Hand-Wringing in NY Over Dead Pet Disposal But Not Dead Pets

Many months ago, the mayor of Dunkirk, NY got rid of the city’s dumpsters to save money:

“The beginning of this year DPW Director (Tony) Gugino and I decided that they weren’t necessary,” [Mayor Anthony J.] Dolce said. “It saves us anywhere from $3-4,000 a year. Obviously the use or private dumpsters is highly frowned upon.”

The mayor is referring to a recent incident in which a local resident saw the city’s ACO place 2 bagged dog carcasses into a dumpster owned by a Family Dollar store.  She reported the incident to police and concerned citizens are now wondering how long this practice has been going on:

This may not be the first time an animal’s been thrown in a private dumpster, as “[the ACO] was advised by the past animal control officer that this was how — if he was in a bind, to use a private dumpster.”

One of the dogs had apparently been hit by a car and the other, reportedly a Pitbull, was killed by a vet:

Dolce says the dog was put down at a local veterinarian’s office after its owner agreed it was a danger.

The ACO has been placed on six months’ probation and has sent a letter of apology to Family Dollar.  From now on, the ACO will dispose of dead pets by putting them into a city garbage packer.

Amidst all the concern from local residents, city politicians and the media, I don’t see anyone addressing the issue of reducing the number of pets who require disposal by implementing proven no kill programs.  Everyone seems aghast at the idea of throwing pets into the dumpster but no one is asking if they all actually need to go there in the first place.

When the ACO was hired 2 years ago, he told a local paper, “[W]e’ve got quite a feral cat problem.”  He admonished people for feeding “wild animals” and expressed concern over the number of Pitbulls in the city and dogfighting.  So where is Dunkirk’s TNR program?  Where is the anti-dogfighting task force?  Where are the city pound’s online listings for pets in order to get them out alive?  Why isn’t anyone in Dunkirk asking these questions?

7 thoughts on “Hand-Wringing in NY Over Dead Pet Disposal But Not Dead Pets

  1. Ugh.

    Dont have much more to add then that. You pretty much asked all the questions I wouldve.

  2. There’s also the question of ACO’s carrying microchip scanners on their trucks? If they’re picking up HBC bodies, and disposing of them in private dumpsters, are they scanning them, first? Or working to match them against a list of missing? Or…anything that would make them anything other than a roadkill disposal service?

    1. Good point mikken. I wonder what the record keeping practices are and how an owner would go about finding out if the ACO had picked up his deceased pet.

      1. We had an incident locally where a woman’s elderly father’s two pugs were let out of the house by a caretaker. The woman was seeking the pugs high and low because these dogs meant the world to her father, who was housebound.

        Our local ACO picked up a dead dog nearby that had been killed by a car and disposed of it. The woman was frantic to find out if it was one of the pugs, but the ACO never scanned for a chip, couldn’t really tell her if the dog had been brown, black or a dark brindle (the missing pugs were dark brindle), if it was wearing a collar or not, and couldn’t tell the woman if the dog had been large or small, a pug, or a German Shepherd, or a Chihuahua because he “didn’t know”.

        It was just a dead dog to him and he paid it very little mind beyond disposal. And because he never even made the slightest effort, this poor woman was left not knowing if the dog she was exhausting herself hunting for every day after work was dead or alive.

        ACO’s tend to think of their jobs as “animal jobs”, but really, they’re “people jobs” because what they do (or don’t do) affects people. They need to remember that.

      2. Or “family services” might be another way to put it.

        I can not imagine being so dead to my work that I don’t notice whether I’m bagging up a Pug or a St. Bernard. I hope at least he verified the dog was dead before bagging.

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