NC Pound Closes to the Public Due to Weather but Heroically Keeps Kill Room Open

little boy

Little Boy, as pictured on the ABC 11 website.

There are levels of appalling.  This story is all top tier appalling.  It’s the appallingest.

On Monday, January 18, Teresa Panameno let her cat outside.  Little Boy never came home.  He was trapped by a neighbor and Wake Co ACOs picked him up the next day.  Like many pets who get trapped by cat hating neighbors and taken to places that kill roughly half the cats they are supposed to be sheltering, Little Boy was not in a ball of yarn playing mood.  Instead of recognizing his behavior as normal under the circumstances, the Wake Co pound rushed to deem him unowned and unadoptable:

Dr. Jennifer Federico, Director of Wake County Animal Services told ABC11 that the cat was immediately deemed feral for his aggressive nature, and given the state-mandated stray hold of 72 hours.

Meanwhile Ms. Panameno continued searching for Little Boy, including looking at the animals listed on the Wake Co pound’s website. She finally saw his picture posted on the site on Thursday, January 21 and began calling the shelter.  No one was answering the phone so she sent an email.  But no one was answering emails either.  The office staff had gone home in preparation for a storm that was moving through the area.  The front office stayed closed on Friday due to inclement weather but Wake Co kept the kill room up and running for business as usual.  Little Boy was killed on Friday, while his owner was trying to get him back.

Someone from the pound finally answered Ms. Panameno’s email on Sunday, advising that her pet could not be handled at the time he was impounded, failing to mention that he had been killed while the place was closed to the public.  So the next day, Ms. Panameno drove to the pound, cat carrier in hand, to bring Little Boy home.  Gee, I bet that was a swell conversation to have.

But the director is all NO REGRETS:

Federico maintains the shelter followed procedure[.]
[…]
“It’s just sad all around,” Federico said.

Noooo.  When you wait by the mailbox for weeks for your Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring and then it finally arrives and you figure out the special message Little Orphan Annie had for you was a crummy commercial, that’s just sad all around.  When you accept an owned pet from a cat hating neighbor, immediately label him unowned, then close for business due to weather but keep your kill room open, then fail to admit to the owner what you’ve done so that she walks into your facility full of hope, expecting to take her beloved family member home, that’s unconditionally appalling.  Your precious procedure sucks.  If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

NC Rescuer Charged with Crime by Pet Killing Facility

rowan co ph jan152016

Screengrab from PetHarbor of the Rowan Co pound’s cat listings on January 15, 2016.  They’re doing the best they can, prolly.

A woman in NC has been trying to do the Rowan Co pound’s job for them since they are so terribly awful at it.  Jennifer Frasier regularly pulls cats from the pound and gets them adopted to permanent homes.  Pound staff say that Ms. Frasier has come in more than once and taken every single cat on the kill list.  She also pulls for other rescues when they want to save cats from being killed but can’t physically get there before the buzzer sounds.

In November 2015, a group of cats was found abandoned in Iredell Co, which neighbors Rowan Co.  Some of the cats were traced back via microchips to Ms. Frasier’s father (the article is a bit confusing on the details here and of course the county won’t provide any information). Ms. Frasier says she had pulled some of the cats from the Rowan Co pound for another rescue.  She says she turned them over to that rescue the same day she pulled them and has documentation to verify her claim.  The cats were picked up, sent back to Rowan Co then returned to Ms. Frasier’s father.

Last month, Iredell Co Animal Services had police arrest Ms. Frasier and her father on charges of animal abandonment.  Subsequent to the arrest, Ms. Frasier has been attacked on social media and her rescue’s adoption center has been vandalized.  The adoption center is now closed.  Both Ms. Frasier and her father are due in Iredell Co court on February 1.

I will grant you the details of this case are clear as mud but what is known is that both the pounds in Rowan Co and Iredell Co are the suck.  In 2014, Iredell Co killed roughly 3 out of 4 of its cats.

iredell co ph jan152016

Screengrab from PetHarbor showing a cat listed by Iredell Co.

Anyone who walks into a pound and says, “Give me every cat on your kill list” is ok by me. I don’t know why Rowan Co didn’t intervene and tell Iredell Co to back off when this unfortunate situation arose but the whole thing sounds like a bunch of slackers got together with some cat haters and threw a party.  I hope the county withdraws the charges before the court date.  If they can take time out of their cat hating day I mean.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

Mailbag

Reader Casey Post who volunteers with the Medina Co SPCA in Ohio sent me this great adoption story. Shared with permission:

Mushu (left) and Spookie

Mushu (left) and Spookie (Photo by Casey Post)

Spookie (the black cat) is 13 years old. He first came to the shelter as a result of an abuse case (his person was convicted). Super scared of new stuff, hides all the time, but so, so sweet and loves to be petted (you just have to reach into wherever he is to do it).

Spookie was eventually adopted out last year to a guy who apparently didn’t take great care of him – he was returned to the shelter along with this kitten – both VERY hungry (like they hadn’t eaten in days) and covered in fleas.

It was decided to adopt them out together, since Spookie loves Mushu so much and Mushu may help him adapt to new situations. Mushu is easygoing and friendly and loves his Spookie.

A senior cat and a five month old kitten. Most people who want a senior, don’t want a kitten and most people who want a kitten aren’t in the market for a senior.

But today, they found a home. Together.

There are homes for all of them – you just have to find them!

Thank you Casey for this happy story. All the hopes…

TZI: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Can I see some ID?

Can I see some ID?

The troubling Target Zero Institute, one of the sham “no kill” consultants that participates in the war on cats, is being called on the carpet by a no kill advocate in Huntsville, AL. At issue are the do-nothing tactics and general fakiness of the group:

Target Zero is actually a nonprofit called First Coast No More Homeless Pets which is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The name of the organization has flip-flopped in the last few years but it was last changed from Target Zero to FCNMHP in May of 2014; it has received numerous grants over the years, two of the largest being from the Best Friends Animal Society (a 2012 grant for $340,000 and a 2013 grant for $280,000).
[…]
Target Zero was in Huntsville in early September of 2014. We found out in early March of 2015 that the City had signed a contract with Target Zero on January 15, 2015. When I contacted Cameron Moore of Target Zero in March of 2015 to inquire about plans moving forward, I was told that a Town Hall meeting would be held at some point. Beyond that, there were no specific plans shared with me during our hour-long phone conversation. When I expressed the opinion of our coalition that the city should make a commitment to become a no kill community in order to obtain an in-kind commitment from the public, I was told this position is “silly.”
[…]
Target Zero has yet to become visible in this community, to hold a Town Hall meeting here or to otherwise inform the public of how it plans to make ours a no kill community.

As a backdrop to the Huntsville fraud, the shelter in the city of Jacksonville, TZI’s home base, is in disarray. The division chief is quitting her job while under investigation for falsifying records to make it look like the facility has achieved “no kill”:

The city’s inspector general confirmed Thursday that the chief of Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services Division who resigned Wednesday is under investigation.
Nikki Harris’ resignation came a month after at least two whistleblowers made allegations that the shelter was being mismanaged and possibly putting animals’ lives in danger.
[…]
Harris personnel file shows that she came to ACPS from First Coast No More Homeless Pets in 2013. She was appointed chief the next year and given a salary of $90,000.

Gee, I’d like to keep a salary that size too, if I had one. Although I’d be inclined to actually do my job in order to keep the salary – not kill animals and lie about it. But I guess I’m “silly” too.

The emperor will presumably continue to show off his invisible clothes. The question is, how much longer must the animals being victimized by this chicanery, especially cats, wait for Best Friends, the Jacksonville Humane Society and the other enablers to start protecting their interests.  Because waiting is lethal.

(Thanks Brie and Clarice for the links.)

Cheap Shot in the War on Cats

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered.  (Photo by Casey Post)

Cleo, a feral cat who has been vaccinated and neutered. (Photo by Casey Post)

The city of Niagara Falls, NY has a population of about 50,000 and contains approximately 14 square miles of land area.  Sauntering around those 14 square miles are more than 60,000 stray and feral cats – so says the SPCA of Niagara Co.  That works out to about 4286 cats per square mile of land in the city.  Another way to look at it:  One square mile equals 640 acres.  Assuming an even distribution of cats, that would be roughly 7 cats on every acre of land.  Since we know that cats would obviously not distribute themselves evenly, it’s reasonable to assume there are many acres with less than 7 cats and many with more than 7 cats.  But no matter how you toss the dice, the claim amounts to a terrible awful lot of cats.

But wait, there’s more:

“As long as they’re not spayed or neutered those numbers are just going to keep increasing,” said Amy Lewis, executive director [of the SPCA of Niagara Co].

The Coming Menace.  Of Cats.

Alex Matthews sees the cats all the time roaming in his neighborhood[.]

Yes I would guess so.  I imagine he sees them as he’s wading through them and tripping over them.  He sees them perched on every tree branch, front porch and car hood.  He sees them in his cat hating nightmares:

He says people are feeding them and they keep coming back for more. However he has another concern. “With so much rabies and I got young kids that are curious, they’ll go out and touch the cats and kittens and I don’t want them to get sick.” he said.

There have been four animals who tested positive for rabies in Niagara Co from January through July 2015.  At least one of those four was a raccoon.  I don’t know what type of animals the other 3 were or if they were outside the city of Niagara Falls (since the data is reported by county, not by city).  At any rate, it hardly seems as if there is “so much rabies” within the Coming Menace cat population of Niagara Falls.

But the SPCA of Niagara Co appears to be fanning the flames of cat hatery.  I wonder why:

Lewis told 2 On Your Side the main reason for the cat explosion is because “there’s a lot of people don’t spay and neuter, there’s not low cost accessible spay-neuter programs for them. We do have one at the shelter, but we don’t have the resources to accommodate large numbers of animals.”
The Niagara SPCA [needs] a new in-house surgical suite to do more.
The Board is in the very beginning stages of planning either a large expansion at the current facility or building a new facility. The cost could be as high as $8 million.

Ah, I see.  They need $8 million.  Or maybe sixty-thousandy-million.  Or maybe, like the Phantom Menace community’s cats, “those numbers are just going to keep increasing.”  But instead of educating the public about humanely reducing the community cat population over time while protecting public health via rabies vaccination and asking for donations to help in that endeavor, the SPCA seems to have gone the blame-the-public route while throwing cats under the bus.  I mean, the cats who weren’t already under buses in the city, which would have to be quite a lot.  Because so many.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Two TN Pound Directors Kill 379 Cats with Colds in One Month, Remind Public to Spay-Neuter

The Kingsport Animal Shelter reportedly killed 103 cats in response to an upper respiratory virus at the facility last month. At the neighboring Washington County – Johnson City Animal Shelter, 276 cats were killed. Killing cats for having colds is inexcusable. But the directors of both facilities seem to be rather non-chalant about all the violence:

“276 cats, it’s a lot of cats in one month in fact one is too many,” said Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs.
[…]
“The cats come in sick, and once they come in sick then they contaminate the other cats that are here also,” said Sullivan County Bluff City Kingsport Animal Shelter Operations Manager Donna Davidson.

If that’s the case then that’s on you.  Your job is to humanely shelter pets which for cats includes proper cage disinfection, stress reduction protocols, vaccination prior to or immediately upon intake and appropriate housing, including isolation for sick animals.  If you were doing your job then cats who come in sick would not infect every other cat in the shelter.  And just because you are failing to prevent mass outbreaks of disease does not give you carte blanche to use mass killing as a response.

More nonsense:

Dobbs and Davidson said the best thing cat owners can do to help fight the virus is spay and neuter pet cats which will help limit overcrowding (a huge factor in spreading the virus in the shelters).

It’s true that overcrowding makes it more likely that a virus will spread in a shelter but hullo – the pair of you just killed 379 sneezing cats and I see no indication of an intent to change practices.  The locals spaying and neutering their pets is a good thing but it will do nothing to save the cats caged in your slaughterhouse right now.  Only you can do that by doing your jobs.

Having a look at the Washington County – Johnson City pound’s webpage detailing its adoption policies, and it’s got all the awful.  The second sentence:

If you are interested in breeding or have personal doubts about sterilization, you are looking for a pet in the wrong place.

Gee, how welcoming.

Next up is the price list where they outline that in addition to the $20 adoption fee, adopters must pay for the cost of the neuter surgery.  If the pet you want to adopt is already neutered, you have to pay a $15 penalty.  Because I don’t know.  Oh and if you choose a dog who is about to give birth, they will spay her, kill the puppies and charge you extra.  They don’t give vaccines either.

But anyway, it’s just a mountain of dead cats and cats come in sick and whaddaya gonna do – except spay and neuter of course.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

ID Shelter Conducting Mass Cat Killing Due to Upper Respiratory Infection

Emily, one of 52 cats from a hoarding case taken in with a URI by the SPCA.

Emily, one of 52 cats from a hoarding case taken in with a URI by the Medina Co SPCA in Ohio.  (Photo by Casey Post)

When some cats at the Pocatello Animal Shelter in Idaho got sick last month, the shelter tried treating them for one week, then conducted lab tests.  The results showed an upper respiratory infection caused by the feline herpes virus and a mycoplasma infection.  After consulting with local vets, shelter officials decided to kill the entire population of cats – approximately 100 pets.

“It’s like a really nasty cold,” said [Pocatello Public Information Officer Logan] McDougall. “You have sneezing, you have coughing, eventually you have a high grade fever, and ultimately it can lead to dehydration and death.”

It can lead to death.  Which means it can also lead to life.  You know what definitely always 100% absolutely leads to death?  Killing.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It was something that took a lot of thought, and decided this was the best course of action for all the animals of Pocatello.”

Can we poll the cats on that?

Officials say it wasn’t cost effective to try and treat the cats because their survival is very slim even with treatment.

So some would have survived with treatment but dollars.  And issuing a plea to the public for donations to cover the cost of treatment sounds like work.  So, best course of action is to kill the sick cats, the asymptomatic cats, even the cats in foster homes:

Logan McDougall […] said some of the cats have already been put down and others are still being returned from foster homes.

Emily, after being treated at the Medina Co SPCA.  Her vision is permanently impaired but her desire to be held and loved is perfectly intact.  (Photo by Casey Post)

Emily, after being treated for her URI at the Medina Co SPCA in Ohio. Her vision is permanently impaired but her desire to be held and loved is perfectly intact. (Photo by Casey Post)

Imagine fostering a cat for the Pocatello Animal Shelter and receiving a call to bring in your cat – not because there is a potential adopter who wants to meet her – but to be killed.  Even if she doesn’t have any signs of illness.  Because we’re killing ALL THE CATS.  Sign me up for that foster list.

I hope local animal advocates are taking action.  The cats clearly have no voice at the shelter.

(Thanks Clarice and Anne for the links.)

Kittens Meet Grisly End at NC Pound

Kitten #35611, identified by animal advocates on Facebook as one of the cats killed by a dog at the Columbus Co pound.

Kitten #35611, identified by animal advocates on Facebook as one of the cats killed by a dog at the Columbus Co pound.

More violence at the long troubled pound in Columbus Co, NC – this time, reportedly due to an ACO who “accidentally” left a dog’s cage unlocked and “accidentally” left the door to a room housing cats unlocked then went home for the night.  Oops.  Director Rossie Hayes told a local paper:

“The door was open when we came in Monday and found what we found.”

Found what we found is a way of avoiding saying that the dog killed more than a dozen cats, most of whom were kittens.  Nobody seems to agree on the exact number killed but hey, they’re just cats.

The ACO has been fired.  And Hayes wants to know where he goes to accept his I Refrained from Killing One Dog award:

“This was just as friendly a dog as you would ever see,” Hayes said of the female pit bull. “I think the animal groups thought I would euthanize her, but I didn’t.”

The dog has reportedly been rescued.  The county recently appealed a fine assessed by the state for illegally killing an owned pet.

(Thank you to everyone who sent me links on this story.)

Aurora Animal Shelter Refuses Offer of Hospice Care for Cat

When animal advocate Joan Ogner saw a Petfinder photo of a senior female cat at the Aurora Animal Shelter in CO this week, she felt moved and wanted to help get the pet transferred to a rescue group.  While working on that, she learned the cat has some serious medical issues. Specifically, the cat is partially paralyzed, has an acute URI, no teeth and an abdominal mass. She is being housed in isolation at the shelter.

At that point, Joan felt compelled to help this cat herself by providing hospice care at her home. She contacted the shelter to ask about adopting the cat and was refused. She subsequently contacted the manager via email to reiterate her offer and to advise that she works with another municipal shelter which would gladly do an official shelter-to-shelter transfer if the manager deemed that more appropriate.

The manager replied that the cat was receiving treatment at the shelter and that the vet staff had recommended euthanasia and so the request to transfer was refused. Joan asked the manager to reconsider, explaining that she was offering to care for the cat at home and even if euthanasia was the most humane option, to offer that in the quiet comfort of her loving home and not in a shelter environment which is highly stressful for cats.  She stated she would not allow the cat to suffer.

The manager again refused the offer to get the cat out of her cage at the shelter, citing the “five freedoms”, which she says are being provided to the cat there and stating that she didn’t feel comfortable sending the cat to an “unknown” situation.  Joan explained that she has adopted from the Aurora shelter before so she is not “unknown” and that she could provide immediate references if desired, including the director of the shelter who is willing to do the transfer, her veterinarian of 20 years, and local rescuers.  She again promised to provide loving hospice care and not allow the cat to suffer.

That was yesterday.  The manager has not replied since and the cat’s listing has been removed from Petfinder.  This is the post Joan put on her Facebook page in hopes of being allowed to give this poor cat peace and love in a quiet home environment for whatever time she has left.  Joan has named her Miss Kitty:

Screengrab from Facebook (provided by Joan Ogner)

“PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL ASAP THE AURORA SHELTER TO TRY AND SAVE MISS KITTY (I named her, they only know her by her shelter ID number A172673). Tell the Shelter Manager that this kitty deserves to live her last days in a hospice setting, rather than in the shelter. The Shelter Manager information is: Manager is :Jenee N. Shipman
Manager of Animal Care | City of Aurora
jshipman@auroragov.org Office 303.326.8299 | Mobile 720.409.2474 .
THIS IS URGENT as there is only a short time before they euthanize her. Let’s see that in her last breath she is not experiencing the smell of death in the Euth Room but instead feeling the love and peace of my home. THANKS”
(Screengrab from Facebook provided by Joan Ogner)

While it is humane to offer euthanasia to a pet who has been determined medically hopeless and suffering by a veterinarian, it is not humane to leave the animal in a cage at a shelter while typing out repeated refusals for an offer of home hospice care from a compassionate person.  If this cat is truly medically hopeless and suffering, she should have been euthanized to relieve her suffering as soon as the determination was made.  If not, the cat should be released – either directly to the person offering the hospice care or to the shelter offering to do the official transfer.  I simply don’t understand this refusal nor the reasons behind it.  Just because a shelter is able to meet the so-called “five freedoms” does not make sitting in a cage in isolation any kinder for this cat.  I hope the Aurora Animal Shelter manager reconsiders and accepts the offer of hospice care for Miss Kitty.

ASPCA Will Teach You How to Kill Viable Kittens “Off the Books” to Keep Your Live Release Rate Shiny

Screengrab of shame

Screengrab of shame

The ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance are teaching more people how to gut pregnant cats whose kittens are so close to being born that they would survive the gutting.  Euphemistically referred to as “late term spay”, this horrific practice inflicts violence on both the mother cat and her unborn babies.  Once cut out of the mama cat’s belly, each kitten helplessly crawls around until someone kills her.  Mama is sewn up and, if she survives the risky procedure, is left to grieve for her kittens whom she knew were alive inside her when the ASPCA vet gave her an injection and are now inexplicably, heartbreakingly gone.  So much for that prevention of cruelty to animals thing.

And all this needless killing can be kept off the shelter’s books since the kittens are not counted as intakes – only the mama cat.  So the shelter’s live release rate can be touted as an achievement even as it masks the killing of kittens deemed so valueless by the shelter they were never even counted as being alive, despite the fact that they most definitely were.

When I saw a link tweeted by the Mayor’s Alliance and the Feral Cat Initiative on Twitter advertising the ghastly “workshop” above, I chimed in with my two cents:

twitter

To be clear, yes there is always a possibility that a kitten, just like any other living being, might die prematurely from an accident or illness.  There is also an excellent chance that she might not, especially if shelters do their jobs to protect life and get homeless animals adopted.  But it is absurd to attempt to justify the killing of viable kittens, ripped from their mother’s belly, in order to protect them from the possibility of premature death.  Late term spay is premature death for kittens.  Death doesn’t get any more premature than that.

I am not saying it’s easy for shelters to handle all the pregnant cats they receive.  I get that it’s a challenge.  What I’m saying is that it’s wrong to kill the kittens who are alive inside these pregnant cats and that option shouldn’t even be on the table at any so-called shelter, let alone a routine practice.

Reaching out to the community for assistance with temporary foster homes is one way to allow the kittens to be born without placing any burden on the shelter.  Partnering with feral colony caretakers is another tool which allows shelters to keep tabs on mama cats and kittens within colonies in order to trap animals at the right time for spaying the mother and taming/adopting the kittens.

There are always alternatives to killing and groups like the ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance should be the ones leading the way in protecting the lives of animals.  Instead they are promoting the heinous practice of killing viable kittens while inflicting emotional and physical harm to mother cats.

Oh and for the record:  vegan pizza?  You’re doing it wrong.

 

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