Abuse Allegations at Town Shelter in Hempstead, NY

I appreciate that shelter volunteers and co-workers are in a difficult position when it comes to reporting animal neglect and abuse within the shelter.  One person may witness another kicking a pet for example, but feel helpless to do anything about it for fear of being marked as a “troublemaker” and possibly retaliated against by being fired.  Caring volunteers and staff further fear that if they are ousted, the only people left at the shelter will be the abusers and the pets will suffer even more.

But even if we grant how challenging and complicated it might be to report shelter abuse in some cases, is there some point where you draw the line?  Is there some action that, when witnessed, leaves no doubt in your mind that this incident must be immediately reported, regardless of the consequences?

How about a shelter employee who gets angry at a puppy and kills him with bleach?  To my mind, I’m thinking that would be one of those I’m reporting you to the shelter supervisor and if that person fails to take immediate action to remove you from having access to pets, I’m dialing 911 type of incidents.

Bleaching a puppy to death is just one of the allegations made by volunteers – now banned – at the Hempstead Animal Shelter in NY.  (Also the inspiration for my chicken pluckers post yesterday.)  The volunteers claimed at a recent town board meeting to have witnessed additional abuse, including:

  • Shelter staff beating pets
  • Leaving pets to suffer and die in their cages
  • Dogs who were kicked, hung by leashes
  • Emaciated dogs left to lay in blood and feces in their cages
  • Needless killing of shelter pets

The Town Supervisor is Kate Murray:

“Quite frankly, this is the first I’ve heard of these (abuse) allegations,” Murray told reporters.  “I am in the shelter quite often and have never seen anything like that. But we take the allegations seriously and will investigate them.”

Any of that sound comforting to you?  Me either.

The Nassau Co DA has launched a criminal probe of an administrative nature into the shelter but given these never-heard-before-and-totally-surprising abuse allegations:

[…] Town Supervisor Kate Murray said the probe may have to be expanded to investigate these allegations.

May.  We’re not sure if an allegation of a worker killing a puppy by means of a caustic chemical agent really qualifies as criminal.  We need to take some time to weigh the pros and cons of death by bleach ingestion.  This matter can’t be decided hastily – unlike the ousting of the volunteers, which was totally cut and dried obvious.  But don’t worry, we’ve got it all under control and we promise to police ourselves.  And by the way, can you folks donate some of the items on our shelter wish list?  We’re low on bleach.  kthx.

13 thoughts on “Abuse Allegations at Town Shelter in Hempstead, NY

  1. This is depressing and infuriating and scary all at the same time. What are we dealing with here….people so walled off from simple compassion that they barely function as human beings ?!

  2. What is wrong with these sick people, What could a PUPPY do to have something like this happen, for godsake thay are put in a shelter for protection,
    not for some ass**** like “Mona” to bleach a puppy..

  3. There’s an old saying that goes, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach.” I think we can add a third part, “…Those can’t teach, get a government job.”

    The motto of these government officials seems to be WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, AIM LOWER.

    Taxpayers of Hempstead that’s your tax money hard at work. Good job, Kate Murray. Time for lunch yet?

  4. What is wrong with these sick people, What could a PUPPY do to have something like this happen, for godsake they are put in a shelter for protection,
    not for some ass**** like “Mona” to bleach a puppy..

  5. Who would have thought that going through a lot of bleach could be a sign of criminal action? Sorta makes me want to find animals with dirty kennels…this must be more of that kindness killing. Which, I’m thinking, relates somehow to throwing the baby out with the bath water or washing puppies down the drain.
    I’m taking in EIGHT sled dog puppies today. They’re 11 and 12 weeks old and have never been vaccinated. My vet suggested that I allow Animal Control to do their job and take them, but, well, I just can’t do that today. Maybe I’m a sicko? Our Animal Control is way better than most of the places you write about here…but still. Death is death, and I’m not ready to relinquish the choice. The people (there have been several of them) who are responsible for these puppies have been trying to give them away and that hasn’t been going so well for them. (Wrong time of year for racing sled dog puppies…) And besides, if they DO give them away, then the cycle just fires right back up again, times EIGHT! (The breeder kept four out of one litter, the other breeder kept two…eight is what was left apparently.) They’re coming to me because I took some puppies from a third guy last year.
    This will be a LOT of work. And my vet and sponsor is slammed, so I’ll be going door-to-door at other vet clinics to see if I can get “a deal” on getting these pups altered for cheap. But first I need to get them vaccinated. I refused to take the runty female that is sick. They’re keeping her with her mom in hopes that she’ll get better. Am I a bad person for not accepting the sick puppy?! Oh my.
    Methinks the dogs aren’t the only ones that need rescue.
    Thanks for listening.

    1. If anybody cares, they only brought me five puppies, and they’d already been vaccinated once. Yea! The little sick female had already died. There was a litter of ten and a litter of nine. Breeder kept 6, rehomed one, two died, and I have one. Other breeder kept two, rehomed two, one died, and I have four.

  6. The only thing I’m more sick of than animal abusers are the sick SOBs that protect them.

    There needs to be some kind of National group that will provide whistleblowers with the knowledge and equipment necessary to catch the illegal acts on film so that there is no deniability.

    There should also be national protection for whistleblowers in all shelter systems. This is getting just plain ridiculous.

  7. Sounds like Michael Vick is their “shelter” director.

    If that’s “shelter”, the pets are better off with any “shelter” thank you very much.

  8. MEANT TO SAY: If that’s “shelter”, the pets are better off withOUT any “shelter” thank you very much.

  9. those people who kill animals for no reason should be put in jail they know when kate murray is coming to visit so everyone is on good behavior retired govt

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