SC Shelter: Hookworms, Plague – eh, what’s the diff?

When a dog is infected with hookworms, the adult worms produce eggs in the intestine which are expelled with the dog’s feces.  Once on the ground, the eggs hatch and develop into larvae.  The larvae can survive in the soil, provided temperatures are above freezing, for only a few months while waiting for a new host.  They can enter a new host by burrowing into the feet or skin that touches the ground or by being ingested when a dog eats soil containing the larvae.

Hookworms are very common in pups (mama dogs can transmit them to the puppies before birth) and in stray pets.  Luckily they are easily treatable with non-prescription dewormers.  Many of the packaged heartworm medications also contain the medicine to kill hooks.

Shelters should expect that many of their pets will have hookworms.  Bleach is effective in preventing eggs in the environment from developing into larvae.  With routine deworming upon impound and standard cleaning practices, having dogs infected with hooks does not present a serious problem for shelters.

When an Horry Co man had to go out of town on business for 10 days, he arranged for someone to look after his pair of 4 month old puppies.  During this time, the pups escaped from home and animal control picked them up.  The person looking after the pups and the owner both called AC many times trying to find out where the pups had been taken.  In fact, the pups had been taken to the Horry County Animal Care Center where they were killed after 5 days because, although no one is claiming the puppies were sick, both had blood in their stool and one of them tested positive for hookworms.

Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier gave misleading information about blood in the stool/hookworm infestation to the local NBC affiliate covering the story:

“The type of health issues that these two puppies were displaying that actually infect the general population so these two puppies were actually euthanized,” Bourcier said.

And she deflected blame from the shelter that actually did the killing to the owner who didn’t have ID tags on his his 4 month old puppies or have them microchipped:

Bourcier said if proper identification had been present, it would have been easier to find the proper owner.

Then, natch:

Bourcier said this is a good time to raise awareness on how important it is to get pets spayed or neutered.

Right.  Had these 4 month old puppies been neutered, the monsters at the pound wouldn’t be so effing ignorant about common intestinal parasites in pets.

Owner Frank Jones was so devastated after learning his puppies were killed, he went to the hospital, feeling as if he was having a heart attack.  But he’s not giving up.  He has vowed to continue attending county council meetings until somebody takes action.  And he’s got a reasonable suggestion that would help owners find their lost pets who have been taken to the pound:

Jones wishes there was some sort of social media displaying when a person’s animal is picked up by Horry County.

“Why can’t we have an amber alert? My poor dog Peanut, I wanna see a Peanut alert. I wanna see every time they pick up a dog, I don’t see why they can’t put it on a web site and show the picture of it,” Jones said.

I don’t see why either.  Because nobody wants to kill animals, right?  Making a little effort to help get pets back home should be a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, no-brainers seem to hold leadership positions in Horry Co.

Bourcier said there are several efforts to alert the community when a possible pet is picked up by Animal Control.

The Horry Co Animal Care Center does have a Facebook page, but it doesn’t appear to be very active so I don’t think she’s referring to that.  The shelter’s website has some animals on it but the listings appear to be outdated so that must not be one of the “efforts to alert the community” either.  I can’t tell if the pets they have on Petfinder are current but their page says:

We accept all types of animals and never refuse to accept an animal that needs a safe place to go to in Horry County.

Gee, that’s great.  They accept any animal who needs a safe place to go in Horry Co.  But where is this safe place located and why weren’t Mr. Jones’ 2 puppies taken there?

Kershaw Co, SC Pound Reports False Lifesaving Rates

Kershaw Co, SC contracts with a non-profit group, the Kershaw Co Humane Society, to run the pound.  That group is operating the shelter primarily as a pet killing facility where roughly 3 out of 4 pets were killed in 2011.  And yet the HS issued a report to the county breaking down its kill rate by month with astonishingly low – and false – kill rates:

I have asked about these false numbers but no one has offered any explanations.  I want to set the record straight:  The Kershaw Co pound did not kill 3% of its pets during any month in 2011, nor 10%, 11% or anything even remotely close to those numbers.  It killed 73% of the pets in its care in 2011.  Although I asked repeatedly for the 2011 stats from the HS, I never received any responses.  I ultimately had to FOIA the report from the county which is when I discovered the false kill rates being reported.

If you receive a report on how your local shelter is doing, be sure to check the claims made within it.  Not everyone is truthful in their reporting and especially those who know what they’re doing is wrong and want to hide it from the public paying their salaries.

From the 2011 stats for the Kershaw Co pound:

  • Total Intake:  4328
  • Total Killed:  3147
  • Kill Rate:  73%  (not included on report)

Kershaw Co can do better.  A new Facebook page has been set up to help advocates fight back against those running the pet killing facility and their failure to save lives or even tell the truth about what they are doing.  If you would like to add your voice to those supporting the right of shelter pets to live in Kershaw Co, please “LIKE” the No Kill Kershaw County page on FB and join the conversation.

“Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”

As if we don’t have enough to deal with:

Animal shelters throughout South Carolina will get a visit this week from a shelter services expert with a national humane organization.

Heather Bialy is Director of Shelter Services with the Humane Society of the United States.  She is scheduled to visit shelters and animal rescue groups throughout the state this week.

The tour includes meetings with shelter representatives, a survey of shelter facilities and trainings for shelter staff.

“The Humane Society of the United States is proud to work with local shelters and to assist them with many of the struggles they face on a daily basis,” said HSUS South Carolina State Director Kimberly Kelly.

Time to spruce up the kill room with a hang-in-there-baby kitten poster.

SC Shelter Pet Photos

3 month old female puppy, ID #C2099, at Dillon Co Animal Shelter in SC, as posted on Facebook.

8 week old female puppy, ID #2336, at Dillon Co Animal Shelter in SC, as posted on Facebook.

9 month old female puppy, ID #1166, at Chesterfield Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook.

Kitten at Chesterfield Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook.

Kitten at Chesterfield Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook.

Kitten at Chesterfield Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook.

Kitten at Chesterfield Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook.

Spartanburg Co Pets in the Trash

Nancy Jeanne Smythe allegedly put her healthy 8 year old Shih-Tzu out with the trash yesterday.  A garbage collector noticed the dog beneath some trash in the can and took him to Ms. Smythe’s house.  She denied the dog was hers but later admitted ownership.  ACOs were called to the scene and when they arrived, they found that Ms. Smythe had again put her dog in a trash bag and attempted to hide him beneath some garbage in the bin.

Ms. Smythe has been charged with a misdemeanor in connection with the case but authorities will be asking to have the charge upgraded to a felony.  Her dog has been taken to a shelter.

Statistically speaking, the Spartanburg Co dog stands a good chance of being put in a trash bag a third time – this time after being killed by the so-called shelter.  Of course, there would be no charges brought if that happens.

The county severed ties with the Spartanburg HS last year after SHS made it clear where its priorities stood – not with saving the lives of pets, which it mostly kills, but with the almighty dollar.  Astonishingly, the county council is once again considering using the SHS pet killing facility for the community’s stray pets.  And executive director Sandy Christiansen is again bringing the crazy:

“There’s nothing to indicate that the county citizens who allow dogs to run loose have changed their behavior, so we predict that there’ll be about 1,000 running loose when the puppy and kitten litters begin producing in the warmer months. That is a public health and safety issue from our standpoint, and we’re willing to work to do what we can to help the situation.”

Because of you bad Spartanburg Co citizens – and make no mistake, you are bad, very bad – there will be 1000 pets running loose in the county this spring.  Save us SHS!

But let’s be clear, when Mr. Christiansen says SHS will “help”, he means kill cats and dogs.  Because that’s what SHS has historically done – kill roughly 8 out of every 10 pets in its care.  And there’s nothing to indicate SHS has changed its behavior.

I hope Spartanburg Co residents will make their voices heard by contacting the county council and speaking for the homeless pets in the community.  Putting healthy/treatable pets in the trash is wrong – no matter who does it.  Private citizens and public shelters must be held accountable.

SC Shelter Director Fired; Rescuers Allege Not Enough Killing

Last Saturday, a rumor of a planned mass killing of dogs at the Chester Co pound in SC began circulating on Facebook.  The county denies that any mass kill was ever going to take place.  That same day, the county fired the pound’s director and will not say why.

Rescuers began showing up to pull dogs, fearing a mass kill.  They allege the pound was filthy and overcrowded because “the previous director was not euthanizing enough animals or adopting enough of them out”.

Not killing enough.  The article indicates the pound killed roughly 1/3 of the pets in its care last year.

A rescuer named Janet Richardson offered the following:

“Their hearts go out, and they’re thinking with their hearts, but in the end that’s not what’s best for the animals,” Richardson said.

What’s best for the animals is that they are well cared for until they are adopted out.  Period.  Thinking with one’s heart is not necessarily a bad thing.  A compassionate director is part of the No Kill Equation.

Interim Director Mary Anne Tolbert worked at the shelter for several years and has just come back to take over operations. She said it was too hard for the staff there to put animals down. A lot of them were kept in the shelter much longer than they should have been.

“You want people in animal control who love animals for one thing, but sometimes, you get attached,” she said.

Again, a feeling of being attached to the animals in your care is not a bad thing if you work at an animal shelter.  And needlessly killing friendly pets should be hard – for any human being.

“We’re all here for the same reason,” [Tolbert] said. “We should work together.”

Are we?  I’m not so sure after reading this article.  I “think” with my heart and love animals and get attached to strays.  I believe every shelter pet has a right to live and should be well cared for until adopted.  I’m here for no kill.  What are you here for?


SLED Investigating ASPCA Partner Shelter for Embezzlement

The Charleston Animal Society in SC doesn’t say on its website how many pets it kills each year.  But it does point the finger at who is to blame for shelter pet killing:

The pet overpopulation problem

An estimated 3 – 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in our country.  Because there are more unwanted pets than there are available homes, each new litter of kittens, puppies, rabbits, and other animals leads to the euthanasia of animals already waiting for new homes.

There is no pet overpopulation problem.  There are no unwanted pets.  There are enough homes for every shelter pet in America.  Each litter of pets born into the world does not cause the killing of shelter pets.  The people who kill pets at shelters are responsible for their own actions.

In the spring of 2008, the Charleston Animal Society moved into a “brand new state-of-the-art 31,000 square feet” building as Charleston County joined the ASCPA Partnership.  The partnership’s goal makes mention of “no more unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable animals” and states:

Through its participation in ASPCA® Partner Community™, Charleston County has pledged to move towards a 75 percent save rate for homeless companion animals by the year 2012.

The Charleston Animal Society is the only open admission shelter in the county, taking in more than 10,000 pets each year.  So how are they doing in their goal to reach a 75% save rate ?  I don’t know because they don’t post their stats online.  I e-mailed an inquiry this morning regarding the stats but haven’t yet received a reply.

However, even if they reach the 75% live release rate, we know from the numerous open admission shelters around the country who have ended the needless killing of healthy/treatable pets that a live release rate of 90% or greater is the standard.  In other words, a kill rate of 25% would not be indicative of the stated goal regarding an end to the killing of adoptable pets.

Setting all this aside for the moment, the Charleston Animal Society’s website, like the sites of many shelters, has lots of space dedicated to asking for donations.  One page states that your donation will help the group “provide food, shelter and medical care to nearly 12,000 homeless animals each year”.  That sounds swell.  And surely all those who have given money to the Charleston Animal Society, including the ASPCA, would take comfort in believing their donations were spent on community pets in need.

Unfortunately, that apparently is not what’s been happening with the money at the Charleston Animal Society:

In emails obtained exclusively by News 2 reporter Rebecca Ryan, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon writes:  “It has come to my attention that the Charleston Animal Society […] has discovered some internal issues involving personnel and moneys that are missing, misappropriated, or otherwise not spent in professionally excepted [sic] practices.”


In other emails from Charleston County Council members, one council member said the Animal Society Board was writing checks out of their own pockets to cover up the “thefts”.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating.  The board of the Charleston Animal Society issued a statement putting the allegedly embezzled funds at $69,000 over a period of several years.  The board’s statement hints that the 2011 save rate for the facility may be as low as 50%.  It paints the alleged embezzlers as a few bad apples.  The statement also contains this gem:

The timing of this discovery couldn’t be worse as we head into the last two weeks of the year, when those donors who make our life-saving work possible plan their year-end giving.

Dang, what a lousy time of year to have SLED knock on your door asking about tens of thousands of missing dollars.  *sniff*

As far as exactly which dollars were allegedly embezzled, the investigation is ongoing but naturally the county wants to know about the money it pays to the shelter:

Charleston County Council member, Elliot Summey, said so far it doesn’t appear any money is missing from the pool the county gives to the Animal Society.

So if it’s not the county money that’s missing, where would the alleged embezzlers be siphoning funds?

A photo on the Charleston Animal Society's website shows a $600,000 check from the ASPCA.

Blame the public for killing.  Lie about no kill.  Steal money from kind-hearted donors.  Where did Charleston Animal Society get its playbook?

Watch this space for updates.

SC Shelter Sends 41 Dogs on ASPCA Transport: Saved?

John Sibley brought it to my attention this afternoon that the ASPCA was engaging in an HSUS style “rescue” of 41 dogs from a shelter here in SC.  From the ASPCA blog:

This morning we arrived at A Second Chance Animal Shelter (ASCAS) in Manning, South Carolina. After meeting with the staff, we carefully secured 41 dogs in our transport vehicle and set off on our journey to give these homeless pups a second chance.

Call to Action
The plan actually began a few months ago when the ASPCA Animal Relocation Team was asked to assist ASCAS. The organization was desperate to transport a few of their long-term shelter residents to other areas of the country where they would have a better chance at adoption.

ASCAS’ office manager told us these were great dogs, but some had been at the shelter for years. In Manning, the supply of dogs far exceeds the demand—there just aren’t enough homes for them all.

John points out that ASPCA is transporting these dogs to shelters who needlessly kill pets for space.  Gee, this doesn’t sound like the kind of “help” any caring shelter staff would want for dogs they’ve taken care of for years.  I reached out to A Second Chance Animal Shelter for comment regarding the transport.  This was the reply I received, in its entirety:


Thank you for your concern, however we have checked out all the shelters that have pulled from us and we are pleased with what we have done. We are a low to no kill shelter and only euthanize if the animal is severely ill and we can not treat or if an animal is aggressive. We take pride in what we are able to accomplish each year; however due to the fact that we are low to no kill people are less likely to adopt or pull from our shelter. Everyone thinks why adopt from them when they can save from a kill shelter. We also signed a contract with each shelter stating that our dogs are not to be euthanized, except for the reasons that we a low to no kill shelter do; and that is severe aggression and severe health issues. All of the dogs that we sent were healthy and SAFER tested before they left. We know that they will not be euthanized.

Thank you,

Amanda Childs

A Second Chance Animal Shelter
5079 Alex Harvin Highway
Manning, SC 29102
(803) 473-7075 Office
(803) 473-7503 Fax
Designer Dogs Are Mutts In Disguise!

“You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for others – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”
-Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

To Donate to A Second Chance
Animal Shelter, go to:

Confidentiality Notice
This message is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged, confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately either by phone (803-473-7075) or reply to this e-mail and delete all copies of this message.

“Low to no kill”?  Is that the sheltering version of a little bit pregnant?  At any rate, since the response indicated they had signed an agreement regarding their dogs not being killed by the shelters who kill for space, I asked a follow up question regarding that issue.  Specifically, I mentioned that if a shelter kills for space and agrees to accept X number of dogs from out of state, the logical assumption is that X number of dogs already living at the shelter will be killed to make space for the incoming dogs.  This is the reply I received, in its entirety:

From: “A Second Chance Animal Shelter”
Date: Tue, November 15, 2011 1:43 pm

Please read the confidentiality notice, I do not wish to correspond any further with you. Good-bye.

A Second Chance Animal Shelter

5079 Alex Harvin Highway

Manning, SC 29102

(803) 473-7075 Office

(803) 473-7503 Fax

Designer Dogs Are Mutts In Disguise!

“You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for others – something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”
-Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

To Donate to A Second Chance

Animal Shelter, go to:

Confidentiality Notice

This message is intended exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. This communication may contain information that is proprietary, privileged, confidential or otherwise legally exempt from disclosure. If you are not the named addressee, you are not authorized to read, print, retain, copy or disseminate this message or any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately either by phone (803-473-7075) or reply to this e-mail and delete all copies of this message.

Oh dear.  Is it something I said?

John has the destinations for the SC dogs:

Capital Area Humane Society, Hilliard, OH  (no reports posted since June 2008)
Bay Area Humane Society, Green Bay, WI  (32% kill rate in 2010)
Animal Humane Society, Golden Valley, MN  (33% kill rate in 2009)

Anyone in the neighborhood of any of these 3 places?

Pets Suffering at Marlboro Co Pound in SC

Remember the pound in Marlboro Co, SC?  This photo was posted on Facebook (I assume by a volunteer) asking for immediate foster/rescue of this bitch and her litter from the Marlboro Co pound.  A later posting indicated someone had offered to take her.  I have no other information but hopefully that info is accurate and the family is (or will soon be) safely out of the pound.

The posting indicated the family had been found under a barn and had been at the pound for 8 days.  I don’t know if the person in charge of the Marlboro Co pound refuses to allow anyone to put an old comforter (or blanket or bedsheet or towel or rag) with a mama dog and her newborn pups.  I wouldn’t think that’s the case because that would be cruel and unusual.  If there isn’t someone there enforcing some kind of sick rule about allowing no warmth or comfort for newborn pups then I am at a complete loss for how this poor bitch and her litter have been allowed to suffer like this.  It’s been 40 degrees in SC at night this week.  Surely this little family was better off under the barn.

The page had a couple of other postings which were slightly less horrifying.  Slightly.

Again, is there some rule that says no one can provide any material comfort to these dogs while they are at the pound?  I do not understand this.  They are not saying there is a lack of resources and that they wish they could provide a dog bed, they are simply saying the dogs are left on cold concrete with nothing.  As if somehow that is in any way acceptable.

HOW is this allowed to happen?  The posting for these dogs talks about how they were betrayed by the owner.  It sounds to me like the owner left them in good condition and the pound turned one of the dogs into a shivering, suffering wreck.  The owner isn’t going to redeem the dogs.  That sucks.  But it happens.  That’s why we have shelters.  That’s why the Marlboro Co pound is there.  Remind me again who I’m supposed to be angry with here?

Updated: More Photos from Marlboro Co Pound

Trish from the Scotland Co HS in NC sent me a number of photos she took at the Marlboro Co facility in SC this weekend.  I am hoping to receive a response from the pound and will update this post when I do.

Trish says the cats are kept in 3 enclosures (two appear to be wood and wire, one appears to be stainless steel) in complete darkness.

Inside the cat room at the Marlboro Co pound.

Cats at Marlboro Co pound.

Cats at Marlboro Co pound.

Cats at Marlboro Co pound.

This is a shot of the water the dogs have to drink.

Adoption friendly hours?

Sign at the Marlboro Co pound.

I’m working to get additional details. Watch this space.

Update, 9-20-11:  I finally reached Cecil Kimrey, the Marlboro Co administrator and asked him about the conditions at the pound.  He declined to comment but then added, “The Humane Society [of Marlboro Co] visits regularly.”  I asked if he could refer me to anyone in the county who could comment on the pound but he said no.  I also left a third message at the pound.  I called between 2 and 3pm since that’s when they are open for adoptions but still got the machine.  Hopefully they were busy adopting out pets.


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