Pat Claerbout allegedly blacklists rescues who question killing at any pound she runs. She is also accused of killing pets rescuers want to save in retaliation for asking questions. Ms. Claerbout is currently in charge of the Stockton pound in CA, which came to my attention on Saturday, July 7, when I saw this photo on Facebook:
Along with her photo, the group Central CA Pets Alive had indicated that the puppy, who was obviously suffering and in need of immediate vet treatment, was stuck at the pound for the remainder of the weekend due to rescuers being turned away on Saturday. The puppy had sat in this condition, without treatment, since her impound on July 2. When rescuers came for her on the 7th, they were refused. The staff at the pound had a host of excuses why they wouldn’t release the puppy, including at one point a claim that the pound had to hold the pup for a few more hours to give the owners a chance to reclaim her. Rescuers offered several alternative options, including foster. These were denied with similarly lame excuses. So this poor puppy had to suffer in the pound for an additional two days without the care she desperately needed, even though the opportunity for care was available.
On Monday, June 9, Pat Claerbout released the puppy to Eileen McFall of Central CA Pets Alive, reportedly indicating that a puppy in this condition would not be released back to the owners, had they come to claim her because, “That’s animal cruelty.”
Let’s be clear: Causing this puppy to suffer without treatment for an entire week while turning away rescuers is animal cruelty. I don’t see any way around that.
The good news is that the puppy was taken from the pound to a vet clinic and received treatment for her fever, mange and bloody sores. She went straight from the vet clinic to her foster owners in Seattle. She is now called Fiona and has settled in to the kind of life she deserves.
Thank you to everyone who helped Fiona. But hearing her story makes me wonder how many other pets are suffering at the Stockton pound, in the locked stray area, with no one advocating for them and an astonishing level of disconnect from the few paid staffers who know they are there. The Stockton police department stands behind Ms. Claerbout 100% and Ms. Claerbout told the local news she is proud of her work.