Weekend Jade

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Happy Mother’s Day to those with, and those without, circulation in their legs.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

inkybatcat

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

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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 Pound staff decided the dog was unadoptable because he was “shy and withdrawn” and as such, put him on the kill list.

Gosh, a dog acting shy and withdrawn in a cage at a pet killing facility?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.)

Treats on the Internets

In January, NY state inspectors found that the Islip animal shelter was sending strays out with rescues and adopters without holding them for the mandated 5 day holding period so their owners could reclaim them.  In February, the shelter director was caught on audio tape telling a puppy’s owner that her pet wasn’t at the facility then, after she apparently thought the owner had hung up, telling staff to lie about the puppy as he was being backdoored to a rescue.  The town allowed the director to retire instead of being fired.  She should be in jail.  (Thanks Clarice for the link.)

U Got the Look:  Shelter dogs in Ohio dressed up like Prince.

Officials at a middle school in Louisiana decided hell yes it’s appropriate to put a student’s service dog’s picture in the yearbook with all the other attendees.  (Thanks Claire.)

Pets help people in so many ways – this autistic child seemed to come out of her shell after getting a cat.  The photos accompanying the article are beautiful.

Dear All Police, Use these officers as your role models. Thx.  (Thanks mikken.)

Possible picture to give to your stylist next time you get a haircut.  (Thanks Claire.)

Hullo!  A humpback whale feeding at a marina in Alaska.

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.)

 

 

Weekend Jade

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Stick arena

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

priorities

Mental Health Break: Photo

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This year’s batch of Eastern Phoebes on our porch.

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.)

What Are You Guys Wearing to the Ceremony Honoring the Dog Skull Cracking Deputy?

An attorney for the off-duty Montgomery Co deputy who bashed a dog’s brains in then adopted a different dog at the pound wrote a letter to the local paper to tell of his client’s uh, heroism.

The MCSO deputy, now identified as Keith Berger, says through his lawyer – and oh yes, I’m paraphrasing here – that he saw three female vols, one of them a teenager, in an enclosure with Rock, the 90 pound pitbull mix, another large pitbull mix and a tiny dog being eaten by the other two.  The three hysterical women were yelling and flailing and attempting to break up the little dog buffet with sticks and a hose.  Although the dogs were not behaving aggressively toward the vols, the deputy envisioned that the teen girl looked very chomp-worthy to Rock and decided to jump in and save the overemotional wimmins.  Berger could have opened fire inside the enclosure, cause you know, yay guns, but he valiantly opted not to do so instead relying on his super manly strength.  He “picked up a piece of ‘half rotten’ 2×4 and hit Rock on the head.” It was barely a tap, just enough to save the pygmy dog and the silly little girl and the world. An ACO then came in and broke up the fight between the two large dogs.

See.  It was totally a situation where womenfolk got themselves into a fix and they were all going to die, probably.  The deputy has a sworn duty to protect and to serve and just because he’s not on the clock doesn’t mean he’s going to stand by while fainting ladies put themselves in harm’s way.  He gets all the credit for not shooting up the place and for his deft wielding of a toothpick to stop Rock from doing what he was not doing but totally could have, possibly, if you’ll only believe.  You don’t have to thank him, just let him know when the medal ceremony is to be held.

Montgomery Co is continuing to investigate itself in the matter and the investigation is reportedly “moving along quickly.”  And, not to give away the ending but:

“While this matter is still being thoroughly investigated, several accounts that had initially surfaced on social media regarding the incident have proven to be false,” District Attorney Brett Ligon said. “We will continue to follow every lead and witness; but as of yet, we have not received the necropsy report or the completed report from the detective assigned to the case.”

We don’t yet know what happened but we do know that several accounts which do not fit our narrative are wrong. We are being very thorough and waiting by the mailbox for the necropsy report which will confirm that Rock had Jelly Head Syndrome and even a love pat would have caused his skull to cave in which will prove that the deputy did him a favor actually.  Medal ceremony to be announced forthwith.

(Thanks Clarice.)

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