OH Shelter Clings to Its Terrible Behavioral Assessments and Its Fatal Plus

SideeyeThat asinine plastic hand is waving more shelter dogs into the kill room – this time at the Franklin Co Dog Shelter in Ohio.  Just how many dogs are being killed because they don’t wag their tails and exclaim, “Thank you sir, may I have another?” when someone jabs them in the face with a fake hand on a stick while they are trying to eat is a matter of dispute.  Volunteers say way too many.  The assistant director says zero. Then there are the numbers:

Last year, [Franklin Co] recorded an 82 percent success rate of adopting, rescuing, or reclaiming dogs.
[…]
In March alone, 139 [dogs] were euthanized. Debbie Finelli, Assistant Director Franklin County Dog Shelter says that’s because 52 out of the 140 dogs that came in were terminally ill or terminally injured. “I couldn’t do anything for those,” she explains.

If I’m reading this correctly, 140 dogs came in and 139 were killed in March. Of the 139, 87 were apparently either healthy or possibly had some treatable minor illness/injury. So she “couldn’t do anything” for 52 of the dogs and didn’t do anything, except killing, for the other 87. BUTOFCOURSE:

“I don’t like to euthanize. (I) wish I never had to, but we’re an open shelter (and) have to take every dog that comes in here.”

*drink*

Several shelter vols who spoke with the local news on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution (stellar indicator of a progressive shelter) say that many dogs are needlessly killed after failing to bow to the Fake Hand of God. Which has mercifully declined in use over the years:

The ASPCA tells 10TV “We have determined that food guarding assessments are not useful tools for shelter dogs because they are not reliable predictors of overall behavior in the home.”

The Franklin County dog shelter uses the ASPCA guidelines to run its shelter, but says it has no plans to remove the assessment.

“Maybe when a new director comes in they’ll have the ability to take that out of the behavioral assessment, but at this point, I don’t have the authority to take it out of the assessment, Finelli explains.

Really?  Is that the hill you want to die on?  I wonder what is supposedly necessary for Franklin Co to bring itself into compliance with the guidelines it claims to follow – Act of Congress? Presidential executive order? Directive from a burning bush?

Soooooo we follow the ASPCA guidelines, except for the one that would prevent us from needlessly killing good dogs, which is mostly who we kill, but we don’t like to kill but we kill as many as we take in but we have an 82% save rate.  I guess.

Franklin Co needs to stop putting healthy, friendly dogs in the dumpster and put its pokey-in-the-face-stick there instead.

(Thanks Clarice.)

One Dog Dead, Two Others Injured as Adopter Selects a Pet

Montgomery Co in Texas is investigating itself to determine how one of its off duty sheriff’s deputies visited the county shelter to adopt a dog and ended up allegedly beating three dogs with a two-by-four in the back before having his adoption processed out front.  (You probably want to go back and re-read that so I’ll pause for a moment here.)

The Courier of Montgomery Co reports that on Saturday, the MCSO deputy and his family were in the shelter’s exercise area with three dogs, including a friendly male pitbull mix named Rock who was reportedly a staff favorite.  There was apparently no shelter staff supervising the family.  Not saying the guy got special treatment because he was a sheriff’s deputy but, unless the staff is totally lax with everyone who comes to visit, it seems like a possibility.

rock

Rock at the Montgomery Co Animal Shelter, as shown on the Courier website.

When the three dogs started fighting, the deputy allegedly picked up a board and began beating the dogs.  Rock apparently got it in the head and was left with neurological damage so severe that he had to be euthanized.  The other two dogs are described as “seriously injured” but the county won’t say what their status is.  They’re probably fine, you know.

After the bloodshed, the deputy apparently went up front and got the adoption paperwork processed and took home his new pet.  Not saying the guy got special treatment because he was a sheriff’s deputy but, unless shelter policy states adopters can’t be denied for any reason including leaving a trail of blood from the exercise area to the adoption desk, it seems like a possibility.

Shelter director Dr. Todd Hayden told the Courier he didn’t know why three dogs were in the exercise area together, where the two-by-four came from or who Rock was.  And:

“We are working with the DA and the dog is going to Texas A&M tomorrow (Monday) for a necropsy.”

Right. Because maybe Rock had heartworms or hookworms or earthworms or any other possible thing that his death could be pinned on besides having his skull cracked by a sheriff’s deputy. Not saying the guy is getting special treatment because he is a sheriff’s deputy – well, actually.

As far as how the guy’s adoption was processed and he was given a dog to take home, Hayden offered this:

He said the front desk personnel was unaware of the situation unfolding at the back of the shelter.

Gee, maybe they need to institute an Adopter Carnage Alert system to take care of this little loophole.  Or at least a quick visual inspection to determine the adopter isn’t covered in flecks of gray matter and blood.

Anyway, don’t criticize.  Until the stupid public spays and neuters their pets, I guess we just have to accept.  I can’t wait to find out that Rock had Jelly Head Syndrome or a bum ticker or whatever cause of death that will not be attributable to being Negan’d with a two-by-four.

(Thanks Clarice.)

MO Police Chief Shoots Caged Pet

chase

Chase, as pictured on Facebook.

Elizabeth Womack and her family recently moved to a home in Sparta, MO.  When her mixed breed dog Chase went missing on November 10, she immediately began searching for him.  After getting the runaround from Sparta police chief Andrew Spencer for a week, Ms. Womack was finally given Chase’s dead body along with a story of what happened.

Spencer said the day Chase got out of his yard, someone had called 911 to report a dog charging at residents. He described the dog as aggressive, a claim the owner disputes:

“The only reason our dog would charge at anybody would be to play,” says Womack, “He was just such a playful little pup. He had no aggression. He didn’t know what that was.”

With the aid of a citizen and a chokepole, Spencer reportedly lured Chase into a crate.  City ordinance required Spencer to then take the dog to a veterinary facility for a 5 day holding period and to post the pet’s description at city hall so the owner could find him.  Instead Spencer took Chase to a shooting range and shot the caged pet to death.

Spencer says he had contacted a shelter and was told they wouldn’t accept the dog.  And that he had received another call about a rollover car wreck and needed to respond to that right away so he didn’t have time to secure housing for Chase.  He only had enough time to drive to the shooting range and kill the pet before responding to the rollover accident, apparently.  I’d hate to be the injured driver hanging upside down by my seat belt, waiting on Spencer to get finished playing Big Man Shoot Dog in Box.

Ms. Womack says that she should have been contacted via Chase’s microchip information.  You know microchips, the things municipal employees always wave in our faces every time they kill an owned pet who didn’t have one.  If only you would have microchipped your animal, everything would be ok.

After much public outcry, Spencer, who has been in law enforcement only three years, was placed on paid leave a few hours prior to the Sparta Board of Aldermen meeting on November 24 where a large crowd was expected.

Ms. Womack and approximately 100 supporters attended the city meeting seeking justice.  Sparta has a pitbull ban in place and the subject of discrimination based on body shape came up at the meeting:

State Rep. Lynn Morris also attended the meeting, saying that he thinks there is an issue of profiling animals, in this case, a pit bull.
“A person who could be mean or kill an animal doesn’t need to be a person who takes care of people,” Morris said, which was followed by applause. “People that are cruel to animals are cruel to people.”

Speakers at the meeting asked for charges against Spencer and sought changes to prevent this from happening to another family.  I hope the city replaces the breed ban with a sensible ordinance based upon a dog’s actions – not how fat his head might be.  Good for Ms. Womack and local residents for standing up and making their voices heard.

(Thanks Clarice.)

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.)

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