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.)

Case Update: Former Pound Director Charged with Felony Cruelty

Pete Brock, the recently fired director of the Martin Co pound in NC, has been arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.  This is in addition to the charge he was already facing regarding alleged threats made to a former co-worker.  The new charge was filed as the result of an investigation stemming from a February 12 euthanasia inspection in which the facility received only one “acceptable” rating and twenty-two “not acceptable” ratings.

On that date, the state inspector found impound paperwork for nine cats.  Although the drug log only showed that six cats were killed, there were eight cat carcasses in the freezer and one cat was in distress in a trap.  ACO Beck explained that then-director Brock had injected the cat with a euthanasia drug before leaving for the day, telling him to check on the cat later.  If the cat wasn’t dead, ACO Beck was to re-kill the cat.  ACO Beck is not certified to kill animals and asked the inspector if she could kill the cat.  The inspector instructed ACO Beck to take the cat to a local vet clinic.  The vet at the clinic determined the cat had been injected with something that failed to kill him.  The cat was re-killed by the vet.  A technician called the state inspector to report on the cat and said that this wasn’t the first time this had happened.

The technician told the inspector that one week prior, ACO Beck had shown up at the clinic “in a panic” with a kitten who had been injected by Brock and left in the freezer overnight.  ACO Beck found the kitten alive in the freezer with icicles on her ear tips, whiskers and fur.  The tech described the kitten as “hypothermic, wobbly, showing signs of neurologic compromise, thin, hungry and had frostbite damage to the eartips.”  The kitten was saved and has been adopted.

Drug logs at the Martin Co pound were either incomplete or non-existent according to the inspector’s report.  Controlled substances were left unsecured, both inside the facility and in Brock’s county issued vehicle.  Brock was allegedly killing trapped cats immediately upon impound with improper documentation.  ACO Beck had never seen Brock sedate an animal prior to killing and trapped cats were being jabbed at random spots on their bodies through the spacing in the wire traps.  The inspector found no euthanasia manuals on the premises nor was there a stethoscope to verify death.

On March 11, the state permanently revoked Brock’s kill license.  That document details the two botched cat killing attempts as well as an incident with a dog at the pound.  The dog was slated to be killed on December 3, 2014 and ACO Beck reportedly witnessed Brock use the county’s tranquilizer rifle to shoot the dog with several darts filled with euthanasia solution.  The dog was in his cage while Brock repeatedly shot him in the shoulder.  After the dog collapsed, Brock went into the run and injected him with more drugs.

And in case anyone was thinking that these taxpayer-financed violent crimes against dogs and cats are indefensible, hold up:

The county manager says they recently started lethal injections on animals after receiving grant funds to do away with the gas chamber.

David Bone says, “This was a new program we started recently, so anytime you start something new, there can be challenges.”

Bone says the State Department of Agriculture came to the shelter for a routine inspection to check on how they put down animals.

He says, “Part of that process was when they found some discrepancy about the records.”

[…]

Bone says, “He’s had a good career, unfortunately these circumstances came up and so we’re dealing with them .”

Ah, circumstances.  Records discrepancy.  Challenges.  And for some additional context, I refer again to the state inspector’s February 12 report, in which she states she met with county manager David Bone to detail her findings:

During this session it was clear that Mr. Bone had not known of any of the improprieties and showed much shock and surprise.

*slow clap*  What a performance.

This is what enabling looks like.  This is why we have animal cruelty happening in our broken shelter system.  This is why re-training, moving to a new building, and juggling numbers do not solve any problems.  We need systemic reform, now.

As for Brock, he is reportedly out on a $500 bond and due in court on March 30.  Watch this space.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Forsyth Co Officials SavingNotSaving Pets from the Cold

Forsyth Co, NC:

Over the last two days, at least 57 animals were saved from the sub-freezing temperatures in Forsyth County.

Animals saved.  Yay!

However, FOX8 has learned that at least one of these animals will be euthanized.

[…]

Many more of the animals may meet the same fate.

Animals saved?

“If they do die, it’s a humane death. It’s not the type of situation they’d face if we didn’t do anything,” [Forsyth Co Animal Control’s Lt. John Day] said.

If we didn’t do anything – like for example, kill them.  Which sounds pretty terrible but did we mention it’s humane and such?

As if things aren’t bleak enough for animals outside in Forsyth Co, the people killing them have enablers:

There are a lot more things worse than euthanasia,” said the nonprofits’ Jennifer Tierney. “They would have continued to live like that had it not been that they were taken.”

There are no fates worse than death.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.  Is anyone in Forsyth Co advocating for the rights these animals have to live?  We don’t have to choose between letting them freeze to death or killing them with injectable poison.  There’s always that third option of respecting their right to life and the county actually doing its job to shelter them.

She also wants anyone who might feel sick realizing they called in a tip on a cold pet and probably got them killed to know that they shouldn’t worry:

“You did the right thing to protect them, and it’s everybody’s responsibility to look out for these dogs,” she said. “Keep your eyes open and report everything you see and keep reporting it. You are the voice for the voiceless.”

Oh yes compassionate citizens of Forsyth Co, definitely keep your eyes peeled for any lost or homeless pet you might be able to “save” or “protect” by getting them into the hands of people who think death is a kindness.

With any luck, the freezing temperatures will snap their phone lines.

(Thank you Jan for the link.)

Thuggery

fiends

Portion of a posting on Facebook.com

These things take various forms and get circulated online from time to time.  They’re generally rants against the so-called irresponsible public.  This one is too, which is why I didn’t bother posting the entire thing.  I’m sure all of you already know the myriad things you’re doing wrong which “force” shelter workers to kill animals and their enablers to justify it for them.

Plus I wanted to make clear what these rants are by focusing on the header.  They are, in no uncertain terms, a threat to continue the needless systematic killing of healthy, happy dogs and cats unless the world meets the demands of the killers and their enablers and becomes perfect in their eyes.

It’s terrorism.

And these people are monsters.

 

Enablers Desperately Cling to Killing in Glynn Co as Public Supports No Kill

The Florida Times-Union shamefully published a killing apologist piece whitewashing the weekly killing done by Barbara Sancomb, the manager at the Glynn Co pound in GA.  Framing the manager as an animal lover and showing a photo of her paw print tattoos to prove it, the paper talks about the terrible “burden” of killing animals who trust her and willingly submit to her while she’s killing them.  Like we’re supposed to be all aw when in reality, I expect most people’s reaction to the disturbing visualization is more AHHHHH!

The article also talks about how sad it is that no kill advocates have complained online about animals being mistreated, deplorable conditions and needless killing at the pound.  That hurts the shelter staff’s feels.  Plus, the paper says, the animal advocates are liars anyway.  Because other places are worse:

“Everybody who criticizes us, they have obviously never been to a bad animal shelter because this is a really good one,” [Sancomb] said.

Yes, it does sound really good.  Animals in need of homes who come to trust you and willingly allow you to inject them with poison so they can die.  I’m trying to think of anything that would be better but nothing is jumping to mind.  Unless you want to touch upon that doing your job to actually shelter animals thing.

The shelter has been a public relations nightmare for the county. Earlier this year, Animal Control Advisory Committee Chairman Marci DeSart released startling statistics describing the shelter’s euthanasia rates. Since 2006, 18,000 dogs and cats have been put down.

The county kicked that person to the curb post haste.  But then one of the commissioners started talking about no kill and it seemed to resonate with the public:

A town hall meeting he called last month drew a couple of hundred animal advocates in favor of no-kill including DeSart and members of No-Kill Glynn, an organization she co-founded. No one spoke against it.

No one spoke in favor of killing.  Zero.  A couple hundred were in favor of lifesaving.  But veterinarian Bill Disque says reality is an illusion:

But Disque, a retired vet who spays and neuters animals at the shelter several times a month, said there’s a silent majority in the county who realize no-kill is not an achievable goal as things stand now.

A silent majority who really want to see the killing at the pound continue unchecked.

Now you’re just making shit up.  There is no silent majority of the public who secretly rub their hands together in hideous delight when thinking about puppies and kittens being sent to the landfill by the local pound.  There just isn’t.

What there is:

The overwhelming majority of the public, 71% of those surveyed, believes shelters should only be allowed to euthanize animals who are medically or behaviorally hopeless.  Sorry to rain on your Pet Killing Parade with my Actual Data from Reputable Agencies but oh, not sorry.

The vet goes on to invoke the too many animals, not enough homes myth and blames the irresponsible public for the killing. In a county where a couple hundred people showed up in support of no kill at the town hall meeting.  They do sound so irresponsible.  I wish they would move to my county.

(Thank you Valerie for the link.)

Filth and Neglect Found During State Inspection of Rutherford Co Pound

A toy dog on concrete at the Rutherd Co pound in NC  [Screengrab from PetHarbor]

A toy dog on concrete at the Rutherford Co pound in NC [Screengrab from PetHarbor]

The website for the Rutherford Co pound in NC indicates the facility is closed during the hours most people can visit:

The shelter hours are Monday thru Thursday 12:00 P.M. till 4:00 P.M. for adoptions only and Friday 10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m. for adoptions only. The shelter is closed on Saturday, Sundays, and major holidays.

With these very few open hours, it seems counter intuitive that the state is demanding the facility count hours for every animal and kill them based upon these arbitrary counts, relative to the mandatory 72 hour holding period:

State inspector Jay Blatche from said in his report to the shelter staff that any animal that is at the shelter on the 73rd hour must be adopted immediately or euthanized.

How can anyone be reasonably expected to adopt an animal on his 73rd hour when the place is mostly closed?

The state inspection was prompted by a citizen’s complaint alleging deplorable conditions, neglect and needless killing at the pound.  The inspector indicated the facility was filthy and overcrowded but the sheriff’s department is all hey, we’re just heroes here:

Lt. Leon Godlock of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department said it is true the shelter has been holding some animals beyond the state mandate of 72 hours. “We’ve held animals up to 10 days or more over, just hoping someone will come by to adopt them,” Godlock said.

Maybe people have been coming by to adopt.  Maybe they come by in droves on weekends, holidays and after school/work – the usual times most people can get there.  But the county would not know if that was the case since the place is closed all those times.

“We got wrote up for housing too many animals, hoping they would get saved. Now we are going to start putting more animals down. It is about spacing,” Godlock said.

No.  It’s about being open when people can get there.  It’s about not putting sick puppies and kittens in cages with healthy puppies and kittens.  It’s about cleaning litter boxes and kennels.  It’s about providing soft food to puppies and kittens who are too young to eat hard kibble.  It’s about keeping the number of kittens per cage down to a manageable number – not 19 or more.  All these issues, with the exception of the facility being mostly closed, are addressed in the state’s inspection report.

But don’t criticize unless you are willing to neglect and kill pets yourself:

Kelly Carpenter, a volunteer with the Community Pet Center, says she’s surprised to see the reaction on social media.
[…]
Of the 330 animals that came into the shelter in June, 190 were put down.
[…]
“We work tirelessly all day long and half the night to coordinate with these rescue groups to get these animals out,” she says. “And if you’re not here on a daily basis to see what we’re doing, it’s kind of hard to criticize what goes on here.”

Not really. Killing more than 57% of the animals in your care last month indicates Rutherford Co is primarily operating a pet killing facility, not a shelter. Needless pet killing is the kind of thing that’s super easy to criticize. Most everyone hates it and will say so, given the opportunity. Defending the neglect and killing of shelter animals – now that’s the hard thing.  It looks like Rutherford Co has sufficient enablers to keep the pet killing operation running for awhile.

(Thanks Clarice and Karen for the links.)

Bulloch Co Taxpayers Spending Thousands on Needless Killing of Shelter Animals

I’ve written about the alarming number of animals who reportedly die in their cages at the Bulloch Co pound in GA.  The Statesboro Herald recently ran a piece detailing the cost to taxpayers for the animals the pound kills:

Bulloch County spent $52,878.33 of taxpayer money from Jan. 1, 2011, to Oct. 29, 2013, euthanizing 4,379 animals[.]

From a fiscal responsibility standpoint, I wonder how taxpayers feel about their money being used to kill so many pets.  Imagine if the pound had adopted out these 4379 animals instead of killing them.  Even if they only charged $3 for each animal, it would represent more than $13,000 in revenue for the county instead of the nearly $53 grand spent on the drugs used to kill them.

The paper talked to pound manager Wendy Ivey about the killings:

But Ivey said that the number of animals the shelter has had to put down wasn’t always what it is now.

“Our numbers used to be lower, but with the economy and people not being able to afford pets like they used to — and they lose their homes, and they have to move, and then they have to move into places where they can no longer have their pets — and, unfortunately, they have to be surrendered into the animal shelter,” Ivey said.

But the records obtained by the paper via FOIA request do not support Ivey’s statements.  In fact, although 2013 figures were not completely tallied at the time of the report, they appear on track to reflect decreases both in the number of total animals killed and in the money spent on the drugs to kill them in comparison to 2012.  I hope the manager is not only aware of these details but is also scrutinizing them.  For example, what percentage of total intake do the killings represent and what about all those dogs and cats falling over dead in their cages?  What should the pound be doing differently to save them so they can be adopted out and generate additional revenue for the county?

Besides the financial costs associated with the pound failing to do its job, there are emotional costs as well:

For people who go into these professions to protect and help animals, having to put them down on a regular basis can take a toll.

“It’s difficult to do,” [veterinarian Stan] Lee said. “Psychologically and emotionally, sometimes, it can be very difficult to do but … if it must be done, which it must be, you want to be sure it’s done right and you want to be sure it’s done correctly.”

For Ivey, the shelter manager, it can be tough to decide what animals should be put down, but she tries to see the positive side of things.

“A lot of people don’t realize how stressful it can be because I’m the sole one who makes the decision on who stays and who goes. But, I also look at it as rewarding because I keep more than I do put down, so I feel I am the one that’s able to give them that chance,” Ivey said. “If someone else was in that position, it might be different.

Sometimes you do have people that feel we don’t have time for this, we’ve got to go by policy, and I have the privilege that I get to make that decision.”

Good news, Bulloch Co: There are hundreds of communities all over the country that are saving 90% or more of their shelter animals. So no one in Bulloch Co has to be burdened with the “privilege” (?) of deciding to kill healthy/treatable dogs and cats anymore or ever again. Bulloch Co will hopefully want to stop needlessly killing animals today and start doing its job to shelter them while also generating revenue for the county. If not, Bulloch Co needs needs new leadership. Because “if someone else was in that position, it might be different.”

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

How Would Your Pet Fare If Impounded by Putnam County Animal Services?

The sheriff’s office runs the pound in Putnam Co, Florida. The website states “the shelter is on N Highway 17, at the landfill.”

I reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment after seeing this photo posted on Facebook:

Photo posted on  Facebook of a sign at the Putnam Co pound in Florida

Photo posted on
Facebook of a sign purportedly displayed at the Putnam Co pound in Florida

I haven’t yet received a response from the sheriff’s office but if I do, I will update this post.

In researching this facility, I found… enablers!

Facebook posting in which a member of the public advocates for the lives of pets at the Putnam Co pound and gets swatted down by their "Friends".

Facebook posting in which a member of the public advocates for the lives of pets at the Putnam Co pound and gets swatted down by their “Friends”.

We so often hear from killing apologists that “Nobody wants to kill animals.” Since it is impossible to accurately assess temperament in ANY dog or cat upon impound at a shelter, the sign at top is instructing pound employees to ignore standard protocols, pretend to assess all animals upon impound and then, based upon the false assessment, kill all “feral” and “aggressive” animals whom the state does not mandate be held. And their “Friends” blame the public for the killing – the very people they demand rescue, donate and adopt from the shelter.

These people want to kill animals.  Or to put it more accurately, these people really want to kill animals.

How would you expect your pet(s) to score in an assessment administered immediately upon impound at a pet killing facility by people who want to kill animals?  I imagine most of mine would fail.  In which case I’d be relying on the state of Florida statute requiring a mandatory stray holding period to save their lives.  Assuming someone didn’t trap and falsely “owner surrender” my lost pet or that no one at Putnam Co put an X in the wrong box somewhere or DOT DOT DOT.  Gee, it seems like evaluation and killing upon impound is not the swell idea it’s made out to be.  I don’t suppose anyone in Putnam Co would be interested in scrapping that plan in favor of doing their jobs to shelter animals?

(Thanks Bonnie for the link to this photo.)

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