Action Alert: Harnett Co Shelter Pets Suffering in Heat

These videos were submitted by an animal advocate who wishes to remain anonymous. They were reportedly taken at the Harnett Co pound in NC this week and appear to show cats suffering in the summer heat:

I don’t know what type of system is in place to keep the animals cool during the summer months at Harnett Co but whatever it is, it appears to be terribly inadequate and may be a violation of state law.  It is my understanding that the NC Department of Agriculture, responsible for overseeing the state’s animal shelters, has already been advised of this situation.  Based upon the dates of the state’s inspections of the Harnett Co facility, it doesn’t look like the place has been inspected during the summer in years.

If you wish to take action on behalf of the animals:

Send polite, respectful letters requesting an immediate fix to the heat problem at the Harnett Co pound which does not involve further harm to the animals to:

Joseph Jeffries, County Manager
102 East Front Street
Lillington, NC 27546

Phone: 910-893-7555
Fax: 910-814-2662

jjeffries@harnett.org

Jacked Up Shelter Staff Charged with Cruelty in VT

Warning:  This is some disturbing shit.

In February 2016, the Vermont Department of Agriculture reportedly inspected a 16 year old cat shelter in Chester called Webster’s House and approved the facility for re-licensing.  In April, a local paper reported that Webster’s House was being evicted by its landlord, forcing the shelter to find homes for its 39 cats.  And:

In an unrelated situation, after a monthlong investigation, Chester Police have sent a report to the State’s Attorney’s office following a complaint of animal cruelty at Webster’s House.

At that time, shelter manager Mary Donaldson characterized the complaint as coming from “a disgruntled former volunteer who complained about the cats not getting proper medical care.”

This week, Donaldson and the vice president of the shelter’s board, Jessica “Remi” Fecteau, were charged with animal cruelty and lying to police. Both women are still living at the now-closed shelter and have pleaded innocent.

About that so-called disgruntled vol and lack of medical care:

The investigation started when one volunteer, Crystal Losee, a local nurse, was told not to go into the bathroom at the shelter and found a dead black cat in a bucket of water.

[…]

Crystal was told that they could not take the cat to the vet because of a $4,000 bill they already owed.”

Donaldson and Fecteau had allegedly been drowning sick cats in lieu of getting them veterinary care. And no, you’re not out of the woods yet:

Losee told police Donaldson had told her that “the cat had asked Mary to drown him but she just couldn’t do it so Remi did.”

“Remi told her that after the cat was done fighting, the cat apologized to Remi.

[…]

In addition, people at Webster’s House believed in “soul jumping” between the dying cats and the healthy cats, and that Donaldson told another volunteer that one of the cats was “destined to die to be reborn again.”

Court records reveal what appears to be a boatload of crazy-pants:

There were sworn statements from Donaldson and Fecteau, as well as others associated with the now-closed shelter, and it painted a picture of a deteriorating situation at the shelter and shelter volunteers endorsing “body jumping” to transfer the soul of a sick, dying cat into a healthy one.

At one point in December, there were an estimated 70 to 80 cats at the shelter, many of them sick. When the criminal investigation began in January, the number of cats was about half that number.

A state inspector noted the earlier cat population at 80, as did Ann Eddy of the Springfield Humane Society, who also counted about 80 cats, with sick and healthy cats intermingled.

So Webster’s House was drowning sick cats and kittens in order to transfer their souls into the bodies of healthy cats. At the same time, they were housing the sick cats, of which they reportedly had many, with the healthy cats which would obviously result in the healthy cats becoming sick and thereby guarantee a constant supply of souls for the drowning buckets.  Nice bananas system.

By the way, the Rutland Herald reports that Fecteau now works at a mental health facility.  So there’s that.

The lying to police charges likely stem from the various stories Donaldson and Fecteau allegedly told police when asked about the drownings.  They tried everything from “never happened” to “must have drowned in the water dish”.  And when volunteers from area shelters – at Webster’s House to take some of the cats for rehoming before they were evicted – found a freshly drowned cat, Donaldson tried playing the Bitch Set Me Up card:

But the afternoon’s events took a turn for the worse when humane society volunteers found a dead cat, wrapped in a plastic bag, floating in a bucket of water in back of the building. The bucket was covered by a litter box, weighed down by a large rock.

When volunteers confronted Mary Donaldson, the Webster’s House manager about the dead cat, she started yelling that it was a “plant,” and that it wasn’t one of her cats. She refused to look at the cat.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, the Vermont Department of Agriculture has regulations which shelters are required to meet.  A snippet from those regs:

vtwelfareregs

Portion of Vermont’s animal welfare regulations

I will grant you the state inspector might not have known about the soul jumping wackiness because maybe all the Webster’s House peeps were like Ix-nay on the cray-cray while the inspector was around. And maybe he didn’t think it was weird to see water buckets covered with litter boxes and weighed down with rocks. But the inspector would presumably have noted the missing cats, the sick cats housed with the healthy ones and the lack of veterinary care. The last two are clear violations.  So I guess I’m wondering:  How the fuck did the state wave this crackass horror show through for 16 years?  And what is going on at the other state licensed shelters in Vermont?  Can somebody lose their job now, please?

(Thanks Clarice.)

 

The Worst Deja Vu Ever

tilly

Tilly, as shown on the WDAM website.

This again.

A man thought to be a potential adopter visited the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League in Mississippi on Friday, asked to see the cats, then allegedly beat one to a pulp before leaving. The guy was unsupervised as all the staff and vols at the private shelter were chasing a loose dog. The three year old cat, called Tilly, was found in an open cage, battered and bloody, clinging to life. She died later at a vet’s office.

The area where Tilly was found is described as a colony room so it sounds as if she was tortured in view of other cats. There was blood spatter on the walls and a “plastic stick” was in pieces. The man apparently beat Tilly until his weapon fell apart then stomped on her.

Jody Cothron has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in connection with the case. In Mississippi, nearly all animal cruelty offenses are misdemeanors. Police have obtained surveillance video from the shelter.

I totally get that there was an emergency at the shelter because a dog had gotten loose. I get that everyone was looking out for the dog’s well being by chasing him around and leaving the guy in the cat colony room unsupervised. But come on people, you need to watch your pets and not leave them alone with strangers.

If a guy walks into a daycare and says he’s interested in looking around because he might want to enroll his kid, you don’t show him into the infant room and leave him alone – even if there’s an emergency. Emergencies happen. They need to be handled in such a way that no one’s safety is compromised.

If it was absolutely an all-hands-on-deck situation that required everyone in the place to help, the first thing that needed to happen was for someone to quickly explain to the visitor that he would need to wait in his car until the dog was captured and then to make sure the guy was out of there. Because apparently unsupervised adopters beating shelter pets is a thing now. FFS.

(Thanks Clarice.)

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.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,035 other followers