Robeson Co Moves to Kill More Shelter Puppies

The Robeson County pound in NC killed 62% of the dogs in its care in 2015.  Expect that number to go up.

Last month, the Robeson Co Board of Death Health adopted a policy which will, in effect, mean death for many puppies at the county pound.  Specifically, any puppy under 4 months old eyeballed by pound employees and deemed to be a pitbull, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog or a mix of any of these, will be killed unless an out of state rescue group swoops in to save the dog. It has to be out of state because you know, they said so.  The policy comes in response to four recent dog attacks in the area – three of which allegedly involved pitbulls.

Bill Smith, director of the Robeson Co Death Health Department, said it’s not necessary to include any other breeds in the policy because hey, three out of four.

Or make that one out of two:

According to the Robeson County Health Department, 114 dogs have been declared vicious in Robeson County since 2012. Fifty-seven of those animals were listed as a pit bull or pit bull mix.

But whatever, it’s some anyway.  And some makes for good policy.  I guess adopting a policy based on the actions of a dog, regardless of breed, would be too… sensible?

It is proven fact that shelter workers do not accurately identify breeds, even when the dogs are grown up to what they actually look like, let alone when they are squished up puppy versions, so visual assessment by Robeson Co pound workers will doom all kinds of puppies to death – not just “pitbulls”.

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Rescue groups in other states are already overburdened trying to save puppies and dogs in their own areas with scant resources.  This is an unrealistic alternative and yet it is the only one Robeson Co is providing for these mislabeled puppies who have harmed no one.

Robeson Co residents need to stand up and tell their elected officials that killing healthy, happy puppies at the shelter will not prevent dog attacks.  Never has, never will.  The county should end this discriminatory policy and replace it with one which addresses a dog’s actions, not the shape of his head.

(Thanks Susan, Lisa and Lou Ann.)

 

 

Forsyth Co Punishes Elderly, Suffering Dog for Reacting to His Pain, and Other Horror Stories

The terrible Forsyth Co pound in NC continues to be terrible.  The NC Department of Agriculture failed the facility on its March inspection and this month, fined the county $5200 for numerous violations of state laws.  Among the violations outlined by the state:

  • Animals whose records contained no indication of serious illness or injury were being killed before the 72 hour mandatory holding period.
  • A cat with a leg wound was left for 2 days without veterinary care then killed.
  • Another cat with an injured leg was left without vet care for 2 days, then had instructions issued for vet care and was then immediately killed.
  • A dog with her uterus hanging out was left in a cage without veterinary treatment for nearly 3 full days before someone finally sent a photo to the vet to inquire if she needed any medical care.
  • A sick, one month old kitten whose records contained the notes “eyes possibly blind” and “cat can not eat on its own” was left without vet care to suffer in a cage until she finally died 3 days later.
  • An elderly dog who was barely able to move, exhibiting neurological symptoms, urinating in his bowl, vomiting and having diarrhea in his cage was scheduled for euthanasia 3 days after being surrendered.  While handling the dog in preparation for the euthanasia, a staff member said she was bitten.  The decision was then made to leave the suffering dog in a cage for an additional 10 day rabies hold with a plan to cut off his head and submit it for rabies testing.  The dog was found dead in his cage 9 days into the hold.  He never received any vet care.
  • A dog who was struggling to breathe and unable to move after being run over by a car was left without veterinary care to suffer for more than 24 hours before being killed. Another mangled dog was similarly neglected.
  • A nursing dam was seized for a 10 day bite quarantine along with her litter of 7 puppies.  Pound staff killed the mother and all her puppies after 9 days.  No owner surrender form or other records could be found for the puppies.

While these violations of state code may seem disturbing to some, it’s all in how you look at it:

Tim Jennings, Forsyth County’s animal control director, said after reviewing the violation notice Monday, “It looks like we have some things we need to focus on, prioritize and deal with pretty quickly.”

[…]

“They’re outlining some serious issues, and we have to correct those problems,” Jennings said.

He said they strive to keep animals from suffering.

[County manager Dudley] Watts said the civil penalty “comes as an unfortunate surprise to us,” because the county has some years of solid inspections.

“We just haven’t had these kinds of violations emerge. … But we certainly want to make sure that we’re in compliance across all of these issues,” Watts said.

Everybody calm down. It’s not Eyes Possibly Blind kitten left in a cage to starve to death or Dog with Insides Falling Out left to suffer – it’s just issues.  Plus, they’re striving.  So there’s that.

I hate that the county had this unfortunate surprise.  You know who else got an unfortunate surprise?  That cat with the hurt leg who finally got to see a vet after 2 days at the pound but instead of getting treatment, the pound staff decided to give him death.  Treatment sounds like work, amirite?

(Thanks Clarice and Lisa.)

Louisiana Public Shelter Refuses to Shelter Animals

So you have a job and get a paycheck but when it comes to actually doing your jobthat’s optional, apparently.  I wish someone would have mentioned this to me sooner!

Parish animal control workers recently refused a deputy’s order to pick up dogs in a cruelty case, according to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.

And in case anyone was thinking that maybe the animals weren’t in bad shape, wrong.  Nine dogs and an unknown number of cats were living with a woman in a mobile home.  One dog had a broken back and was paralyzed, another had large tumors all over the belly, and a third appeared to have had the area from his inside thigh to his hip “cut by a filet knife.” The stench of urine and feces inside the home was overwhelming. The woman received a misdemeanor summons for animal cruelty and failing to provide veterinary care.

“Deputy [Philip] Lint then contacted the Livingston Parish Animal Control via phone and advised (the woman who answered) of the current situation and the condition of two dogs,” according to the deputy’s report. “Deputy Lint was advised by that female that it is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure the dogs are taken to the veterinarian to get proper treatment. The dogs were left on the scene.”

Take your filleted dog and shove it, I guess. Of course this sort of blatant dereliction of duty does not occur without enablers in high places:

Parish President Layton Ricks said his employees have the authority to ignore a deputy’s order to rescue if there is reason to believe that the person cited had previously tried to give the animals up.

Right. That makes sense.  To someone, in some sphere of reality, presumably.  I mean not on this earth in these four, puny dimensions obviously but somewhere, out there.

Ricks said animal control assistant Desiree Green had previously received a call from a woman she believed to be the same person cited April 2 for cruelty. According to Ricks, the caller asked for help with dogs that needed to be put down because she did not have the money to pay a veterinarian.

When the call came in from Deputy Lint, Green “knew this lady was trying to get the dogs put down,” Ricks said.

Ricks said he supported Green’s decision to leave the dogs where they were. The parish cannot afford to euthanize all the dogs that are too sick or too badly injured to recover, Ricks said.

mind reader

Desiree Green in 2012, as pictured on the Livingston Parish News website.

I admire Green’s mind reading ability that she used to determine the lady who asked for help with her dogs previously and was turned away is the same lady who was clever enough to get herself charged with crimes by the deputy as a workaround. That should sound excellent on the witness stand.

Just business as usual in Livingston Parish:

Members of the now defunct Animal Control Board, or Committee, said the policy requiring a citation frustrated subdivision residents trying to cope with abandoned dogs.

Residents are “tired of watching dogs in bad shape, emaciated and suffering. People in neighborhoods are watching them die,” committee member Randy Stegall said in 2013. “If we hold dogs in the shelter until they are adopted, then it will be a ‘no kill’ shelter. We can’t do that. Too many animals are out there suffering.”

Heaven forfend we have a no kill shelter. There are too many suffering animals out there, holding out hope that some compassionate person will help them. We wouldn’t want to be one of those people. Less hope, more killing, rah rah rah.  I wonder why they dismantled the committee.

“If we’re offering animal control, then people should be able to rescue a dog and take it to the shelter,” Board member Phillip Woods said at a November 2013 meeting.

Uh, please define “rescue”?

So while the taxpayers are paying their public servants to jack each other off, can anyone help these dogs?  Because they need help.  I’m willing to help in any way I can.  If you are local and can offer assistance, tell us what you need.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Person County’s Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

At its most recent state inspection in December 2015, the very suckish Person Co pound in NC reportedly had just 32 animals in its 71 cage facility.  Previous inspections reveal similar numbers.  That would seem to be a problem in a pound that kills animals.  But the statistics posted on the Person Co website indicate that in the first quarter of 2016, they have killed just 6% of dogs and 2% of cats:

person co ytd2016

Screengrab from the Person Co website.

They also have a detailed breakdown of intakes and outcomes on the site:

person co intake 2016

Screengrab from the Person Co website.

 

person co outcomes 2016

Screengrab from the Person Co website.

So I’m noticing the pound has a fairly impressive laundry list of Reasons Dogs and Cats Must Die. If you’re lost and we know who your owner is but your owner doesn’t come by to get you, you must die. If you are unpredictable, we can not have your loony ass running around town dropping random zaniness on unsuspecting folks trying to do their shopping and such so, you must die. If we are out of space, which we are never even close to but some numbers need to be put into this category because otherwise it gets lonely, you must die.  And if your adoption time has expired, you must die – because obviously dogs and cats are freshest on the first day and you really don’t want them going moldy out there on the adoption floor.

Anyhoo, I see they’ve taken in 223 cats so far this year and they’ve killed 9 of them for REASON plus 107 more for REASON plus another 44 for REASON plus – heeeeey, hold up one pancake flipping second.  Oh my Math.  They are lying about their kill rates.  And not just for cats.  And not just for 2016.

alice medina co spca

Alice at the Medina Co SPCA, who has an opinion on your stats. (Photo by Casey Post.)

Person Co’s kill rate for cats for the first quarter of 2016 is actually about 77%.  But you know, 77% is right next to 2% on the keyboard so.  They’ve killed roughly 30% of their dogs so far this year.  Which is like 6% if you times it by 5.  And those kill rates for previous years showing a steady improvement?  Also all lies.

To summarize, the place is mostly empty but they kill for space but it’s only 2% unless you are some kind of math snob and want to go by actual hoity-toity numbers and anyway it’s another year of steady improvement which, while wholly unsupported by the true statistics, is a nice sounding thing and everybody likes nice sounding things so why you gotta hate?  I think I need a refresher assplanation about how, if only I would neuter and microchip my pets, all these lies covering up convenience killing would not be needed.

(Thanks Lisa.)

 

Lincoln Co Animal Advocates Say the Pound is Far From No Kill

On March 21, The Lincoln Times-News in NC ran a lengthy piece on the troubled Lincoln Co pound which included comments from more than a dozen volunteers, rescuers, fosters and former employees.  Some requested their real names not be published in the paper due to fear of reprisal.  It’s been 2 1/2 years since Lincoln Co commissioners unanimously voted to embrace no kill.  The pound continues to kill animals.  Among the concerns expressed by those interviewed for the article:

  • Pound staff kill pets while cages sit empty, sometimes as a means of hurting someone who is trying to save the animals.
  • Cats are placed on the kill list for being feral when they are in fact friendly, socialized animals.
  • Some dogs are placed on the kill list for aggression without any sort of temperament evaluation.  Others are placed on the kill list for treatable conditions such as heartworm or itchy skin.
  • Intact male dogs pulled by rescuers often have chemical burns on their testicles from the bleach poured on the floors.
  • The supposed increase in the pound’s reported live release rate does not include animals who fall over dead in their cages – something that happens at an alarming rate.
  • Inmates perform the only real work that gets done at the pound while county employees smoke, play cards and play on their phones.
  • The pound’s contracted veterinarian is referred to as “Dr. Death” by many volunteers as death is her recommended treatment for many shelter animals, including nearly all the cats in the facility when she first came on board in 2012.

The same night the article ran in the paper, Lincoln Co commissioners held their regular public meeting and criticized the piece, comparing it to tabloid journalism.  It was also announced at the meeting that Dr. Death’s contract had been renewed and she’d been given a huge raise.  The county is currently in the process of hiring a replacement for the pound’s director who is resigning.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Rowan Co ACO Who Broke Cat’s Face Cleared by State

The NC Department of Agriculture, which oversees animal shelters, investigated the brutal microchipping (wait – WTF did I just write?) of a cat by a Rowan Co pound employee which resulted in the cat’s jaw being broken in two places.  The severely injured cat, Cooper, was reportedly uncooperative during the bloody torture.  Cooper is currently undergoing lengthy veterinary treatment and is being fed a liquid diet.  The state has completed its investigation and determined that the ACO did not violate the NC Animal Welfare Act:

According to the investigation report from the Department of Agriculture, “The statements of the shelter staff, rescue personnel and veterinarians, the veterinary medical records and the shelter records have been reviewed. This review concludes that as Cooper was provided with access to veterinary care within 30 minutes of injury. Therefore veterinary care was provided as required by 02 N. C. Administration Code .0210 (c). Consequently, the findings of this investigation do not substantiate a violation of the N. C. Animal Welfare Act. The investigation findings have been turned over to the Rowan County Manager’s Office and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department.”

Sooooo brutal microchipping is a thing and it’s condoned by the state so long as the victim is given to someone who takes him to a vet within 30 minutes of the torture.  If that truly falls within the Animal Welfare Act, I’m thinking the Animal Welfare Act sucks and needs to be changed to be a little more welfare-y and a little less legal-cover-for-animal-shelter-torture-y.

Rowan County Manager Aaron Church won’t say whether the unnamed ACO is still on paid administrative leave or back at uh, work.

Clai Martin, longtime pound director at Rowan Co, is being shifted to a related position in a county consolidation move:

As part of the consolidation, current Rowan County Animal Control Director Clai Martin will be moved into another position — manager of the animal enforcement division.
[…]
The consolidation would create a new department called Rowan County Animal Services. Church said Bob Pendergrass, the current director of the Nature Center at Dan Nicholas Park, would be promoted to oversee the new, consolidated department.

They’ve set a pretty low bar for you, Nature Center Guy. I hope you will raise it.  Anything above “We don’t break cat faces for hissing during microchipping here” would be a good start.

(Thanks Lisa and Clarice for the links.)

Rowan Co ACO on Paid Leave During State Investigation

The American Veterinary Medical Association states that cats should be microchipped “by a licensed veterinarian or under supervision of a licensed veterinarian” via subcutaneous injection in the area between the shoulder blades.  I don’t know whether the terrible Rowan Co pound in NC follows the recommendations of the AVMA regarding microchipping but since the procedure is pretty straightforward, any significant deviation being part of the protocol seems highly unlikely.  And yet, somehow a cat named Cooper had his jaw broken reportedly during the injection of a microchip at the Rowan Co pound on Tuesday. Cooper is being fostered by Debbie Orbison:

Orbison said Cooper was healthy when shelter staff brought the cat into a closed-to-the-public area of the shelter. Cooper was bleeding from the mouth after being microchipped, Orbison said.

“I can’t say what happened, but when he went back to get microchipped he was fine,” she said. “He came back with a fractured jaw.”

cooper

Cooper, as pictured on Facebook.

A state inspector is investigating the incident and Rowan Co has placed an ACO on paid leave during the investigation. The county has refused to name the ACO.

Cooper has already undergone one surgery on his jaw and will require additional surgeries.

While we wait for the state to conclude its investigation, it’s hard not to imagine what sort of obscene cruelty might have resulted in this cat’s jaw being fractured in two places.  It puts me in mind of former Memphis pound employee Frank Lightfoot who was observed by an undercover police officer stepping on a cat with both feet after he failed to kill the cat via injection.  And of the Chesterfield Co, SC pound workers who reportedly beat cats in the head with pipes “to knock them out.”

And I can’t help but wonder what type of an environment exists at the Rowan Co pound that someone capable of this cruelty would be employed.  What else has happened on this director’s watch?  I mean, besides mandatory cat killing, dragging an injured dog on a chokepole then throwing him in the gas chamber, and deeming most animals “unadoptable” as an excuse for killing them.  What else has gone on in that closed-to-the-public area of the shelter?

But of course of course OF COURSE we must remember that these folks wouldn’t work there if they didn’t love animals and it’s a hard job and if only the public would spay and neuter, shelter cats wouldn’t have to get their jaws broken during a routine injection under the skin.  Dang that irresponsible public!

(Thanks Lisa for the links.)

Coffee Co Pound Still Sucking All the Suckage

The sucksational Coffee Co pound in TN is once again in the news.  Animal advocates recently attended a public county meeting to voice serious concerns about how dogs are being treated at the pound.  Among the allegations being made against the two man operation:

  • Dogs are being starved.
  • Cages are being hosed and bleached with dogs inside the cages, even in winter, causing icicles to form on the dogs’ fur and their feet to burn.
  • The two ACOs ride around the county together “on calls” all day long, leaving the facility mostly unattended and numerous calls unanswered.

Area advocates would like to be allowed to volunteer at the pound in order to help walk and socialize dogs and to make sure they are fed properly.  Pound director Kevin Brown warned any potential volunteers that if they convince the county to implement a volunteer program, they will all be under his authoritah and he might not let them interact with the dogs at all.  He might just have them painting walls or whatever he feels like ordering the peons to do since he has absolute power.  And they can’t say a thing about it because he is King Sucksauce.

(Sidenote:  Why are the directors of every frelling hole from hell “shelter” obsessed with putting fresh paint on the walls?  Does huffing that new paint smell make watching pets suffer more exciting?  WHAT.  IS.  IT?)

Commissioner Steven Jones was unmoved by the photographs and vet bills presented by rescuers as evidence of dogs being starved – a problem the county held an “emergency” meeting about in December which still hasn’t been remedied:

“The mayor and I have been out there and every time we have the bowls have always been full of food,” said Jones.

Oh really. So let’s break this down:

  1. Evidence of dogs starving.
  2. Bowls always full of food.

I’m no county commissioner but it seems to me that if dogs are leaving bowls full of food to sit there, that food has got to be so contaminated that even a starving dog won’t touch it. Are the bowls “cleaned” with bleach the way the cages are – that is, the bleach is left to sit there and do its corrosive thing?  Are these always-full food bowls sprayed with water/bleach/waste during cage cleaning like the dogs are?  Does anyone check if the food in the bowls is moldy or wormy or otherwise needs to be dumped?

As far as the unanswered calls to help animals in need, the King does not wish to be disturbed:

Brown said he did not want calls forwarded from the shelter landline to his work cell phone to make up for employee absence at the shelter because they receive too many calls.

Plus it sounds like work. Slippery slope there.

Anyhoo the county is going to buy the pound a scale and a color printer to aid in the documentation process for impounded animals.  So they can document dogs being starved, I guess.  Apparently after the last rabble rousing, the county bought a giant board for the ACOs to write dog information on.  That’s reportedly still sitting there, new in the box.  Maybe they can add the scale and the printer and make some sort of artistic installation, if it pleases the king.

(Thanks Devry and Clarice for the link.)

NC Pound Closes to the Public Due to Weather but Heroically Keeps Kill Room Open

little boy

Little Boy, as pictured on the ABC 11 website.

There are levels of appalling.  This story is all top tier appalling.  It’s the appallingest.

On Monday, January 18, Teresa Panameno let her cat outside.  Little Boy never came home.  He was trapped by a neighbor and Wake Co ACOs picked him up the next day.  Like many pets who get trapped by cat hating neighbors and taken to places that kill roughly half the cats they are supposed to be sheltering, Little Boy was not in a ball of yarn playing mood.  Instead of recognizing his behavior as normal under the circumstances, the Wake Co pound rushed to deem him unowned and unadoptable:

Dr. Jennifer Federico, Director of Wake County Animal Services told ABC11 that the cat was immediately deemed feral for his aggressive nature, and given the state-mandated stray hold of 72 hours.

Meanwhile Ms. Panameno continued searching for Little Boy, including looking at the animals listed on the Wake Co pound’s website. She finally saw his picture posted on the site on Thursday, January 21 and began calling the shelter.  No one was answering the phone so she sent an email.  But no one was answering emails either.  The office staff had gone home in preparation for a storm that was moving through the area.  The front office stayed closed on Friday due to inclement weather but Wake Co kept the kill room up and running for business as usual.  Little Boy was killed on Friday, while his owner was trying to get him back.

Someone from the pound finally answered Ms. Panameno’s email on Sunday, advising that her pet could not be handled at the time he was impounded, failing to mention that he had been killed while the place was closed to the public.  So the next day, Ms. Panameno drove to the pound, cat carrier in hand, to bring Little Boy home.  Gee, I bet that was a swell conversation to have.

But the director is all NO REGRETS:

Federico maintains the shelter followed procedure[.]
[…]
“It’s just sad all around,” Federico said.

Noooo.  When you wait by the mailbox for weeks for your Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring and then it finally arrives and you figure out the special message Little Orphan Annie had for you was a crummy commercial, that’s just sad all around.  When you accept an owned pet from a cat hating neighbor, immediately label him unowned, then close for business due to weather but keep your kill room open, then fail to admit to the owner what you’ve done so that she walks into your facility full of hope, expecting to take her beloved family member home, that’s unconditionally appalling.  Your precious procedure sucks.  If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

600 Animals Seized from Unlicensed NC Shelter

The state of NC has known for years that a private shelter in Hoke Co was being operated so far below minimum acceptable standards that animals were suffering.  Animals at the Haven were not receiving necessary veterinary care, food, water, exercise, or socialization – and there were way too many for the small number of staff to take proper care of.  During the state’s October 2009 inspection, there were more than 1300 animals at the facility:

Portion of a 2009 inspection of the Haven by the state of NC

Portion of a 2009 inspection of the Haven by the state of NC

State inspectors took dozens of photos documenting neglect during their October 2013 visit to the Haven.  Animals were stacked in dirty cages everywhere including the “isolation” area, inside the dog runs, in the barn and in a lean-to:

havenstatepic5havenstatepic1havenstatepic3havenstatepic4
Some animals were sick, others were left without food and/or water:

So it would have come as a surprise to no one at the state level when the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Haven yesterday pursuant to public complaints. The ASPCA was brought in. More than 600 animals have been seized:

“You’ve got animals out here with open wounds…obvious skin conditions…animals that appear to be malnourished,” [Capt. John] Kivett said.

According to the ASPCA, the animals were kept in dirty kennels, cages, outdoor pens and paddocks, many without protection from the elements.

The owners have been charged with animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance used for animals. Additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.

Thank you to the complainers for not giving up on the animals and to the local authorities for taking action. I dread to think how many more years the state would have kept documenting the suffering of animals at this place without doing anything to help.

(Thanks Lisa for the links.)

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