Owner Finds Dog Covered in Blood at Amarillo Animal Control

On Tuesday, a 3 year old Australian Shepherd named Auston escaped his yard and was picked up by Amarillo Animal Control in Texas.  The owner, Cassie Sims, found a note from AC on her door saying her dog had been impounded.  She immediately went down to redeem him:

When Cassie went to retrieve her four-legged friend, she was surprised to see him covered in blood.

“There was blood dripping everywhere,” Cassie said. “It looked like a slaughterhouse.”

Ms. Sims suspected abuse by the ACOs “because she found wounds on his chest and his nose and mouth were bleeding.”  It certainly seems a reasonable suspicion.  But the pound’s director explained that the injuries were self-inflicted while the dog resisted being manhandled on a chokepole – which he describes as a “staff”:

“They got one of the animals (Auston) on the end of a staff and the dog fought the staff, bit the staff, punctured its tongue or lip and probably banged its nose on the end of the staff,” said Animal Control Executive Director Mike McGee.

A vet checked the dog and cleared the ACOs of any abuse.  So the owner is relieved and everybody’s happy.

Hullo!  Is anyone going to stand up for Auston?  “Staffs”, when used properly and humanely, do not leave a dog with head and chest wounds, covered in blood, looking like he came from a slaughterhouse.  What does leave a dog in that condition is something called animal abuse.  Why is everybody happy?

(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)


22 thoughts on “Owner Finds Dog Covered in Blood at Amarillo Animal Control

  1. And again misuse of the catch poles. *IF* it had been used properly, the “staff” part of the pole is BEHIND the dog’s head, not in front where it can be grabbed by the dog’s teeth. *IF* if had been used properly, the dog would have been pushed in front of the ACO, not dragged behind him.

    Why are people given tools and no instructions/corrections on how to use them? Who trained this ACO? and what shelter director allows it to continue?

    And what medical treatment did the dog receive for his injuries? Were we just going to let him bleed out in the kennel, do you think?

  2. What BS, The poor dog was choked so hard it was bleeding from the neck, If the owner thinks anything
    different she as well needs a Doctor….

  3. This is so disturbing! I keep thinking “What if that were mine?” I know how open and kind mine are, but AC is not going to take the chance/time to find out. I could see them using the “staff” first, then top that with incorrectly. I would be devastated to see mine covered in blood on top of all her fear!! The AC/shelter should be held accountable for those vet charges.

  4. When I made the mistake of questioning the improper use of a chokepole in Sonoma County that left a dog all bloody up. So much that it looked like it had been in a dog fight or used in dogfighting from the Petharbour picture. AND then I asked for the records. The same day I asked for the records, the County killed the dog to cover up the incident. The dog was never given a name, just an ID#, but our group gave him a name, Little Soul. And sent him off with prayers. They killed the dog before the mandatory hold time because I was asking questions. The story on this dog kept changing…mean, not mean, super aggressive, not aggressive, worse dog they ever saw…whatever. If Sonoma County thinks I have forgotten about the dogs they are treating like dog cr_p. Think again! It just makes me fight harder for the dogs like Little Soul and the others that are never given names and are just marched to the “death room”. We will change how Sonoma County does business on our tax paying dollar, just as Amarillo should do the same. Fight for your animals, give them a voice.

      1. Good for you, Lu. Go get ’em. We need more soldiers for the animals like you. Shame on Sonoma County & all the “shelters” that kill so many unnecessarily.


  6. I do not believe this dog self inflicted those wounds, I would be seeking the name(s) of the animal control people involved in capturing her dog in Amarillo, TX. No Australian Shepherd is the type of dog to do such a thing, they are usually people friendly, but I would say that the Amarillo Animal Control is not friendly as are most workers for any animal control. It is a job, no caring, nothing more, and even known such workers trying to entice dogs to jump fences so they can take them to the Pound, so this woman needs to investigate further and bring animal abuse charges against the SOBs. “Staffs” are cruel instruments that can strangle a dogs, but, in this case, what did the animal control worker do, beat the poor dog with it first… I mean look at those pictures again of some workers dragging pitbulls from a residence claimed to be a pit fighting area in the south, think Memphis; the dogs were already tranquilized and still they looped them and dragged them to their dog catcher vans? All those dogs were not given a fair shot in this instance & euthanized; this is getting too much. We are living in a country of no justice & killers in uniforms or in political hold.

    It is past high time for animal lovers to take control of this gruesome situation concerning animal controls and their treatment of any animal, plus their jumping the gun to kill all dogs when this is not right. Do we fear repercussions from the animal patrols? Well grow some backbone folks, they cannot come on your property without a warrant, a court order and a cop; if they do, have them arrested, period. This has all gone far too far & we are becoming a country of slaves to such illegal controls & that control allows for killing, killing, killing. I am glad the dog’s owner got there before the Amarillo Animal Control killed her dog, which would have been next claiming, falsely that the dog was dangerous and got into fights or something like that…

  7. Everyone is happy because no one is getting sued! Whose vet checked the dog? I do not trust any of those shelter vets. Most vets would know if a chokepole could cause those injuries. Are most goverment shelters now using chokepoles on every stray dog and dogs involved in a raid? Not every stray dog needs a chokepole used-whatever happen to leashes being used!

  8. It isn’t abuse when an animal control officer does it because, you know, they are the ‘officials’ here and they do the best that is possible to do……….( believe that and I got a bridge I can sell ya )

  9. Honestly ACO’s, there’s no reason in 99% of cases to use a catch pole on a pet dog, since most pet dogs are quite adequately acclimated to leashes. If the dog is being a little fear-aggressive in his kennel, just toss a slip lead over his head. Once dogs are on a leash, most of them calm down, I promise.

    That said, I have seen some hoarder dogs (one collie mix in particular) freak out BAD when put on slip lead because they aren’t used to leashes. That collie mix was transported to our rescue with several other dogs and we leashed him fine, but when we tried to walk him to a kennel he began to thrash and bite the leash, and bit his tongue in the process. His mouth foamed with blood. We had to pick him up and carry him to his kennel. I am happy to say that he’s a different dog now and while still shy on a leash, he will walk on one with his fellow doggie pals.

    What ACO’s fail to realize (or perhaps they don’t care), their body language sets dogs off. They make themselves big, they hover over dogs, and they act all “tough”. When you see a large, hulking thing coming at you are you going to act nice to it, or are you going to tell it, in your native language, stay away from me? I bet you if that border collie were kindly approached, perhaps given a treat or two, and leashed with a slip lead, he would have been just fine.

    1. It is absolutely inconceivable, to me, that these aco’s go stomping into people’s homes like jack-booted thugs and expect the dogs living ther to greet them with wagging tails! I think I’m being conservative when I say 70% of dogs so seized that “have to be euthanized” are because of the way the aco’s handled them. There is no reason to act like such assholes. But they do, you know…they are the “authority” whether you like it or not. Maybe all those dogs are just simply committing suicide by aco???

      I think I am also being conservative when I say 90%of aco’s are idiots that should never be allowed near an animal! They have the “authority”, but they have no animal sense. That isn’t even part of their job description.

      It’s pretty disgusting and this points out the weakness of the system and the worst of the aco’s idiot results.

      I’ll bet that shelter has a high kill rate.

  10. If not, why isn’t “shelters” financially responsible for dogs/cats under their control/care on their pole, in their trucks or within their “shelter”? Shouldn’t they pay for any needed vet care which results while they have the cat/dog?

    When “shelters” have to pay for their misdeeds, they will be a little more careful to prevent any harm coming to cats & dogs. Even the psycological scars to “consficated” pets are bad enough.

  11. Actually, I do believe they can be held responsible. It would take a lawsuit to do it. Maybe even a small claims suit would do it. Most people don’t want to go thru that. But I think it would work. I don’t completely understand all the ramifications of it, but Texas has had an interesting ruling.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011
    TX Dog Owners May Sue to Recover the Sentimental Value
    I think it’s going to have a significant impact on the private sector, particularly veterinarians, kennel owners, even individuals who take care of their neighbors’ pets. I mean, for example, on veterinarians, things which would be routine care for a pet, now they have to practice much more defensive medicine,” Texas attorney Boudloche said. “The value of a dog has changed in the eye of the law. So, if mistakes happen, the exposure for everybody is much greater.”

    By David Lee. Courthouse News Service
    FORT WORTH (CN) – A Texas appeals court ruled that the owners of a mistakenly euthanized dog can sue to recover the sentimental value of their lost pet, reversing and remanding the ruling of a trial court. The closely reasoned opinion cites more than a century of Texas courts rulings on dogs.


  12. That should mean you can also recover damages of whatever kind. Some might be harder to prove than others. I do know of showdogs that were seized and just weren’t able to compete when they were returned. They were so traumatized they were damaged and just not able to recover from it.

    1. I also had a dog picked up by MAS that was never the same. The trauma made him into a wimp & scared of his own shadow. He surely wasn’t the same G. Shepherd coming out as he went in.

      1. EXACTLY!!! Had that been a showdog, forget about showing again. They have to be able to show some confidence in the ring.

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