Lexington-Fayette AC & C Oops-Kills Another Lost Dog

drake

Drake, as shown on the ABC 36 website.

Kentucky – When a friendly, healthy 3 year old dog named Drake got lost, he wandered into a neighbor’s yard.  The neighbor brought him to Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control so that his owner could find him.  When Drake’s owner, Vanessa Kyle, went to the shelter to redeem her pet, she did not see him in the cages.  When she went back again, staff told her they had killed Drake by mistake.  Oops:

“Why would you kill a perfectly healthy dog?” says Vanessa Kyle.

Good question, especially since, as we are so often chided by shelter killing enablers, nobody wants to kill animals.

And here’s your answer:  computer glitch.  Those pesky computers.  I didn’t even know computers could speak sternly to shelter pets, never mind kill them.  Maybe their role in shelter management should be reviewed.  Or something.

ABC 36 news called the Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control for answers. No one wanted to talk on camera, but someone there told me what they told Kyle – there was a software glitch. We asked if this happens a lot. We were told once every five to six years.

Ho-hum. Once every 5 to 6 years we kill someone’s lost family member.

Drake’s killing reminded me of the time Lexington-Fayette AC & C oops-killed Peanut, another lost dog whose owner was trying to claim him. That was 3 years ago:

Animal Control is supposed to keep stray dogs for five days. Peanut was euthanized after one. Animal Care and Control officials didn’t want to talk on camera[.]

One day, five days, whatevs.  Capt. Tim Mitchell of Lexington-Fayette AC & C told the media at the time:

“I can’t remember the last time it happened,” he said.

Can’t remember. Once every 5 to 6 years. Maybe 3 years.  But we don’t want to talk on camera. So shrug, I guess.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kyle’s life has been forever changed by the needless violence against Drake:

“It’s awful, I have cried constantly. You know for the first two or three days, I didn’t eat,” Kyle says.

[…]

“I loved him, I loved him,” says Kyle.

Kyle says she received a one dog adoption and city license gift certificate. It has to be used within a year.

Because there is a time limit on grief and compassion. But don’t worry, these people apparently can’t tell time anyway.

(Thanks Lisa.)

“The Incident with Barbie”

barbie co co

Barbie with a toy, in a screengrab from a video apparently made by rescuers.

Contra Costa County Animal Services spokesman Steve Burdo says a 4 year old dog named Barbie was put on the June 18 kill list “after a series of evaluations by the department’s staff and medical team.”  She appeared to have a mammary tumor.  She also had two rescue groups who wanted to save her and had communicated that to the shelter.  But Contra Costa killed Barbie anyway – by mistake.  Oops.

“There were two rescues interested in this dog and the shelter manager overrode those notes and said to have her killed by the end of the day,” said Melissa Farley Law of Petaluma Pet Pals told CBS San Francisco on Thursday.

“I literally cried for three days,” she continued. “I couldn’t even look at her picture without crying. l just felt like I let her down.”

Rescues didn’t let her down. The people solely to blame for killing Barbie are the people who actually killed her – Contra Costa Co Animal Services.  And they did more than just fail Barbie – they appear to have broken the law.  Specifically the Hayden Act, which requires shelters to release pets to rescue groups willing to save them.

tommy co co

Tommy at Contra Costa Co Animal Services, as pictured on CBS SF.

In addition, a dog named Tommy who was killed around the same time, was reportedly also slated for rescue:

Rescue group member Melissa Farley Law said a second dog named Tommy had been pulled for adoption as well, but was instead euthanized.

Burdo said the department does not have any records confirming that a rescue group had shown interest in rescuing Tommy. He doesn’t believe there was a mistake.

No records.  Now.  So just punt, I guess.  But let’s be clear, unless Tommy was medically hopeless and suffering, which his completely adorable photo seems to refute, killing him was a mistake.  He had a right to live and it was Contra Costa County’s job to protect him from harm.  Instead of doing their job, they killed Tommy.  Just because the spokesman wants it known that the killing was intentional does not justify it in any way, shape or form.  Tommy is irreplaceable.

There are records confirming rescue holds on Barbie.  So there has been a two-pronged response by the county:

1. Distract with shiny thing.

Ironically, the “Barbie incident” comes on the heels of good news regarding the agency’s increasing live release rates. As of May 2016, around 80 percent of animals that were brought to the county shelter made it out alive, up from around 45 percent in 2011, CCAS spokesman Steve Burdo said.

“Not to take away from the incident with Barbie, but the situation with Barbie, if you’re asking me, seems more like the exception than the rule,” he said.

Breaking the law and killing dogs rescue groups are willing to save is not the rule at Contra Costa Co, it’s just the exception.  Gee, I’m glad it’s not the rule.  That would be bad.  Seeing as it’s just the exception, I guess we can let it slide.

Barbie’s death was not an incident or a situation, by the way.  It was a tragedy which a state law was enacted in order to prevent.  Barbie is irreplaceable.

2.  Investigate yourself!

“We’re going to take this opportunity to learn and improve our process so this never happens again.”
[…]
Burdo said the department is investigating the incident internally.

I can’t think of anything that would give me more confidence.  Except possibly an investigation by a specially appointed piece of cardboard with aspirations of higher office.

Anyway, if you feel like bawling your eyes out, watch this video of Barbie, apparently posted to social media by rescuers the day she was oops-killed, playing, being social and generally loving life.

Barbie had the right to live and to love.  So did Tommy, despite what recordkeeping, or lack thereof, may exist at Contra Costa Co.  Barbie’s needless and apparently unlawful killing is not “an opportunity” nor should it be waved off as merely “an exception.”  Barbie, like Tommy, and like every other shelter pet, was exceptional.  That’s the part too many shelters don’t get.  There are and will be other friendly, happy dogs in our broken shelter system.  But there will never be another Barbie.  Or Tommy.  Or any of the millions of others whose lives are snuffed out each year in the name of “animal services.”  Taxpayers of Contra Costa Co, this is your animal shelter.  Let your elected officials know exactly what services you want.  Demand that compassionate people are immediately put into place who are committed to treating every animal as exceptional.  Accept nothing less.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Texas Shelter Oops-Kills Agility Dog

peppy

Peppy, as pictured on the CBSDFW website.

Chris Swain’s competition agility dog Peppy bit someone on May 24. He was seized by the Mesquite Animal Shelter for a mandatory 10 day rabies quarantine, despite proof that he was fully vaccinated. From there, things began careening downhill:

“They told me I had to release the dog to them. I was instructed to put Peppy into this kennel,” Swain explained. “He still had his collar and all of his identification tags on him at that time. There was no documentation, and I was told I could not have any contact with him.”

No documentation was given to her or placed on the kennel as to his status or release date, she added.

What could possibly go wrong?

When the Swain family called to check on their beloved pet 3 days into the quarantine, they learned that Peppy had been mistaken for another dog and killed.  Oops.

Ms. Swain and a number of local animal advocates addressed the city council this week to complain about Peppy’s killing and a generally suckass environment at the shelter:

Among other issues cited by speakers were a lack of professionalism, a laisse-faire attitude by some shelter employees, failure to properly care for baby kittens, lack of cleanliness and improper care of isolated pets.

All this at a place that tosses a loved pet into a cage with no cage card or paper trail then kills him because hey, little yappy dogs, so interchangeable.  I mean, I’m assuming the dog he was mistaken for was another little yappy dog.  For all I know the dog actually on the kill list was a lab or an Irish Setter or a… Siamese.  But yeah, I can imagine how they do orphaned kittens.

The city is investigating itself in the matter of Peppy’s killing and in case you are in need of even more super reassurances, the city is on it:

“We made a mistake, and we apologized for that mistake,” said [City Spokesman Wayne] Larson. “And we are learning from that mistake.”

Just to clarify, “that mistake” was the needless killing of someone’s healthy, trained pet who was wearing ID tags that the shelter was supposedly holding in order to protect the public health. Since the dog was oops-killed before the quarantine expired, the bite victim probably had to choose whether to undergo treatment for rabies exposure or risk getting the disease. And the dog’s family is now saddled with a heartbreak that will last a lifetime. That’s what “that mistake” was.

Super-er:

“We are going to make some efforts to beef up our training and do what needs to be done to provide a quality service,” [City Manager Cliff Keheley] said.

Beef up our training.  I guess I’ll just go with lol there.  And doing what needs to be done is so ambiguous, it makes the “that mistake” guy seem slightly competent.

Keep raising hell, Mesquite animal advocates.  These people are not going to change one damn thing or do one damn thing or care one damn bit.  Get them out of the shelter and away from your animals.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Dallas Pound: Stop Me If You’ve Killed This One Before

SpencerTracy

Spencer Tracy, as shown on the Dallas Morning News website.

When a Good Samaritan in Texas saw a dog running in traffic, she whistled for him.  Michelle Henderson got the friendly, 84 pound dog into her car while he slobbered kisses on her.  She brought him to the Dallas pound and gave staff her contact information for his record to make sure he wasn’t killed as she intended to find a foster home for the dog, whom she named Spencer Tracy.  After lining up a foster, she called the pound to check on the dog only to learn staff had already killed him.  Oops.

But hold up, there’s REASONS:

  1.  In addition to Ms. Henderson, another person had asked to have his/her contact info posted in the dog’s records.  Staff did contact that person before killing the pet but didn’t bother contacting Ms. Henderson because “staffers believed the two were the same person.”
  2. Pound staff decided the dog was unadoptable because he was “shy and withdrawn” and as such, put him on the kill list.

Gosh, a dog acting shy and withdrawn in a cage at a pet killing facility? Weird. Plus the two people asking to be contacted are really the same person. I just know it. No need to call.

Last summer, when the Dallas pound oops-killed a bucket full of kittens who had a foster home lined up, management expressed regret that staff never bothered to call the rescuer who had asked to be contacted about the kittens:

“[S]he should have gotten that phone call, and we’re devastated that we failed her and those animals.”

Several months earlier, the Dallas pound oops-killed 4 dogs slated for rescue and issued a statement which read, in part:

Euthanasia of animals is tough enough for employees. To know that four dogs may have been euthanized in error has devastated staff, and they are also eager to look for ways to prevent incidents like this in the future. We mourn the loss of homeless animals that can be saved. DAS prides itself on caring for thousands of animals that staff members come into contact with each year. The City, DAS and community remain committed to our life-saving efforts and continued progress in this area.

Now it’s a new year but the same old song and dance:

Shelter manager Teresa Cleek apologized for Spencer Tracy’s death in an email to an animal advocate. She called the death “unfortunate” and promised to remind staff of proper procedures.
“We are sorry we failed this pup and appreciate the opportunity for our continued improvement,” she said in the email, which was forwarded to The Dallas Morning News.

Here’s the thing about continued progress and continued improvement – you actually have to have some progress and some improvement to continue.  All the Dallas pound seems to have is workers too lazy to give a flying fuck, too willing to kill animals whose records have been flagged with DO NOT KILL notes and management too quick to dispense platitudes about how the staff has all the sads.  The Dallas pound staff needs to stop being sorry about failing animals and start doing their jobs.  Maybe if they actually sheltered animals instead of killing them, their dogs wouldn’t be “shy and withdrawn” in their cages.

(Thanks Nathan.)

El Paso Shelter Oops-Kills Dogs and They Can’t They Won’t and They Don’t Stop

fox and person

Fox and his person, as shown on the KTSM NBC website.

In October, Juan Gudino was worrying over his lost dog, Fox.  The five year old German shepherd had been missing for two days and to Mr. Gudino, he was family.  He was very relieved when he received a call from El Paso Animal Services letting him know Fox was at the shelter.  He dropped what he was doing in order to immediately head to the shelter to pick up Fox and bring him home.  Upon arrival, Mr. Gudino was shown three German shepherds, none of whom was Fox.  There could not have been any mix-up as Fox had been impounded wearing his collar and ID tag and the shelter had called the owner from that info.  So where was Fox?

It turns out, despite Fox having his ID tag, despite the shelter calling the owner and despite the fact that the owner was on his way to reclaim his pet, the vet at El Paso decided to kill Fox because of a fractured leg and a lack of professionalism communication compassion everything:

Guanina De La Torre is the veterinarian who authorized the euthanization. She says Fox’s death is a result of miscommunication between the office.
“If I had known that there was an owner, I would have not made the decision on my own. And we’re working on systems to improve our communication within the shelter,” says De La Torre.

Oops.

De La Torre said that while she doesn’t regret making the decision to kill Fox, she would not have done so if she had known he had an owner.  Here’s the problem.  Here are all the problems:

  • Fractured legs in dogs are generally treatable.  You know who treats them?  Vets.
  • Euthanasia is only appropriate when an animal is deemed medically hopeless and suffering by a veterinarian.  Had De La Torre examined Fox and determined he was medically hopeless and suffering?  If not, why did she kill the dog?
  • Does the vet at El Paso Animal Services you know, check with anyone before killing a dog to ask any questions like say, is any owner racing over here right now thinking he’s going to be reunited with his lost family member?  Protocol should dictate a system of checks with multiple shelter staff being involved in verifying a pet’s identity before any action is taken against an animal which can’t be undone.  Does El Paso adopt out pets without verifying there isn’t any known owner?  I hope not.  And if they don’t, why do they kill pets without verifying same?  The former is not easily reversed and the latter – not at all.
  • What the hell is up with the staff showing the owner three other German shepherds before figuring out their vet had killed his?  Oh you’re here for a GSD?  Here are some.  They are interchangeable, yes?
  • How many other pets have been killed at El Paso because of this unprofessional and outright alarming lack of communication?

I don’t know the answer to that last question except to say:  at least one.

tank el paso

Tank, as shown on the Fox Baltimore website.

A few weeks ago, a dog owner received a call from El Paso Animal Services advising her that her brown pitbull, Tank, had gotten out of his yard and bitten a person.  He would have to be quarantined for ten days.  The owner waited ten days then went to the shelter on March 6 to reclaim Tank.  After the proper paperwork was completed, staff brought out a brown pitbull and gave him to the family:

“Right away my husband said this is not our dog, you need to take him back and give us back our dog.”
She said the dog was a skinny, dark brown and looked different than her dog, Tank.
“I pulled out my phone. I showed them a picture of my dog and the veterinarian came out and said, ‘OK we’re sorry we’ll go ahead and find your dog.'”
She said she was told they couldn’t find her dog, but to come back tomorrow.

Dang, these owners must be the snooty, “only our dog will do” type. Apparently brown pitbulls are not as interchangeable as German shepherds.

The owner returned and met with a supervisor:

“As soon as we sat down, he said that there was no easy way of telling me, but that they had accidentally euthanized the wrong dog,” she said. “That they had confused him with another pit bull that was brown and had killed him.”

Oops. El Paso had killed Tank before his ten day quarantine had expired:

She was told her dog got moved from his cage and switched with another dog scheduled to be euthanized.

Oops.  The owner is understandably distraught and considering legal action:

“I believe they should have a better system. Maybe separate the quarantine animals from the animals that need to be euthanized,” she said.

Ya think?  El Paso’s multi-person, multi-check system to verify pets’ identification before killing appears to be non-existent. Like their sense of responsibility:

KDBC requested an on-camera interview with the City of El Paso, but they declined. Instead they issued the following statement:
“Animal Services did erroneously euthanize a dog that had been quarantined at the shelter as a result of a biting incident. We sincerely apologize to the family for the loss of their pet. Animal Services is investigating the incident and will take corrective measures necessary to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”

Similar incidents. I like that. It’s not killing someone’s family member out of incompetence, it’s an incident. Like the cashier getting your coffee order wrong after you told him twice. Although they presumably meant to say “similar more again incidents that we can’t stop doing” but that’s probably just me being picky. Oh and nice taunt putting that “biting incident” right there in the first sentence to make sure everyone knows Tank was not a good dog so no big whoop. Just taking out the trash for you, El Paso.  You’re welcome.

I hope the owner sues their lazy, inept asses.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Texas Shelter Oops-Kills Dog with Adopter Waiting

Loretta, as pictured on the Victoria Advocate website.

Loretta, as pictured on the Victoria Advocate website.

Tiffany Smith regularly picks up pets she finds roaming loose in her area.  The dog she found wandering her neighborhood on October 30 was different – her family fell in love with the dog and named her Loretta:

“She just hopped in my car,” said Smith[.] “She was so loving.”
[…]
“She was a sweetie,” Smith said. “She got along with our kids. She got along with our dog.”

Ms. Smith turned Loretta over to police for transport to Victoria City-County Animal Control. She then called the shelter and asked an employee to note that her family wanted to adopt Loretta if no one claimed her.  The employee told her to call back on November 2.  When she did, she was told Loretta has already been killed.  Oops:

“There was a miscommunication,” [chief officer for AC Brecka] Tieken said. “That definitely has given us an opportunity to establish … a policy/protocol.”

Ya think?

Tieken said because the protocol is still being developed, she could not release details of the changes.

It’s so innovative, even the developers don’t know what it is.  I’m guessing it’s some cutting edge policy where employees WRITE SHIT DOWN and READ IT.  I hope they can pull this off and blaze a trail for other shelters.  Imagine the possibilities.

Making earmarks for animals that have been chosen by adopters is harder than it seems, Tieken said.

No doubt.  Scrawling DO NOT KILL on a cage card involves penmanship skills, a background in 2nd grade spelling and the ability to procure a writing instrument.  It’s little wonder so many shelter workers burn out.

“You gotta realize, when there are so many animals coming in to Animal Control on a daily basis, it’s next to impossible” for one of the shelter workers to call someone when a specific animal is available, Tieken said.

Two points:  There are 8 dogs listed for adoption on the Victoria Co website today.  Just having a guess, there are likely no more than 1 or 2 of them who have adopters waiting on them.  So let’s not make this out to be Wal Mart on Black Friday.

Also:  No one said the shelter worker had to call Ms. Smith when Loretta was ready to be adopted (heaven forfend).  It was the other way around.  The worker told Ms. Smith it was her job to call back in 3 days and ask about the dog.  Which she did.  Only to be told the friendly dog was in the dumpster.

If you can’t take at least a passing interest in not killing the pets people have told you they want to take home, I’m not sure the bar can be lowered further. You are standing on it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Forsyth Co Oops-Kills Cherished Pet, meh

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Forsyth Co forced the owner of a dog who scratched someone to surrender him for an 8 day quarantine at the pound.  Ashley Burton had adopted the border collie/labrador retriever mix, whom she named Maximus, as a puppy 5 years ago.  It was heartbreaking for her to surrender her pet:

“I was in tears and could barely speak with him because I just didn’t want to let him go,” Burton said.

After the 8 days expired on July 2, she went to the Forsyth Co pound to pick up her beloved Maximus.  Pound staff gave her a pitbull mix named Spike instead of her own pet.  She waited for 30 minutes while they looked for Maximus then was taken to the manager’s office:

“He said, I don’t want you to panic right now, but we can’t find your dog,” Burton said.
Burton was then told there was nothing else she could do, and to go home while the shelter investigated.

Yeah don’t panic.  And definitely don’t look at the numbers Forsyth Co reported to the state of NC last year, reflecting the killing of 63% of the dogs and cats in its care.  OK, do panic.  But please, do it at home.  We’re busy killing animals here.

Ms. Burton later received a phone call from the pound manager explaining that staff meant to kill Spike but killed Maximus instead.  Oops.  The local Fox affiliate went to the pound director, who never contacted Ms. Burton personally, to find out what happened:

“At some point, either the identifying kennel cards were switched, or the dogs themselves might have been switched,” said Tim Jennings, Director of Forsyth County Animal Control.

Jennings said, since the picture taken of Maximus was not clear, and their descriptions were similar, it resulted in the mistake.

“The photograph is to be the definitive security issue, and in this case we could have done a better job there,” Jennings said.

So basically something got switched, we don’t know what exactly, and we took a crappy picture which is our “definitive security issue” but whatevs, and big black dogs, and did I mention we kill 63% of the pets here?  So I mean, odds are…  Also:

Jennings also told FOX8 that this is not the first time the wrong dog has been euthanized at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter. He said a similar incident happened some time in 2014.

Some time in 2014, some incident, some thing.  Oh but don’t ask for any sort of reform because Forsyth Co is on it:

Jennings said the photograph issue, among others, has been addressed.

See, it’s a photograph issue.  Like cropping.  And it’s been addressed.  Whew.  So just forget about the oops-killing of an owned pet and whoever might have been responsible for that still working at the place and the fact that 63% of the pets who come through the front doors leave in garbage bags.  We’re keeping the public safe!

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

 

Dallas Pound Oops-Kills a Bucket of Kittens

Orphaned kittens at Dallas Animal Services.  Photos by Carla Adkins, as shown on the Dallas Observer website.

Orphaned kittens at Dallas Animal Services. Photos by Carla Adkins, as shown on the Dallas Observer website.

When a volunteer saw a man trying to surrender a bucket full of orphaned, one week old kittens to the Dallas pound, she stepped in with an offer to help.

[Volunteer Carla] Adkins says she intervened. “I told the guy I’m going to go ahead and post this online and see if I can find a nursing mom real quick,” Adkins says. The intake worker agreed to let Adkins submit the kittens to Dallas Animals Services under her own name and address. The intake worker, Adkins adds, appeared to understand that she would hunt for a foster home.  “He said, ‘You’re going to try to find a rescue for these cats?’ And I said yes,” Adkins says.

Ms. Adkins says she went out to her car and began posting on Facebook about the 7 kittens.  Within 4 hours, she had a foster lined up but it was too late:

“The kittens were euthanized because they had a poor prognosis,” the shelter’s operations manager, Dr. Cate McManus wrote in an email to Adkins. “This heat is deadly to these little guys. They dehydrate so quickly.  I am so sorry. If your foster is interested I can divert the next set of healthy neonates to them. We are always looking for nursing moms.”

The heat.  So deadly.  You know what else is so deadly to these little guys?  Fatal Plus.  Plus they were dehydrated and until someone invents a thing called fluids, there’s no hope.  Oh but hey, if you want the next batch of kittens that comes through the door, let me know and I’ll hold off on killing them.  Kittens, so delightfully interchangeable.

Also, there’s more killsplainin’ (and if anyone understands this, please provide a translation):

Dallas Animal Services Director Jody Jones and  McManus told the Observer that the intake worker failed to indicate to the vet team that foster arrangements were being made. Jones expressed regret that Adkins didn’t receive a phone call before the kittens were killed. “Carla did offer the capacity to network those kittens; she should have gotten that phone call, and we’re devastated that we failed her and those animals,” Jones said. The intake employee, Jones says, “certainly could have been more proactive in helping us” find a new home for the cats, though the employee blamed Adkins for the misunderstanding.

“He thought Carla was just mentioning she was going to try and network the animals, and left it at that, as opposed to feeling that she was going to find a place for the animals,” Jones said.

Oof.  The intake worker didn’t tell the vet not to immediately kill the kittens because he thought the volunteer was making some effort to save them.  Which is totally different than feeling that same thing.  And he wasn’t proactive.  And my head hurts.

The intake worker was not a city employee but came from a staffing agency.  He won’t be doing his thinking and feeling at the pound in future.

McManus would like the irresponsible public to know that this is the first time the Dallas pound has been caught killing pets whom rescuers were trying to save since the last time they got caught in January.

McManus and Jones apologized at a news conference at the time [of the January killings] and said they would give staff additional training to ensure that animals with foster homes are no longer killed.  “In a situation where animals … had a foster or adoption home in place, that information should be in the computer,” McManus told reporters.

I guess additional-additional training is needed.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Florida Pound Oops-Kills Pregnant Dog Tagged by Rescue

Rosie, as pictured on Facebook.

Rosie, as pictured on Facebook.

A rescue group had committed to saving a pregnant dog called Rosie at the Sumter Co pound in Florida this week.  But pound staff killed her because of a clerical error.  She was supposed to be on the save list but got put on the kill list instead.  Oops:

A mistake was made by a very good employee,” Sumter County Public Works director Richard Baier said.

Gee, I hope they don’t have any really super good employees there.

It’s wrong to kill healthy/treatable dogs.  That right there should have been the staff’s first clue that a mistake was being made when Rosie was walked into the kill room.  It’s also wrong to kill pregnant dogs, causing their unborn pups to suffocate inside the mother’s belly.  That would have been a second clue for the staff that Rosie should not be killed.  But apparently staff at Sumter Co are accustomed to killing healthy pets, including pregnant dogs, and no one even hesitated when killing Rosie.

This is the problem.  It’s why we need systemic shelter reform in this country.

Rosie’s would-be rescuer shared her heartbreak on Facebook.  The county says it will institute a system of cross-checking in order to minimize oops-killings in future.  I guess this is where we’re supposed to be all yay.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

St Johns Co Oops-Kills Beloved Lost Cat Upon Intake

Tails having a birthday with his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Tails having a birthday with his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

A neutered and declawed indoor cat named Tails became lost last week while the owners were having work done inside their Florida home.  Owner Chelsea Santoro began putting up Lost Cat posters around the neighborhood.  Unbeknownst to anyone, Tails had climbed into the engine compartment of a neighbor’s rental car.  Miraculously, Tails was unharmed despite riding on the engine for 12 miles while the neighbor returned the car to the rental agency. A worker there found the cat.

Before anyone knew who Tails belonged to, and believing the St Johns Co pound was the safest place to bring the pet so that he could be reunited with his owner, an employee at the rental car company contacted AC to turn Tails over.  Once the company connected the dots and determined Ms. Santoro was the owner, they let her know the good news about Tails:

Santoro was ecstatic.
“They told me stories about how they were cuddling with him, and playing with him, and how they made him a little bed.”

Ms. Santoro immediately called the pound to reclaim her pet.  But she was told that pound staff had killed Tails.  The impounding ACO, on the job for two years, wrongly listed Tails as an unneutered stray male cat.  Tails was killed upon intake.  Oops:

“Our initial inquiry into this incident indicates that the county’s policies and procedures were not followed, and there was no justification for the actions that occurred, said Michael Ryan, St. Johns County’s communication manager. “The issue is currently under investigation and the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave. Appropriate measures will be taken to prevent this from occurring again. The loss of a pet under any circumstances is tragic and our condolences are extended to the family.”

Ryan seems to have learned a thing or two since St Johns Co killed an owned, lost, microchipped dog named Baby Girl a few months ago.  At that time, he was all blame-the-filthy-owners-for-not-finding-their-dog-that-we-didn’t-bother-to-scan.  Now he’s singing the “it won’t happen again” tune although to be accurate, he should be saying “it won’t happen again, again” but that’s just me being picky probably.

Tails and his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Tails and his boy, as shown on the News4Jax website.

Anyhoo, don’t criticize because we all want the same thing and if cat owners actually loved their pets then shelters would have a higher RTO rate and if only people would spay and neuter – oh, uh… never mind.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,037 other followers