Another Oops Killing at Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C

In March, a NC man’s two Pitbulls got out of his fenced yard through a hole and were picked up by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control.  He fixed the fence and tried to redeem the dogs but animal control had “mistakenly” killed them.  They could not explain why.  Adding insult to injury,  CMPD-ACC then sent the owner a bill for $100.  Despite the promise of a full investigation, no such investigation or its results have ever been made public.  The devastated owner, Will Harlee, said at the time of the killings:

“I need to know why and who,” he said. “I want somebody to lose their job over this. I need an impression that this can’t happen to anybody else.”

Not only do we still not know who or why, but it happened again in September.  Another escaped Pitbull picked up by CMPD-ACC, another oops killing, and another distraught family:

On Sept. 16 the dog escaped the Moore family home. The family put up reward signs around their home in Wilmore. A couple of days went bye [sic]. The family then searched the shelter.

“We went to the pound, and that’s where we found her,” said Moore. “She was so happy, she jumped on the cage, and was like, ruff, ruff.”

Mecklenburg County Animal Care and Control requires reclaimed dogs to be spade [sic] or neutered and a chip implanted. When the Moore’s went to pick up “Lil Mama” three days later the dog was dead. The Moore’s said the person at the desk said the dog was accidentally put down.

The shelter issued a statement which says, in part:

“While a similar situation occurred earlier this year, it does not involve the same employee,” Animal Care and Control said in a statement. “We are currently conducting an internal investigation to determine the course of events that led to the dog’s euthanasia and whether disciplinary actions are warranted.”

Let’s all hold our breath until the internal investigation is complete, shall we?  Perhaps there’s a backlog of internal investigations going on at the shelter because in addition to the Harlee and Moore cases, we’re still waiting on the results of the playing-dress-up-with-drugged-cats investigation.  In the meantime, maybe someone on the shelter staff can pull a ferret out of her car for the TV news to distract us.  Ooh – furry!

20 thoughts on “Another Oops Killing at Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C

  1. This isn’t a shelter it’s a concentration camp! It needs to be shut down and all those people need to be fired. It would be better run by volunteers. Stupid uncaring idiot staff!!

  2. Makes you wonder if there isn’t a person working there who doesn’t like dogs and takes it upon themselves to pick and choose who to put down.

  3. I met the sweetest most precious most beautiful “boy pittie” the other day, my heart will never be the same. I fell in love

  4. I find the comments on the origial articles fascinating. (These too, but these are more “selective” because we all come here to read them.)
    There’s blame, and then there’s the “but I know these people and they LOVE animals.” There’s even the strong: “if you had to kill animals every day you’d resort to gallows humor too…”
    Can the No Kill Advocacy Center ship them a case of books for Christmas? I’ll pay for a copy!
    Oddly enough, I dreamt about this facility last night. I can’t remember specific details, but it was one of those crazy-maker dreams that the only solution is to just wake up.
    I empathize, but I’m also thinking the universe has resorted to buckets of cold water to try and wake up this bunch. Thanks for sharing.

    1. probably dreams about the strays cats and the sick cat ward. waiting to be cleaned up . is more important to clean the ones they care for! THE ADOPTION BINS. Like they call them. THE MONEY MAKERS! shame on them.

  5. Regardless of which officers were involved and the specific details of each event, this, combined with what we already knew, is an indicator of culture. This is a culture which says it’s ok to drug animals and pose them for your amusement (and no, I do not drug my dog and dress him up like Shrek). It’s a culture which says that it’s ok to just kill any animal you want because so many are gonna die anyway, what difference could one more make?

    I agree that it’s time to clean house. The funds being used to run this shop of horrors would be better spend outsourcing the operation and having it staffed by – wait for it – people who actually like animals and care about their wellbeing.

  6. Ok, I happened to pop back onto this thread and read your comment. Several times during this conversation, I interjected myself to beg people to stay to the facts, and only the facts to make their case. This line that your wrote:

    “…this, combined with what we already knew, is an indicator of culture. This is a culture which says it’s ok to drug animals and pose them for your amusement”

    You’ve got me. Dead hit center. What an excellent way to phrase the argument so as not to suggest that you know this went on or that went on or worse must have gone on… but simply that these pictures show an overall (culture is the perfect word, I think) culture of disrespect.

    If anyone who is involved in this project is still reading this, and planning on putting together an argument, I think that the one Brie has put forward is your winner.

    Excellent, Brie. Seriously.

  7. When they find the perps, charge with MURDER, convict and EXECUTE them then this nonsense will stop. Hold the murderous vermin accountable. Fire3 everyone involved, charge ALL with wanton animal cruelty. Those directly involved, charge, convict or murder and execute in the most painful and embarrassing way possible.

  8. WOW!!! I disagree with all of the killing of pitbulls just because of the name in the first place!!! Then they are talking about using gas instead of injection. It is cruel!!! They need to find out who euthanized the dogs and prosecute them as soon as possible. It doesn’t take that long to do an internal investigation!

  9. So when a Pit Bull is euthanized is it always considered a mistake? The only reason why there are so many Pit Bulls euthanized is because of the name they carry. If every breed was euthanized because of what is associated with their name, we would have NO dogs! Pit Bulls are what their owner’s make them. They are sweet, loyal and compassionate animals that deserve more respect. If this had been a different breed, lets say a Golden Retriever.. would it have still been considered a mistake and made the news? Charlotte Mecklenburg AC needs to take responsibility for their “mistake” and take the appropriate actions to correct the problem. Maybe that should have been done when the first “mistake” happened. How many “mistakes” does it take before something is done?

    1. It’s a crying shame the stigma that is place on the breed. Something needs to be done to stop this and give the Pitbulls the respect they deserve! For Christ Sake! Pitbulls were used in WWII as messenger dogs and saved the lives of many G.I.’s on the Battlefield!! and this is the thanks the breed gets just because of some Irresponsible owners that screwed up their reputation by breeding them to fight and as drug house security dogs? SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE !! AND I MEAN NOW!!

      1. There’s a group “out there” called Stubby Dog which I understand plans to take on the issue. I really don’t know much about it other than the fact that Michael Mountain is involved. Just how the group plans to help our society regain our collective sanity while shutting down the media’s role in the perception of these breeds is the big question.

        My personal opinion is that this changes in small doses through personal experiences. When people get the chance to learn more about the breeds we call pit bulls, the myths are dispelled and they get to meet actual dogs, they can then say, “my personal experience is different and I know better now. The only risk I had in dealing with that dog is that he was gonna leave slobber all over me or almost knock me down because her tail was wagging so hard.” Then those people become the voice of reason in a sea of misinformation.

      2. The sea of misinformation in this case is perpetuated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter as they deem all Pitbulls as “unadoptable” to the public (due to city ordinance). This sends the wrong message to the community. Instead of evaluating dogs as individuals, they punish the entire breed (which “Pitbull” is a loose term encompassing many bully type dogs).

  10. FYI….Char-Meck Animal Care & Control does NOT use a gas chamber, they use “Fatal-Plus” although I have personally witnessed heart-sticking. Just want to make sure the facts and comments stay correct.

  11. This link

    attempts to clarify why The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control will not adopt PitBull & PitBull Mixes.

    “To change the policy about not adopting out pit bulls, the department would need city council approval and extra staff. But before it even got that far, they’d want to hear from the public because they realize some people might be very opposed.”

    Negativity begets negativity. What about those of us who are NOT opposed to saving PitBull??

    According to this document,

    Melissa Knicely (interviewed in the WSOC link) is employed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control Division as the Public Information Specialist. She can be reached at 704-336-3627 or If lowering overall dog euthanasia rates means changing policy to allow PitBull adoptions then clearly someone within Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control Division should have addressed City Council within the year + since this WSOC story aired. The Public Information Specialist Melissa Knicely should be able to address any questions and/or concerns, but she remains silent on this and so many other issues related to CMPD AC&C.

  12. This entire incident and all the media coverage of the whole pit bull “epidemic” in this area reminds me of how my city shelter USE to be. Even now they are still killed darn near 80% of all pits that enter their doors…BUT they are making some of the pit type dogs available for adoptions now.

    To see change occur it needs to begin with the media. Did you realize how many stories are out there of fatal dog attacks by lab mixes or rotts or just plain mutts that barely make news coverage – let alone get even 1/4 the coverage of any attack that includes a “pit bull”….and MANY cases of attacks are incorrectly labeled as pit bulls when in fact it is a different breed altogether – but NEVER are there retractions made on those stories – leaving the general public to believe these are pit attacks.

    Stopping dog fighting, along with those we tend to call backyard breeders – and promoting the good pits needs to occur more often. We need people “on the ground” going around in high risk areas actually bonding with people that tend to have pit bulls types dogs and give them the education they need to train and care for their dogs properly. I am not one for mandatory spay & neuter laws but I think that given teh amount of pits that are killed on a yearly basis at ALL shelters gives us a glimpse at just how many pit bull type dogs there are. Education is key to stopping the needless killing.

    I have found that the best approach is to actually take these people to the shelters and SHOW them the dogs and where they end up. Maybe have them sit through a few euthansia sessions where they can see what happens to their cute little puppies when people decide they no long want them. Show them the results fo dog fighting. Show them the results of pit bull attacks. Then give them the information that they need so they can be good owners of the breed. For every person we reach – they in turn can pass along the information – or direct more people on where to go for help. Maybe it starts with just having a mobile pit unit that passes out food, give cheap/free vaccines…and works on establishing good relationships to get our feet in the door, so to speak – and then build it up from there.

    I know that many of the people that tend to get pits do it because it is like a status symbol. And sadly – these are the same “types” that tend to fight their dogs – maybe if we look at alternatives like weight pulling competition – or even agility (I know so many pits that are great at agility). We need alternatives for them to use instead of dog fighting that would be beneficial to the dogs AND help show that these dogs are not evil creatures. They have gameness, which can be used for other activities like agility and weight pulling that would enabel to dog to be stimulated and still show what a “bad ass” dog these guys have – only it will be in the form of blue ribbons & trophies instead of scars and death.

    But we need to start changing perceptions about the breed. That needs to start with BSL laws – they need abolished & we need to start going after the owners and deciding who vicious dogs are based on the dogs behavior – not their breed. Then we need to get the shelters to change their stance on pits. As long as we have those who are considered “experts” down playing this breed as being a good house pet – then the general public has nothing other than that to go by.

    We still have vets that tell people that pit bull types dogs have jaws that lock! Even after all the work that has been done to disprove this. So it isn’t just the media and the shelters – it’s everywhere. It makes me mad & sad at the same time. These dogs don’t deserve this – and the people need to actually realize that ANY dog is capable of biting – and in some cases – killing. Unforunately it is obviously far easier to say it’s all pit bulls and they need to die so that our world is a safer place.

    These dogs have saved our soldiers butts in WW II – they have been owned by people like Helen Keller and Presidents. They have been used as brand dogs for places liek Buster Brown Shoe Company and RCA. People obviously dont’ realize the history of this misunderstood breed…..

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