Leading by Example

In October 2011, some Pitbulls belonging to Julie Kowal of Kent Co, MI were picked up running loose.  The dogs had what appeared to be injuries that had been left untreated.  One dog’s ear had apparently been torn off.  AC visited Ms. Kowal’s home.  They knew where to find it since they’d been there many times in recent years to investigate animal complaints. At the October visit, the door to Ms. Kowal’s home was reportedly found wide open.  Officers said filthy conditions were visible inside the home, including animal feces all over the floor.  Ms. Kowal was cited for the roaming dogs, failure to provide vet care and the filthy conditions.  Three of the dogs were euthanized due to their condition.

Ms. Kowal offered that the dogs must have sustained injuries while they were loose but the injuries did not appear to be fresh.  (Warning:  some photos may be disturbing)

One of Julie Kowal’s dogs picked up by Kent Co Animal Control in October 2011.

Five months later, Julie Kowal was hired as the administrator at the Allegan County Animal Shelter.  After a local news station reported on Ms. Kowal’s history of animal related violations in Kent Co, the shelter announced it would conduct an internal investigation.  Ms. Kowal immediately resigned.

13 thoughts on “Leading by Example

  1. Why am I not surprised. Many shelters seem to be run by people of a similar brutal mentality. What is that all about! It is usually the volunteers who become the whistle blowers, very rarely other lesser paid staff who are afraid to lose their jobs. How can this be rectified! Let me know your thoughts!

    1. What I got from the articles was that she had been employed at the rescue that was awarded the contract to run the county shelter. Therefore, they didn’t run a background check on her before moving her into the municipal position since she was already an employee.

  2. Well, she’d fit right in at some shelters. But I can’t believe she thought they would’t check. (I guess they didn’t check, did they?) I mean, the utter gall of applying for such a job.

  3. This is not too far from me – and very sad, for sure.
    They did a criminal background check, but since the “offenses” were civil in nature, it didn’t show up.
    Just very sad all the way around. Some of the local rescues/animal control/humane society actually took some of the puppy mill bust puppies (being small and cute, they were quickly adopted out).
    And my understanding is that she was not employed by the rescue, it was her rescue.

  4. More than one ugly story here. Why didn’t the confiscating shelter treat the dogs instead of killing them? Some of them look terrible in the photos but I’ve seen worse pictures of dogs who got treatment and recovered. Sad all around.

  5. I know of a place that’s looking for a few new employees. I wonder if she’d relocate? :/

  6. OMG. What municipality doesn’t do background checks on potential employees? Can’t fix stupid. Glad to know it’s not just a disease of state that looks like a hand with a pinkie sticking out.

  7. At least she acknowledged some guilt by resigning. You think that a background check would have been done for a job like this and if it had been done, that animal welfare citations would show up…
    It was very irresponsible of the County.

  8. Background check was done. Civil infractions do not show up on criminal checks. The rescue that she operated and founded is not the rescue that is responsible for the operation of the shelter. Her rescue did save animals from the shelter, but no signs of anything but care and concern for the animals in the shelter.

    She was instumental in a hoarding case where more that 353 animals were removed from a home while she was employed by the shelter, due to her efforts not a single animal was euthanized.

    Hoping she gets the help she needs to get things in her personal life in order

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