People tend to think that animal shelters shelter animals and that everyone who works there is an animal lover who would never hurt a pet. Tragically, this is far from the truth in too many shelters. Sometimes people only find this out when their pet ends up at the “safe haven” and is killed there.
On June 15, a 10 year old Rottweiler named Debo reportedly bit a person. A Cumberland Co, NC ACO came to the home and advised owner Yolanda Streeter that Debo had to be quarantined for 10 days – either at home or at the pound. Since the family was about to go away on vacation, Mrs. Streeter’s husband chose the option to quarantine Debo at the pound and signed the form the ACO gave him.
On June 17, Mr. Streeter called the Cumberland Co pound to make sure it was known that the family was going away but would be back to pick up Debo on June 27. He wanted the date to be clear since it was two days after the quarantine ended. The family also went to the pound that day to visit Debo and reiterate that they would be back to pick him up on the 27th. Mrs. Streeter says the staff agreed with the arrangements.
But when Mr. Streeter called on June 27 to ask if he needed to bring a fee with him when he picked up Debo, he was advised that his pet had been killed on the 25th. Because that was the day the quarantine expired and he’d signed a form surrendering ownership of Debo to the county. And since the staff could legally kill him, they did:
Officials said Wednesday that the paperwork the Streeters signed gave them possession of an aggressive dog. The animal release form Mitchell Streeter signed on June 15 is marked for a “Code 2,” which released Debo to the county.
Yolanda Streeter said they thought they were simply signing the dog off for quarantine.
“Believe me, the last thing we want to do is put an animal down,” said Dr. John Lauby, Director of Animal Services.
I’m going to go with nah on that one.
Adding insult to injury, county officials told the local news the Streeter family never said anything about coming back to pick up Debo and the fact that they called and visited means nothing since owners who know the county is going to kill their pets do that too. Which apparently happens all the time in Cumberland Co. Sheesh, I hope these county officials aren’t on the tourism board.
The Streeter family is heartbroken and has no closure:
“Honestly, I feel like somebody who had a loved one who was murdered or killed or something,” Yolanda Streeter said. “And they don’t have the body back.”
“If I’d known what was going to happen, I would have never sent him there.”
Pets are family. Having an owned pet in the care of people who kill pets for convenience ends tragically all too often.
If “the last thing” the pound truly wants to do is kill pets, I have a suggestion: Instead of calling the Streeter family liars, Cumberland Co needs to investigate why the staff failed multiple times to note in Debo’s records that the family was coming for him. Start by asking the ACO whether he explained clearly to Mr. Streeter that he was signing over his pet to be killed and whether Mr. Streeter indicated to the ACO the family would be reclaiming the dog. Then find out who at the pound took Mr. Streeter’s call verifying he would be there on the 27th and failed to note the date in the records. Then talk to the staffers who spoke with the family during the visit when they reiterated they were coming back for him. See if any of them have reasonable explanations for their failures. If not, fire them and get people in there willing to do their jobs.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)