Victoria Co Pound Has a 6% Adoption Rate, Zero Tolerance for Rescues

romo victoria co romo info

The Victoria Co pound in Texas, where a dog who had an adopter waiting was recently oops-killed because not killing is hard, is back in the news:

Since November 2014, 3,515 dogs and cats have entered the shelter, according to records. Of those, 238 were adopted.

238 adopted. *sound of balloon deflating*

Glass half full: That number is 30 more than the 208 pets who fell over dead in their cages during that time period. And way more than the 54 animals who went “missing” from the place. You run, Fluffy. You run and don’t ever look back.

Aaaaaaanyway, they don’t need help, especially not from people who ask questions like Why are the animals forced to live in filth? and such:

Victoria County Animal Control has cut ties with a foster group it has been working with for almost three years.

County officials say the group was given the boot for “bullying and unprofessional behaviors.”

However, Kim Cole, the administrator of the foster group Shelter Pets, said the real issue is her attempt to hold the department accountable for what she considers to be inappropriate and inadequate treatment of animals housed at the facility.
Before receiving the letter, Cole said, she had a meeting with Animal Control and the Victoria County Public Health Department, where she brought up issues including the condition of kennels filled with animal feces.

How unprofessional. Bully.

The Victoria Co pound is doing the best they can, probably. But haters gonna hate.

28261872 victoria co28261872 info

It’s a glove. And a kitten. In some sort of cylinder. That’s my best guess. Can I use a lifeline?

(Thanks Clarice.)

Detroit Animal Control Being Sued by Everybody

Warning:  There are disturbing images at the links.


ACO Brittany Roberts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Detroit Animal Control after she says she was fired in September for advocating for the animals in the facility.  Ms. Roberts says she saw seriously injured pets impounded and left to suffer without vet care until they died.  One dog who had been hit by a car was left in a wheelbarrow at the pound for days.  The wheelbarrow is normally used to transport dead bodies to the freezer.

In interviews with local media, Ms. Roberts said the dogs were never walked and were forced to live in their own waste.  Illness was rampant throughout the facility and she often saw healthy animals become sick very quickly.  Many animals died in their cages from illness or starvation.  Workers would walk around the facility each morning to count the number of animals that had survived the night.  Those still alive would get food thrown onto the feces and urine covered floors of their cages.

Ms. Roberts was appalled at the cruelty she observed but says no one in a position of leadership would listen to her concerns.  After she began documenting the inhumane practices, she was fired.

Among the other allegations made in the lawsuit:

  • Pets were not scanned for microchips.
  • Sick animals were housed with healthy animals.
  • Animals were cramped into cages which were too small for them.
  • A litter of six orphaned pups was impounded and the director refused to release them to rescue or allow another mama dog to nurse them.  They slowly starved to death.
  • A 7 pound dog was hanged in a chokepole by the neck while an ACO carried the pole around the facility.

The whistleblower lawsuit is just one of many currently filed against Detroit Animal Control.  Several owners whose dogs were impounded due to lack of licenses have also filed lawsuits.  The dogs are held at the pound until the owner can produce proof of ownership deemed acceptable by DAC and pay the penalty fees which accrue daily.  One owner says he was visiting from South Carolina when DAC took his dogs away for lack of Michigan licenses.  Another says her two dogs were licensed but she couldn’t produce the documentation to prove it so her dogs were impounded.  Both got sick at DAC and one died.

Then there’s this bit of say whaaaaa:

That brings us back to [pound director] Harry Ward. He also has a dog being held in the shelter. His 6-year-old Mastiff, Peaches, lives in the shelter, but he’s not paying the daily fees.

“It makes you want to do a better job with everybody’s dog, when you know that your dog is here too.” Ward said

Peaches will not be adopted out to a home, and will continue living in her cage. All the while, her food, room, and board is all being paid for by taxpayers.

And if you don’t like them apples, I guess you know, so what.

The city’s response to the lawsuits and allegations was initially uh, hide but when that failed to make the situation go away, they tried announcing that the pound will now super generously allow other groups besides the scammy Michigan Inhumane to pull animals.  So come on down to DAC and grab yerself some sick animals out the wheelbarrow to take to your vet for expensive treatment.  Just remember not to take the director’s dog.  Because she lives there.  Because I don’t know.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Shelter Sold Owned, Microchipped Lost Dog to Strangers While Owner Searched

Jingle and Toby, a pair of Schnauzers owned by Anita Sloan in Bedford, Texas, wandered away when someone accidentally left a gate open at the family’s home.  Ms. Sloan raised the pair from pups and considers them family.  She began searching for them immediately, hoping the microchip she had implanted in Jingle would help the family get reunited.

Ms. Sloan visited Bedford Animal Services but did not find her pets.  She was given a lengthy list of shelters to search.  She dutifully visited each one although there was some confusion about the two shelters in Keller:

Sloan explains she visited all but one shelter in Keller. The number printed for the shelter on the list she has, got her nowhere.

“The person you are trying to reach is not available,” a recording says when she dials the number.

The city apparently has two shelters:  Keller Animal Services and Keller Regional Adoption Center.  As it turns out, Jingle and Toby had been picked up by police and left at Keller Animal Services.  The city says it checked both dogs for chips but found none.  After the mandatory holding period, the dogs were transferred to the Keller Regional Adoption Center which is run by the HS of North Texas.  Staff there did detect Jingle’s chip but sold the dogs to a new owner anyway.  Because it’s not their job to return dogs to owners:

“At that particular facility we don’t handle lost and found animals. We just handle adoptions,” says Whitney Hanson, Director of Development & Communications.

Hanson explains that the facility would have only been looking at finding homes for the pets since Keller Animal Services had already processed the animals.


The Humane Society of North Texas says there is no existing system that allows all municipalities to communicate.

There is no existing system which allows all municipalities to communicate.  Fair enough.  But the HS knew Jingle was chipped.  Finding that chip should have prompted the HS to check the transfer paperwork and see if Keller Animal Services had followed up on the chip and what the outcome was.  The HS had an obligation to verify that the chip was a dead end before proceeding.  A statewide communication system is not required for that – just a phone call or email to Keller Animal Services to ask about the chip’s status.

And while it may not be the Humane Society’s job to return animals to their owners, common sense would dictate that a pair of schnauzers, typically a professionally groomed breed purchased from a breeder, aren’t walking the streets because they are homeless and just happened to meet each other in an alley and decided to pal around.  There would be every reason to suspect Jingle and Toby were owned, likely by the person who registered the chip, whom the HS never bothered to call.

Jingle and Toby are now living with people in Houston.  The HS of North Texas says that “according to Texas law, the schnauzers are the legal property of their new owners”.  The situation has been explained to the new owners and Ms. Sloan has offered to reimburse them for any expenses if they would return her family members.  They are reportedly considering what to do with the dogs.

Keller Animal Services failed to detect a lost dog’s microchip.  The HS of Texas detected the chip but made no effort to find out if Keller Animal Services had attempted to reach the registered owner.  The city says no one is at fault.  The situation looks bad.  It looks like the first shelter is either incompetent or lying and the second shelter is a money-grubbing doggie retail outfit where no one could be bothered to slow down in the rush to sell a bonded pair of little purebred dogs.

It’s 2015, Keller.  Time to step outside the Only This Thing is My Job and I Do Only This Thing box.  You may not have a statewide shelter communication system but I’m guessing there is such a thing as phone service in Keller.  Shame on everyone involved in the needless break up of this family because apparently no one at either shelter knows what the right thing to do is when it comes to pets.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Chihuahua Stealers Offer Chihuahuas for Adoption

PETA’s annual reports to the state of Virginia indicate that the organization kills most of its animals, adopting out just 1% of them.

But as reader Valerie posted in the current Open Thread, PETA has posted on Facebook that it has two Chihuahuas available for adoption.  I don’t know for certain how PETA obtained these Chihuahuas although maybe, as claimed in the FB post, they bought them at a garage sale.

that did not happen

The only way I know for sure that PETA gets Chihuahuas is by sending out dognappers to steal them, as seen in this surveillance video:

Apparently all the negative publicity garnered by PETA’s theft and killing of Maya, the Chihuahua seen in the above video, has motivated them to try a distraction technique involving other Chihuahuas (aw!) – a mother and baby (awwwww!) who were being sold like old glass ashtrays at a tag sale (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!) and now need a good home (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoowoowoo!).

Totally fooled me, anyway.

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:


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.


Pitt Co Pound Oops-Kills Mama Dog Being Held for Cruelty Case

The Pitt Co pound functions primarily as a pet killing facility.  In 2013, Pitt Co killed 57% of the animals in its care:

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The carefully developed system of checks and balances employed at the Pitt Co pound to determine which pets are to be killed on any given day is this:

Each kennel has a paper on the front of it stating the name and circumstances of the dog. Then, when it’s time for certain animals to be put down, that paper is turned around so that the plain side is facing out.

Gosh, I hope there isn’t any breeze in Pitt Co or any other circumstance which might result in paperwork being placed the wrong way around on a kennel.  Because obviously the staff doesn’t question the killing of healthy/treatable animals.  Nor do they have supervisors signing off on killings.  OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.  Just if one person, any person I guess, says they saw a backwards paper:  kill.  Brilliant.

Last month, a Greenville pet owner was charged with animal cruelty after authorities found a dead puppy in a crate on her porch and 4 more puppies, aged 12 – 16 weeks, near death inside the home.  The puppies and mama dog were seized and all 4 pups died later that day.  The mama dog, called Venus, was sent to the Pitt Co pound to be held as evidence:

“We specifically asked for a hold, a special hold… because of the case. We wanted to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of pending the case outcome,” said [Greenville Police Chief Hassan] Aden.

Aden says his Animal Protective Services Officers regularly checked in on Venus.

The last time an officer went to the pound to see Venus, the “Pitt County Animal Staff, sort of, reacted a little oddly” and later admitted they had killed Venus that morning because the paper on her kennel was facing backwards.  Oops.  But no worries, there was an e-mailed apology:

In an email to police, the Director of the County Shelter, Michele Whaley, admits that Venus was accidentally put down, stating: “I am truly sorry for the unfortunate situation where the pit-bull we were supposed to be holding for Officer Nichols’ court case was euthanized. I take full responsibility for this mistake.”

So has anyone lost their job over this needless killing?  Anyone disciplined?  Anyone anything?  I suppose it’s back to business as usual at the Pitt Co pound.  And that business is killing.

This is a tragedy.  Mother dogs love their puppies and grieve for them when they die.  Venus would have been suffering deep emotional pain after the loss of her pups and I’m sure it’s no picnic living in a cage in a pet killing facility either.  Her last days in this life were dark indeed and then her life was needlessly snuffed out by pet killers.  This is another case where, as dreadful as it sounds, the dog was actually better off with the person charged with cruelty over her care.  At least then she and her pups were alive.  Now all is lost.

Tip:  Don’t send a dog you want “to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of” to a pet killing facility.

Other Tip:  Get some people in there willing to do their jobs to actually shelter animals.  Then the worst Pitt Co would have to worry about is a pet being oops-sheltered.

I hope Pitt Co taxpayers demand better of their public servants at the pound.  Until they do, killing will remain the default, oops-killings will continue, and e-mailed apologies will be the cherry on top of this awful pie.

(Thank you Anne for the link.)

ACLU Stands Up for First Amendment Rights of Animal Advocates in Baltimore County

Dog ID #04167 at the Baltimore Co pound, as pictured on Petfinder.

Dog ID #04167 at the Baltimore Co pound, as pictured on Petfinder.

The troubled Baltimore Co pound in MD has banned the public from photographing pets in the facility and the ACLU has written to county officials condemning the ban:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland says Baltimore County officials violated free-speech rights by banning photography at the county-run animal shelter, a move the ACLU describes as an effort to stifle critics.

The letter describes the photo ban as showing “a government agency endeavoring to limit its exposure to criticism and public accountability, and to stifle any perceived criticism that does arise, even where the agency’s purpose of serving the animals of Baltimore County is undermined as a result.”

County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler says the complaint is baseless and stems from a small group of pesky do-gooders:

“This is a story manufactured by a handful of advocates who were disrupting shelter employees from doing their jobs,” Kobler said.

Don Mohler, chief of staff for the County Executive, also has excuses:

“[The animal advocates] wanted to manufacture a crisis, and they would wait around until a dog soiled the cage and immediately take a picture and post it — inferring that the dog had been living in those conditions for a period of time, and that’s not true,” Mohler said.

Such dedication.  Waiting around for a dog to pee in his cage so they could snap a photo.  But in case you don’t buy that, he’s got another good one:

“This is not about photography,” Mohler said. “This is about the fact that there is a group of advocates who really want Baltimore County to release wild cats into the community.”

The county apparently has a kill policy for cats it determines to be feral.  And pesky do-gooders, along with the overwhelming majority of the general public, think that’s wrong.

Not to be outdone, Kobler also offered a back-up excuse for the photo ban to the newspaper:

“For some animals, the shutter click and the flash can frighten animals that are already nervous in a shelter environment. So sometimes, the staff members might ask people not to take an animal’s picture,” she said.

Both Kohler and Mobler said that the public is generally allowed to take pictures of the animals.  Except when they’re not.  But that’s because reasons.

So to recap, it’s not that Baltimore Co is trying to silence critics and violate their Constitutional rights, it’s assorted other things:

  • Volunteers photographing shelter pets are disruptors who prevent the staff from doing their job of killing more than 60% of the animals in their care.
  • They wait around all day for a dog to lift his leg in the cage just to capture the puddle on the floor.
  • They actually don’t care about photographing animals, they just want the county to stop killing feral cats and start doing TNR like other progressive shelters.
  • The flash from the camera scares animals and the county officials just aren’t going to stand by and let shelter pets be frightened.  After all, there’s killing to be done – lots of it.  Calm, friendly killing – not like the flash of a camera.

If for some insane reason you are still not feeling reassured, I got you:

County Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, said the shelter has made strides in overcoming past issues. He trusts it’s being run well.

“Every time there’s a policy, there’s a reason,” he said.

So there you go.  There’s some reason for the photo ban.  This guy apparently doesn’t know what that reason may be but strides have been made and everything is fine, probably.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

TZI Recommends Shelter Should Not Let You Have Your Lost Cat Back

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

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

In August 2013, the Maddie’s Fund Shelter Medicine Program issued a summary of recommendations to the Hillsborough Co pound in FL following a consultation.  The recommendation regarding stray cats was particularly troubling to me since it threatened the bond between people and their lost pets.  From the report:

Eliminate the required hold period for stray cats. Stray cats lacking identification are extremely unlikely to be reclaimed by owners and are at high risk for shelter – acquired disease and euthanasia. Eliminating even a few days in the shelter may be the difference between life and death for them. The shelter can simultaneously have an option for immediate live release paired with a required hold period of 3 days prior to euthanasia.

Not only is Maddie’s Fund failing to attribute a low return to owner rate to its proper source – the pound, it fails to acknowledge one of the primary purposes of municipal shelters:  to reunite lost pets with their owners.

The No Kill Advocacy Center weighed in on the elimination of stray holding periods when HSUS suggested it in its 2013 white paper on California shelters:

[I]f a dog or cat comes in as a stray, and he does not have identification, he can be adopted to someone else immediately without giving his family any time to reclaim him. This is unfair to families who deeply love their animal companions. […] Accidents happen; animals get lost and end up at shelters. Since the choice presented — immediate adoption or sickness/death — is a false one, breaking up families by having them lose all rights in their animal with no reclaim period of any kind appears draconian.

I am deeply opposed to the elimination of holding periods for any pet whose owner might be looking for him. It’s the shelter’s job to treat the bond between pets and their people as sacrosanct. Which is why I was shocked to read that the Target Zero Institute, in its recommendations to the troubled Amarillo pound in TX, has taken the travesty even further. TZI not only recommends eliminating the holding period for stray cats lacking identification but for all cats found outside – including friendly, possibly microchipped pets who may be wearing collars and/or tags and whose owners are searching for them:

The TZI recommends returning outside cats back to their original neighborhoods following sterilization, rabies vaccination and ear tipping. […]TZI recommends returning cats to their ‘outside home’ where they have a food source as evidenced by a healthy body weight. These may be feral cats that cannot be handled or friendly cats found outside.

If Amarillo, or any other municipal shelter, adopts TZI’s barbaric recommendation regarding cats found outdoors, your pet could be turned into the shelter by a cat hating neighbor or anyone at all, or he could simply be trapped by an ACO and, so long as he appears to be “visually healthy”, he would be immediately vaccinated, neutered, ear-tipped and put back on the street. This would happen as a matter of policy – even if you were actively searching for your pet, even if you had microchipped him and even if you had placed a collar and an ID tag on him. If he’s found outside, TZI wants him immediately anesthetized, put through surgery and turned loose in the area where he had gotten lost (or presumably where the cat hating neighbor says he was found).

TZI says in its report that this practice will save money by reducing the number of cats who “have to be cared for, fed and ultimately [killed] in large numbers” at the pound.

No cats “have to be” killed.  Full stop.  If you don’t get that, get out of the shelter consulting business.

All cats impounded by shelters should be immediately – in the field whenever possible – scanned for microchips and checked for ID tags.  No exceptions.  A chip or ID tag should equate with a free ride home from the ACO.  Those cats lacking identification should be photographed and posted online by the facility immediately.  Anyone visiting the shelter looking for a lost pet should be shown every pet in the place as a matter of course.  Reuniting families is part of the job.  It seems to me to be one of the best parts, by the way, and I can’t imagine why anyone who supposedly cares about shelter pets would want to eliminate it.

Now that Maddie’s Fund and HSUS have opened this awful door and TZI has barreled through it with a bulldozer, I can’t help but wonder what’s next.  Will some consultant recommend that shelters stop housing all dogs found outdoors too?  Gee but we can’t turn dogs back out onto the streets, can we?  So what will “have to be” done with them?

I’m not a shelter consultant, just someone who loves pets and believes dogs and cats have a right to live, regardless of their status in the community.  I don’t get paid for my ideas nor do I have any big money backing me behind the scenes.  Here’s my unsolicited recommendation to shelters and their staff, for what it’s worth:  Do your jobs.  Stop looking for ways to avoid the hard work of sheltering by bringing in big money consultants.  You are accountable to the local taxpayers who pay your salaries and who love their pets.  Start acting like it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

126 MO Animals Shuffled from One “Humane” Society to Another

The Lebanon Humane Society in Missouri recently elected a new board who voted in Judith Koch as president.  Police had to be called to maintain order at a contentious public meeting.  Some people are so unhappy with the new board, lawyers are involved.

Despite the fact that the organization built and opened a new facility in 2010, Ms. Koch says the place is appallingly filthy and overcrowded.  The board asked the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force to take the 126 animals being housed in the new building, which they did yesterday.

Part of the controversy surrounding the new board is the question of killing animals.  Ms. Koch is less than reassuring on the issue:

“We absolutely are not going to kill any healthy, adoptable animal. But if we have a sick animal that may be making others sick, it would be unreasonable not to put that animal down. Priority right now is to get our population down without having to kill any animal that’s adoptable,” Koch said.

“Unreasonable not to” kill any sick animal who “may” make other animals sick. In a shelter environment, that statement equates to a rubber stamp of approval for killing any sick animals of the board’s choosing, even if those animals are suffering from readily treatable illnesses very common in shelters such as coughs and colds.

And I see she managed to work in the “having to kill” phraseology so cherished by killing apologists.  After all, nobody wants to kill animals.  Or so animal killers keep saying.  But don’t criticize:

“I would like to ask that the public not criticize the new or old board until they have walked a mile in our shoes.”

Yeah but I can’t walk a mile in your pet killing shoes because I refuse to consider killing as an option for population control.  So I can’t say anything against what you’re – oh, I see what you did there.

As for the 126 animals now at the Humane Society of Missouri, it looks like they are still in the hands of people who kill animals.  From the website:

We do not give the animals in our Adoption Centers a time limit in which to find a home. Once the animals pass their health and temperament examinations and are offered for adoption, they stay as long as they remain in good health and don’t develop temperament problems.

Pass all our hoop jumping tests.  Don’t get the sniffles.  Don’t cough.  Don’t side-eye anyone.  Just always be perfect and you can live.

Gee, I wonder how these two organizations became friends.

(Thank you Arlene for the link.)



Portion of a posting on

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.



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