Mass Killing at TX Pound

The Humane Society of Northeast Texas in Gregg Co has had nine dogs die of undetermined causes recently post adoption/rescue.  One of those dogs tested positive for canine distemper.  As a result, the pound is closing for a week while the staff kills every dog in the place – approximately 154 pets – and then cleans the facility thoroughly.

The lack of humility is staggering.  What gives this shelter director the right to decide to kill 154 dogs indiscriminately?  What if the dogs aren’t showing symptoms of distemper?  What if members of the public and rescuers are willing to responsibly quarantine them to save their lives?

The pound’s executive director is Christine Kerr:

“If I have a message for the public, it is to please vaccinate your animals. Please spay and neuter your animals, because it is so very important to take care of your animals properly,” Kerr said.

Vaccinate, spay and neuter?  It sounds to me as if Ms. Kerr is using her “message for the public” to remind us that we are all irresponsible pet owners and to imply that we are to blame for her barbaric killing spree.  Sorry, no sale.

We are a real humane society – small h, small s.  We don’t want healthy/treatable pets killed in our shelters.  Ms. Kerr needs to own her actions.  She is responsible for this massive killing.  She made the decision to kill every dog in her care without seeking reasonable alternatives.  Vaccinate, spay & neuter – my ass.

Goodbye 154 dogs who had no one advocating for them.  I’m so sorry you fell into the hands of people who refused to protect you from harm.  You were wanted.  You were loved.  Even if you weren’t treated that way in the end.

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18 Comments

  1. Is there anything that can be done to prevent the mass killing???

    Reply
    • Peter Masloch

       /  December 19, 2011

      Most likely most of the dogs are already dead. Unbelievable.

      Reply
    • If HSUS had not stuck its huge nose in TX’s business earlier this year and made sure the Companion Animal Protection Act (Hope’s Law) was left to die in the legislature, advocates could have initiated legal action to prevent this mass killing. But without CAPA in place, this shelter director can legally kill as much as she wants AFAIK. If you are a TX resident, please contact your state reps and urge them to take action on CAPA. It won’t help these poor 154 dogs today though. Is the pound even answering its phones?

      Reply
  2. angela brown

     /  December 19, 2011

    This is EXACTLY what MAS did! They act so nonchalant its disgusting. I watched the news interview with Ms. Kerr, and she showed NO emotion. It was just another day for her!

    Reply
  3. Kelly Dalton

     /  December 19, 2011

    The same thing happened at our pound here in Lewisburg, Tennessee. 14 dogs were needlessly killed, with volunteers standing by to take to quarantine at a local vet’s office.

    When queried at the next Animal Control Board meeting, the Chairman could not answer why the dogs were killed, other than to say the “County Vet” had told them to kill them.

    Reply
  4. This broke my heart last night when I saw it — and it’s sad, because it is so preventable.

    Distemper is a horrible disease, and a horrible scenerio for shelters — because animals that have it don’t always show symptoms, sometimes for months. It’s contageous and the deaths are terrible.

    On the flip side, it’s pretty avoidable — just vaccinate. So many of the animals at the shelter likely were vaccinated but were killed anyway. And a shelter that uses good shelter policies will apply vaccinations for distemper at intake — making it significantly less likely that the dogs will get it.

    So avoidable. And so tragic.

    Reply
    • Yes, a horrible scenario for shelters. But. This place got ONE confirmed case of distemper from a dog who had been adopted from the facility. Can they say with any certainty the dog contracted it while at the pound? Can they say with any certainty that every dog in the place has been exposed and will infect others? Can the facility follow responsible quarantine procedures to try to save any of these dogs? Have they asked the public if anyone is willing to follow responsible quarantine procedures to save any of these dogs? It seems the answer to all these questions must be no. It seems as if the first and only response was “kill everything canine”.

      Reply
  5. KateH

     /  December 19, 2011

    All but one of the dogs died from ‘undetermined’ causes? Uh, that’s just …weird. Distemper has very obvious symptoms and effects. Did the other dogs actually die on their own (which, with distemper can take a couple weeks or so), or did the new owners have them put down when they showed symptoms such as fever and listlessness?

    Considering that approximately half the dogs that are exposed to distemper show few if any signs – and if they are physically healthy beforehand, they survive, there’s no reason to kill every dog. If they don’t develop thick, yellow pus draining from the nose, they generally get through it. I realize it’s very contagious, and it’s horrible to see a dog go through it, especially when you’re trying all kinds of supportive therapies (fluids, antibiotics, etc.), and they get to the seizure part of it (back in the 70s, we had a dog die who was supposed to have been vaccinated before we got it, but wasn’t), but geez, give a dog a week to see how it’s doing before you just kill them. If they get through it, they can’t get it again (although you could keep vaccinating against it to make everyone else comfortable).

    Reply
  6. Killing is the easy way out and so the shelters do it — again, and again, and again.

    Reply
  7. Donna

     /  December 19, 2011

    Do you happen to know whether this is another of those facilities that do not vaccinate the animals upon intake?

    Reply
    • I don’t know the answer to this question but generally speaking, pounds that conduct mass killings in response to disease outbreak while wagging their fingers at the public to vaccinate their pets are not ones who vaccinate upon intake.

      Reply
      • So her message to the public is to vaccinate their pets, yet her facility isn’t doing it either. Interesting logic.

    • Lori

       /  December 21, 2011

      I happen to know that the shelter had been vaccinating on intake early in Nov, and changed their policy to STOP intake vaccines sometime during that month. The animals who came in Mid to late Nov or later were not vaccinated. To stop doing this most routine precaution, then mass kill all these dogs without a chance is incomprehensible. I know that the shelter was notified several days earlier that there were cases that the vet knew where distemper from there, and they were just waiting for the state tests to come back. The shelter also knew that they had parvo pups in the facility. The shelter continued to intake new dogs (one person told me over a 100 animals came in the day before the report came back) into the “contaminated” area until the Official Report on one of the dogs came back. They also have not issued any request for other pet owners who had dogs die come forward with records or asked local vets to get permission to share such info with them so they can find out when it actually started and follow up with other animals who were adopted out during this time. The vets are not allowed to give out this info without the owners permission and most owners are not thinking of this when they have just lost a pet to disease. It just feels like they made bad choice after bad choice and ended up killing all those animals to cover up the decisions they had made.

      Reply
  8. Ahem. If I DID vaccinate my dog, and if it got lost, or stolen, and ended up at this place, it would be dead now, right?

    But I suppose it would be even worse if it wasn’t spayed or neutered huh? Oh, but wait, EVERY dog here is spayed or neutered (except the one I’m boarding, and I haven’t talked the owner into giving me permission to have that done, but I will!)

    Could we please get names, photos and case numbers on some of these dead animals? I’d like to see just who they murdered.

    Were there any cats? Weren’t they holding any animals in protective custody? Did they recall foster animals? Or did they just convenience kill the unlucky lot that just happened to be available at the moment.

    What will they do with the next stray they pick up? What if somebody needs to relinquish a pet before they finish their little cleaning spree?

    Reply
  9. Anne

     /  December 19, 2011

    i wonder how long they are not accepting dogs for- you know, in order to sterilize the place so new dogs won’t get re-infected

    6 years ago my shelter had a deadly outbrake of Feline Distemper- came into the shelter from a litter of kittens we had taken from Animal Control to give them a shot at adoption.
    Over the next month dozens of cats died in shelter, and more died in the homes of their new adopters. it spread so quickly that cats would die in a matter of hours- in all the cat rooms. No room could be considered ‘healthy’
    Finally we realized the building was no longer safe to house cats. We asked the public to come adopt the rest of the cats on the adoption floor- which they did (some ended up dying in their new homes, but the adopters were willing to take that risk. And many are still alive and happy today). We did end up euthanizing some cats (that were either symptomatic or for whatever reason not able to proceed to adoption that day). We then closed the shelter for a day and did an absolute head to toe cleaning. And then didn’t accept cats for an entire month while every day we bleached every cage and surface to make sure no distemper lingered.

    We vaccinated upon intake back then, but sometimes it’s not soon enough if they’re exposed before vaccinating.
    And we’ve seen distemper since then, but we’ve never had an uncontrollable outbreak like that.

    But- that being said- canine distemper is a different illness than feline distemper, and we struggled with containing the illness for over a month. And then we asked the community to step forward and they did.

    Sometimes outbreaks happen- even in the midst of good disease prevention. But you have options as to how you respond to them

    Reply
  10. If the holiday season is supposed to make people more generous than at other times of the year, I’d hate to see what this piece of trash is like in June and July when kitten season is in full swing.

    Reply
  11. Regan H

     /  December 19, 2011

    I wonder how many of the dogs were vac. and they killed them anyway. H$U$ and petards suck andall the rest of the animal rights groups it’s time to take them down

    Reply
  12. I will never, ever, get used to reading stories like this. It is an obscene example of how animals are treating as things and destroyed like so many paper plates or plastic forks when there are clear, humane alternatives. And putting the blame on the irresponsible public makes it all the more insulting. This is not a shelter. It is a disposal facility. The public would be better served to just close the doors now that the building is surely empty. “Humane society”? Hardly. I hope people in the region are outraged and make themselves heard.

    Henry Bergh is crying in his grave.

    Reply

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