Wake Co Pet of the Day: ur doin it rong

In September, volunteers at the Wake Co Animal Center in NC went to the media with concerns over the increasing kill rate at the pound:

[…] Wake County shelter volunteers came to WRAL Investigates to report their belief that the shelter now is too quick to kill.


“Too many of the dogs that we’ve just taken photos of that seemed healthy are gone,” said volunteer Al Silverstein.

On Tuesday, the pound took a beautiful 8 month old Lab mix named Sassy to the WRAL TV studio to be featured as Pet of the Day at noon.  She appears healthy in the video.  The pound staff member indicated Sassy had already been spayed and was ready to go home right away.  Volunteers report that a viewer who saw Sassy on TV that day wanted to adopt her.  But the pound killed Sassy that afternoon because, according to the Wake Co Deputy Manager, she had “a honking cough and green nasal discharge”.

Our policy restricts infectious dogs from being placed on the adoption floor or placed in foster due to the risk of spreading infection to other animals both in the Center and in an adopter’s home.

Apparently Wake Co’s position is “We won’t treat coughing dogs and we won’t let anyone else do it either.”  How does that position reconcile with the Deputy Manager’s statement that Sassy “needed to be euthanized”?  She had an adopter wanting to take care of her.  Sassy did not need to be killed, Wake Co chose to kill her even though options existed for treating her cough.

Wake Co is reportedly planning some changes after the public outcry over Sassy’s killing forced them into it.  But you know what bothers me in addition to the needless killing of a dog who appeared to be healthy?  The fact that the Deputy Manager used his press release on Sassy’s killing as an opportunity to announce the new director at the pound, who just started work on Monday.  And when a reporter showed up for a scheduled interview with that director regarding Sassy’s killing, the director hid:

Animal Shelter Director Dennis McMichael, who started the job Monday, was scheduled to do an interview with WRAL News Wednesday to talk about Sassy’s death. When a reporter and photographer showed up, managers at the center said “things came up” and that they would not answer any questions.

WRAL tracked down McMichael, who said he was looking in to the issue. He declined to comment any further.

Is this the best Wake Co can do?


12 thoughts on “Wake Co Pet of the Day: ur doin it rong

  1. I’m getting pissed more and more every day. How about taking the dog to the Vet? Oh no, wait, that would mean somebody would have to get off his lazy ass and actually do something. Not going to a Foster home? Hello? A Foster home would be the best place for a sick dog to recover and get healthy again.

  2. The idiots at that shelter are very much like our Animal Control Board here in Lewisburg, Marshall County, Tennessee. I attended their meeting on Tuesday night after hearing of some proposed breed specific legislation. The director addressed our concerns by stating that the proposed ordinance was not breed specific, but addressed vicious dogs. He then went on to say “this is probably gonna get me in trouble, but we have made a policy change and now pit bulls cannot be adopted out of the shelter”. They now plan to kill any pit bull picked up as a stray and not returned to the owner. This sets us back to the 95% kill rate we had one year ago, before a group of dedicated volunteers lowered that to 0% by marketing the dogs for adoption and rescue. A large number of the dogs coming into the shelter are pit mixes, which I am sure the animal control officers will identify as pit bulls. If anyone has any ideas to combat this action, I would love to hear them.

    1. You all got the kill rate down to 0%? Is that a misprint Kelly? If not WOW how did you do that in one year’s time?

      Ideas: Have you called your local media people?

  3. We had an evening lecture at the shelter where I volunteer Monday night. The Exec Director announced that the cats with ring worm were about to finish the six week treatment they were on and that any other shelter would have “euthanized” them. We took in puppies with parvo from Tuscaloosa. We treat dogs with heart worm. It’s not rocket science, folks.

  4. How dare the asshats at Wake Co. decide that a foster or adoptive home would be in “danger” from a dog with a treatable problem – which, in this case and I’m sure many others, was as close to complete bullshit as a person with a couple brain cells to rub together could see. What if the foster or adopter didn’t have another dog to – possibly – infect? And even if they did, it should be the choice of the person offering the home to decide if the possible problem is either too expensive to treat or really is so virulent as to pose a serious threat to other dogs in their care. Lastly, if they went to the expense to spay the dog, a vet is accessible to the shelter and should be consulted to determine what the exact disease is that a dog – maybe – has and how virulent and difficult/expensive it is to treat. Describing a so-called cough and green discharge (a snotty nose takes more that a couple hours to go from clear to green, and the dog has no discharge at all in the video), without finding out if it’s – maybe – kennel cough (or distemper!) and just killing the dog is shitty healthcare. What if that dog actually had something zoonotic? I wonder if they had anyone who touched Sassy do a full-body decontamination protocol, including burning their clothes? No? But…but…but…she’s contagious and needs to die!!!!!!!!!

    I call asshattery – full on asshattery.

  5. With the expected reported death of Ace in Detroit, and the shenanigans going on at shelters around the country maybe this is what is needed to wake the damn country up.
    Note: Shenanigans is indeed intended as sarcastic commentary on what can only be described as wholesale slaughter of healthy adoptable pets.
    RIP Sweet Sassy, Poo betrayed Ace and the thousands that died today in a “shelter” system that is so egotistical so is not able to accept change knowing it will have to admit that they have been wrong all along. Run by people that have no real respect for the individuals that die in anonymity daily.
    What needs to be done to oust these selfish callow fools that are elected?? How is it that they think they own nothing to the public and the innocents in their care??
    Lastly how do these dumbasses get these jobs?? Bring on the puppet regime!! Long may it reign!!

  6. The same thing happened at MAS last year when I was holding Lil Bit, who I had gone to adopt w/a hold on her on a Saturday morning, I begged, cried and offered to sign a release stating that MAS had no responsility for the health of the dog (who had no nasal discharge, just a mild cough when she ran and pulled on the leash…did not feel warm..I would sign that I was on the way to my vet. Dr. Coleman would not come out and speak to me….they pulled the dog from my arms and told me she would be dead in less than 5 minutes..end of story and Lil Bit!

  7. Hmmm…new director at Wake Co. kills Sassy. New director at Detroit kills Ace; are these directors related in any way to new director Matt in NM???? :-D

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