Open Letter to SLED Regarding the Chesterfield Shelter Investigation

Now that SLED has opened an investigation into the alleged shootings at the Chesterfield Co shelter, here is what I’d like to see happen:

In addition to the 3 dogs whose bodies have already been sent for necropsy, I hope SLED will exhume some older remains at the landfill as well.  From my understanding, this is not a landfill where trash is dumped but is used exclusively for disposal of shelter pets.  It should be easy to find some older carcasses, especially since visitors to the site indicate many bodies are partially visible.  I think it would be worthwhile, and key to the investigation, to determine if shelter pets have been “euthanized” by shooting before last Friday’s alleged incident.

The purchase orders for Fatal Plus are a matter of public record, as is the shelter’s drug log.  I hope SLED will look at the purchase orders and the drug log to determine how many pets may have been killed via injection since the shelter got rid of its gas chamber last fall.  By comparing the amount of Fatal Plus purchased with the amount currently on hand and cross referencing that information with the shelter’s records of total pets killed and the drug log, we should be able to draw some relevant conclusions about the shelter’s post-gas chamber kill methods.

Lastly, my understanding is that the shelter has video surveillance of the parking lot.  I hope SLED will review this footage, going back to the day the shelter stopped gassing, to verify whether live animals were routinely loaded off the AC trucks upon return to the shelter after stray pick up calls.  The footage should also reveal how many live pets were loaded on to the trucks and whether those trucks then returned empty during that period.  And the footage for Friday, March 4 will reveal how many live pets were loaded on to the trucks and how many, if any, returned.  That should clear up the confusion about the total number of pets allegedly killed on that day.

Anyone wanting to copy this blog post in order to send a letter to SLED regarding the investigation is welcome to do so.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Fax:   (803) 896-7588

24 thoughts on “Open Letter to SLED Regarding the Chesterfield Shelter Investigation

  1. I guess it would be helpful to find out what Chesterfield Co feels emergency situations are that would constitute shooting harmless dogs. It’s not like a dumpster of dogs were running at them going to attack them! What plausible excuse could they have? This is outrageous. They should be charged to the fullest extent of animal hate crimes. All animals that breathe have souls and whoever took it upon themselves to make these animals die by shooting them should be made a complete example of for the world to see. This is simply outrageous!

  2. The people who approved of the shooting of these dogs should be fired and prosecuted like anyone else who treated these dogs with cruelty. Shooting didn’t bring on instant death, but most likely caused suffering and pain and had to be shot again. This is so barbaric.

    1. I agree. Someone should lose more than just their job. Criminal charges should definitely be brought against the person or persons who opted to willfully and maliciously ended these animals lives. It is akin to murder. Only thing is, if it were a person, the person would be brought up on murder charges. These are animals that could have potentially been someone’s service dog or someone’s ultimate pet. Instead they wasted their lives. Let’s not let this go unnoted. God puts us in charge of these pets. Let them know this is not to be taken lightly and firing someone is just not sufficient enough, that a message should sound loud and clear that this is simply not going to be stood for.

  3. As an animal lover I think that it is absolutely wrong.To take nice shelter pets and shoot point blank is wrong and someone should lose their jobs.

  4. Here are my questions:

    Who is the certified euthanasia technician at Chesterfield? As required by law the person who would have to administer/sign off on all injections.

    Where are the intake/disposition records on all of the dogs, specifically those who were shot/released/still missing? Who signed them?

    § 47-3-60. Disposition of quarantined or impounded animals.
    “Complete records must be kept by shelter officials as to the disposition of all animals impounded.”

    Where are the stats for calls, responses, disposition of calls for the past 3 years?

    When did the county last audit the Sheriff’s Dept? Where are the results of the audit? How much was documented as spent on food, supplies, equipment, facility? Nothing – all, 100% donation? Inmates & volunteers clean, care for and staff the shelter. Sheriff’s purchases include 4 new SUVs. This shelter has no heat. The budget is $160,000+ annual.

    Follow the paper trail.

  5. I would also like to know what effect it has on the health of animals at the shelter to have dogs and cats partially buried in the landfill across the street.

    What else is disposed of in the landfill? The parvo virus is shed in dog feces and can survive in the environment for up to a year. The canine distemper virus can survive for weeks in a shady environment.
    The feline distemper virus can live for up to a year in the environment. No doubt some of the animals put down at the shelter have been sick. With ACOs coming and going from the landfill where the bodies are so casually buried that parts can be seen sticking up out of the dirt, I would expect the disease rates to be unusually high. Just another way that laziness and lack of caring and lack of ethics can kill.

  6. And were these dogs killed in front of each other? Did we just let them all out and have target practice (which would explain why some were “released” – got away before they could be shot) or did we take out one at a time and shoot it in front of the others? Either way, worthy of cruelty charges…

    There is NO WAY they can justify these actions on any level. I really hope SLED comes down on them hard.

  7. A bigger question to ask is Who selected the dogs for necropsy? Chesterfield or Independent Agency? Working in the medical field, Hospitals have hidden the bad records in order not to get fined by JACHO. Have to wonder did Chesterfield send these dogs – the ones that wouldn’t indicate they did anything? Or if they had, that it was less than what they did to the ones that potentially could have been hid or burned or taken elsewhere and disposed of. Gotta ask….

  8. this has been going on for some time i was there last year when a inmate told me they will not use the shot to put dogs down because it cost to much i adopted a puppy that same day and the inmate put the money in his pocket. he said know one would know inmates are left there alone to take care of the shelter some are good some dont care and just want to get a day the 1 very good inmate who told the truth THANK YOU

  9. what i would like to see done is….who every said it was ok to do this they should be fired.and anyone who did shoot the dogs cats they should get fired no inmates should be aloud to work with out someone watching the sled should look at all records and do there jobs with out thinking about sam use to work for them

  10. I’d like to say I am happy about SLED taking over the investigation,BUT being that I have lived in South Carolina and first hand experienced cover up by SLED officers, I think the status quo will prevail.I witnessed a SC State trooper running a stop sign, hit and kill 2 people on a motorcycle.When We told the other officers what we saw, we were immediately told we didn’t see what we saw.Over the next hour , we were threatened with arrest for obstruction of government process, along with many others things.The officers who stuck and killed these 2 people was never charged with a crime, he was put on paid leave(besides spending months in the hospital for his injuries)and as far as I know, went back to work.So along with most other police agencies, not many are going to fairly report crimes by “fellow” law enforcement agencies.I really hope, SLED has changed in the last 10 yrs, but my gut tells me no.What happened in Chesterfield , goes beyond barbaric.I really don’t have works for it, other than to say , it reminds me of health care professionals , who kill their patients.Unfortunately , things like this happen everyday in the US,people paid to do a public job and failing to keep their promise to the citizens of this country.

  11. It is being reported that Chesterfield County Animal Control Officer Brain Burch has 2 felony drug charges from 1990s………mfg,distrubuting,or possesion of lsd and cocaine…3 years in prision and 10,000 fine….also charge of ice crack or crank,charge not persued..Sam Parker said he was aware of his criminal past….how can we confirm this? Wouldn’t that be reason for a weapons charge?

    1. I was under the impression that all the people who worked at the shelter were either inmates or police officers – since Mr. Burch is the person who oversees that facility it would stand to reason that he’s a police officer. So now our police departments are hiring people with drug felony charges? I expected more of our police departments. It kind of goes without saying that Sheriff Parker knew all this prior to hiring him – they do very through background checks on these guys…at least most police departments do…so this information should be in Mr. Burch’s personnel file – and it is something SLED should know about as well…maybe we should make sure that they DO know it. I haven’t sent SLED a letter yet, or called them. Maybe I’ll bring that up. This entire situation is sounding like a movie plot the more we discover about the people that run this place and what is happening there. The animals are the biggest losers in all of this…I hope that SLED keeps that in mind and doesn’t try to help cover up for their officers.

    1. Ok – so these aren’t REAL police officers – just Animal Control Officers…..which would explain a little more. I find it odd that they would allow them to carry guns…and using them to kill animals? So Parker “inherited” Burch….I would’ve relased him from his position if it were my call. Felony charges result in not being allowed to have a firearm…do we know if Mr. Burch took part in the shootings? Because if he’s not Brady qualified then he shouldn’t have a gun. All the more reason for him to be fired permanently – not placed on leave and still receiving a pay check! Given his past I wouldn’t even think he’d be qualified to hold a government position, in any capacity. I know that many of us made mistakes while growing up – but to be charged with 2 drug felony charges and now to be receiving a pay check from taxpayers just sounds a bit ridiculous. Plus for Sheriff Parker to say he inherited more problems in 36 years with this facility makes me think that he really doesn’t care about this place or the animals in it…sounds like it’s time to turn it over to Paws N Claws to run, at least then the animals won’t be let loose in the woods or shot at the dirt field across from the shelter.

  12. After the investigation is done, I’d like to see all of the animals (4 legged and 2 legged) cleared out of the place, the 4 legged ones put into foster homes, the 2 legged ones given a pink slip, and someone to take a wrecking ball to the “shelter”. Tear the
    place down, and rebuild it, and do it RIGHT this time:
    Make it a No Kill Shelter.

    As long as they kill, they are not a “shelter”. Only a disgraceful house of horrors.

    1. They should be able to give their side of the story if they’re interviewed privately by the SLED investigators, but they probably can’t talk to the media. In my state, it’s not legal to show them on tv or post their photos on the internet if faces or identifying characteristics are shown in the picture. That’s why we have a lot of photos of dogs with just the inmates’s feet showing in the pictures on Petfinder sites.

    2. I can’t imagine what those guys would be put through for tattling on other officers…granted I know that they are officer in name only and only for animal control…but think of all the times you’ve heard of retaliation against those who are doing time and they rat out a guard for bad behavior. In so many cases like that the inmates suffer in jail because they chose to open their mouth. Sadly – they are stuck where they are and have to deal with the crap the officers deal out to them. I’m sure SLED will talk to them as well…let’s just hope that they aren’t retaliated against.

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