McFadden said.

So the mayor was a law breaker and created liability for the county.  As such, the county suspended her for 2 months.

After Egizii was suspended, there was speculation in the community that the action was taken because she objected to a mass euthanization at the shelter.

McFadden says pshaw, that’s just a coincidence.  Lawbreaker.  Lawsuit.  Lions.  Tigers.  Bears.

Egizii did not know of any other volunteer who has been suspended from volunteer work at the county. She said that since last week, two other Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control board members have resigned, and a couple of dog walkers have left.

The county, which has credited volunteers with being instrumental in helping to drastically reduce the kill rate in recent years, seems to have developed a new strategy in the way it handles volunteers.  I guess if it ain’t broke, break it.

The mayor is still working on getting Alpha into rescue.  She doesn’t know if she will continue to volunteer at the shelter after her suspension expires.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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.

Arkansas Pound Kills Dog Whose Owner Tried to Reclaim

Muneka and her boy, as shown on the FOX 16 website.

Muneka and her boy, as shown on the FOX 16 website.

Two dogs belonging to Yadria Dorantes jumped their fence and were picked up by Beebe Animal Control on March 13.  Ms. Dorantes says she contacted AC to reclaim her shar pei/lab mix Muneka and her other dog.  Ms. Dorantes says AC told her that because the dogs kept jumping her four foot fence, she would need to put up a taller one before picking them up.  AC reportedly gave her two weeks to get the new fence installed.  Ms. Dorantes spent $1200 to get the much taller chain link fence put up then took her children to the pound to pick up their pets within the two week time frame, as agreed.  Upon arrival, Ms. Dorantes was shown a pile of dead dogs who had been killed at the pound.  Muneka’s body was in that pile.

“The guy told me that I could not get the shar pei back because she was really aggressive and that they were going to put her down. I asked ‘are you going to put her down or have you already?’ and he didn’t say anything,” Dorantes said.

Ms. Dorantes is understandably heartbroken and it’s clear in the video interview with the FOX 16 reporter that Muneka was family.  The tall fence is shown in that clip as well as a neighbor who says that the dogs were friendly.

The city of Beebe released this statement regarding the killing:

“On or about March 13, 2015, Beebe Animal Control personnel and Beebe City Police personnel responded to a report of “at large” dogs at or around the 600 block of N. Fir in Beebe. Two (2) dogs were impounded on that date; one (1) of the dogs was aggressive and both dogs did not have tags and there was no proof that the dogs had required vaccinations. Animal Control personnel were able to locate the owner of the two (2) dogs and that owner has had multiple dogs impounded by Animal Control on prior occasions. At the time the two (2) dogs were impounded on March 13, the owner was given verbal notice that the dogs were being impounded and the owner responded, “…take them.” On or about March 23, 2015, the aggressive dog was destroyed as authorized by the attached Beebe City Ordinance (6.04.15). Before the aggressive dog was destroyed, the owner made no attempt to seek release of this dog. After the aggressive dog was destroyed, the owner appeared and requested release of the second dog, which was granted on conditions that the dog be tagged and properly vaccinated. The owner has still not complied with those conditions as of the time and date of this press release.”

I guess the typewriter must have run out of ink before they got to the “Sorry for your loss” part.  But at least we know the owner is a no-license-no-proof-of-vaccines scumbag who doesn’t care about her pets.  It’s exactly these sort of heartless slackers who come up with $1200 on short notice to save their dogs from the pound.  The city should totally kill their dog, who no doubt was evaluated by a qualified behaviorist and given every opportunity for behavioral modification in an appropriate setting over a period of months.  Also, nice touch with the whole you-can-reclaim-your-beloved-family-member-from-this-pile-of-carcasses.  Stay classy.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

San Diego Police Officer at Wrong House Pets Friendly Dog, Watches Partner Shoot Him Seconds Later

Burberry celebrating his 5th birthday with his person and some bacon, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Burberry celebrating his 5th birthday with his person and some bacon, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Two San Diego police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call at 5am Sunday reportedly knocked on the door of the wrong house.  Resident Ian Anderson was awakened by the knocking as was his 6 year old service dog who began barking.  The dog, called Burberry, can be seen on surveillance video approaching the first officer who pets him in greeting.  Burberry then exuberantly approaches the second officer who was reportedly screaming at the dog for reasons unknown.  The second officer pulls out his gun and, out of camera view, shoots Burberry in the head, killing him while his owner watches in horror.

Burberry cuddling with a friend, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Burberry cuddling with a friend, as shown on the NBC San Diego website.

Mr. Anderson is devastated:

Anderson is heartbroken at losing the dog he says has helped children with Down Syndrome as well as helping him get through his own anxiety-ridden time dealing with his father’s death.

“They’re there to put their heads on your lap and you know everything is going to be okay. There’s just no way to explain the bond,” he said.

“He was the best dog in the entire world,” Anderson said through tears. “I would do anything to have him back right now. Absolutely anything.”

The San Diego police department is investigating itself in the matter and refusing to comment.

Burberry’s killing appears to be yet another case of police officers having one tool in the toolbox for dealing with dogs, whose body language and behavior as domesticated pets is apparently something alien.  Since so many people who pay police to protect them have dogs, officers should at least have a basic understanding of canine behavior as well as training in non-lethal restraint methods for use when appropriate.  The San Diego PD needs to do better than relying solely on the Scream and Shoot tactical response when encountering pets.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

New Hanover Co Wants to Kill “Dangerous” Dog Who Has Never Bitten Anyone

Honey, as shown on the WECT website.

Honey, as shown on the WECT website.

New Hanover Co in NC killed roughly half of its dogs and cats in 2013.  And the pound wants to kill yet another dog, an owned pet named Honey who has never bitten anyone, because she allegedly sneaks and snarls:

[New Hanover Co] deemed Honey as a potentially dangerous dog in June after five separate civil and state citations were filed reporting the owner’s inability to keep the dog controlled.

“All of the different accounts have stated the dog is snarling. It sneaks around behind them. It does a sneak attack sort of situation,” said Steve Watson, of the New Hanover County Animals Services.

Emphasis on SORT OF, I guess.  No one has been bitten.  But for whatever reasons, Honey’s owners seem to have repeatedly failed in keeping her confined.  And after the county declared Honey potentially dangerous, she was picked up running loose again last November, making that a sixth citation against the owners.  As punishment, the county wants to kill the healthy 2 year old dog:

“We get to a point where it becomes an issue of public safety, and if the owner doesn’t comply then we have to take the dog from them,” Watson explained.

Well, SORT OF public safety, if you close one eye and squint with the other.  Again, no one has been bitten.

Owner Ashley Aiena is heartbroken:

“You’re not just taking away a dog, you ‘re taking away our child,” sniffled Aiena. “We love this dog with all of our heart. It’s been very, very stressful and I am loosing [sic] it over this. It’s not right.”

Ms. Aiena filed an appeal with the pound, requesting Honey be allowed to live but the pound denied the appeal.  The family has until January 29 to take the appeal to superior court.

Any dog with teeth could be described as a potentially dangerous dog.  It seems the real issue here is the owners’ failure to keep the dog confined.  What are the reasons for this?  Could the problem be solved with a fence?  Does Honey need a coyote roller bar on her fencing to prevent her from climbing?  If Honey is killed, will the owners get another dog and face similar confinement issues, effectively hitting reset on the six citation cycle?  How is the public served by killing Honey?

New Hanover Co needs to take a fresh look at how it handles owned dogs picked up running loose.  The current protocols aren’t making anyone safer and are violating the animals’ right to live, which New Hanover Co obviously doesn’t respect anyway.

(Thanks Lisa and Clarice for the link.)

Starving Dogs Cannibalize Dead Kennel Mate in OK Pound

(Warning:  graphic images and descriptions at links.)

Abe Thomas, animal advocate and rescuer, as depicted in a screengrab from the KTEN website.

Abe Thomas, animal advocate and rescuer, as depicted in a screengrab from the KTEN website.

When a potential adopter, Abe Thomas, visited the Idabel pound in Oklahoma on Tuesday, he found a cage containing three dogs – one was dead and being eaten by the other two, who appeared to be starving.  He says the dogs had no food or water and “were living in their feces, urine.” Mr. Thomas filmed what he saw on his cellphone and posted it on Facebook.

Mr. Thomas left the pound but worried that the adult dog, a gray pitbull, would be blamed for something she didn’t do and killed simply due to breed bias.  So he went back and bailed her out of the pound, calling her Joy while he looks for a permanent home for her.

The pound’s sole ACO, who has been on the job for 24 years, admits the pitbull looks emaciated but says she’d only been at the pound four days and hadn’t had a chance to put on weight yet.  He feeds the dogs once a day.

Area animal advocates say this is not an isolated incident and the animals at the pound have long been neglected.  The ACO says the city generally holds dogs for ten days before taking them to a vet to be killed.  Tulsa World called area vets to ask how many animals they kill for the pound but none called back.  I guess going on the news and talking about how many pets you kill for the city doesn’t exactly encourage clients to open their wallets for your vet services.  So uh, hide.

Speaking of which:

Tulsa Humane Society President Gina Gardner said she had reached out to Foshee on Wednesday and offered to come to Idabel and assist with anything the shelter needs. She said Foshee had so far declined her offer.

Predictably, city officials are in CYA mode:

The Idabel mayor calls this a “gross misunderstanding.” She claims the dog died of natural causes and this must have happened in a few short hours.

The mayor alleges Animal Control Officer Cecil Richards fed the dogs Tuesday morning then came back after lunch to find the scene along with Thomas.

The Idabel police department is in charge of supervising the pound and they investigated themselves in the matter.  And good news, the investigation seems incredibly thorough, despite its lightning speed:

“What was found through that investigation is that yesterday morning, our animal control officer went to work around 8:00 a.m., he went to the dog pound, cleaned out the dog pens, sanitized them, fed and gave water to the dogs” claims the mayor in during a phone interview with KSLA News 12.


Mayor Foshee-Thomas says the animal control facility has nothing to hide and welcomes anyone to stop by and visit the animals. Abe Thomas says that he and numerous others would happily volunteer their time to make sure the animals are properly cared for. The mayor says that the city plans on doing more checks at the shelter and that in the future, more aggressive dogs will be housed separately.

Right.  Because aggressive dogs cause other dogs to die of natural causes.  Then they make friends with their surviving kennel mate and launch plans to eat the dead dog because aggression.  Any behaviorist will tell you that.  As for the results of the “investigation” anyone who read any of the articles on this story could have come up with that information, since the ACO’s timeline of events was repeated countless times in the media.

Thank goodness Mr. Thomas bailed the pitbull out of there because it sounds like his suspicions were justified.  Here is Joy at Mr. Thomas’s house, getting a belly scratch from a reporter:

Screengrab from KTEN website.

Screengrab from KTEN website.

There is a group on Facebook advocating for reform at the Idabel pound.  I know the mayor doesn’t want any help but feeding the dogs, particularly the emaciated ones, more than once a day would be something the ACO could do.  And should do, although that in itself wouldn’t be nearly enough to be considered meaningful improvement.  I wonder if one of the reasons area vets killing dogs for the city are hiding is because they don’t want to be asked how many pound dogs are emaciated when they stick the needle in them.  I hope the local advocates will FOIA records for the animals who have been killed in Idabel and expose what’s going on there.

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for the links.)

UPDATED: Shelter Pet of the Day: Memphis

Dog #272194 at MAS, as depicted in a screengrab from a video on Facebook.

Dog #272194 at MAS, as depicted in a screengrab from a video on Facebook.

I am not a behaviorist but smiling in dogs is generally accepted as an expression of positive emotions and at the very least, a submissive offering.

But at the Memphis pet killing facility, smiling appears to have earned dog #272194 a spot on the kill list.  Memphis shelter pet advocate Jody Fisher inquired about the dog yesterday and a supervisor at MAS responded:

From: <>
Date: October 20, 2014, 12:36:03 PM CDT
To: Jody Fisher
Cc: <>, <>
Subject: RE: Adoption Event

Good morning Ms. Fisher.

Hope you are doing well.

Animal ID # A272194 was moved from our Adoption floor to a kennel in Stray due to some negative behaviors i.e. growling, snarling, showing teeth exhibited during our adoption event last weekend.

The pet was moved to ensure public safety.

Are you interested in pulling this one? If you are, please be advised the pet exhibiting some behaviors suggestive of aggression. Also, if you are interested, you will need to come in no later than close of business today to process this pet out.

Please let me know if you will be in.

De Keishia

Today, Jody asked for 2 business days to network this dog.  She was advised the dog needs to be out of MAS today.  Based on the number of animals the pound currently has listed on PetHarbor, there appear to be roughly 450 empty cages at the facility today.

Screengrab from PetHarbor showing 110 animals listed by MAS on October 21, 2014.

Screengrab from PetHarbor showing 110 animals listed by MAS on October 21, 2014.

Please share this dog with anyone you know who likes smiley dogs – which is everyone on the earth except staff at MAS I guess.  She is being kept in a cage behind locked doors at the Memphis pound.  The public is barred from seeing her.  If anyone wants to meet her, they’ll have to find a staff member willing to help.  And because MAS chooses to arbitrarily discriminate against certain dogs based on body shape, any potential adopter will have to jump through special hoops in order to save this dog.  [/motivational speech]  The pound is open from 1pm to 7pm today:

Memphis city pound
2350 Appling City Cove
Memphis, TN 38133
(901) 636-PAWS (7297)

Dog #272194 at MAS, as depicted in a screengrab from a video on Facebook.

UPDATE, added October 22, 2014: This “suggestive of aggression” dog is no longer behind the iron curtain at MAS. She was saved last night by the irresponsible public. Here she is with her first victim:

Thank you to everyone who helped network this girl and get her away from the pound staff who wrongly labeled her a public safety threat, hid her in the back room and would have killed her. I’m smiling right now too by the way, in case anyone at MAS wants to write me up.

Arizona Humane Society Kills 13 Neglected Dogs

The Arizona Humane Society, which some of you may remember as the place that killed a beloved kitten named Scruffy then lied to the owner to try to cover it up, charges $60 to surrender an animal, with a “discount” available to low income individuals who meet the facility’s requirements.

A local resident who lived on property owned by his mother had 13 adult pitbull mixes and 4 puppies living outdoors and authorities received a tip the dogs were being neglected.  Police responded and the man said he was unable to afford the surrender fees to take the dogs to the pound.  He claims that he was not the owner of the dogs but that he would toss food over the fence for them since they lived on his property.  He surrendered the dogs voluntarily to the Arizona Humane Society:

On Thursday, the Arizona Humane Society sent a report to Chandler police on the condition of the dogs. The dogs were described as fearful and difficult to handle and some suffered from sarcoptic mange, a serious condition that is contagious to humans and other dogs. All of the dogs had hair loss as a result of conditions including skin mites, malnutrition and filthy living conditions, according to the report.

Gee, malnourished dogs living in isolation who had food thrown over the fence to them were fearful and difficult to handle after being seized by pet killers? Anyone see that coming? Some had sarcoptic mange, a common skin condition which can be treated very cheaply. Sounds like these dogs needed some TLC and protection.  What they got was the Arizona Humane Society.  The Arizona Humane Society killed every last one of the adults, treating only the puppies.  The man who was living on the property with the dogs has been charged with 13 counts of animal cruelty.  Yay?

It is absolutely tragic that these dogs were better off with the person who would do no more than throw food at them periodically than they were with the Arizona Humane Society.  At least then they were alive.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.  They could have possibly been rescued a truly humane society – small h, small s.  One that sees dogs as individuals, even if they have suffered emotional abuse and neglect, whose lives have value.  Instead, they fell into the hands of monsters and now all hope is lost.

(Thanks Arlene for sending me this story.)

Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals – Monongalia County Edition

Although there are currently only 11 pets, all dogs, listed on the Petfinder page for the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center in Morgantown, WV, it does state that the facility adopts out both cats and dogs.  In fact, there is an alert that the pound is overflowing with cats:

Screengrab showing a portion of theMonongalia County Canine Adoption Center page on Petfinder.

Screengrab showing a portion of the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center page on Petfinder.

While it’s hard to reconcile the idea that the facility is overflowing with cats but is advertising zero as available for adoption online (the pound’s website takes you to Petfinder), it’s possible some insight may be gleaned from a recent story covered by local media.

Tom Wiley, a Morgantown landlord, is currently the subject of a police investigation after two separate tenants reported he went into their apartments and stole their cats.  Although pets were not allowed in the apartments, neither tenant was given any prior notice that their cats would be stolen by the landlord.  The law requires that prior notice be given before a landlord removes anything from a tenant’s apartment.

Both cat owners say they tried to find out what happened to their pets, including contacting the landlord.  One was told by Mr. Wiley that her cat had been “taken care of” even though he refused to say exactly what he had done.  The other says she was ignored by Mr. Wiley until he finally responded to a REWARD FOR LOST PET sign she posted.  He told her he had taken her pet to the Monongalia County Canine Adoption Center.

In fact, Mr. Wiley allegedly took both cats to the same pound where they were both killed upon intake.  One of the cats, Cali, had been adopted from PURR and was microchipped.  Had workers at the pound bothered to scan Cali prior to killing her, they could have obtained PURR’s contact information and someone from the group would have reclaimed her.  It seems like so little to ask – that pound employees do their jobs – and yet:

Officials at the pound said they were unable to scan the animal properly because of its aggressiveness the day it was taken in.

Read:  And they couldn’t wait to kill her.

The cat was supposedly too aggressive to scan for a chip but they somehow managed to kill her which, unlike a scan, would require direct contact.  I don’t want to know how.

Cali’s owner says she was not aggressive.  Although one can imagine she was likely scared after being stolen by a cat hater, transported by who-knows-what means and brought inside a pet killing facility.

Killing surrendered animals upon impound is always bad policy at any “shelter”.

  1. Pets have the right to live.  The fact that they have been surrendered to a shelter does not trump that right.
  2. The shelter does not know for certain if the surrendering party is actually the pet’s owner.
  3. Pets may be microchipped with contact information of someone willing to reclaim them if contacted.
  4. Someone may be looking for the surrendered pet.
  5. It’s the shelter’s job to find the animal a new home, if needed.

In addition, no domesticated animal’s behavior can accurately be assessed at the time of arrival at a pound.  Some animals may be able to be assessed after a settling-in period, others may never reach that state.  Behavioral assessments are of limited value in a shelter environment but the notion that any animal can be evaluated upon impound is outrageous.

I can’t help but wonder whether the Monongalia Co pound workers even asked Mr. Wiley whether he owned the cats.  For all I know, he truthfully told them he’d stolen the pets from tenants and they gleefully busted out the Fatal Plus to teach the irresponsible public a lesson.  Maybe they have an established relationship with Mr. Wiley, as many pet killing facilities do with cat haters.

And what about the zero adoptable cats listed online by the Monongalia Co pound – are they all “aggressive”? Is it just the pound’s dumpster that is “overflowing” with cats?

(Thanks Vicki for sending me this story.)


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