A Thorough Investigation at TX Shelter

I come across stories like this too often:  shelter volunteers and/or staff allege wrongdoing by someone higher up at the public animal shelter.  The local government promises to look into the matter and shortly thereafter, the government determines – without any serious investigation – that the claims are bogus.  Back to business as usual.

Here is another such story, this time in Smithville, Texas.  July 27:

“The facility is closed indefinitely until we conduct a thorough investigation of the shelter and the allegations against the animal control officer,” said Tex Middlebrook, Smithville city manager. “There’s really no way to get all the answers we need without closing it. I want to know if the allegations are true.”

The complaints included shoddy record keeping, filthy kennels, flea and tick infestation, refusal to pay for vet care, shelter cats being shot in the woods and the ACO allowing organized dogfights to go on without interference.

Of course you and I have no idea if any of these allegations are true.  That’s what the “thorough investigation” is for.

August 12:

City will most likely re-open animal shelter:

“Regarding the issues at the shelter, the ladies that made the allegations have yet to forward me a list of complaints or allegations. So far, I have only found the failure to complete intake forms to be substantiated.” [ – Tex Middlebrook]

Besides the lack of a paper list of complaints (Heaven forfend!), the city points to a vet who made an “informal visit” to the shelter in 2009 and “found nothing alarming”.  So I guess that’s your thorough investigation.

Again, the public deserves better.  It’s not good enough to simply sweep taxpayer concerns under the rug while cashing taxpayer funded paychecks.  A thorough investigation was promised.  Was one conducted?  If so, the public has a right to know the details.

Perhaps the allegations are completely false, or maybe they are accurate, or possibly a mixed bag – I have no idea.  But if my taxes paid your salary and you promised my community you’d examine these claims, I’d certainly hold you to it.  Maybe Smithville thinks that because “it’s just animals”, no one will care.  I hope they are proven wrong.

2 thoughts on “A Thorough Investigation at TX Shelter

  1. Accountability. What ever happened to it? Is it just me or is accountability becoming a rarer thing these days? Maybe I’m just getting old…

  2. i agree with everything. but why in the heck didn’t those ladies just write down their complaints and hand them in as requested? they already complained, what’s one more step to maybe have an actual positive outcome- especially seeing as they were willing to close the shelter for the investigation

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