Allegations of Abuse at Calhoun Co Pound

A video posted on You Tube features two former employees of Calhoun Co Animal Control in AL making allegations of cruelty at the pound.  (Warning:  The narrative is disturbing to hear and the descriptions of pet abuse are graphic.)  Among the allegations are the use of heartstick without sedation, allowing pets in severe pain to suffer and die on their own instead of promptly euthanizing them, beating pets to death, dogs being bagged alive after botched heartsticks and chewing their way through the garbage bags, and throwing puppies in a sink filled with urine, feces and blood (from previously killed pets) to die slowly after botched kill shots.

I asked a local advocate for some additional evidence and received a number of photos.  Some are too disturbing to post here but I am including a few others for your review:

This shot appears to show multiple dogs in a filthy pen with kibble on the floor.

Another shot which appears to show multiple dogs in a filthy pen.

This photo appears to show multiple dogs in a filthy pen. The puppy appears to be old enough to require water yet the bucket in the photo looks to be too large for him to drink from.

I called Calhoun Co AC for their response to these allegations and was directed to county commissioner Eli Henderson for comment.  Mr. Henderson told me the pound has a vet on call and he was right there in the office at the time of my call.  He helped answer some of my questions.  Mr. Henderson explained they were about to have a meeting with their attorney and they’d been inundated with calls over the cruelty allegations.

Mr. Henderson characterized the two individuals making the allegations as “disgruntled former employees” and added that “none of the stories have turned out to be true”.  He said the allegations were referring to a time in the past (a couple of years ago) when they had a different director whom they had some problems with and is no longer employed at the pound.  I asked about the allegations regarding the current employee named in the video and he reiterated that the allegations are false.  Specifically, he said pets at the Calhoun Co AC facility are killed via IV injection and a sedative is given if needed.  I inquired as to whom I should file a FOIA request for shelter records and he said to file with the shelter directly which I have done.

I expect to receive additional documentation from the local advocate as well as the shelter records I requested in the near future.  When I do, I will of course follow up on this post.

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14 Comments

  1. I have been in contact with the woman leading the charge on this effort and am hoping she will be strong. Criminal charges must be filed. This cannot be dismissed out of hand. Even if the folks on the county commission suspect these allegations have been exaggerated (which I’m sure they have not), that is not up to them to decide. This is torture and abuse and I would argue the conduct amounts to felonies under Alabama law. I guess I expect too much when I expect elected officials to say, “oh my gosh. We’ll look into this immediately and make it stop. We had no idea.”

    The status quo is not only alive and well, we either support it or fight it each time we exercise the privilege of voting in an election.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  December 12, 2011

      Yeah, the first move is always to deny wrongdoing. Then it’s “Oh, disgruntled employee” (never mind the photos or video). Then it’s “We had no idea” followed by “We’ll fire a person or two and that should do it.”

      People have known and covered up – they all need to be exposed and named.

      Reply
  2. mikken

     /  December 12, 2011

    Shit. What kind of monsters are some people? Thank goodness someone is speaking out. I hope it makes the difference.

    Reply
  3. Shame on you bastards , and you know it’s true ……

    Reply
  4. I am glad someone is speaking up for these animals and hope she can gain more help in her community and that they will join her in demanding a change.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer

     /  December 12, 2011

    If that puppy did try to get water, I would be afraid it would fall in the bucket and drown!

    Reply
  6. patricia amigh

     /  December 13, 2011

    I can’t believe that this continues to happen, what the hell is wrong with these morons? I pray someone is following through with the investigation of this shelter.

    Reply
  7. Karen

     /  December 13, 2011

    This is precisely why I lost interest in pushing for a shelter in our county. Way too many self serving, sociopathic, abusive people permeate the “shelter” system and migrate from shelter job to shelter job to stay under the radar. These people get their jollies victimizing the helpless. The money paid to these freaks would be so much better spent on low cost spay/neuter initiatives where a GOOD vet was paid adequately to provide the services.

    Reply
  8. GUESS THEY AE GOING TO SAY YOU DID NOT SEE THAT. HUMM DO YOUR EYES LIE ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE. WHAT A COWARD TO MISS TREAT AN ANIMAL. IF THEY ARE GOING TO DO THAT IMAGINE WHAT THEY WILL DO TO PEOPLE. LOOK AT THE STATS ON PEOPLE WHO ABUSE PEOPLE OR KILL THEM THEY HAD A HISTORY OF ANIMAL ABUSE. THERE SHOULD BE EMERGENCY POLICIES ON GOING IN AND TAKING OVER THESE SHELTERS AND THE PEOPLE GOING TO JAIL IF IT WERE HUMANS BEING ABUSE THAT WOULD HAPPEN. WHAT IS THE DIFFRENCE? YOU PEOPLE ARE A DISGRACE TO MISTREAT AND ABUSE ANIMALS. TRY TO ABUSE ME YOU IGNORANT……….

    Reply
  9. lovedogs

     /  December 13, 2011

    Do you really believe those shelter records will be accurate when you receive them? Of course they are going to call the people making the eye witness accounts of the torture “disgruntled”. What else would anyone expect? Of course, they are blamming the “past incidents” on a previous director. What elese would anyone expect? This is business in Alabama as usual. This is how our tax money is spent-to torture animals, deny the torture and then maybe and I do mean maybe eventually blame someone else that is no longer there. This is a sick world we live in. The total, complete disregard for animal welfare and the sick minds that are hired and paid to care for these defenseless animals INCLUDING the commission and the law enforcement agencies that see this as no concern leaves me speechless. Wake up Alabama and educate yourself as to what is going on in your community. If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

    Reply
  10. My contact was on TV last night. I was so proud when she used the word “culture” to describe this. She presented as the informed voice of outrage. The chairman of the county commission presented as oblivious and uninformed, “We asked the vet if he knew about any of this going on and he said no. We know this was disgruntled employees.” Of course the vet said no. He could lose is license otherwise. And he likely has not been in the shelter building for months.

    I believe today is law enforcement day as in criminal complaints being filed. In light of an Alabama mayor going to trial for misdemeanor cruelty, I have hopes for these charges. I see them as felonies but even if they are not deemed that by those with badges, they are still criminal acts.

    Reply
  11. Millie Harris

     /  December 13, 2011

    I accompanied three eye-witnesses to the sheriff’s office today to file complaints, and have four more coming forward this week. It is somewhat disturbing that the sheriff’s department falls under the umbrella of the Calhoun County Commission, but the investigator seemed thorough and sincere. Whom can we trust? It’s disheartening to witness the commission defend this inept director and accuse these traumatized former employees as “disgruntled.” I would be disgruntled, too. The director invites all to witness the kill tomorrow (wonder if he has any takers), and anyone to walk through his “clean as a whistle” (now) facility. He knows how to appease and to calm the doubtful into believing “all is well.” He duped me for two years, simply because it was, well “easier.” Not knowing definitely has its benefits – like sleep.

    Reply
    • Thank you Millie for taking action. Please let me know if I can assist in any way. We are all hoping the authorities take these claims seriously and perform a thorough investigation.

      Reply
  12. Digruntled Animal Lover

     /  January 13, 2012

    and now eli is running for county cicuit clerk .sorry eli, but i am voting for tina walker. i guess you can blame that on a disgruntled animal lover!

    Reply

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