Louisiana Pound Employees Under Investigation by Police

The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the director and three other employees of the Ouachita Parish pound in LA. The facility falls under the Ouachita Parish Police Jury:

Scotty Robinson, Police Jury President, says, “we had someone within the animal shelter come in and raise some concerns.”
Concerns surrounding allegations the director and other employees were using an inmate who had trustee status to work on their private projects, projects that the police jury’s attorney says are not allowed.
Jay Mitchell, OPPJ Attorney, says, “…constructed a barbeque grill…and also did some welding on some trailers Uh private trailers that were apparently may have been used sometimes in animal control work, But they were not owned by the parish.”

All four of the employees reportedly resigned rather than face termination by the parish.

In 2014, the pound killed approximately 63% of the animals in its care.  The only other online statistics I could find were from 2011 when the pound killed 60% of its dogs and 85% of its cats, according to a local volunteer group.  The group has a page detailing the thousands of pets needlessly killed each year at the pound along with all the standard excuses about how there aren’t enough homes, they “have to” kill every single day of the year, the irresponsible public blows, killing isn’t as much fun as it should be and smack in the middle, in boldface, is this:

ouachita parish enablers

Screengrab from a PAWS of NE LA webpage.

Oof.

So apparently this institutionalized killing for convenience has been going on for years, maybe since the pound’s inception, I don’t know, and it’s a total package complete with a band of enablers.  The director and staff don’t do their jobs to shelter animals but kill them instead while the volunteers stand ready to defend the killing and blame the public.  Maybe no one has ever done their jobs at this place, I don’t know.

But recently, “someone within the animal shelter” was moved to take action.  Not because the place is an epic fail and the bodies are really starting to pile up, not because there are proven alternatives which could be put into place to save the animals but continue to be ignored in favor of daily kill-fests – but because somebody got a grill built by an inmate.  And there was WELDING.

Enough is enough, you know?  I mean killing animals hand over fist every day of the year instead of doing our jobs is one thing but getting a grill made and having welding on some trailers Uh private trailers that were apparently may have been used sometimes in animal control work, But they were not owned by the parish – well that’s just objectionable.  There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s got to take a stand and this is that time.

But do not fear, the mission endures:

[A]lthough down four employees, Robinson says it hasn’t seriously affected the shelter.
[…]
“Our treasurer office has kind of taking over the day to day operations as far as the financial and the money and things that go on.”

Things that go on. I dread to think.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Shawnee Pound Gasses 3 Dogs Because It Can

The animals at the long troubled gassing pound in Shawnee, OK have been getting some help from area rescuers.  With a paltry 48 hour holding period, rescuers must continually scramble to get pets out alive.  They have reportedly been able to pull every dog at the small pound since May.  But that streak ended last week when the city gassed three dogs, one of whom was reportedly slated to be pulled that morning.  Tragically, the public outcry is being directed at the former owners (who may or may not be known) instead of those who actually killed the animals.

The Shawnee city manager, Justin Erickson, says the pound will, at some unspecified time, stop gassing and start killing via injection.  He plans to talk more about that next year.  Cause I mean, what’s the hurry, right? As for embracing the proven programs used by hundreds of open admission no kill shelters around the country, that’s a no:

“We are not able to transition to no kill at this time,” said Erickson during Monday’s city council meeting.

I assume that explanation will satisfy everyone paying for the shelter to not shelter animals.  If not, maybe local animal advocates can stop dreaming up Evil Former Owner fantasies and start pressuring public officials to do their jobs.  Or just let the city keep rescuers in continual crisis mode, with them gassing the occasional pet because they can, and enabling them by failing to unequivocally blame those doing the killing.  The more the city is able to distract advocates, the more things stay the same.

Let’s be clear:  Some shelter pets are lost.  Their owners want them back.  Others are in between homes.  It doesn’t matter who used to own a shelter pet or how that animal arrived at the shelter.  There is only now.  Now is an opportunity to help the animal, starting with protecting his right to live.  Everything else is a distraction.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Nevada Pound Director Avoids Felony Charges, Enabled by Police Chief

As we are often chided by those opposed to hearing the truth about pet killing facilities, nobody wants to kill animals.  And this is true, with the exception of everybody who does want to kill animals, especially those who pee their pants a little every time a box of Fatal Plus arrives in the mail:

Jenny Silvia, a shelter volunteer, told police […] that [former Boulder City Animal Control Supervisor Mary Jo] Frazier “finds joy in killing animals.”

Police were talking to people who had worked with Frazier at the pound while they conducted an investigation into allegations of needless animal killings by Frazier:

A frantic phone call [in April] had prompted a Boulder City police detective to investigate whether the city’s head of animal control had, just for fun, been killing animals in the city’s shelter.

[…]

Boulder City Animal Control Officer Ann Inabnitt told police that Frazier, her supervisor, didn’t want to provide medical care to Lotus, an abused 11-week-old pit bull suffering from shattered teeth, a swollen head and a broken left hip. Frazier’s reason, her co-worker told police, was “we don’t spend money on pit bulls and because I’m just going to stick her anyway,” according to the detective’s affidavit to support an arrest warrant. […] Frazier refused to put the pit bull on the veterinarian-recommended diet of soft food, records show.

The police investigation reportedly found that Frazier had personally killed approximately half the animals who were impounded by Boulder City AC since being promoted to supervisor in 2006.  She instructed staff not to advertise animals for adoption online.  The Boulder City pound was never at capacity and animals were killed while cages sat empty.

Most of the animals who were killed by Frazier were killed upon impound, in violation of the city ordinance requiring a 5 day holding period.  Another city ordinance requires an exam by a veterinarian before any animal is killed but police determined Frazier was routinely violating that law too.

After Frazier’s husband divorced her crazy ass, he says she stole his dachshund, took him to the pound and killed him.

The police investigation culminated in the issue of an arrest warrant on felony and gross misdemeanor charges against Frazier – a warrant that was never served because the chief of police, who is in charge of the pound, quashed the whole thing.  Frazier retired two days later.  She is apparently collecting retirement checks from the city and has skipped town, probably to a place where they have drinks with little umbrellas in them.  Little umbrellas that look like needles filled with Fatal Plus, I’m guessing.

Police Chief Bill Conger defended sweeping the whole thing under a rug:

The chief said that he himself showed Boulder City Attorney David Olsen the investigation and that Olsen said felony charges would not stick, though “maybe a couple of misdemeanors” would.
“Why go forward with something that’s not going to go very far, number one, and number two, when she resigned this whole thing stopped,” Conger said.

A leetle problem:  the city attorney says he never heard word one from Conger about the case.

Another teensy snag:  After an area paper published the story about how Frazier was allowed to get her rocks off by needlessly killing animals on the taxpayers’ dime then retire before she could be arrested, take the taxpayers’ money and go someplace sunny, taxpayers were displeased.  They began an online campaign, held a protest at the police station and generally raised hell.

In response, the police chief decided he’d kick the ball down the field a little, then fall on the pile after the opponent was tackled to make it look like he was trying:

Boulder City officials have reversed course, saying they will submit previously dismissed information from a criminal investigation of the city’s former animal control supervisor to the Clark County District Attorney’s office for review.

As far as Conger’s role in enabling Frazier’s escape from justice:

“People get in trouble and resign all the time,” the chief said Tuesday.

Chief of Meh.

Also:  don’t criticize, we all want the same thing, if you don’t volunteer at your local pet killing facility you are part of the problem, blahcetera.

rooster

(Photo by Casey Post.)

(Thanks Clarice and Jan.)

 

State of NC Finds Violations at Transylvania Co Shelter, Assesses Penalty

Last week, the NC Department of Agriculture issued a letter regarding its investigation of the Transylvania Co shelter.  The findings include:

  • During the period from September 1, 2014 through July 21, 2015, 205 animals were killed by staff members who were not certified as euthanasia technicians.
  • 81 stray animals who were neither seriously ill nor injured were killed prior to the expiration of the mandated 72 hour holding period.
  • The director was suspended for a month in 2014.  Upon his return, he falsified the kill log for 5 animals.
  • The records of more than 100 animals who were killed contained conflicting or incorrect information.

The state assessed a civil penalty of more than $10,000 against the Transylvania Co shelter as a result of these violations.

So all this sounds pretty bad.  But wait – we have enablers on standby!

“It’s important to note that these violations are administrative and have nothing to do with the way animals are treated at the shelter,” said Dr. Clyde Brooks, a veterinarian with Brevard Animal Hospital who led the effort to relocate the shelter to an improved facility two years ago.

This will surely be a great comfort to the 81 stray animals who were killed without ever being given a chance at redemption or adoption.  It’s an administrative thing!  Also the county manager says most of those animals were feral cats so piffle.  As far as why the director was suspended for a month last year, the county manager says we don’t need to know about that.  The vet goes even further:

Brooks doubted that the violations would affect [Paul] Vis’ role as shelter director, saying Vis has been instrumental in developing TCAS into a “state-of-the-art” shelter that has gone “from a 75 percent euthanasia rate to a 75 percent adoption rate.”

Let’s see if that’s true.

Nope.

Portion of the state of NC's 2014 shelter report showing a 44% kill rate at Transylvania Co.

Portion of the state of NC’s 2014 shelter report showing a 44% kill rate at Transylvania Co.

The county is currently being sued by the owners of a dog who was at the facility for a 10 day rabies quarantine but was oops-killed.  Apparently the owners loved their pet more than administratively.

(Thanks Lisa and Clarice for the link.)

Alabama ACO Fails to Catch Loose Puppies, Guns Them Down

A litter of friendly puppies who appeared to be suffering from mange turned up near a golf club in Boaz, AL.  Two pups were caught by local rescuers and are being treated for mange before they go up for adoption.  The local ACO was called about the other pups who had wandered into someone’s yard.  The ACO reportedly tried to catch them but was unsuccessful so he shot them to death.  There was a public outcry over the killings on social media.  The Boaz police department, which oversees AC, responded by releasing a statement which reads, in part:

The animal control officer responded to the residence where the dogs had been dropped, and the owner of the property wished the dogs to be removed. The animal control officer noticed that the dogs were covered in mange and appeared to be sickly. However, after several attempts to catch the dogs, the officer was unable to do so and informed the home owner of this fact. After talking with the property owner and with a neighbor, it was decided that to remove the dogs, they would have to be put down. The home owner and neighbor both agreed with the animal control officer that because of the conditions of the dogs and for the safety of the public, it was best to put the dogs down. The officer had no alternative except to remove the dogs due to their conditions and concerns about the health, welfare, and safety of the public.

Guys, GUYS – The Neighbor was consulted and agreed that shooting the puppies was a good idea!  Totes reassured.  But just in case any of you nitpicky animal advocates have any lingering questions:

The Boaz police are investigating the incident to insure that all proper measures were taken and to implement corrective procedures if necessary.

The Neighbor gave the thumbs up and the police are investigating themselves so I guess there’s nothing left to do but fall into enabler mode:

Doug McGee [the rescuer who saved two of the pups] said he’s spoken with [Boaz police chief Scott] Farish about the whole thing and is hopeful the animal control officer made the right call. McGee said it’s a sad situation, and it’s hard for anyone who wasn’t there to know if shooting them was a correct move because of the public safety issues involved. He hopes the officer weighed all the options first.

“I wish he could have come up with a different approach. Sometimes decisions have to be made,” he said.

Yeah it’s hard for anyone who wasn’t there to know if shooting puppies was the right thing to do.  Because sometimes shooting puppies is the right thing to do, apparently.  Although no circumstances jump to mind of when that would be exactly.  But The Neighbor agreed.  And the public is now safe.  From puppies.

Animals:  Controlled.  Well done, Boaz.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Texas ACO Leaves Cats to Suffer and Die in Truck

Michael Arista, an ACO in Big Spring, Texas, reportedly picked up “numerous” cats at some unknown time last week and put them in the metal boxes on his ACO vehicle which he left in a police station parking lot in 95 degree heat.  A police officer noticed the vehicle on Saturday morning and contacted the on-call ACO.  When that ACO arrived and opened up the metal boxes, it was discovered that 4 of the cats had died.

A local news reporter contacted ACO Arista who reportedly characterized the incident as a mistake and complained that the ACOs in Big Springs are overworked.  And just in case that doesn’t shut you up:

Arista added that the cats were feral, very sick and would likely be euthanized.

See.  They were just gonna be killed anyway so what’s all the fuss about?

Cue the local enablers:

“People like to vilify and put the blame on the Animal Control officers and it really comes down to the system as a whole and the changes that need to be made,” said Alison Herm, Volunteer with Relocation Rescue.

[…]

“Unfortunately, there are so many feral cats that if Animal Control traps them, they are so feral that there is nothing they can do for them but to euthanize them,” said Herm.

So many, so feral.  *shrug*  I guess it’s just off to Killville.  Never mind all the communities doing TNR for their feral cats.  They probably don’t have so many, so feral.  Big Spring is unique!

Photo by Casey Post

This is the cat I’d like to feed enablers to.  (Photo by Casey Post)

ACO Arista has been placed on administrative leave while the city investigates itself in the matter.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Complaints Prompt State to Inspect VA Shelter and Enablers to Circle the Wagons

In Accomack Co, Virginia, another sad case where pets who were reportedly living in unacceptable conditions in a resident’s yard are now allegedly suffering at the pound after being “rescued”:

An Exmore man who tipped off Accomack County Animal Control officers about poor living conditions of 15 dogs at a rural Onancock residence now is asking the state to shut down the facility where they were taken.

Jim Mason submitted a petition to the state veterinarian and the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services on June 8, asking them to close the Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility in Melfa because it lacks air conditioning and an outdoor exercise area, among other issues.

The dogs, several of whom have whelped litters since being seized, have been held at the pound in connection with an ongoing court case for many months. They are allegedly being denied exercise and socialization.

After receiving the petition, a state inspector visited the Eastern Shore Regional AC Facility and found a number of deficiencies, including:

[S]everal dogs and cats showed signs of discomfort due to heat and humidity and the dog run area was “extremely hot and humid” with no climate control and flies[.]
[…]
Additionally, the inspector said not all animals euthanized at the facility were sedated beforehand.

Members of the Accomack Co Board of Supervisors have also received complaints from animal advocates regarding conditions at the pound.  But(t):

“The shelter is in very, very good hands,” Supervisor Robert Crockett said.

Also:  all county pounds “have to” kill animals (which will undoubtedly come as a shock to the many no kill shelters operating in municipalities all over the country) and the state inspector only dinged Eastern Shore on the recent report because of pressure from pesky activists.  And the offer of free air conditioning from a local SPCA is now being put on hold by the county because reasons.  Seems legit.

I couldn’t find any government website listing animals for Eastern Shore and the facility’s Facebook page is out of date.  The Eastern Shore page on Petfinder says:

We invite you to take a look at all our listed animals.To us, they all deserve the recognition as “featured”.

Petfinder has zero animals listed for Eastern Shore.

Very, very good hands.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Chicago Pound Leaves Dog in a Van for 5 Days

"Waaaaaateeer" Missy, as pictured on the NBC Chicago website.

“Waaaaaateeer”
Missy, as pictured on the NBC Chicago website.

That pillar of animal care and control, the Chicago pound, is once again pillaring all over the animals.  Pound staff brought 14 dogs to the Chicago Wolves hockey game for an adoption event on Saturday, April 18.  A dog called Missy was reportedly “having problems” at the event and was taken out to a cage in a city vehicle.  Missy was left unattended in the cage for the remainder of the adoption event and for the next five days.  A volunteer found Missy on Thursday night, April 23, “barely alive” and still caged in the van which was parked in a city lot a mile from the pound.  Someone called the police, who immediately went into corrupt enabler mode:

Police said they do not know specifically how many days the dog was left inside the van.

[…]

Police say it was an accident and they do not expect any criminal charges.

We don’t know how many days the dog was left in the van because math is hard and also a very inexact science.  But we don’t need to know how many days it was because even if it was 5 or 3 or 53, we know it was just an oopsie.  And oopsies are not crimes when committed by city employees I guess.

Pound spokesmen describe Missy as “playful” and suffering “no health issues” after being neglected for 5 days.  Which totally gels with the “barely alive” thing.  Maybe she was too weak to stand and had to be carried and they figured she was “playing dead”, I don’t know.

Anyhoo the pound will investigate itself in the matter and depending on the findings, may go so far as to take disciplinary action against someone.  Which is exactly the same punishment as would be doled out to a regular citizen who neglected a dog so egregiously no doubt.

In addition to determining who left Missy in the van instead of returning her to the pound after the adoption event, I have more questions.  Who signed off on feeding Missy every day from April 18 through April 23?  Who signed off on walking her?  Who made the daily notations in her records about her general well-being?  Are any of those people going to face the dreaded disciplinary action?

Chicago taxpayers need to demand that pound employees do their jobs and be held accountable when they don’t.  For whatever that demand might be worth.

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

Caddo Parish Killing Thousands of Pets, Blaming the Public

The main “service” provided to animals by the staff at Caddo Parish Animal Services in Louisiana is killing:

Caddo took in 8,744 dogs and cats last year and euthanized 6,805, according to data provided by the shelter.

Based on these numbers, Caddo’s kill rate for 2014 was 78%.  That is a staggering number of dead pets.  And you don’t achieve those kinds of numbers without enablers:

“I hesitate to blame the shelter because I see what they are up against.” – Reed Ebarb, Companions of Caddo Animal Services president and member of the Caddo Parish Animal Services Advisory Committee

“The missing component is taking place out in the community where people are having puppies in the backyard. […]  More needs to be done on the community’s end. People need to be more responsible.  Until we overcome that piece we have an uphill battle to fight. We can do everything right and still fall short.” – Caddo Parish Administrator Woodrow Wilson Jr.

Let’s clarify one thing:  When you are killing roughly 8 out of every 10 dogs and cats who come through your doors, there is zero chance you are doing “everything right”.  More likely, you are doing about 8 out of 10 things wrong.  Dead wrong.  But in this safe and comfortable environment, supported by local killing apologists, it’s little wonder the pound’s director takes no responsibility for the killing:

Everett Harris, Animal Services director, said the shelter’s numbers “are at the mercy of the community.”

“We are a community shelter dealing with a community problem,” he said.

An animal is considered property by law, and if an owner turns over the property, the shelter is obligated by law to take it, Harris explained.

File that complaint under WHY YOU ARE THERE, SHERLOCK.

I guess everyone who lives in Caddo Parish is the suck, except for the pound workers blamelessly killing more than 500 animals a month because the tyrannical public has the pound under its thumb, wielding its absolute power without compassion.  Also:  there are reportedly puppies in backyards there which is a unique challenge not faced by any other communities anywhere so kill everything, obviously.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals: Monroe Co Edition

Monroe Co, FL contracts with three animal shelters for services. Here are the 2014 kill stats for each:

Humane Animal Care Coalition (aka Upper Keys Animal Shelter)

Cat kill rate: 81%
Dog kill rate: 43%

Safe Harbor Animal Rescue of the Keys

Cat kill rate: 31%
Dog kill rate: 18%

Florida Keys SPCA

Cat kill rate: 47%
Dog kill rate: 18%

While none of these shelters is no kill, one is clearly failing worse than the others.  Local media sought an explanation:

Marsha Garrettson, director of the Upper Keys Animal Shelter, offered little explanation as to why the euthanasia trends in the Upper Keys were far above the rest of the island chain.

She told the Free Press her nonprofit organization is financially sound and can afford to provide surgeries and healthcare to any animal brought it. Her shelter also provides free spay and neuter services, which she says has reduced overall intake of cats and dogs over the years.

“This was never about the money,” Garrettson said. “It never has been.”

M’kaaay, so money is not now nor has it ever been a problem.  Upper Keys can pay for veterinary care for any animal at the facility.  But the staff is killing them instead.  Why?

[Garrettson] said her shelter never euthanizes an adoptable animal. With the exception of feral cats, every cat or dog put down is either too sick or aggressive for adoption, she said. However, she acknowledged that the higher euthanasia percentages in the Upper Keys do not indicate that animals there are sicker or more aggressive than those elsewhere in the county.

Wait, what?  Money to pay for vet care is no object yet 81% of cats and 43% of dogs impounded were killed for illness or behavior?  How is one county facility being allowed to fail so miserably while stats from its two neighboring shelters show that less killing is achievable?

Meet Enabler Number One:

 Monroe County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said she was not concerned by the difference in euthanasia percentages.

“I’m perfectly happy with the services at the clinic,” she told the Free Press.

Murphy reiterated that the Upper Keys shelter only euthanizes ill, diseased or aggressive animals.

To be clear, the “service” most animals at the Upper Keys facility receive is killing.  Which this elected official is perfectly happy with.

And Enabler Number Two:

Tammy Foxe, director of the Key West shelter, declined to speculate why percentages were lower in her region.

“I think the three county shelters are working very hard for this community,” she said.

There are hundreds of open admission shelters all over the country saving 90% and more of their pets.  Those shelters are working very hard for their communities.  These three, not so much.  And one of the three is lagging way behind the other two, clearly disproving the notion that all three are fabulous.  It almost sounds like this person is ashamed of her work saving lives.

Mercifully, there was a quote at the end of the article from the token Regular Person Who Says What I Am Thinking:

Nancy Warner, a member of Forgotten Felines of the Florida Keys, said she was appalled by the euthanasia data.

[…]

Warner said the county should find someone else to run the Key Largo shelter.

“It would be better for people to let their animal run out the door than take it to the shelter,” she said.

Thank you.

The Upper Keys shelter has the financial means to treat every animal under its roof.  But they are putting most of the animals into garbage bags.  What’s the money being spent on – Fatal Plus?  Compassion fatigue counseling for the staff?  Cheery posters for the kill room?

I hope Monroe Co taxpayers stand up and demand accountability from their shelters and elected officials.  Get rid of the pet killers and their enablers and put people in place who are willing to do their jobs, even when – and especially when – it means ruffling feathers. That’s why they call it work.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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