The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program consulted on the troubled Kern Co pound in CA in 2008. At that time, a report was issued which detailed, among other problems, lack of leadership and rampant disease at the shelter along with recommendations for how to reduce and prevent it. Standard protocols such as the quarantine of new arrivals and examination/vaccination by vet staff upon intake were on the list.
Fast forward to 2015 and it appears as if disease is still rampant at the Kern Co pound and that few, if any, of the 2008 recommendations from Koret have been implemented. A group that flies shelter dogs from the area to rescues elsewhere along the west coast recently suspended its partnership with the Kern Co pound after a number of the facility’s dogs were found to be sick upon arrival. Despite all the dogs having health certificates from the pound’s vet, interim director Nick Cullen admits in an email that in fact some of the dogs had never been vaccinated “due to reported behavioral concerns”. Three of the sick dogs died.
In response to the rescue’s refusal to take more sick dogs labeled healthy from Kern Co, Cullen has asked Koret to come around for another consult. I guess he wants a current report to ignore because you know, ignoring the old one is so 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014. Cullen also wants to reassure taxpayers that a cleaning chemical used for disinfection at the pound is being diluted correctly. He had a consultant in on that one too. So the disinfectant is being diluted correctly and apparently used to clean cages housing sick and/or unvaccinated dogs next to healthy ones. Pound workers who are not on the vet staff are “examining” the animals and deeming them fit for transport, even if they are deemed unfit for vaccines due to behavior. The vet is signing the health certificates and then the dogs are loaded onto planes and arriving with symptoms of serious illness. It sounds shoddy, at best.
Like his predecessor, Cullen blames the public for the pound’s failures:
We are seeing an inordinate amount of illness in animals originating from Shafter, Mcfarland, and Arvin areas. Much of that is due to those communities being less involved in vaccinating animals with core vaccines.
Gee, if only there was some kind of magical way to make sure animals coming into the pound were vaccinated, even if their vaccine history is questionable. If only there was someone at the pound who would take responsibility for that, somehow. If only Koret would have told Kern Co about this in 2008 DOT DOT DOT.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)