Overwhelmed? Here, Let Us Help…

Charlotte resident Demetred Norman reportedly became financially overwhelmed in trying to provide proper care for his 13 Pitbulls.  A neighbor put in a call to Charlotte-Mecklenburg AC & C and ACOs showed up at the home on Monday.  Mr. Norman surrendered the dogs to AC & C which has a policy prohibiting the adoption of Pitbulls to the public.  Char-Meck AC & C spokesman Melissa Knicely gave an interview to a local news station:

Some of the dogs, she said, were underweight but not starving. Many were suffering from intestinal worms, and most, if not all, had severe heartworms.

Char-Meck killed all 13 of the dogs.  But if we are to believe the above quote, they killed them only after performing a number of blood and fecal tests which resulted in determining treatable conditions.  It seems an odd use of resources for dogs they apparently had no plans to treat.  And another thing:

All of the dogs were euthanized. If that may seem like a quick decision, officers say there is literally no place to put pit bulls in this county.

The majority of dogs found at the stray shelters are pit bulls. They can’t be put up for adoption, leaving rescue groups as the only option.

“The bottom line is that those rescue groups are taxed with pit bulls too because it’s such a popular breed,” Knicely says.

How many rescue groups were contacted before the decision was made to kill all the dogs?  Because it sure seems that the killings happened very soon after the dogs arrived.  Coordinating rescue and transport for 13 Pitbulls would take time I would think.

Since only some of the dogs were underweight, couldn’t they have tried a slightly less radical approach than killing all 13 immediately?  I’m thinking something along the lines of the Give Them Something to Eat While We Network with Area Rescues approach.  In addition, maybe the owner could have kept one or two or some number that he could afford to properly care for.  Or perhaps donated food could have been brought to the home and the dogs “sheltered in place” while rescue was arranged.  Why the rush to take all the dogs away to the kill room?  Where is the CARE in the Animal Care & Control?

“Every time I walked back there, their tails were wagging, they were happy,” Norman says.

Norman didn’t know his dogs had been put down until NewsChannel 36 told him.

Stay classy, Char-Meck.

62 thoughts on “Overwhelmed? Here, Let Us Help…

  1. Good post.

    If they have too many pit bulls in this area maybe they should run some special spay and neuter events where they pay people money to fix there pit bulls.

    Also maybe consider some new laws, like no street selling of animals and no animal sells of dogs and cats in pet stores.

  2. And do you think that he would have surrendered them if he had known that they would all be killed? Of course not. He thought he was giving them a chance at new homes.

    There was apparently zero intention of trying to move these dogs to rescue. They were looking for excuses when they ran blood work (apparently “they were too aggressive” wasn’t going to fly with this group, so they had to go with “sick”), nothing more.

    Anyone else think it odd that they took ALL the dogs? What did they tell him when they showed up to get him to surrender every single animal? Something’s not right there, too…

  3. Wow, I totally screwed up there… and read the comments. Now that I’ve awoken from bashing my head against the wall, maybe I’ll remember not to do that anymore.

    I’m not sure that the story as reported is totally factual. This owner could be totally innocent of anything, or actively abusing these dogs. This shelter could really think they did the best thing, or just wanted to kill off some of ‘dem bad pit dogs’. What I do know is that 13 dogs were needlessly killed, and that is sad.

  4. There are similar stories going on in Houston. Recently, a breeder wanted to stop. She’d had some medical problems/financial problems and couldn’t afford to s/n the animals. She asked for help from some of the “shelters” in s/n and placing these animals, but no one would help her.

    Then the “shelter” decides to do a “raid” complete with medica and helicopters. Friends, neighbors and witnesses who went to her house are saying that this woman’s animals appeared to be healthy and well cared for, but yet these animals were “confiscated” and taken to an already overcrowded, HIGH KILL shelter (86%-89% kill rate).

    This is a woman who was spending her last dime to try to care for these animals and realized she was in over her head. She asked for help from our “shelter” system but received none.

    Then her animals (who were in no immediate danger) were confiscated & taken to a HIGH KILL shelter where there is a high probability that they will be killed (or that other animals were killed to make space for them). Now she is being prosecuted.

    How many other people, who realize they are in over their heads, will ask for help now? What kind of justice (and waste of tax dollars) is this to prosecute someone who had been asking for help?

    There are a series of articles regarding this case. Here is one of them: http://www.examiner.com/pets-in-houston/hearing-scheduled-for-champions-area-breeder#comment-13979726

    1. That is beyond crazy. Let’s hope that she has a good attorney and can get the charges dropped – especially considering that she was asking for help and they chose to “raid” her instead.

  5. As a pit rescuer I have too many times seen situations just like this…one person trying to save them all and as a result they get in over their head. I am sure this person knew that the local “shelter” would kill the pits and was doing what he could to keep them alive at least. It is a sad reailty that too many places across the US have banned pits – or shall we say pit types, because if we were honest they probably weren’t all true “pit bulls” but more likely American Staffordshire or Staffordshire Terriers or a nice blend of different breeds that contain the “pit bull” look.

    I am sure the standard line of ‘they weren’t cared for properly and not human friendly’ wouldn’t work in this situation so they did a few tests – which seem extensive given the fact that the were going to be killed anyways from the sound of things.

    My question is – do they have to keep records of each dog taken and tests performed and does the public have access to that information? I would love to get my hands on any paperwork associated with those dogs because if they are like shelters around me – they start a file on each dog they take in and record everything they do to said dog…down to killing them and filing the file away for good with a nice big red “KILL” stamped on the front of the folder. Given the fact that the intestinal and heartworms are both treatable…did they just do that tests so they would have a reason to kill the dogs? The entire situation sounds fishy to me. I wonder if they really did do testing at all or if they are just saying they did to keep people from getting upset?!?!?

    I completely agree that the best option would’ve been to offer food, and possibly vet care for the dogs – in the home they were already at – and arrange for rescues to pick up the dogs they can and then deal with the ones that don’t get picked up. I’m sure that he probably could’ve kept at least 1 if not 2 of the dogs. We’ve done similar things here when we’ve run into this before. When you have all your fosters full and need to place the animals sometimes it is easiest to keep them where they are and provide the food & care they need while trying to place them. I’d like to know why they chose to handle this by taking them all and killing them within a day or so. Honestly – if I were to guess it would be the whole idea of pits being vicious dogs and since their shelters are already overflowing with pit type dogs they decided that since these were technically owner surrendered that means that instead of having to go through a holding period – they could instantly kill them.

    Do we have a statement from Demetred Norman? Since he willingly surrendered the dogs I have to assume that he was under the impression that the dogs would be placed in homes not killed. To hear from a media outlet about what happened I can only assume that he is probably quite upset right now – I sure as hell would be if I had gone to great lengths to try and save the dogs only to find that they ended up dead anyways – due to their breed. I honestly don’t buy into the testing happening at all and think that it was a cop-out the shelter used to excuse the killing.

    I am not aware of how this shelter operates, and while I do admit that too many times there is an over abundance of pits in shelters…I don’t understand why these places aren’t working with rescues!

    Two things I found in the link to the news article:

    1)”The ailing dogs were euthanized because county policy prohibits pit bulls from being adopted by the public, Knicely said, and rescue groups are already overwhelmed and can’t afford costly medical care.”

    I don’t understand how they could say that when it doesn’t appear they spent ANY time trying to contact rescues. We have a pit rescue here in Ohio – Measles Animal Haven that has driven across the country trying to pull pits to place in foster homes until they can be adopted…especially in some of the southern states. As for the public policy refusing to adopt out pits – that is outdated type policy that I honestly feel they need to revisit BUT since it hasn’t been they should have spent more time trying to find rescues to take them. They weren’t human aggressive or aggressive to other dogs and since they were treatable that would’ve been the best route to take.

    2) “Says Knicely: “The last thing you want to do when someone is losing their job or home is for them to have to give up their pet, too.”

    Yet, that is what they did. This guy admitted to being able to feed them but not provide for costly medical care. Does this shelter (or area) have low cost vet care available to their residents? I know that there are humane societies around the country that keep a full time vet on staff that will see people’s pets if they can’t afford vet care and they charge 1/3 of the price of most vets. If the shelter is saying that the worst thing they can do is to remove people’s pets as a result of the economy then when didn’t they work with him to give him resources to utilize to have the vet care needed for the dogs.

    There has to be more to the story than what they are telling. Given the fact that they don’t place pits due to public policy then I don’t understand why they bothered to spend the money to test them for worms. Because if policy is that no pits can be placed then that means every single pit or pit type dog that enters the doors will be leaving dead – especially if they aren’t working with rescues. Does this shelter have a history of working with rescues? Or is it another shelter that only works with one specific rescue and given the amount of pits they just choose not to bother saving any of them? I think this situation needs to be looked into more. If anyone can answer any of my questions I would be forever grateful. It is hard for me to wrap my brain around this situation.

    RIP poor doggies…..

  6. Nope, not odd at all – the testing of the dogs prior to their destruction, I mean.

    Given the condition the dogs were found in, the ACOs find themselves in a position where neglect charges may follow – it doesn’t sound as if the owner reached out for help but rather a neighbour became concerned and contacted authorities.

    If charges were a possibility, full veterinary exams would have been performed on all dogs prior to their death, and possibly autopsies depending on the standard process in that particular location.

    With the public attention to this situation, it will be interesting to see if it pushes the ACOs towards or away from pressing charges against the original owner – whether they will do a “duck and cover” and hope the dust settles quickly or whether they will press charges now in an effort to prove they were warranted in removing the animals. Frankly, it sounds like they were.

    “The last thing you want to do when someone is losing their job or home is for them to have to give up their pet, too.”

    While I do agree with this statement in principle, the reality of the situation is that I know as a pet owner – The last thing *I* would want to do if I lost my job more or my home is to cause my pet(s) suffering of any kind.

    We’ve had to cut back across the board just like everyone else has. I went from full time work in a job that provided me free pet supplies to training dogs a few hours a week – at the same time my husband changed careers. We have three dogs, two cats, two parrots and whatever rescues happen to be here. And I would adopt them out in a heartbeat if it came to the point where we could not care for them properly or if I knew that we were approaching that point.

    What I would NOT do is wait until things got so bad that a passerby noted eight “sickly” looking dogs in my backyard.

    Should the dogs have been killed? That’s another question entirely – but at the same time I think we’re all going a little too easy on the root cause of the problem. The owner, who foolishly took on more than a dozen large, active, high metabolism dogs with no hope of being able to properly care for them – food and vet care does not a responsible pet owner make, and the amount of time and energy required to keep this number of animals mentally stimulated and physically exercised is more than 99.9% of pet owners are capable of, myself included.

    I don’t think there’s an individual here who would take on 13 large breed dogs. Why? Because we have a sense of responsibility, a little voice in our heads that says “bad idea!”

    Is the shelter policy draconian and just plain stupid? Yup. But let’s not all weep for the hoarder who put these dogs in this position to begin with. Yeah, I said the “H” word…

    Dr. Khuly over on Fully Vetted recently did a column regarding just what constitutes a hoarder, and I know we’ve discussed it here numerous times. After much study, discussion and debate I’ve come to the realization that identifying hoarding is best described by Justice Potter trying to identify what the court would consider “obscene.”

    “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced…[b]ut I know it when I see it…”

    1. I’d be shocked if anyone, anywhere could make cruelty charges stick on grounds of heartworms and intestinal parasites.

      Re: “The owner, who foolishly took on more than a dozen large, active, high metabolism dogs with no hope of being able to properly care for them…”

      I don’t know if the owner took on 13 dogs w/no hope of being able to properly care for them. It could be – and this is pure speculation – that he started out with a couple, got a couple more, added another here and there – all the while being capable of caring for them. Then perhaps things started to go downhill financially for him, he became overwhelmed and didn’t want to call AC & C for help since they don’t adopt out Pitbulls.

      1. I will try to say this as nice as I possibly can……multiple chained PB in a backyard in the south = back yard breeder….feel sorry for him if you want but please stop smoking what ever it is you are smoking and check back in to reality. This is one BYB story out of the 1000`s that this shelter checks out on a regular basis. BTW, they have free pit bull spay/neuter programs, work with hundreds of rescues and hold free YES free rabies/spay/neuter clinics every month for county residents. aslo have a micro chipping program….if anyone has a magic pill that can fix the over populations problems which “your Boy” was contributing to, please shoot them an email.

    2. Kim, I’m pretty sure you’d consider me a hoarder. (Although my vet says if I think I might be, that’s a really good sign that I’m not.) I have 25 large breed dogs—17 are foster dogs available for adoption.
      I’m not doing right by them. I’ve lost my enthusiasm for dog mushing and they aren’t getting enough exercise. They aren’t starving. Many are really old, I’m thinking I could/should have a couple of them euthanized, but it’s such a difficult choice that I keep putting it off.
      I could have 50 more dogs! I get calls all the time.
      I’ve asked Animal Control for help. No response yet. My vet helps a LOT (when I move I will have to thin the flock considerably because I simply cannot afford what most vets charge…although I’ve lost five old dogs in 2010 and I’m likely to lose that many again this year.)
      I’m thinking I might relinquish the five five-month old puppies to Animal Control. If they won’t help me feed them, then I can’t afford to have them. Although our “shelter” is full to capacity…young dogs are more likely to get out alive. Sled dogs are like Pit Bulls, there are LOTS of them around here. (Although there are a lot of pittie-type dogs at our Animal Control here too.)
      Thanks for the link to Dr. Khuly’s blog…I read it and it helped. I’m struggling with this issue.
      Don’t weep for me either, but I can and do weep for MY dogs, and the dogs of every other person I know who loves too many and can’t figure out who to kill to fix the problem. (Because killing is how our society chooses to deal with this situation…in spite of all the URGENT–SAVE THIS DOG posts!)
      Animal Control villifies the hoarder, the hoarder villifies Animal Control, and the critters die (or get lost/neglected)in the middle.
      Let’s arrest the guy because he was having trouble…that’ll help, right? Bonus points for me, there are no fleas or ticks or heartworms in Alaska…yay! But I might go out to find a 13 year old husky frozen in death in one of my pens. I worry that since I asked for help that Animal Control will be out to *raid* me…will they take them all? I am caring for everybody, but it’s difficult and it’s not the best care. If they take them all, I’ll be suicidal. Even if they found loving homes for them all (which they can’t, as I’ve had some of these foster dogs for YEARS and nobody has adopted them!) In my own defense, I’ve probably adopted out several hundred dogs over the past few years, so it’s not like I’m unwilling to let them go. I need to do a better job of promoting what I have available. But when you’re feeling overwhelmed, promotion is difficult. I’ll work on that. Thanks for sharing.

      1. How about submitting the ones available for adoption as Shelter Pets of the Day, Lynn? I know Alaska is a remote area but – you never know. How else can we help?

      2. Are any of these Siberian or Alaskan huskies? Are you on Sibernet? There may be people there who can help–including some in Alaska. I’d be happy to post a message for you there if that would help.

      3. Like I said before, it’s similar to obscenity – you know it when you see it.

        Are you a hoarder…

        I don’t know, are you? I certainly had no opinion one way or the other.

        “I’m not doing right by them.”

        Doesn’t sound like hoarding mentality.

        “In my own defense, I’ve probably adopted out several hundred dogs over the past few years, so it’s not like I’m unwilling to let them go.”

        Definitely not average hoarding mentality.

        However, there are always exceptions to the rule.

        I for one, would not begrudge you a frozen 13 year old husky. We both know that’s a great age for the breed, and that of all the breeds this breed is built for and thrives in an Alaska-type environment.

        Now, if I walked past your house and saw eight of your dogs out back, each chained to a little house, all of them looking slack and sickly and thin, we may have another opinion.

        I take in “special needs” guys and one thing I’ve always made sure of is before they enter my home they are photographed, their condition detailed, and their arrival is “witnessed” by my neighbour. My little “just in case” we ever got in our own hot water over the number of dogs in our home or if someone followed me after one of our walks – wow the looks you get walking an obvious abuse case down the road after a rescue… I’ve had people pull over and literally threaten me, and I’ve had to explain that it wasn’t ME who caused the dog’s condition. Rather than being negative, I look at this as a positive sign of a broadening awareness of animal welfare issues. :O)

        My point is, I don’t think that abuse or neglect should be overlooked FOR ANY REASON. People who have too many children should get away with neglect and abuse if their financial situation changes for the worse? I don’t think that this is ok for a pet owner with a SINGLE pet, let alone someone who has chosen to bring multiple dogs into their life.

        Do raids happen that shouldn’t? Yes they do. Do we need a better system in place to ensure that these “junk” raids doesn’t happen? Yes we do. We also need a better system of recourse for those who are accused of neglect and/or cruelty who are acquitted. These people are often left with massive bills – even if they could afford their animals before, after a raid it’s rare they can afford to get them out of the system (it seems that judges have been steadily granting fees and charges to the organizations who hold these “evidence” dogs, even when they are the same organizations who performed an illegal/botched raid in the first place, and instead leaving the issue for civil courts to deal with – this needs to end, NOW – if you are found not guilty you should not be responsible for the costs of your trial).

        My bottom line is that while I don’t think your behaviour constitutes classic hoarding behaviour, I can see why you are concerned. One has to wonder why even the most ambitious person would take on 25 large breed dogs single handedly – in Alaska of all places, and should I read a newspaper article tomorrow about dogs suffering in your care without medical attention I’ll be the first to step up and say that you caused the situation to occur by amassing more animals than any one person could reasonably hope to deal with given your projected income and the adoption issues (logistically, even) that come with being in a place like Alaska.

        If it’s proven that dogs were suffering in your care, then I would hope you would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        I don’t believe that just because someone’s intentions are good, their actions can be dismissed. Their actions, your actions and my actions, AFFECT the animals who live with us. When this effect causes suffering, I believe the laws that are in place to stop that suffering (and to provide punishment for those who cause it) should be followed.

        I don’t care if you’re a rescue, a shelter, an AC, a breeder, a hoarder or just a pet owner.

        And before anyone jumps on me – there is a big difference between an animal suffering (for example, a dog with hip dysplasia is generally going to be in discomfort, even with basic treatment, as it will always have hip dysplasia unless surgery is applied to correct it) and a human causing an animal to suffer (failing to feed it, forcing it to live in unsanitary or solitary conditions, failing to provide basic medical care, etc).

  7. Enough of the self-righteous “Well I would have sold my first born to care for MY dogs”. What exactly is the point? So you can feel superior? Don’t PRETEND you know one iota what this man was going thru. It doesn’t matter. The point is the “shelter” and/or Animal “Care” and Control systems in this country are too often nothing more than slaugherhouses. The shelter won’t adopt out pit bulls – do you really need anymore evidence of who we should direct our ire on?

  8. I don’t agree with killing dogs or discriminating against a certain breed. But for anyone to say that this guy should have been able to keep some of his dogs I say “what the hell are you thinking??” You don’t know him, or his situation, from Joe Schmoe – less likely than him being a rescue, is that he is a dog fighter or a breeder. He didn’t give a damn about the dogs which is why he didn’t care for them and signed them off to such a high kill shelter with a no adopt pit bull policy in the first place. Really, I know you hate the shelter system and want to attack it at every opportunity but please – put your thinking caps on. I also challenge you – pick 13 pit bulls from shelters and try to find a rescue to take them. I’ll bet you get close to 0 saved. Seriously. Try it. I have. Not 13 at one time but just 1. There are hundreds of beautiful, loving pits put down every day. It’s a damn shame. This “shelter” has a lot of work to do to even begin to call itself a shelter, but really, THINK.

    1. You are right Jen, we don’t know the owner. Maybe he was a breeder (gasp!) or a dogfighter or a Republican. If he was incapable of caring for one or two dogs, obviously he shouldn’t have them but it would seem as if he is capable since the primary complaint was that SOME were underweight. Parasite control is part of responsible dog ownership and provided he could keep that up for one dog, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be allowed to have one.

      1. NONE should have been underweight. NONE should have had parasites. NONE should have had heartworm. The fact remains he was not caring for these dogs! People who can not care for them, should not have them. If he was breeding, he shouldn’t have been because he couldn’t care for them and they are now dead. (GASP!) So you think it’s ok for someone who can’t take care of them to have them? That’s sad. The shelters can obviously do better but a negligent person should not be in possesion of them. There’s a few dogs here that could use some help. All those screaming to save the dogs (and I’m one of them) get your butts in gear and find these babies safety. I’ve been trying for weeks. Let’s see if anyone else can do any better – http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=192775174071544#!/note.php?note_id=192775174071544&id=111759828785 If you can’t you really shouldn’t be saying too much.

      2. Sorry to go a bit off topic, but what does being a “Republican” have to do with anything? Why would you group that together with being a breeder or a dog fighter? Am I missing something?

      3. Lot’s of people would say my smooth coat border collie is underweight, even though I and my vet consider her very healthy.

        She also had worms and fleas in various times in her life. I guess she’d be better off confiscated and dead?

  9. Nice of you to make gasp and Republican jokes after 13 dogs lost their lives. They ultimately lost their lives because of this guy. And you joke about it? I’ve lost a lot of respect for you on this one…Responsible breeding would have been one thing but when 13 dogs are dead because of it…Not saying that was what he was doing but for you to joke about it…I don’t know man…

    1. Can we all agree that none of us actually know this guy who owned these 13 dogs?
      Those 13 dogs lost their lives because somebody (other than this guy) killed them. I’m assuming it was all legal like and that he signed them over, so yes, he is ultimately responsible. (So lets arrest him now too…or label him a hoarder or an animal abuser so he can’t ever have another dog!?!) But if he was the breeder, NONE of them would have lived AT ALL if it hadn’t been for him! Thirteen dogs were alive when he was in charge. And they were rumored to be wagging their tails right up until they were dead.
      Maybe he’s a collector. Maybe he *saved* them…
      Apparently he didn’t ask for help but was *reported* by somebody else?
      Jen, if you come see some of my rescues I can bet you’ll be horrified. Some are thin. Some are old. Some are anti-social. Some are available for adoption. Some are not.
      But I’ll fight long and hard for my right to choose if/when I give ANY of them up, and your assumption that he’s a bad person really pisses me off.
      There is only one dog on my property that I actually bred (that sounds weird/kinky, but I hope you get my gist…) She’s eight years old. Her mother died a few years ago, her father and grandmother died in 2010. Her brother has been adopted (and returned) several times and is currently living happily down the road. Do I love her more/less than any of my other dogs? Do parents love an adopted child more or less than a genetically related child? Dunno, not really.
      If we’re waiting for every adopter to be perfect, well, we’d best keep murdering dogs. Because not everybody can keep every pet at a perfect weight, or without fleas or ticks, and nobody will stay in rescue if they’re held liable for any dog that has worms or other medical issues!
      We’re not supposed to just save the easy ones. Therefore SOMEBODY has to pitch in and help with the problem dogs. (Which probably includes pitbulls in a community where they are banned!)
      Yes this *shelter* screwed up. No, this person wasn’t perfect…but I can sure identify with this story.

      1. LynnO – This wasn’t a matter of the dogs having fleas or ticks. This was a matter of dogs being underweight and many of them having SEVERE heartworm. And other worms. You think that is a good owner? You’d give your “resues” to someone like that? He’s not perfect? Are you kidding me? He has 13 dying dogs in his yard and he should be allowed to have them? He’s not perfect? That would be funny if it weren’t so damn tragic. As for the dogs wagging their tails – how many rescues have you actually saved? You do realize that most dogs saved from negligent owners will wag their tails when someone approaches them, right? It doesn’t mean they are in a good situation. It means they are happy someone is there, that someone may give them food or a pat on the head. The fact remains these dogs are dead because of this man and his actions or lack thereof. The shelter didn’t allow these dogs to get severe heartworms, other parasites and not get fed enough. This man did it. And only him. And then he signs them over to a kill shelter that doesn’t allow pit adoptions. Wonderful guy. Please don’t tell me about your starving, unsocialized dogs…I unfortunately know all about them. And I know that there are not enough rescues to save them all. This “shelter” could have done better, I don’t disagree. These dogs should have been given a chance…but the likelyhood that they would have found homes is, sad to say, very slim. BTW what is the name of your rescue? I’ll be sure to never let any dog I’m attempting to save go to you. A rescue who breeds dogs that there are too many of and who thinks it’s ok for dogs to be kept in the conditions this man kept them in…Hm..Rescue? I think not. My thoughts are with the dogs you’ve “rescued”.

      2. Jen, having lived in Alaska all of my adult life, and not owning a dog until I came here, no, I don’t know much about heartworms.
        I know about intestinal worms. I’ve had lots of dogs that have had them, and I’ve worked to prevent and remove them.
        I have several dogs that came to me *thin* I had an AKC judge tell me I should put a few pounds on my basset hound…(I thought she was the only one on the grounds that wasn’t fat!) I also see posters at the vet office that shows the various levels of body condition and have seen for myself that the majority of pets in this country are overweight. As a dog musher I hear ignorant and unaware people call sled dogs *starving* or *abused* quite often, and I know first hand the difference between underweight and starving. (Not because I starve my dogs, but because I have taken in starved dogs and rehabilitated them.)
        I live in Alaska, this guy doesn’t want dogs from me. But there are plenty of people up here that are perhaps in his realm of reality, and yes, I would allow them to adopt from me. You’d rather the 13 dogs were dead?!? You’d rather those dogs you’re so urgently trying to place be killed than go to this guy, or some other *less-than-perfect* home? No wonder you’re having trouble finding homes! The perfect people are looking for perfect dogs! (IMO) I try to help people and dogs meet somewhere in the middle.
        All of us, dogs and humans are going to die–there is no avoiding that, eventually. How much longer could those 13 dogs have lived? We’ll never know because some Animal Control official took that option off the table.
        I was flummoxed when a local vet adopted a shelter cat, did an exam and discovered that the cat had a heart murmur, and so they gave the cat back to Animal Control to be killed! Shelter volunteers fostered the cat. He lived for many years. He was actually a rather temperamental cat…but he didn’t deserve to be murdered because he had a health condition that was risky. Death is unfixable. Firing people won’t fix it. Arresting this guy, black listing him, or otherwise persecuting or prosecuting him won’t fix it. And it might mean that one more potential home for one, or two, or three other *unwanted* dogs is taken out of play. But you can bet that this guy will find and get more dogs…but now he’ll be more secretive about it. Why should he ask for help? Why would he want to learn a better way? I sure don’t want YOU teaching me!
        I know that a couple of doses of strongid or panacur can clear up a lot of intestinal worms, and dogs that are free of worms often put on weight pretty quick. I know I have donated wormer to adopters, potential relinquishers, and neighbors. I know that tape worms are more expensive to get rid of. I’ve donated that type of wormer too, and used quite a bit of it myself in my own rescues. I know it can take a long time to rehab a sick dog, and that most *shelters* don’t bother to take that time. If they do, then other *rescues* want to call them hoarders! Sometimes I think we can’t win for losing.
        Jen, I don’t want your dogs, I’ve got too many of my own already. Neither do I wish to send any of my dogs to you. I don’t trust that they won’t die, and that I’ll be blamed for their death!
        There are enough dogs on this planet for ALL of us to stay busy in rescue. I promise not to tell you which ones you can have or how you have to treat them, and I’d appreciate the same courtesy from you. Thanks.
        Since 2004 I’ve fostered/owned/been responsible for or helped maybe as many as a thousand dogs. There are 26 on my property right now. I have neighbors with more than 100. Some of my fosters haven’t wagged their tails. One of them (I’ve adopted her for life) still doesn’t. But she’s paid her dues and I’ve promised to do my best to keep her safe for as long as she lives. Animal Control would kill her if I gave her up, and so I won’t.
        I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues. The headline of this blog post says it all…this is an example of that whole “killing with kindness” Orwell Adventure I suppose? This guy did NOT kill his own dogs. He allowed a *shelter* to murder them. He didn’t ask for help. And we have no idea who said what to whom to get him to sign the dogs over to said *shelter*…but one thing we know for dang sure, this *shelter* did NOT shelter these dogs!!!

    2. Jen, you don’t know he was breeding. You don’t know he was a dogfighter. You’re making that up inside your own head and convincing yourself that because the information provided doesn’t prove it’s not true, then it must be true.

      You know absolutely nothing about him, other than the fact that he had thirteen dogs and was having financial difficulties.

      1. Addy the Chinese Crested Princess – No, I don’t know that. And I said as much. He COULD have been breeding, he could have been fighting them. A real rescue would have had those dogs in better condition than these dogs were in. The fact remains he wasn’t caring for the dogs, I really don’t give a crap if he was breeding or fighting the fact remains he wasn’t caring for them. PERIOD. You don’t know what he was doing with them either. Many people who keep dogs in these conditions are breeding and/or fighting. So don’t tell me that I’m making up in my head. Dogs die every day in shelters because of what I am “making up in my head”

      2. He COULD have been doing any or all of those things, and dogs die in shelters because of it–but the fact remains that you don’t know whether he was, and when it comes to passing judgment on an individual, knowing the facts about that individual matters.

    3. Jen, I think clearly you never had respect for me to lose. If you indeed were a longtime reader – enough to build up respect – you would know that I joke about most everything. It’s my way of avoiding a nervous breakdown in the midst of writing about piles of dead pets all the time. Spare me the faux outrage. If you don’t like it, feel free to move along.

      1. Let’s break this down a bit. A man has 13 pit bulls on chains in his backyard. 8 of those dogs are seen by a concerned citizen, are in obviously bad condition and said owner is reported. ACC takes in the animals. They determine that most of the dogs are thin. Most, if not all, have severe heartworm. Most have other parasites. This man loves his dogs so much that he can’t bear to part with them and yet signs them over immediately to a high kill shelter that doesn’t adopt pit bulls out? You’re joking, right? His dogs are thin, filled with heartworm and other parasites, bad enough that a call is made by a concerned citizen. And he can’t see that. So if he’s too stupid to not be able to see that his dogs are suffering, he should still be allowed to have them? A passerby or neighbor, it’s not clear who made the call, sees these dogs and can obviously tell they are in poor condition. Yet this man just needs education? You mean you have to go to school or take special classes to be able to tell that dogs are sickly and thin? You mean to tell me this guy didn’t know this? I guess you DO have to be Einstien to figure it out. You think when he took those 13 chained pit bulls in to the vet to get their vaccinations – because it is, afterall, the law to get at least rabies vaccinations – that the vet didn’t mention that the dogs are a bit thin and should be on heartworm preventative? Do you really think this POS took his dogs to the vet EVER?? Wake up people. Stop defending a person who should not even own a snail, nevermind 13 dogs. He killed these dogs. He didn’t do it with his bare hands but he might as well have. This man is the reason why these dogs are dead. Had he taken proper care of them, he’d have his “beloved” dogs on chains in the backyard still. 13 dogs on chains in the backyard. That in and of itself is enough to sicken me. If he had sought help when he first realized that he was becoming “overwhelmed” those dogs he loved SO much would still be in his backyard, living a full life on the end of a chain. If those dogs were all healthy and fat and sassy, there would still be something wrong there. Not enough for me to say that they should be removed and killed but he’d get no dog from me…It sounds to me like this No Kill movement that I used to believe in is a crock. You have people on here saying it’s ok if these dogs live unsocialized and unloved as long as they’re not dead. Better to be rotting and slowly dying from parasites on the end of a chain than to be dead. I wholeheartedly agree that dogs should be given every chance to live their lives and shelters should do all they can to be ensure that they are given a chance. But to die a slow, agonizing death on the end of a chain? Really? REALLY? I guess the No Kill movement can’t really get anywhere unless they say it’s a-ok for undesirable people who can’t properly care for their pets to have them. Is that really what No Kill is about? I did think it was much better than that and am very disappointed. You are doomed to fail unless you see that most people won’t accept that. Most people who care won’t look at 13 pit bulls starving and dying from parasites on the end of chains and say that that is acceptable. That this man just needs education. You’re being so blinded by your hatred of the way America runs it’s shelters that you’re not thinking straight. At least I hope that’s what it is.

      2. It’s not that you were joking. I can certainly understand using humor to try to deal with this. But to imply through the use of that humor that it would have been ok for this guy to have been breeding dogs if he couldn’t care for them…that it’s ok for people to be breeding, when they really don’t have the knowledge or resources to do so, is what I have a problem with. By putting a gasp after you mention breeding you imply that it is just fine to be a BYB. Which COULD very well be the number one cause of these dogs dying in shelters in the numbers that we are talking. I will most certainly be moving on. This form of picking on the shelters thinking you’re going to do some good by defending schmucks like this is not going to get you anywhere. If you were to pick on the shelters and 1)demand that they adopt out pit bulls, 2)that they not kill animals, 3)give shelters a fighting chance to become No Kill by demanding that POS owners like this not get their hands on any more dogs, instead of defending said owner, 4)not condone BYB or through humor imply that it’s not doing any harm 5)helping to get tougher laws passed to protect these dogs from this kind of “owner”. Don’t you see that defending this kind of guy will only harm the movement rather than help? Everyone is talking about educating this guy and giving him a chance. What about educating the shelter and giving them a chance by not condoning that which brings even more animals in? People want to save these animals but no one really steps up when it is most needed. No viable solutions are given to shelters for what they can do to stop the influx of animals so that they don’t feel they “have” to kill them. Allow 13 dogs to be living on chains in horrible conditions? This is the answer? Berating a shelter for taking dogs out of the horrendous conditions that they were living in is the answer? And defending the POS that put those dogs a situation where they were suffering and ultimately killed because of it, is the answer? The “movement” definately has me confused on this one.

  10. “NONE should have been underweight. NONE should have had parasites. NONE should have had heartworm. The fact remains he was not caring for these dogs! People who can not care for them, should not have them. ”

    Well, yes and no. Was his care of the dogs inadequate? Yes. But we don’t know why his care was what it was. Maybe he knew that they had heartworms, but couldn’t afford to treat them. Maybe he kept them all outside because that’s how his father kept dogs and he didn’t know any better. Maybe he had so many because he raised them all from puppies and couldn’t bear to part with any of them.

    In my area, we have a local SPCA that prides itself in education. When a call is made about a dog receiving inadequate care, they go out and talk to the owner. Some don’t know any better and a little education goes a long way with them. Some…well, you can imagine. But the point is, the first step is for someone to come up to the door and say, “Hey, there’s a problem here, let me talk to you about it and see if there’s something we can do to fix it.”

    If someone in authority came to this man and talked to him *with the goal of helping him keep animals for which he could properly tend*, things would have gone very differently, at least for a few of the dogs. But no one had that goal. Now he has no dogs at all and hasn’t learned anything except how to make dogs dead (call ACO). How long before he repeats his mistakes with a new batch of dogs, do you think?

    1. I really can’t believe how many people think it’s ok for a person to keep dogs in this condition. I don’t care what his excuse is. If he couldn’t care for the dogs he shouldn’t have them. Most of the dogs had SEVERE heartworms – have you ever seen a dog die from heartworm infestation? It’s not pretty. Giving them a preventative every month would have kept them healthy. If he can’t afford it – HE SHOULD NOT HAVE THE DOGS!! He can’t properly care for his 13 dogs who are slowly dying a painful death and you say well, let’s give him one or two back…Who are the lucky candidates for that? How do you decide which two should be the “lucky” ones to die slowly? In a perfect world there would be a shelter that would step in and take the dogs, give them the care they need and adopt them out to loving families. But this isn’t a perfect world. I completely disagree with what this shelter did, but when you guys go on and on about giving the dogs back, or finding a rescue to take them in, when hundreds of pits are dying every day…Where are you when all the other pits are dying in shelters? How about the 6 that I’ve been begging for rescues to take for the past two weeks? The dogs I’m trying to find rescue for were rescued from a dog fighing ring. They were given a chance – which rarely happened before the vick thing – and now the sheriff who stood up for these dogs can no longer care for them. They need rescue desperately…but no one is stepping up because they are full. It’s important for people to step up and save dogs from fighting rings so that they will continue to be given a chance. If they are faced with rescues that say we have no room every time, they’re just going to go back to killing them. (Maybe we should give them to this guy so he can have them filled with heartworm and other worms in no time at all…) The fact remains this guy knew his dogs were thin and unhealthy and still did nothing. Asked no one for help, nothing. A concerned neighbor had to step in. I agree, someone could have gone to him and told him how to properly care for these dogs a long time ago but with severe heartworm they were too far gone for a talk to help them out – they needed serious help. And rescues are too full and have too little money to do it.

  11. There seems to be a LOT of speculation on the events and facts surrounding this case. I did a thorough search online in regards to this and found a few things out that were not in the blog.

    First of all the guy who owned the dogs kept them all outside in dog houses – chained as there was no fence.

    Second while this is pure speculation on MY part…it appears that he thought he was taking care of the dogs properly. I think a lot could be said on the education side of this. Here we have a community that is literally over run with pit bulls to the point that one reporter comments “Why buy one when you can most likely get a free one?”

    You can read/watch a couple of the links I found –

    Video of the incident – http://news.yahoo.com/video/charlottewcnc-15750615/animal-control-puts-down-13-pit-bulls-from-west-charlotte-home-23965013

    News Articles –
    1) http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-national/animal-control-confiscates-and-kills-13-dogs-taken-from-owner

    2) http://westcharlotte.wbtv.com/content/13-pit-bulls-found-poor-health-euthanized#

    Sadly – while everyone is doing their back and forth “arguing” over what should have, would have, could have been…this completely appears to be a lack of education on raising dogs properly. There are just some people that never vet their dogs because they don’t know any better. There are some people that honestly do not know that dogs can get heartworms. This appears to be just such a situation. The guy ‘thought’ he was doing the right thing by these dogs because he obviously didn’t know any better.

    While I question how quickly things went down – because that was awful fast to get a warrant, seize the dogs, and then test them and kill them that quickly. Remember – this just happened on Monday and by Tuesday they were dead. The articles point to other issues being involved – not just the worms – but don’t tell you what those other “issues” were.

    Also I disagree with those who say that one person can’t take care of that many pit bulls. I have personally taken on 20 at one time and every single one of them received proper vet care (all their shots, spay/neuter, etc), were fed properly, got fresh water at least 3 times a day, got plenty of exercise….and ultimately each and every one of them went to a great forever home (minus the 2 we kept). All dogs were rescued from a fight operation – many of them needed special training. I was able to handle it all on my own…while raising kids.

    And, Jen your comment about how important it is to save the dogs from the fighting operations….while I agree that those dogs need saved I fail to see where they are any more important than the other pits. Just because they were rescued from a fight operation does not make them anymore worth saving then an owner surrendered pet. You said that if we don’t save them that they will just end up killing them again is just BS. It all depends on the area you are in and what you are doing – education, adoption events, BSL restrictions, etc. I get it that not every dog can always be saved….being a realist here….but who are you to judge which is more worthy than the next.

    To be fair I use to work with a pit rescue…one that said they were all about rehabilitation and keep ’em until they find homes. They went to such ‘great’ lengths to go to the pound once a week and pull those they could. They drove all over the country to pull dogs from kill shelters. I quit working with them when it became apparent to me that they only took in the cute little puppies and left the older ones to sit on death row until they were killed. Why? Because the puppies were more “adoptable”.

    No one dog is worth having its life saved anymore than any other. They all deserve to live out their lives in peace, with love & their needs met. Sadly people get in the way – either by not reaching out for help, not taking the advantage to do adoption promoting, making excuses for why they had to be killed. I say – stop with the damn excuses and start fixing this system that is so broken! When you have dogs that are TREATABLE then treat them!

    Heartworm can be fatal – yes, in some cases, but I have also seen many times that dogs have been saved and lived out a long life. Sure it takes time & money…but it also makes for great fund raising to see those sad desparate eyes begging for help….HSUS uses that everyday to raise millions…why not a regular ole shelter too?

    As I read through the posts I was shocked at what some people were saying. All that kept coming back to me was the saying “Judge not lest you be judged.” Who are we to judge a man we do NOT know? We don’t know what kind of an education he had, we don’t know if he knew what he was doing was right or wrong. And for bringing the whole dog fighting issue into this – there is no evidence ANYWHERE to indicate these dogs had been fought. I am sick of people hearing about a couple few pits and instantly throwing up the dog fighting flag. Because let me tell you – IF these dogs had been fought AT ALL then there would be evidence of this and it would have been shouted from the hilltops – and you bet your butt that we would be hearing of charges. So stop speculating because I guarantee that he wasn’t fighting these dogs or we would’ve heard that before anything else.

    1. My point about it being important that the dogs from the fighting operation be saved, is that dogs from fighting busts have only in the last couple of years even been given a chance to be spared. If dogs are taken from fighing busts and their lives are spared by the courts but no one steps in to take them, what do you think that shows the courts? That there is no sense in saving them because no one will step forward and take them in. I never said anywhere that they are more important than the dogs dying in shelters everyday. I’m livid about both the dogs in shelters that are being killed and about the ones taken from busts being killed. The fact remains that very few people are able to step forward and save either one.

      Heartworm not only can be fatal, it is fatal when left untreated. As this guy was doing. Yes, this shelter could have taken these dogs in and treated them. But I’ll bet there’s no money in the budget to treat 13 high heartworm positive dogs. Where I live it would cost at least $1300 to treat a high heartworm positive dog. I live in a notoriously expensive part of the country. So let’s say this being the south, that treatment costs less. Let’s say $500. I don’t know if that’s the correct amount, it’s purely a guess. Treating 13 dogs at $500 a pop isn’t chump change. Nevermind the food and other vet work these dogs would need. And the fact that high heartworm positive dogs may die from the treatment. I can quickly see why rescues wouldn’t be able to afford to save these dogs. And why a notoriously anti pit, high kill shelter wouldn’t even try. Which brings me right back to the fact that this worthless sub human killed his “beloved” dogs living on the end of a chains. He didn’t feed them enough. He didn’t give them basic heartworm prevention. He didn’t treat them for other worms. It’s a pretty good GUESS, no guarantee, that he didn’t vaccinate them either. Simple preventative would have saved these dogs. And a bit more food. But he couldn’t be bothered. With the way most of the people here see it though, he’s the poor kindhearted soul that is being picked on by the big bad shelter. He had 13 dogs slowly dying a horrible death. Poor guy. I do feel very bad for him. So bad that I hope he rots in hell.

      I can’t guarantee this man was fighting his dogs. You guarantee that he wasn’t? How do you guarantee that? If no evidence was found on the property he couldn’t have been transporting them to other locations? He couldn’t have been breeding them and selling them to people who would fight them somewhere else? Really, you can’t guarantee that he wasn’t involved in fighting. Just as I can’t guarantee that he was. But I never claimed he had to be involved in either activity. I said it was more LIKELY that he was involved in breeding them or fighting them than that he was rescuing them. Because legit rescues don’t keep dogs in the condition that he was keeping these dogs in. And certainly not on the ends of chains.

      1. That is where you and I differ. See, if he was fighting these dogs – there would have been signs on the dogs themselves. Scar – home made patch jobs leave prety bad scars. I’m sure you’ve seen them if you do work in rescue with fight dogs like I do.

        You also keep going back to the “HE killed the dogs” argument…doesn’t fly with me. It appears to be lack of EDUCATION on how to properly care for the dogs. AND it is quite possibly that he KNEW that had these dogs gone to the high kill shelter that they would’ve died. In fact, I would guess that the shelter said that if he signed the dogs over to them that they wouldn’t pursue charges – and that is why they were signed over to the shelter – it is a tactic used all the time with many shelters to remove the dogs. I see it all the time.

        And when faced with a high poverty area you are more likely to see dogs chained and kept in dogs houses then anywhere else. Maybe I just see this more than you because I go into the ghetto neighborhoods to help educate people about pit bulls. I spend time dropping off dog food, working with people for free to assist in training their dogs, and pass out flyers with information on where people can go to get assistance for dog food, spay/neuter, and cheaper and/or free vet care. AND – if they lack Internet I spend my time and energy locating the information they need to help them help their dog(s). You obviously have no idea how people in the “ghetto” lack the knowledge to get things that many of us see as basic care. Many of the people I work with don’t have computers and the Internet, heck most of them don’t even have a car and struggle to feed their own families. Even though they are struggling they would rather keep their pets than lose them – many of the people depend on their pets because they have mental issues like depression and if they had to relinquish their beloved pet they would quite possibly go into a deep depression and get worse by not having a pet to care for.

        Obviously – you can only see this entire thing one way – and that’s YOUR way. You fail to promote education and keep blaming this guy whom none of us know. But I have a pretty good guess given what I see daily that he THOUGHT he was doing the RIGHT thing. If everybody approached this in the manner you are there would be a lot less people with pets. Sadly I don’t know that many people that could live up to your standards – especially poor people that own animals.

        AND – at no point did anyone, anywhere say he was a rescue – what has been said is that it is quite possible that he rescued the dogs so that they wouldn’t be killed.

        AND – the way I can guarantee these dog were NOT fought is because there would’ve been evidence. Scars are kind of hard to hide…and if a dog has been fought there would be some scars – because even the “winners” show scars from each fight they are in. Also – if there was ANY suspicion of fighting it would have been shouted far and wide. There is nothing to indicate dog fighting in any of the reports I read….and you can call the shelter and ask them yourself and you will hear what I heard – no evidence to prove dog fighting or being bred to fight dogs. The person I spoke with told me the owner relinquished his dogs to the shelter. The shelter performed testing to verify if the dogs had health problems – which is how they discovered the heartworms & “other parasites” (his words). And he also clarified that all 13 dogs where euthanized almost immediately – and this was due to it being an owner surrender that they did not have to wait through a holding period in a fairly full shelter. (704) 336-3786 – option 2

        See I have not only done a thorough investigation on the web I also took the time to call the city and ask questions about the case.

  12. Ash Says:

    January 27, 2011 at 12:46 am

    It’s a little humor. It’s not everyone’s style but it works to keep me from recreational bridge jumping. If it’s not for you, please feel welcome to find your reading material elsewhere. I won’t be offended.

  13. Jen Says:

    January 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    It sounds to me like this No Kill movement that I used to believe in is a crock. You have people on here saying it’s ok if these dogs live unsocialized and unloved as long as they’re not dead. Better to be rotting and slowly dying from parasites on the end of a chain than to be dead.

    Wow. Whoa. What?

    1. You know – I didn’t see anywhere that the dogs were unsocialized. I also saw this man’s face when the reporter from the local news told him that the dogs were dead – ALL of them. This guy did care for his dogs – he loved them. Maybe he lacked the KNOWLEDGE of how to care for them properly – maybe he just didn’t know what to do to care for them. Quite possibly he thought that animals only needed to see a vet when they are deathly sick…heartworm take a long time before it is obvious that a dog has them – unless you test them (and there ARE people out there that do not know about testing for things like this). I know of too many people that have no clue about stuff like this all the time. A little education goes a long way. Additionally – with the whole underweight issue – due to the build of “pits” they can sometimes appear to look thin…many of them have big chests with tiny waists and maybe they didn’t appear thin to him because of the huge variances in weight and appearances of pits. Speculation abounds on this issue – and not one person has seen pictures of the dogs, so we can not know for sure if they were truly that underweight.

      Jen, no body said it was ok to let dogs live unsocialized or unloved – what people are saying is that it is quite possible this guy lacked education. And let me tell you that living in an area where pits are just now being allowed to be adopted from our local *shelter* that before that happened I knew plenty of dog loving citizens keep lots of pits that were going to be turned over to the local *shelter* because the people knew that dogs were facing nothing more than a few days in a cage and then death. I know that some of them got in over their heads – and while some of them couldn’t afford health care (and I helped them find assistance to get the medical care the dogs needed) they didn’t know there were options out there where they could get a $5 rabies shot, or a free spay/neuter through various programs in our area. Had I not educated them I guarantee they would have continued to try and save as many as they could without the knowledge of how to do so correctly. That is why – in situations like this – we absolutely HAVE to remind ourselves that education is the key to raising ANY animal correctly.

      You need to get off your high horse and stop bitching about how your way is obviously the ONLY way to go about doing things. And to throw the whole No Kill movement into this and say that it is a crock…it is only a crock when people like you are playing the blame game instead of correcting the problem, which in this case especially appears to be a need for greater education on how to properly care for animals and education on resources of where to go for help in obtaining medical care. There are many people around the world – and, yes, even here in the US that loves dogs BUT don’t know how to care for them properly. Many, MANY people don’t take the time to research breeds of dog and the amount of care they require…and that, quite often, leads to owner surrenders at public *shelters* because they didn’t know what they were getting into with the dog they got. They looked into a dogs eyes and fell in love and while love isn’t enough – with a little education on the amount of energy that certain breeds require and taking the time to match dogs with a family’s lifestyle is important too.

      I get it that you obviously love dogs, but you need to realize that just because you have one way of doing things doesn’t make it the right way or the only way to go about it. When dealing with pits especially it is very important that we make sure people understand that this is a dog that quite possibly needs extra time & energy because those little suckers are so darn smart and need their brains stimulated to keep them from tearing apart your house piece by piece.

      Most of the comments on here are speculating and guessing – and just how in the hell is that helping any of the animals? Attacking people on a blog with your words is not going to fix the problem. Acting like your way is the only way to go about doing things is not the right way either. And throwing out a challenge to help place dogs – like the rest of us aren’t up to our elbows in animals we are ALREADY caring for – rescues, fosters, our own pets – yet, if we don’t then obviously we lack the knowledge or care to do so? That’s just plain BS. Many people on this blog DO foster & rescue already.

      I have placed pits in some unlikely situations before – where people “think” they know what they are doing and I have had to go in and EDUCATE them – I always give each adopter a resource list when the dogs leavs – a long with their care package to get them started. Unfortunately many of the people may not have the funds to do behavioral training and as a result I spend MY time working with the people and teach them how to train their dog properly – for free. If we all sat around until we found only the PERFECT home is going to result in 0 placements – because the “perfect” home doesn’t exist. Everyone has their problems and issues. That’s why we turn to education.

      In fact, maybe if we spent more time educating people on pit bull type dogs – instead of fighting against each other – we could turn around the BSL and actually get the general public to see that pits are NOT mean, vicious, unsocial dogs that deserve nothing more than death. We wouldn’t see so many pits in shelters IF BSL didn’t exist. We have allowed groups like the ASPCA, PETA, and HSUS tell us what evil monsters they are for so long that even though HSUS has changed their policy on pit bulls – it hasn’t been given much publicity – so we are faced with a general public that thinks these dogs are time bombs waiting to “go off”.

      EDUCATION is the key to life….not just for people, but also for our animals lives. Having programs in place that provide assistance for spay/neuter, vaccinations, cheaper vet care – would go far in many areas as well. BUT it is going to take more than just having these programs – we need to promote them so that people know they exist. In fact – as much as I work with rescue & rehoming even I didn’t know until a few weeks ago that we had 3 pet food pantries. I didn’t know because it hasn’t been made public knowledge. So just having the programs in place isn’t enough – we need to promote those programs so that people have a place to use when times get hard.

      The 2 pits that we chose to keep as pets – in 3 years times had a total of 3 hemotomas in their ears…I had never experienced anything like it before. Each time I had to spend well over $200 (probably closer to $300) for each time it occurred. We are a 1 income family with 5 kids…we didn’t have the money to pay for the first procedure – let alone the last 2. We went into debt to make sure our dogs got the care they deserved, but I also ended up selling my family vehicle so that I could pay the vet bill. Now my family doesn’t have a vehicle we can all fit in and as a result my kids now rarely get to leave the house to go anywhere…but I was willing to do a trade off to make sure my dogs were taken care of. Thank goodness we had 2 vehicles – many times situations just like this happen and the person doesn’t have the option of selling their transportation to pay for it. Stuff comes up that we don’t expect and through no ones fault the animals end up the loser in the end. So do we say that they should have never had them in the first place? No – we find help for them because at some point things will turn around for that person. If that person had just relinquished their dog the would be without their beloved pet. That is why it is important to have the programs in place (and PROMOTE them) so that we don’t have so many owner relinquishes.

      Sorry, Shirley – I will get off my soapbox now. It just irks me when people think they know it all and aren’t willing to admit that in some cases we need education and programs to assist in these situations.

  14. Here’s a different take on educating pitbull owners who keep their dogs outdoors on chains, don’t give them heartworm preventative, and breed them. Enjoy.

    Tails in the Hood Jan. 24 Edition

    [Tails In the Hood is a collaborative effort between Atlanta Underdog Initiative and Friends to The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue in Dallas, GA.]

    Hey Everyone,

    Got up early on Sunday and took care of my crew. Little Kevin is feeling so much better. Then I headed to Atlanta to meet up with Ami and Drew. We received a call about a pitbull in the Kirkwood section of Atlanta. She is living outside without proper shelter and is constantly giving birth to litters of pups. We made our way over to assess the situation. Really pretty girl and looked in decent shape. She definitely has given birth recently. We rang the bell but there was no answer. We will return!

    Since we were over on that side of town, We decided to drop in on Pick and GK. We made friends with these two young men a few months back. We had some food that was donated to us from Mostly Mutts and The Good Dog Company. Gk is still looking for work, so we figured he could use some food for the three pups. Just to refresh your memories, Pick and GK were going to start a breeding kennel and breed their pitbulls. We helped with shots, food, crates and vaccines. We took them to the pound [educational trip to DeKalb Co. Animal Control to see how many doomed pits are there] and they made the decision to spay and neuter their pits. We taught them about heart worm prevention, too. Their dogs used to live on chains in the back yard, but now they are nice and warm, inside with the family. Even GK’s Grandma has grown to accept them!

    GK and Pick have been helping with us with Tails in the Hood. They reach out to people in their community and try and educate them. They have come along with us to try and reach out to these young kids. Gk was very appreciative for us stopping by. Not only did we educate these two young men and help their dogs, we made new friends. These guys are good people and I’m glad we met. We will be seeing good things from them, trust me. Gk is still looking for work. If you live in the Atlanta area, and you have some work for him, please contact me. Gk called me today because his friend wants to fix his two pits. I told you these were good people.

    We went back to the South side of town. We needed to go check on Big and his family. They are the ones we took to the pounds [educational trips to Atlanta area pounds] two weeks ago. Big took in a blue pit pup and it needed to be vaccinated and dewormed. Big’s brother-in-law has LaLa, a pregnant blue girl. She is going to drop those pups any day now. We brought over some food for them. We gave Rude, their owner, some blankets for Lala and her soon to be pups.The blankets were donated by our friend Rachael. After vaccinating and deworming the new pup Yayo we had a long talk about spay and neuter. Big is no dummy and I think he is starting to see the light. I offered to help Rude with the pups. I told him we would fix them and adopt them out and give him the adoption fee if he would let Ami and I place them in good homes. We are working on them as slow and steady is going to win the race. We also had a long talk with Big’s mom and girl friend, Crys. They promised they would work on the men about getting the dogs fixed. I didnt shoot this video.. Blame Drew






    Until the next time!

    1. YES!!! Thank you. That really helped. I’m broke, but I’d be willing to sponsor a spayed or neutered dog for Demetred Norman if there’s somebody from THIS organization that would deliver the animal to him. Everybody (except Micheal Vick perhaps) deserves the opportunity to love and learn with and from a dog.

    2. Could somebody please post a story like this about an Animal Control facility….a legal, tax-funded operation that *gets it* and goes out of it’s way to DO THE RIGHT THING and HELP people and animals? Shirley, you spend lots of time researching the mistakes, and I really appreciate that. I’ve gotten really cranky lately, and a lot of it has to do with other *stuff* in my personal life. I apologize for that.
      But part of my angst is that many (most?) of you seem to fly immediately to the *they are idiots* or the standard POS verbiage, or that tried-and-true *no excuses* stance…and what I’m trying to say is that NOBODY gets better when they are bullied or called names or attacked or, yes, even ignored.
      Except, maybe I’m wrong? Maybe taking back the power requires that verbiage? But I found this *other perspective* (helping, supporting, going out of your way to teach and likewise to LEARN before judging) to be so refreshing and so empowering. Why can’t we all grow THAT way?!

      1. Take a look at Washoe County (Reno) Nevada. Theie Dirctor is doing a webinar today, info here: http://www.animalarkshelter.org/webinars/Schedule.html

        Animal Wise Radio Reminder – Friday’s No Kill webinar will be presented by Mitch Schneider of Washoe County Animal Services. Get YOUR animal control to attend!

        Participating in the webinars is simple. After registering, a web address and access code will be emailed to you. Live webinars offer interactive chat, questions and answer sessions with the speaker and unprecidented opportunity for learning, without leaving the comfort of your home or office.

    3. Thank you for sharing this – I do the same thing and am SO happy to know there are other people out there doing the same things! Keep up the good work!!!

  15. Thank you Jeanne for posting this. I don’t know if Jen is truly disillusioned with the no kill movement or if she’s just yanking our chains but I will say this: IMO it will be just about impossible to achieve a no kill nation without extending a W I D E umbrella to cover all kinds of kind-hearted pet owners. These will include poor people, owners who keep their pets primarily outdoors, ex-cons, breeders, people who overfeed their pets to morbid obesity, etc.

    To my mind, we will see far more satisfying results by extending a hand and offering friendly education to people than we ever will by taking away their pets and labeling them “hoarders”, “dogfighters”, etc. Not everyone is the same – thank god – and attitudes about pets vary greatly. We have no right IMO to dole out pets to only the wealthy or to those who think like we do. And shame on anyone who says a dog would be better off dead than in the care of _____________. Pets aren’t elitist snobs – we should follow their example.

    (And of course here I must put in the obligatory clarification that No, I’m not saying the lunatic fringe – such as those who beat animals to death or set them on fire – should have pets. I’m talking about the overwhelming majority of pet owners – Joe Average, if you will.)

    1. Shirley – I just wanted to take a minute to once again thank you for all that you do. I know that it is not easy to have to face the overwhelming negativity that you see and I believe that you do such a good job of reporting the facts instead of just flying off the handle with emotion.

      I also agree that the only way we can see a positive change is to be “out there” and educate, educate, educate. Unless we’re willing to live in a socialist country, which I for one would rather not, we are always going to be faced with different types of people having pets and the best way to reach these people is by accepting them as a fellow animal lovers and educate those we need it while also helping them as much as we can, so that they do the right things by their pets.

      Of course having programs in place to help make this happen need to be in place in each community as well – free/low cost spay/neuter, free/low cost vaccines, free/low cost dog licensing, etc. WE must provide resources and education to see a change. The more we are accepting of others and their rights and stop pointing fingers and playing the blame game the better off we’ll be.

    2. “I’m talking about the overwhelming majority of pet owners – Joe Average, if you will”

      Yeah, except the “majority” of pet owners would not chain 13 pitbulls in his back yard (I was pissed BEFORE I found out that these dogs lived on chains – can you say disaster WAITING to happen??) and then let them wither away until passersby noted that they looked “sickly” enough to call animal control and REPORT them.

      And the point is not who to “dole” pets out to (or at least that wasn’t the point I was initially making, I can’t speak for anyone else) but simply that I was not going to shed any crocodile tears for the individual who put these dogs in this position in the first place.

      You can argue ignorance, but ignorance is not an EXCUSE for abuse and neglect. It’s more than just ignorance when you can look into your backyard and see 26 eyes peering back at you – all chained to their doghouses living miserable little lives, totally exposed to the elements, filled front and back with parasites and then being denied even the basics of care – it’s ABUSE.

      When a teenage mother gets frustrated with her crying infant and shakes the baby to death, or “vegans” starve their children, it’s all too easy to claim “we didn’t know any better.” Too bad. That doesn’t make what they did any less horrible, or make them any less accountable for their actions.

      The simple fact that this man admitted to newspeople that he could not financially afford to manage 13 dogs shows that he knew what he was getting himself into. 13 dogs didn’t just show up overnight. Btw, in my previous comment I wasn’t suggesting that this individual acquired all the dogs at once – in fact, I’m sure he didn’t. Frankly, even if this is a case of mom, dad, and a giant litter of puppies he “couldn’t bear to let go of” this is CLEAR hoarding behaviour.

      Do I believe that a lot of neglect arises from ignorance? Yes, I do – you don’t need to sell me there. Do I believe that all it will take to stop it is education? Not entirely, but I agree that it’s the first and probably MOST IMPORTANT step in the No-Kill Movement, AND in moving animal welfare forward, period.

      And I *think* I even understand where some people are coming from in regards to not being able to support the NKM if it promotes ownership such as this as acceptable. Now, what’s being missed there is that there is a giant difference between the NKM and the SUPPORTERS of the NKM – each have their own varying ideas about just what “No-Kill” means, what it entails, etc. I *think* the issue to be had was the defense of future abuse cases (like this one) under the guise of “at least the dog isn’t dead”.

      This is an issue I have with No Kill proponents as well. The idea that there is zero tolerance for euthanasia – I have to disagree. Someone mentioned a dog who had never wagged its tail. Is that a LIFE? I’m asking, not judging – because I really can’t answer that question, not yet anyways (although not for lack of trying).

      It’s funny, I got in hot water a while back for criticizing BFAS for keeping dogs that I believed were suffering in their own way by being “sanctuaried.” These are not wild animals or livestock, these animals are born to exist WITH humans and when they do not, it has been my experience that they suffer. Some of them, painfully so. I wonder all the time where that line lies – between providing life and providing peace/happiness – and for each person involved in rescue and welfare, not only those involved in the NKM, that line is in a different place.

      As far as casting shame on those who would say “a dog would be better off dead than in the care of ______” – I know/hope you didn’t mean that as broadly as it sounds. Because yes, I believe that a merciful end on a steel table was a better end than slowly choking death as parasites took over their organs and began shutting them down one by one until they died, in the back yard, surrounded only by others suffering, chained to a wooden box. Yes, I do believe that dogs are better off dead than suffering that fate.

      Ideally, this would never have happened. As soon as this individual tied up his first dog, perhaps a phone call to animal control would have ended this (aka “why I’m in favour of anti-tethering laws”). Ideally, when it did go down, the dogs could have been treated on the premises and then adopted out – realistically, when we’re euthanizing pit bull puppies by the thousands I don’t hold out much hope for 13 dogs of ANY breed in advanced stages of heartworm infestation.

      Of course, in my “ideally”, this man would have been charged for his crimes, and should pay the price for what he has done. In my “ideally”, animal neglect and abuse charges come with restrictions on future animal ownership. In my “ideally”, someone would be getting this man the mental health assistance he obviously needs. And yes, “ideally” no matter where along the timeline a SHELTER entered into the equation, it should have been for SHELTER and not for “automatic” death thanks to some draconian law.

      Unfortunately – or at least I believe so – my “ideally” does not match reality. This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up or that I’m not committed to changing the way things are done – but it also doesn’t mean I’m going to cry for the rights of the man who ALLOWED this to happen. Do I have empathy for him? Only as far as I feel bad that he is obviously not getting the treatment and support he needs from his family and friends.

      But not far enough to want to put another dog in his home. And no, I’m not ashamed to say it.

      1. Kim, I appreciate your comments and your insights. I could live in your ideal world!
        You said: “Yeah, except the “majority” of pet owners would not chain 13 pitbulls in his back yard.”
        Maybe this is true, but in my neighborhood, DOGS are the majority (not people!) and the majority of them ARE chained in the back yard. They are not pitbulls. Some are maybe fatter than others. Your definition of suffering may or may not apply. (Check out http://www.mushwithpride.org for recommended guidelines for tethering and other animal care guidelines.)
        I am but one kennel, but I’ll use me as an example. I have six dogs living in the house today. Four bassets: two fosters, two personal pets. Two huskies: a 14-year-old retired sled dog that was born on my property and owned by another kennel but gifted to me at the age of six months when it was obvious he didn’t have the physical build for outstanding performance. The other husky is 12 years old. Also born here(not my dog–I was socializing puppies for another kennel), sold at nine months to a neighbor who moved away a few years ago when the dog was given back to me at the age of 9.
        The 12 year old is sick. He’s been to one vet for x-rays, he’ll go to a second vet tomorrow when I take one of my foster pups in to be neutered. He’s not house trained and he was originally barfing all over. Now he’s just peeing and pooping, but I’m happy to report that the stools are at least firm!
        Outside there are five 5-month old pups that need to be spayed/neutered before placement. There’s also a 13 year old dog that was flown in from the village of Ruby. She’s not spayed, but she’s in rough shape, and my vet agrees that spaying her (this time of year, when she’s in this condition) is perhaps not the best plan. I doubt she’s got a functional reproductive system at this point, so I may not have her spayed at all. It would be cheaper and kinder to simply euthanize her perhaps…but I’m not ready to make that decision yet.
        Every other dog here is spayed or neutered.
        I have four dogs that are five years old. They came from three different kennels. I got two as yearlings, and the other pair, siblings, as three year old dogs. One has been adopted and returned because she was afraid of airplanes and the adopters lived at the end of the air force’s runway. They chose not to move with their family of four and their 20+ dogs because this dog went nuts every time a plane took off or landed.
        I have a 10-year-old dog that was used as a trapline dog out on the porcupine river. It took her family four days to get to their *home* and they went by car, snow-machine or 4-wheeler, boat, and eventually dog team/hike! She was dropped off the team and out of the family because times were hard and they couldn’t afford to feed her. She has cataracts in both eyes and is partially blind. She was very thin, ratty coat, infested with worms, and intact when she came to me. Relinquishers paid me $80 to cover the cost of her spay and were really glad they didn’t have to dump her at Animal Control where she’d likely not make it out alive. I can’t afford to get her cataract surgery. But I don’t think she should die either. She’s available for adoption, her name is Buckwheat. I don’t hold much hope for finding her a family as she’s old, a hard keeper, with medical AND social issues.
        My dog that doesn’t wag her tail is NOT suffering!!! She’s brilliant. She doesn’t wag her tail because she doesn’t like/trust people, and she has VERY good reasons for this attitude. I don’t need her to wag her tail. She doesn’t have to prove anything to me (she’s already done it–tenfold!) She deserves to live, and not just feral, but safely. With as much love as she wants/needs and on her own terms. She’s easy. She asks so little.
        This is way too long! There are others here too, they all matter.
        I’m glad you’re not ashamed to say what you think and how you feel. I’m not ashamed that I don’t agree with everything you say! I think it will take both of us, and billions more, to achieve the No Kill world we all envision. (Even if it’s not the exact same vision for each of us!) Thanks for sharing.
        -lynn and the crew at Daisy Acres

      2. Lynn – I agree with you that your situation is unique. I know I hate to hear people go on about how others just don’t understand what it’s like in “insert-state-name-here”, but when we’re talking about Alaska, outsiders truly don’t understand.

        I like to vacation in the winter at the Northern end of Saskatchewan, and even there life is on a whole other wavelength. The farther north you get, the more things change – if you’ve never lived in an inhospitable climate before, you can’t really understand. I used to worry about my dogs and the cold – last cattle roundup I witnessed occurred in about -50 degree weather with the wind chill… and it wasn’t that windy. We did it on horseback with the stock dogs alongside. 48hours in that cold, and those dogs never stopped unless we did. Amazing. :O)

        Now, I should also add that in this area I frequent, dogs as pets are a rarity. They roam free, they work, or they are wee little dogs who live indoors. There’s no crossover unless you happen to go into a town, and then you’ll see a few large breeds here and there – but these people do not waste resources on things that do not provide resources. So I kinda get what you’re dealing with up there – as far as a totally different “pet culture” – more so than most warmer folk may realize.

        I also want to add that I don’t believe the ailments that come with age and the unwillingness or inability to treat them with grandiose things such as cataract surgery as a crime of suffering. We all get old, that’s life. None of us is going to be pain free from birth until death. I’m talking about failing to provide basic medical care. For example, your elderly husky who has had the upset tummy lately (sorry to hear that) saw a vet. You may not have been able to afford a full body CT scan, but you didn’t sit idly by while Fido withered away to nothing in a pile of his own sick. Those are big differences.

        Finally, in regards to this:

        “My dog that doesn’t wag her tail is NOT suffering!!! She’s brilliant. She doesn’t wag her tail because she doesn’t like/trust people, and she has VERY good reasons for this attitude.”

        Are you saying that your dog simply doesn’t communicate with humans using her tail, or she doesn’t wag for other dogs, either – for anything at all. Again, very big difference between description A and B – if the dog simply refrains from this action while in human company, I would have to wonder how happy that dog really is, and whether or not she really WANTS to be alive in her present circumstances. I wouldn’t want to live around something that scared me that badly – I may consider that a serious quality of life issue.

        However, if we’re talking about a dog who literally never shows joy of any kind, a perpetually depressed dog (and yes, dogs DO suffer depression although I believe it has to be more painful for dogs who don’t see things as “things will be better tomorrow”) I think my decision would be an easy one. IF, of course, I felt that we had put all the time and effort possible into lightening that spirit and failed… I may decide that euthanasia is the most humane course of action.

        Others, like I said – the line moves depending on your opinion, your life experience, knowledge and personal ethics.

        Bottom line of this post? Super nice to hear about your rescues – and thanks for your honesty. Not much I appreciate more than brutal honesty (although patience is a virtue I struggle with and therefore recognize/commend in others) and a real discussion. I adore people who aren’t afraid to say what they mean without getting all foamy at the mouth… ;O)

        Disagreement isn’t always a bad thing – I’ve found more enlightenment through people I disagreed with than those whose opinions were most similar to my own.

  16. I have read each and every post on here (a few times). For those who keep going on an on about how he coudln’t care for his dogs properly – he was able to feed them but unable to provide the vet cared needed to deal with the heartworms. He admitted it to the news reporter…it was also in the linked article. While I don’t agree with tethering ALL the time – again we don’t know the circumstances surrounding this….we don’t know if they were out there all the time or while he was gone or only when he was home. We just don’t know.

    The ONE thing I keep going back to is education and if there were programs in place that he KNEW about where he could have obtained the vet care his dogs needed. I have worked with pits for over 15 yrs – fighting dogs, stray dogs, working with owner for pet retention, etc.

    While so many of you continue to say that lack of education is not an excuse – it is an excuse – and a valid one in so many cases, especially where pit bull type dogs are concerned. In an area where they have BSL – in some cases vets won’t even look at them – or will tell you that if they see the dog that they have to confiscate it to be put down – all because of the breed. I wish others knew what it was like to have a dog that so many people think is vicious without ever even meeting one.

    AND – as for the heartworms I run into people all the time that don’t even know what heartworms are and some people think I made the name up just to get them to release their dog to me or that I am trying to ‘milk’ them for money for some mystery medicine. Not everyone is as educated on dogs as some of us who post on here. Even those who are educated on dogs – many have no idea what the entire issue surrounding pit bulls is like.

    I still believe that if someone had taken the time to sit down with Mr.Norman and discuss everything that this could have been handled differently. Maybe if the neighbor had called sooner than they waited to do so? Maybe if ANYONE had taken the time to tackle this sooner rather than waiting to the point where it came down to this things would’ve turned out better for the dogs.

    There are ‘poor’ people everywhere that have pets and don’t know all the resources that their community has to help them retain their pets while also providing proper vet care (at a free or reasonable rate). Not knowing the gentleman I can not speak on IF he knew there were options out there….and maybe his area does or does not have them. But to expect other people to live up to ‘our’ standards when you have no clue about what their life is like, or how they were raised is asinine.

    What ever happened to guilty until proven innocent? It sounds like too many people on here are ready to lynch the guy without knowing the whole story. That is just as sad to me as what these dogs went through.

    1. “But to expect other people to live up to ‘our’ standards when you have no clue about what their life is like, or how they were raised is asinine.”

      Ah, I beg to differ.

      This has nothing to do with “anyone’s” standards aside from the MINIMUM STANDARD OF CARE. These dogs needed medical treatment and the owner failed to provide it. They needed it so badly that a *passerby* was bothered enough just by what he saw through the fence to call in AC.

      There are laws regarding animal care and neglect.

      These laws exist for a reason – already they are poorly enforced, and the last thing we need are more people making more excuses for abusers.

      How often do you hear people say that they wished the government would stop enacting all these ridiculous pet laws and just START ENFORCING THE ONES WE HAVE.

      Sorry, but that includes the poor too. Talk about “individual” standards…

      This man broke the law. As for innocent until proven guilty, he’s already been proven guilty of failing to provide adequate medical care for the animals in his possession – those facts are not possible to dispute.

      What ever happened to justice being blind?

      “Sec. 6-67. Animal abuse prohibited.

      (a) Prohibited acts. All animals shall be kept and treated under sanitary and humane conditions and it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in one or more of the following acts:

      (3) Failing or refusing to provide adequate medical attention for any sick, diseased or injured animal.”

      He broke the law. Laws that the animal welfare movement worked decades to enact. Laws that EXIST to PROTECT animals. What else do you need to know?

      1. Kim,

        Let’s say – and to be clear to everyone this is a hypothetical example – I told you *I* am breaking the law right now regarding my dogs. I have fallen into a downward spiral financially and things just haven’t turned around as I’d been hoping. So none of my dogs have their Rabies shots, as required by law. They’ve been vaccinated in the past and I believe their immunity lasts a lifetime but my belief is not the law. I didn’t get all these dogs AFTER things started to go south for me financially, I had them in better financial times. I’m STILL hoping things will turn around and I’ll be able to give them the kind of vet care I used to but right now, I can’t. But I love them, and am trying to do right by them as best I can.

        Would you say to me, “Shirley, you broke the law. The rabies law is to protect animals AND people and you broke it. What else does anyone need to know?”

        Cos see, I hope you wouldn’t. I hope you’d say something like, “I know you love your pets and this isn’t the way you’d like things to be right now and that as soon as the economy improves, you’ll be able to come back into compliance with the law. I know you are doing the best you can for them and don’t want to give them up just because your financial circumstances have changed in recent years. Let me check if there is a low cost rabies vaccine clinic in your area coming up.”

        My point is that while you “know” me, and you don’t know the guy in the article, *somebody does know him*. Maybe he’s a horrible person. Maybe he’s just eh. Or maybe he’s like me, in my hypothetical example. I’d hate to think we’re just going to slam down THE LAW on everyone arbitrarily when opportunities exist for education and assistance. See what I’m saying?

      2. I do – and I think it’s a perfectly reasonable position to take, although I don’t buy the comparison.

        The rabies vaccine law was made for the protection of the public. If vaccine laws were made for the protection of animals, they’d legally require vaccination for things they were actually at serious risk of contracting.

        And we both know that after two (possibly one) rabies vaccine your pet is protected for life.

        While I see what you’re going for (the slippery slope argument, which is a valid one) I don’t believe the comparison is sound.

        Vaccine law is not equal to animal protection law.

        And I’m not even talking about “progressive” animal welfare laws – I’m talking about the most basic of requirements.

        Next time everyone is frothing at the mouth because of the suffering caused by an abuser or by neglect and the utter LACK of response in the courtroom, just remember that those same laws you now want enforced are the same ones you’re so willing to wave on the premise that we don’t know everything there is to know about this man.

        What we DO know is that he caused his dogs to suffer (doG only knows for how long, but obviously for a lengthy period of time) by his failure to provide minimum care.

        However the true failure here, in my opinion, is the justice system. Because of this man, 13 dogs are dead after suffering for an unknown period of time. What does the community see? Big bad animal control comes and takes their dogs away.

        Instead of what they should have seen – charges filed and followed against the person responsible for this crime – and to see that in this day and age, you WILL be held accountable for your actions.

        Remember this the next time someone causes an animal harm and gets away with it.

      3. OK then, let’s change the hypothetical comparison to this: I haven’t given my dogs heartworm meds for several years due to cost (because I’m unaware that my dogs, being non-collie/white feet types, can get the injectable cattle Ivomec for heartworm preventive for dirt cheap). I know I can’t afford the yearly vet visit required by my vet to have the blood test done and then pay for the heartworm meds she sells at her clinic – times 7 dogs. Would you seize my dogs and, if they happen to be Pitbulls which my hypothetical community shelter doesn’t adopt out, have them killed by AC? Or since you know me, and know I really do care for my dogs, would you counsel me on alternatives to the annual vet visit/expensive brand name heartworm meds? Would you try to help me take better care of my dogs before condemning them or would you stick with your “You broke the law, what else does anyone need to know?” premise?

      4. The situation you are suggesting does not break the law in any fashion, so once again we’re not comparing apples to apples.

        “(3) Failing or refusing to provide adequate medical attention for any sick, diseased or injured animal.”

        Here’s the question. If I walked into your back yard and found 13 dogs chained to their houses and looking sickly – not only would I report you to the local authorities, I’d ensure media coverage and tear a strip off you while I was at it.

        Of course, you would never chain 13 dogs to little wooden houses and then sit back and watch them slowly deteriorate – *and neither would any caring human being*. You would have (I hope) rehomed them long before you allowed your situation to negatively affect their well being – you would not sit back and watch them suffer while throwing your hands in the air and saying “Meh. No money, no treatment.”

        This man TORTURED these dogs in a way.

        And yes, if you did the same, I’d feed your ass to the wolves just as quickly as I’d feed his.

        It is time that we stop making excuses for people’s behaviour. It is time that the law was enforced – across the board – when it comes to inflicting pain and suffering on to animals. That is, it is UTTERLY unacceptable and inexcusable – and will be treated as such.

        You can reframe it any way you want, you could make my own mother the pet owner in the story if that suits to make your point clearer – and YES, I would NOT HESITATE to bring charges if I discovered that a human being was guilty of abusing/neglecting/causing suffering to another being regardless of species – and I wouldn’t be settled until they had been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        Let me say it again:

        Remember this the next time someone causes an animal harm and gets away with it.

      5. I don’t take your comparison as valid. This man allegedly didn’t provide heartworm meds to his dogs. Not at all akin to setting a dog on fire – which is the sort of case we all get upset about when the judge sentences the torturer to probation. But you have made your case clear Kim and I’ll leave my part of the discussion here.

      6. Kim, the dogs are dead. Some of what you say might make sense if there had been a trial, or if they’d been treated and found new homes, but that’s not what happened.

        There are 4 main complaints against this pet owner: tethering outside, underweight, intestinal worms, and heartworm. You keep going on about how obviously terrible these things are, but none of them are per se. None. Each condition could indeed be explained by an ignorant but caring pet owner who just needed some help and education. Even heartworm only has mild outward signs even when severe.

        Instead, his dogs were confiscated and killed. There’s no justice, no learning experience, no moral high ground, for anyone.

      7. Kim – I fear we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I wish I could explain it to you so that you could understand what I am talking about when I tell you about the places that I go to and the people that I help. These people absolutely LOVE their animals. They ‘try’ to do the absolute best they can. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me – “I feel like I’m doing all I can, maybe I just need to leave him/her/them at the dog shelter and walk away. BUT, then I think about how most likely they are going to be stuck in a cage only to wait to be killed.” These people care – but lack KNOWLEDGE on how to obtain things that we are not only capable of getting…but many times MUCH cheaper than going to the vet. Many times they lack the KONWLEDGE of the types of diseases/illnesses that animals can get and therefore do not know they should be doing a, b, & c to either prevent it or treat it. We’re talking people that have never heard of even having their dogs teeth cleaned – let alone their own! on a regular basis.

        I wish you could understand.

        I understand what you are saying. But you do realize that even people are given a chance in most cases when involved in criminal behavior. The judge doesn’t “throw the book” at you for the first offense. Normally it is used as a learning experience and things like classes, counseling, etc are required to help prevent the same behavior from happening again. Why can’t it be the same for animals?

        No I am not saying this is an acceptable standard of the life we want for all animals. What I am saying is like anything in life – you have to be educated to learn how to do something – children learn by watching those around them – and when they get to school they learn by reading, watching, practicing, etc. We can’t pick and choose who gets an animal – but we can use each negative issue like this as a way to educate someone and try to prevent it in the future. Thesse are the kind of people that you need to embrace – they are blank slates and ready to have someone write on their “wall”. IF after being given the education and tools needed to do what they should be doing – they continue to not do it…by doing follow up with them and seeing no resulting change – then move on to the next step of removal of the animals and pressing charges.

        But sometimes you have to decide what battles to fight and in this case sadly we have 13 dogs who paid the price. And for the record Mr. Norman’s neighbor made the call to the ACO – someone who also saw those dogs on a regular basis and while we could turn this into a “they shoudl have called sooner” argument – I am not going to. I’ll just leave it at this – IF this situation had been handled differently the outcome could have proved more positive for ALL involved.

    2. Kim said:
      “Because of this man, 13 dogs are dead after suffering for an unknown period of time.”

      I believe this is a true and accurate statement.
      Unlike Jen, I don’t think this man killed his dogs. (This isn’t semantics, it’s FACT!)

      I’d also like to discuss the word SUFFERING.

      I get it that you guys don’t believe in using tethers to keep a dog safe. Not all my dogs are on chains, but most of them are! It’s the safest was to keep them. I can’t afford huge vet bills, and having multiple dogs in pens is risky. Especially when I have a lot of turn-over or when I’m not diligent about getting them out for regular exercise.
      But I think living on a chain in a social dog yard is WAY better than living in a box in the house all alone. Research has shown that living alone in a pen creates many of the same negative behaviors. What dogs need is time and ATTENTION. We have no way of knowing if Mr. Norman provided enough of that.
      I’ve had people tell me they want to come back as one of my dogs in their next life. But, according to you folks, my dogs are suffering?!
      And I’ve had kind-hearted pet owners tell me that my dogs are starving…and I don’t doubt why they think so—when I see their pet is grossly overweight!
      If a dog has worms, I’ve no doubt it will run to the thin side. I’m not familiar with heartworms, but it seems it’s hard to tell if your pet has them?
      So this guy is at fault for not taking his dogs to the vet…I venture there are those in the DVM industry that would LOVE to make a law to mandate that!!! (And up go the prices even higher because since we HAVE to do it, they can charge more!)
      By the No Kill standards I’ve read: “dogs that are irredeemably suffering with little or no hope for recovery” are the ones that should be euthanized. We all agree that these dogs were NOT irredeemably suffering and had no hope of recovery…right? I mean, it was all fixable! Granted the guy probably couldn’t have afforded all the fixing…and none of us actually wanted to take on his 13 on top of our own, so the *shelter* is maybe thinking they’re doing the world a favor by *ending the suffering*…but I just don’t buy it.
      Each of us, as responsible owners, has the duty to decide when our pets are suffering that much.
      I volunteer at a vet office from time to time and I’ve seen dogs that I’d have euthanized already. But I honor the owners right to choose. THEY are the one with the relationship with that animal. I think veterinarians are allowed to speak to the life, death, and suffering of an animal.
      But calling someone a POS because they didn’t give their dogs heartworm medicine, well, I’m not voting for ANY laws that give you guys the power to control my life and my animal husbandry skills to that extent.
      Although, what I have learned in the past few weeks is that getting overwhelmed is really risky business. Instead of having a support system you can trust, I’ve found it’s a dog-eat-dog world!
      I don’t want to lynch Mr. Norman…but I worry that many of my peers are stocking up on rope and looking for a big tree. Maybe that’s just my psychotic paranoia kicking in…but if it happens, there will be a lot of dead dogs around here too.

      1. First Noble Truth of Buddhism–life is suffering. And we’re all in it together.
        So I wonder when was the last time Mr. Norman had preventative care or any kind of care at his dentist’s or doctor’s office? I’d be willing to bet he and his dogs shared a “standard of care,” which reflected what he understood as “care” and could afford.

        If I were a dog, I would rather suffer under Mr. Norman’s care than die under
        Charlotte-Mecklenberg’s care. Because even though life is suffering, we want to live and so do dogs.

        Mr. Norman didn’t give his dogs heartworm disease. Mosquitoes did, and they also give it to cats, wolves, foxes, ferrets, sea lions and even humans on a regular basis. Since we can prevent heartworm infestation in dogs, I believe we should–it’s only right. And doesn’t cost that much IF you have the know-how to get some oral ivermectin and figure out the dosage. Or get a friendly vet tech or rescue vol to bring over some snap tests and then order generic heartgard from a reputable supplier on the internet. Rescuers know about these alternatives to going to a vet for expensive testing and heartworm med, but I doubt the average dog owner does.

        Wouldn’t it be easier to help Mr. Norman out than form a lynch mob? I mean seriously. It would have been easier to help him than to round up the dogs and kill them, too.

        I’m sorry for the losses all around.

      2. Jeanne – You said what I have been trying to so much easier than I! I whole heartedly agree – espcially the part about Mr. Norman’s own health care…..that’s what I have been trying to get across. Similar standards of care.

        Thank you for your contribution to the discussion – you summed up what I said in a zillion posts very eloquently in just 1!

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