Complaints Prompt State to Inspect VA Shelter and Enablers to Circle the Wagons

In Accomack Co, Virginia, another sad case where pets who were reportedly living in unacceptable conditions in a resident’s yard are now allegedly suffering at the pound after being “rescued”:

An Exmore man who tipped off Accomack County Animal Control officers about poor living conditions of 15 dogs at a rural Onancock residence now is asking the state to shut down the facility where they were taken.

Jim Mason submitted a petition to the state veterinarian and the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services on June 8, asking them to close the Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility in Melfa because it lacks air conditioning and an outdoor exercise area, among other issues.

The dogs, several of whom have whelped litters since being seized, have been held at the pound in connection with an ongoing court case for many months. They are allegedly being denied exercise and socialization.

After receiving the petition, a state inspector visited the Eastern Shore Regional AC Facility and found a number of deficiencies, including:

[S]everal dogs and cats showed signs of discomfort due to heat and humidity and the dog run area was “extremely hot and humid” with no climate control and flies[.]
[…]
Additionally, the inspector said not all animals euthanized at the facility were sedated beforehand.

Members of the Accomack Co Board of Supervisors have also received complaints from animal advocates regarding conditions at the pound.  But(t):

“The shelter is in very, very good hands,” Supervisor Robert Crockett said.

Also:  all county pounds “have to” kill animals (which will undoubtedly come as a shock to the many no kill shelters operating in municipalities all over the country) and the state inspector only dinged Eastern Shore on the recent report because of pressure from pesky activists.  And the offer of free air conditioning from a local SPCA is now being put on hold by the county because reasons.  Seems legit.

I couldn’t find any government website listing animals for Eastern Shore and the facility’s Facebook page is out of date.  The Eastern Shore page on Petfinder says:

We invite you to take a look at all our listed animals.To us, they all deserve the recognition as “featured”.

Petfinder has zero animals listed for Eastern Shore.

Very, very good hands.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Weekend Jade

It's too hot to keep my tongue sorted.

It’s too hot to keep my tongue sorted.

Open Thread

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

[public domain photo]

[public domain photo]

Rowan Co Deigns to Let Citizens Work for Free at the Shelter, Within Limits, Because Obviously

One of the six pets advertised for adoption by the Rowan Co shelter in NC.  (Image via Petfinder)

One of the six pets currently advertised for adoption by the Rowan Co shelter in NC. (Image via Petfinder)

Some Rowan Co animal advocates are apparently pleased with promised policy changes at the shelter but after reading about the changes, I was able to contain my enthusiasm. In an effort to be fair, I’ll outline the changes in yay/nay format.

Paws Up: Beginning July 1, the shelter is going to start vaccinating and microchipping animals.
Paws Down: These costs will be passed on to adopters and rescuers who will have to pay an additional $10 for pets (beyond the current $70 fee).

Paws Up: The county will allow a volunteer program at the shelter.
Paws Down: The program won’t be implemented until a new cat wing, currently under construction, is opened. The volunteers will be issued reader cards in order to be prevented from accessing all areas of the shelter. The county has yet to purchase the card readers. Inmates who work at the shelter reportedly have full access but volunteers will be restricted.

Paws Up: There has been universal support for a 60 day TNR program for feral cats which would cost the county zero dollars.
Paws Down: The county decided to table the measure.

Paws Up: The shelter will purchase new software which will allow photographs of impounded animals to be posted online upon intake.
Paws Down: There is no set date for implementing this change. In the meantime, animal rescuers are restricted to following the current policy: they are allowed in the shelter for one hour at the county’s discretion and can take no more than 8 animal photos during that hour. The county commissioners and the shelter director were asked to relax this rule but refused.

So there you go. Keep your cheering to a dull roar, if you can manage it.

I appreciate that advocates have been working hard for a long time to effect change at the Rowan Co shelter. And I understand that progress doesn’t always take the form we hope for or arrive in a timely fashion. It’s an ongoing effort and you have to start somewhere. I get all that.

But speaking for myself, I’d rather eat glass than volunteer my services to people who treated me with such contempt and are more interested in wielding their sovereign power over me than saving animals. There are, tragically, many places where shelter animals are desperately in need of help and many ways to help them. I wouldn’t waste my time in Rowan Co. On the other hand, I am eternally thankful that not everyone in the world is like me. I’m glad there are some animal advocates in Rowan Co able to put up with these dickheads. Long may they run, especially since there may not be anyone on this planet willing to replace them.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

Chihuahua Stealers Offer Chihuahuas for Adoption

PETA’s annual reports to the state of Virginia indicate that the organization kills most of its animals, adopting out just 1% of them.

But as reader Valerie posted in the current Open Thread, PETA has posted on Facebook that it has two Chihuahuas available for adoption.  I don’t know for certain how PETA obtained these Chihuahuas although maybe, as claimed in the FB post, they bought them at a garage sale.

that did not happen

The only way I know for sure that PETA gets Chihuahuas is by sending out dognappers to steal them, as seen in this surveillance video:

Apparently all the negative publicity garnered by PETA’s theft and killing of Maya, the Chihuahua seen in the above video, has motivated them to try a distraction technique involving other Chihuahuas (aw!) – a mother and baby (awwwww!) who were being sold like old glass ashtrays at a tag sale (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!) and now need a good home (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoowoowoo!).

distraction
Totally fooled me, anyway.

Name That Animal

This is just for fun and the only rule is:  no researching.  Post your best guesses in the comments.  I mustache you not to read other people’s answers before posting your own.  Answer will be posted in the comments tomorrow.

nta

Treats on the Internets

Authorities with the city of Deltona, Florida obtained a search warrant and entered the home of a couple to find they were well over the 5 pet limit.  The Halifax Humane Society seized 114 cats and killed 108 of them despite a city spokesman’s claim that only a few were sick:

[Lee] Lopez said a few cats suffer from feline Leukemia, but more seemed well fed and healthy.

The man who lived at the residence considered the cats family.  His wife threatened to hurt herself as her pets were being taken away so she was transported to a mental health care facility.  (Thank you to the reader who sent me this story.)

***

Photos posted online show animals in filthy cages at the Lucedale pound in MS but the mayor says the photos are not representative of conditions at the facility.  The pound reportedly keeps intact male and female cats together but the mayor describes that as a funding issue.  So everything’s good I guess.  (Thanks Clarice.)

***

One shelter worker’s revelation regarding “perfect” adoption applicants.  (Thanks Anne.)

***

As the supply of seals, the regular food of polar bears in the Arctic, dwindles due to climate change, scientists have observed starving bears eating dolphins who have been drawn to the area by unusually warm waters.  (Warning:  graphic photos at link.)

***

The white man who called 911 to complain of black teenagers at a pool in Texas is a convicted felon whose crimes include animal torture.  In 1999, the man reportedly beat cows and pigs bloody with wooden boards and pulled the limbs off baby turkeys before spray painting the farm animals.  (Thanks Anne.)

***

Uber, but for the bravest among Florida’s forest dwellers.

Weekend Jade

It's too hot to stay outside and play for very long today so apparently we have to use our inside voices and mind our manners in the house.  This is my Mind Your Manners face.

It’s too hot to stay outside and play for very long today so apparently we have to use our inside voices and mind our manners in the house. This is my Mind Your Manners face.

Open Thread

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

“A Woman with a Dog and Bird” – James McNeill Whistler

Detroit Animal Control Kills Thousands of Pets Per Year, Wants More

Detroit Animal Control has no adoption program.  Its 2013 report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture (the most recent year on the state’s website) was submitted by someone from Michigan Humane – a fellow pet killing facility and reportedly the only organization allowed to pull animals from the pound.  The report indicates DAC took in 6127 dogs and cats, returning just 170 of them to their owners and killing 4490 – a kill rate of 73%:

dac 2013

Screengrab from the Michigan Department of Agriculture's website showing the Detroit pound's 2013 report.

Screengrab from the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s website showing the Detroit pound’s 2013 report.

Michigan Humane, DAC’s partner, does not follow the law regarding the mandatory holding period for stray cats. DAC has no adoption program and an abysmal RTO rate. The only real hope any animal has of getting out of DAC alive is if Michigan Humane cherry picks him and chooses to keep him alive long enough to get adopted by an actual caring person. You would tend to think that under the circumstances, DAC would not be scrabbling to take in more animals nor would they be hanging their hat on the importance of obeying the mandatory holding period law since you know, Ichigan-May Umane-Hay… Astonishingly, DAC is doing both by attempting to snatch strays from a local rescue group:

The issue of who owns a stray dog in Detroit is being challenged for the Detroit Dog Rescue.
[…] DDR was told by Detroit Animal Control that they are no longer allowed to take dogs from police officers.
[…]
Detroit police said that under state law, shelters are required to have documentation as to who dropped the dog off. Dogs must remain with animal control for four business days to allow the owner time to claim the dog.

If the dog is not claimed, authorities will decide if the dog is adoptable.

But most likely, the dog will be killed – the usual outcome for pets at DAC. I guess they forgot to mention that part.

To be clear, I am absolutely in favor of any group that takes in strays following the applicable laws for holding periods and reporting so that owners can reclaim lost pets.  Many shelters have systems in place to allow finders of strays to keep them for the mandatory holding period while listing them on the shelter’s roster of found pets. Michigan law appears to allow for private groups to take in strays as long as they properly report the animals to police.

If DAC is truly concerned about private animal groups following the state holding period law for strays perhaps they should start by looking at their own partner in crime, Michigan Humane, instead of chasing groups trying to actually shelter strays – the job DAC is supposed to be doing.  There is surely no cause for DAC to be taking animals away from rescue groups committed to saving them.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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