Oops-Cruelty ACO Upgrades to Oops-Killing

Photos by volunteers at the Hernando Co pound in FL.

Michael Steele, the Hernando Co oops-cruelty ACO who left an 8 week old kitten inside his hot truck when he went home for the weekend in June and received a day off as “punishment”, apparently did not learn anything valuable from the incident.  On September 7, Mr. Steele oops-killed a dog who had only been at the pound for 2 days.  The dog who was actually on the kill list had been identified by cage number but had been moved to a different cage.  The new dog was in the cage marked on the kill list and since they looked somewhat similar, oops.  Oh and if that’s not lame enough for you, wait right here:

[County Administrator Len] Sossamon said more attention is needed to fix day-to-day procedural issues at the shelter. Another change, which employees said they had asked [Public Safety Director Mike] Nickerson to make several times, will be to move euthanasias to the start of the day, before the public is in the shelter.

By euthanizing animals at the end of the day, “that puts a lot of pressure on folks to rush through,” Sossamon said.

Well obviously.  Especially if you’ve recorded General Hospital and need to get home and watch it before all your friends call you up with spoilers.  No doubt far more care can be put into the killings if they are done early in the morning.  Prediction for the lede on the next oops-killing story out of Hernando Co:  Employees had not yet had sufficient coffee when they began killings for the day…

Steele, who was one of the Animal Services officers slated to move over to the Sheriff’s Office in the new fiscal year, has resigned.

Mr. Nickerson faces disciplinary action over the killing.  And, oddly enough, has now been directed to oversee the pound full time instead of dividing his focus between the pound and his other duties.  It seems kind of like the county is rewarding him with greater responsibilities while simultaneously saying he will be disciplined for his failures.  Can’t they get anyone in there who doesn’t have a proven track record of suckage?  When is Hernando Co going to start taking these horrible incidents seriously?

14 thoughts on “Oops-Cruelty ACO Upgrades to Oops-Killing

  1. I hadn’t realized that they killed the kitten days later for being “feral”. First of all, a feral kitten can be tamed. Secondly, how do they know the kitten was feral and not neurologically damaged from the heat/dehydration/outgassing of dead groundhog so bad that the neighbor noticed it?

    That kitten’s torture and death is all on Steele and they still kept him. Now they’re putting Nickerson fully in charge of the shelter operations. Brilliant.

      1. You’re right, I am. After a while, all of the tiny kittens left to suffer in hot Animal Control trucks start to blur together.

  2. I’ve never understood why these shelters don’t use some form of marking system – how much effort does it take to write their ID number in their ear with a sharpie?

  3. It’s just one screw up after another in county/city “shelters”. It never stops. I don’t believe a government sponsored animal control/shelter will ever be operated like it should and only folks doing real rescue work would be suited to the job. At least they would do a better job of finding permanent homes for the dogs & cats & avoid the unnecessary killing.

  4. In a similar incident, Animal Care Services Director, Matthew Pepper, has an officer that routinely dumps animals on the side of the road because he is too lazy to take them to impound. As a director, he should be doing something to stop that. Someone DESPERATELY needs to look into the goings on at Bernalillo Animal care under his directionas it is being run very poorly.

    1. Well, we’ve all seen Matthew Pepper’s awesome management skills…

      Have you contacted local news reporters about this?

      1. When approached with issues he simply lies, the same way he did about ‘warped cages’ earlier this year. Animals are truly not his passion as he claims. He truly is an uncaring, hateful person.

      2. Well, then I suggest you contact local news people who can follow the ACO with a camera and get it recorded for all to see.

        Something else you can do is FOIA request that ACO’s call outs and impounds – the discrepancy between what he’s called for and what he does about it should make for interesting reading for the news media.

      3. You might also, before contacting the news, do a bit of research on Pepper’s record in Memphis TN and Caddo Parish LA. Once might be a mistake; twice suggests there’s a problem – three times, as now with Bernalillo, makes it a pattern.

  5. Considering the $$$ in Hernando County the citizens should be screaming that enough is enough. Bottom line from the DUH State is it is a Dysfuctional POS state! Only Manatee County has their act together. Florida is run at every level by Darell and his other brother Darell-full of arrogance at what they think they know.

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