UPDATED – HSUS – Please Tell Us What Happened to the Alabama 44

It has been boatloads of fun tracking what has happened the 44 dogs HSUS took from an owner in AL in December.  I mean really, it’s been great.  But here’s the thing.  HSUS peeps subscribe to this blog.  Although I can’t manage to get anyone there to talk to me directly, somebody at HSUS could put all our minds at ease by simply telling us the status of the dogs in the UNKNOWN category (below).  Is that like, just a totally ridiculous thing to ask?  People care about these dogs and want to know what happened to them.  So how about it HSUS?  Could you at least let us all know if the dogs in the UNKNOWN category are still of this earth?  That’s not classified information, is it?

Here is my current list.  It contains quite a few updates from the previous list.

Status:  Located (21 dogs)

10 dogs at PAWS Atlanta in GA – Laura has been keeping me updated which I really appreciate.  Cora (now Sari), Imogen and Driscol have been adopted.  Driscol went to a home with a kid after he was featured on Good Day Atlanta!  Next dog to be moved on to the adoption floor will be Zeb.  The other dogs are listed for adoption on their website.

2 dogs at Humane Society of Etowah Co, AL:  Ben and Jeri – both up for adoption.

3 dogs at Bliss Animal Haven in Loganville, GA, 1 already adopted, 2 available for adoption

3 dogs at New Leash on Life in Wilson Co, TN, all have been adopted (including Sassy, who was listed as LOST in the last update.  She was found and is safe at home with her people – yay!).

3 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte.  Bear Bear had been listed on the website as available for adoption but the listing has been removed.  I sent an inquiry regarding his status to the HS of Charlotte but haven’t received a reply as of this posting.  Chow Phat was adopted.  Chester is available for adoption.  Merry’s 5 pups, born in foster care, will be available for adoption in future.  (See below for info on Merry.)

Status:  Dead (6 dogs)

4 dogs at Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC – Murray, Harry, Buddy and dog #38805 were put in the gas chamber on 12-13-10.

2 puppies at Humane Society of Etowah Co in AL – The pups were less than 10 weeks old and came in very sick.  Parvo was suspected and both were euthanized.  They were the youngest of the group of 44 and the only 2 who appeared to be sick.

Status:  Lost (2 dogs)

1 dog – Merry – transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services in NC to Humane Society of Charlotte, escaped from her foster owner in January 2011.

1 dog lost in TN.  Kendall escaped from her New Leash on Life foster home in December 2010 and hasn’t been found.

Status:  Unknown (15 dogs)

10 dogs left at the Nashville Humane Association in TN.  I have been asking and asking and asking Nashville Humane about these dogs.  I had other people ask Nashville Humane about these dogs.  No responses.  I continually monitored their website, watching for any of the dogs to appear, as Nashville Humane had indicated they would post them there as soon as the dogs were available.  Nothing.  Ever.  Until February 4 when, on a whim, I tried e-mailing an inquiry to someone at Nashville Humane I hadn’t contacted previously.  Heck, ya never know.  I finally got a reply although it was ominous sounding.  I was informed that Nashville Humane does not have any of the dogs “right now” and no further information would be provided. I was referred to HSUS for more info.  I went ahead and asked Nashville Humane for more information anyway because I’m annoying like that to my mind, Nashville Humane should at least say what the status of the dogs was when they were last in their care.  No response.  So this is me, asking HSUS – What happened to these 10 dogs?

2 dogs transferred from Lincoln Co Animal Services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg shelter in NC.  Their kill rate is about 65%.  Both dogs now listed on Char-Meck’s site under slightly altered ID numbers – Daisy (ID#A0797513) and Markus (ID#A0797514 ).  I called “311” for Char-Meck Co on February 6 and was told both dogs were still there, still unavailable for adoption and still kenneled in “DDTF” – Dangerous Dogs Task Force.  The person answering the phone kindly offered to take my name and phone number to be contacted in the event either dog is in danger of being killed.  In addition, I was advised Daisy had a urinary problem and had been receiving veterinary treatment and that Char-Meck had been working with HS of Charlotte on her.  I sent an inquiry to HS of Charlotte for an update but have not yet received a response.  It’s sad to me to think of these two still sitting in segregated kennels at a kill shelter, months after being taken from their home, still unavailable for adoption.  I wonder how they are doing and hope they will be offered to the public as soon as possible.

3 dogs remain unaccounted for and I’m still looking for them.  HSUS presumably remembers where they dropped them but has declined to say where that was or what the status of the 3 dogs is now.  

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the 3 unaccounted for dogs or the status of any of the “Unknown” dogs, please share.  HSUS, I’m looking at you.

By the way, this blog accepts anonymous comments.  Just so everyone knows.

Update, February 18: I received a response to my inquiry from HS of Charlotte.  They do NOT have a behaviorist working with Char-Meck on Daisy or Markus and don’t have any info on them.  Bear Bear has been adopted.  Merry’s 5 pups remain in foster care.   One of the pups is ill and will remain with the foster owner indefinitely.

Also, a reader sent in a comment posted on Facebook by Wayne Pacelle regarding the AL 44 which says, in part:  “some have been adopted, others are still being worked with, and some did have to be humanely euthanized”.  No new info there, although apparently the definition of “humanely euthanized” is another point where I differ from HSUS.

38 thoughts on “UPDATED – HSUS – Please Tell Us What Happened to the Alabama 44

  1. It would sure be nice if people rallyed together to try and make HSUS accountable for their actions. They bring in millions a year and then pull stunts like this???? There are rescues out there actually trying to help that could use those millions to actually save animals!

  2. I just wanted to make a clarification regarding the dogs in “DDTF” at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control. The term DDTF once stood for Dangerous Dog Task Force which has not been operational for many years. The shelter still uses the initials for a series of indoor kennels but these kennels are typically used for sick dogs, pregnant dogs and new born pups which need to be isolated from the general population. This area is used for special need dogs and should not be thought of in a negative way.

    1. Thank you Michael but I’m still thinking of it as a negative in that they are isolated from the general population and not available for adoption. It’s been months since they were taken from the only home they’d ever known and keeping them in isolation at this point is not something I can think of in positive terms.

      1. But given that Diasy is under vet care for her “urinary problem” it could make sense…maybe they are trying to allow her time to recover? (hoping)

        As for Markus – do we have a reson for him still being isolated at this time?

        I agree with what you are saying about them being removed from the only home they have ever known and being kept in isolation not being very positive – maybe this is a case where they could actually look into foster homes for those 2 instead of isolation? Does this HS work with fosters at all – and would they possibly consider that option with these 2?

      2. @YesBiscuit

        Further clarification of the “DDTF” kennels at Char-Meck. Yes, they are segregated from general population but they are tiled kennels in a big room. (Think ‘echo chamber’) These animals never get to see the light of day much less breathe fresh air. Volunteers can not enter this room or interact with these animals. This is where the “Rabies Quarantine” animals are kept, mostly big dogs. Imagine 30 dogs all barking loudly at once all housed in a room that echos like a bathroom. Oh, and they keep totally, completely freaked out cats in cages in this room too within sight of the dogs. If the cat wasn’t scared or agressive enough when it came in, it sure as hell will be when they have to kill it.

    2. I also have been in Char-Meck ACC’s “DDTF” room and it is not as bad as what FixCharlotte says. While the kennels are all indoors, they are quite large with two separate areas (so the dogs can get away from their “toilets”. The maximum number of dogs housed in there is quite small, and it is usually quiet (that is why nursing moms are usually there). And, I have NEVER seen a cat in that area. “Rabies Quarantine” is a similar room, but totally separate from DDTF. And, as far as the two AL dogs, I know that one of them is terribly unsocialized (I think Daisy) and the other has some kind of neurologic problem, most likely genetic. I don’t have any info as to whether either of them will be deemed adoptable. I hope Char-Meck ACC decides soon though. I agree that keeping them there indefinitely not a life for them.

      1. Those 2 dogs REALLY need to be placed in a foster home IF we expect to see them evolve into the dogs they were meant to be. Foster will allow them time to recoop and heal, while giving the foster “parent” the chance to see what behavior problems these dogs may or may nto have. It has been proven to work in many situations and I am sure would be the BEST interest for the dogs, especially as they have been there for so long now.

  3. I have always been very clear in my dislike for HSUS – but if just this ONE TIME someone – ANYONE – who works or volunteers with HSUS can supply ANY information I might, just might, hold them to a little bit of a higher regard. Remember that like Shirley said – you can post this as ANONYMOUS!!!

    I have been banned from posting on their FB page, otherwise I would ask myself. And I am sure that any phone calls or e-mail from me would receive the same as you get Shirley…nothing.

  4. My request to the state rep for the HSUS went unanswered as did my email to the Nashville Humane Association. Surely an organization this large – and this well funded – has some record-keeping requirements to account for the disposition of each dog. It’s really not rocket science as far as I’m concerned.

    1. Seriously. Because you know that what they want is for it to just go away. Accountability is not their strong suit.

  5. Just adding another thank you to YesBiscuit for keeping with this story.

    You are not alone – we ALL want to know the fate of these dogs.

    1. I think instead of calling it humanely euthanized we should just call it “MURDER”. Because when you get down to it that really is what it is.

  6. Yes, this rescue could use some of the millions HSUS hauls in right? How bout the mill dogs the judge said were illegally seized in SD? I have some here now….where’s my cut of the pie HSUS? Our tiny organization and another on the East Coast have spent around 10,000.00 combined to get them out of the hell hole shelter you stuck them in after you left town. We had vetting, transports, and months of rehab on these poor dogs, that IMO were treated worse than at the mill if reports of witnesses up there hold true.

    So, where are these dogs??????

  7. Well done on the whole tenacity thing…this blog is AWESOME…but perhaps we need to go a bit more public? Perhaps Pepsi would like to be contacted and asked if THEY can shake loose some info from HSUS. All that great grant money aught to buy them at least one returned phone call?
    Who else can we query?
    Seems they were capable of saying where all the Cavaliers (et al) went to…why can’t they account for the chow mixes?!

  8. Sometimes these stories bring me so low. First steal the dogs, then discard them like trash. How is this a “rescue”. It gives rescue a really bad name. Like it or not HSUS is giving real rescue groups a bad name in addition to bilking the public out of funds the real rescue groups need for the animals. My heart goes out to the owner that lost their animals. Even more so it goes out to the animals that left what they knew to be scattered to the winds among strangers, some of whom just kill them and toss them like yesterday’s garbage. How was their last home worse? Better dead than fed?

  9. One of the essential issues is that rescuers focus on tarring people with these terms that are highly pejorative : be a “puppy mill” or a “hoarder” and now you’re just scum and we can do anything to you and your animals (including “rescue to kill” while we use you to raise money)

    Instead of name calling, how about we focus on the animals? One animal or 100 … the issue is what condition it/they are living in, not how many there are.

    Once the alleged abuser gets tagged with a word that “proves” she’s scum, it becomes so much more easy to also tag the dogs as irredeemable and “rescue to kill” them. Except of course the cute valuable little purebred

    1. Boy did you hit the nail on the head with that one. “Give a dog (or dog-owner) a bad name and hang him” seems to be the Rescue-to-Kill mindset.

    2. @Emily- I like your comment about focusing on dogs rather than people/politics. Personally, I care about breed as much as the dogs do, which is to say not very much. Dogs about to be destroyed, or living in miserable conditions don’t care who saves their lives either. I’m not a HSUS hater like most here. Many things they do bother me; your comment “while we use you to raise money” is what I think they are doing with Mr. Vick, and that bothers me for a lot of reasons. The pejorative terms you mention were invented by a bloated media to entertain a bloated public. HSUS is media skilled, so it follows that they would employ media terminology. However, I’m not sure that I know of a case where a “puppy mill” or “hoarder” has been labelled as such and then found to be providing effective care to their animals, by a reasonable and commonly accepted standard. I may be wrong though.

      1. @hwylo,
        When you focus on the effective care of the dogs, you help the owner be more effective first. Moving any of the dogs should be the last resort. I have heard of many cases where older, semi-retired breeders have been labeled, raided and bullied into relinquishing all their dogs. If they are having money problems, why can’t the “rescue” community help support keeping the dogs at home instead of ripping them from their owner? When the “rescued” dogs are “adopted out” (for a fee) the next day, you can’t tell me that they lacked effective care.

  10. First off, thank you SO much for keeping on top of this. I’m glad that somebody is, and if I can find places to share the info and raise awareness, I will.

    I would be very interested in finding out how the HSUS justifies coming in, removing all the animals, and then dumping them on others while raking in donations which aren’t always being used to help the animals that garner them such publicity.

    1. Everytime I have contacted the HSUS about just such issues I am ALWAYS told that the money raised is needed to be used for the next big rescue – they have to pay people for their time, pay for the vet evaluations, pay people to locate places to take them, etc. That’s THEIR take on it.

      I just think they are greedy and don’t care enough to actually make sure that the animals are saved and fixed up and given a new forever home that can provide for them properly. If they do REALLY care about the animals then I would think they would spend a little more of their millions to make sure the animals have what they need to make it out ALIVE to their forever home instead of just rushing in to rescue them & dump them without so much as a backwards glance.

  11. I want to adopt one of the dogs in Nashville too, I can’t believe there is no news of them at all :(

    1. Katie,
      I would suggest you contact their last known address, that is Nashville Humane at 615-352-1010. Perhaps if they learn that you are interested in adopting, they will tell you where the dogs are and you can see about finding a possible match for your home. I would love to get all these dogs (the ones still living I mean) out of shelters and into homes ASAP.

  12. I would suggest flooding HSUS’s Facebook wall with posts asking for information, possibly with a link to this post. Shine a light on these dogs, and they won’t want to deal with the bad publicity.

  13. SarahHSUS contacted me on Twitter. I just spent the last hour repeatedly asking where the 10 dogs are that Nashville Humane had. I asked it every which way I could think of. I typed it while standing on my head. Blindfolded. With one hand tied behind my back. And learned… nada.

    Still hoping for an anonymous source to come forward with info on these 10 dogs. C’mon someone. At least tell us if the dogs are ALIVE!

    1. Why in the hell did she bother to contact you if she wasn’t even going to give you any info? Was she just stringing you along or trying to get you to stop blogging about them? That kind of stuff makes NO sense to me!

  14. TN has an Open Records Act so if Nashville Humane has ever received public funding of any kind, you could request the info on the 10 dogs directly from the shelter. Or write a letter to the shelter director and every member of the board asking what happened to them. They might figure it’s easier to tell the truth than face a public relations nightmare.

  15. Okay, so Nashville HS isn’t willing to tell you anything. Why is that? They did say they do not have any of the dogs at this time. So, can we infer that they actually DID have some of these dogs at SOME time?
    Didn’t HSUS give you them as a recipient on their original distribution list?
    So, either HSUS lied and didn’t give them any dogs, or some dogs were placed there.
    And if Nashville HS doesn’t have any of the dogs at this time, then what are the choices? They gave them BACK to HSUS (not likely!) they put them into a super secret underground rescue (right…I’m sure that’s it) or, they killed them. Which nobody wants to hear and nobody wants to admit, so that’s the story I’m betting on. (For heaven’s sake, if they adopted them out, wouldn’t they be shouting this from the rooftops?!)
    And refusing to talk about it will help them, how?!?
    How many months has it been since these dogs were taken from their owner? Does it look like anybody is rolling over or falling asleep? At what point will somebody realize that it’s better to just fess-up and tell the truth and be done with it?
    Waiting with baited breath…
    (and really appreciating the tenaciously affirmative biscuit!)

    1. To be clear Lynn, HSUS didn’t tell me where any of the dogs were. Ever. All the info in the list was obtained via direct contact with the shelters/rescues. Nashville Humane told me on the phone back in December that they had 10 of the dogs. They wouldn’t give out any add’l info except to say that none were available for adoption but as soon as they were, the dogs would be listed on their website. Follow up inquiries have gone unanswered – until I got the “we don’t have them right now” e-mail. HSUS refuses to say where the dogs are or even if they are still alive. It’s a shame. But I’m not giving up.

  16. Former HSUS employee: the disaster response or field services team members do not work at HSUS headquarters. Some are paid employees and many are volunteers. It’s likely that no one at HSUS HQ ever saw the dogs or the home they came from. That said, I cannot think of a reason HSUS would not report on where the dogs are unless they do not know or are hiding the outcome. There is nothing wrong with reporting that some of the dogs were not saved. But saying some of the dogs were killed in a gas chamber is almost as bad as reporting that any of the dogs’ whereabouts is unknown. Certainly, HSUS only assists other agencies in rescue operations. However, it has a duty to follow the outcomes of any animals it reports it has “rescued”. So either it did not follow the animals adequately, entrusted the care of the animals to substandard groups who do not keep track or knows very well the outcome of the animals was unacceptable. Worst case acceptable scenario would be that you brought it to their attention and they were horrified to find out something bad may have happened. But not answering means it’s something worse.

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