Sorry Maricopa Co, Yes Photo

Dog ID #3203257 was impounded by Maricopa Co Animal Care & Control in AZ as a stray on September 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm.  The Chihuahua did not receive any vaccinations or flea treatment, nor was she weighed or even scanned for a microchip because according to her shelter records, she was “very aggressive”.  The pound used a chokepole on her.

At 6:55 am on September 19, the first day she was to be made available for adoption or rescue, dog #3203257 was killed with injections of sodium pentobarbital and ketamine.  Apparently Maricopa Co decided the staff could safely inject her with drugs to kill her, but not to provide veterinary care and find out if she was microchipped.  Presumably they could have also fed her a meatball with a sedative inside in order to facilitate the vet care and scan as well.  But nobody bothered.

I was alerted to this dog by readers who had seen her intake photo on Facebook and were concerned that she was being mistreated by the staff at the Maricopa Co pound.  I FOIA’d copies of her shelter records, including all photos, and received this copy of her cage card which contains the only reference to a photo:

Actually Maricopa Co Animal Care & Control – sorry, yes photo:

Screengrab of a now deleted post on Facebook containing the intake photo of dog #3203257 at Maricopa Co Animal Care & Control.

As I often say, if you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

I don’t like it when shelters attempt to hide what they know is wrong.  Not only does it appear that this dog was mistreated, the pound never scanned the dog for a microchip.  Did the county make any effort whatsoever to help reunite this dog with her owner, if she had one?  Reading “I am looking for my owner” on the cage card strikes me as sadly ironic when I think that possibly the only hope this dog had of finding her owner was through her own efforts as she sat in a cage at the pound.

In 2010, Maricopa Co took in 51,859 dogs and cats.  The pound killed 23,315 of those pets and another 314 died in their cages or were “lost”.  Assuming nobody at the pound wants to kill animals, I would think they’d be willing to do a simple microchip scan on a stray Chihuahua to see if an owner could be located.

Municipal facilities such as the Maricopa Co pound are funded by taxpayer dollars.  Tampering with records in order to cover up wrongdoing is a form of fraud against taxpayers.  If you live in Maricopa Co, I urge you to ask the county attorney to open an investigation into the apparent mistreatment of dog #3203257 at the pound, to determine if the dog’s records were tampered with by staff and to determine why the dog was never scanned for a microchip.

42 thoughts on “Sorry Maricopa Co, Yes Photo

  1. Poor little one – she was probably terrified! And, yes, deleting that photo tells me they know they were doing wrong and didn’t want to get caught. I hope someone local takes some action. Until we the people who care do something beyond the hand-wringing, things will not change.
    RIP little one – you deserved so much better

  2. So they couldn’t even take a photo of her in the cage? They simply did not bother themselves for this small dog, did they? I hope the owner sees this and sues their asses off.

  3. It really is tragic. We all know that most of the people that work in these places realy don’t give a crap about any of the animals. They are monsters who have no business being around animals at all.

    1. not sure about out there but most of them here in Ohio are being made to go there to work off food stamps, so you are right they DO NOT care…oh how I would love to put one of those choke hold things on the people out there at that shelter right now….why is it called a shelter it obviously “SHELTERS” nothing but the bastards that work there. May God forgive me for using such a word but they are even worse than that. I absolutely hate people anymore.

  4. That poor baby was terrified. Chihuahuas are KNOWN to act aggressive when they are afraid. She was a beautiful little dog and I would have loved to have her in my home. The little male I rescued from MDAS (Miami, FL) in Oct. 2011 acted the same way and was not given an intake physical or shots because they said they were not able to examine him because of his behavior. The workers would not even open his cage to take him out when I sent a friend there to look at him for me (I lived 5 hours away) after seeing his picture on FB. The worker told my friend that he was a biter. His cage card had notations: “Aggressive” “Biter” written in red. You could see the fear in his eyes and in his body language. I KNEW they would kill him as soon as they got the chance. I asked a friend who was a resident of the county to take him out under the “Foster to Adopt” program and I drove down to Miami the next day to get him. When we went to the counter to pay for him, the person pulled up his number and said, “Are you sure you want THIS dog? He is an aggressive biter.” We said yes and pulled him. He has never tried to bite, nor has he acted aggressively. He was just terrified in that place. If we had not rescued him early, he would have certainly been killed at the first chance as soon as his stray hold was up. He is one of the joys and loves of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more affectionate little dog — he loves to give kisses and be held.
    I’m telling this story because maybe the friends of the dogs in Maricopa Co. need to try to get a similar “Foster to Adopt” program in place there so they can save little dogs like # 3203257. She was murdered by people who obviously didn’t care about her welfare or about saving her life. Why do animal “shelter” facilities employ people who don’t seem to know dog breed behaviors and people who don’t seem to care if a dog lives or dies? That is so wrong.
    Rest in peace #3203257. You were a beautiful little adoptable girl who didn’t deserve to be killed in that place. How many others like you have been killed in that place?

  5. Ah, but you see, he didn’t have his ID papers with him to show to the officer. Maricopa County, after all, is home to ArpaioLaw, which trumps all other kinds of law. Remember, he’s the one in charge of the attack on a home, where the house was set on fire, and when a puppy ran out of the house, his guys chased it back into the flames to burn to death.

    Caring about a scared dog of Mexican ancestry (snark) is not high on the list of the powers that be there. So inhumane it’s pathetic.

    1. In reference specifically to your post, and ignoring your reference to Joe Arpaio being a racist and anti-animal, Arpaio is a huge proponent of animal welfare, and is strongly against animal abuse. He has had a meeting with the local group, No Kill Maricopa County, and offered his full support.

      So before you go on racist rants, why don’t you look at his history of improving things for the lives of animals in agriculture, as well as his MASH unit that rehabs animals who were victims of abuse and gives animals with permanent medical issues another chance. He has created an abuse investigation unit.
      But he’s the county sheriff, he doesn’t have 100% direct control over every goingon in the county shelter. MCACC doesn’t fall under the MCSO. He doesn’t appoint the director of MCACC. Do people need to be held accountable for abusive behavior? You bet. So instead of blaming Sheriff Joe for this happening, why don’t you ask him and his team to investigate????

      1. KateH your posing is very ignorant. Joe Arpaio is against animal abuse. He takes animals into the jail and has inmates work with them. He also takes in abused horses. You may not like him, but you shouldn’t post lies about him. If you are referring to that fire a few years back when a candle was knocked over, the people that rented that house were scum. I know that for a fact because they lived in a house that I moved into a couple of months after they moved out in Tempe. I had police knocking at my door several times looking for them. One of them was wanted for a hit and run in Chandler. Those losers made my life hell until the police in four cities finally realized they didn’t live at my address anymore.

      2. Gee, I guess after his SWAT team made a dog die in the fire, he’s trying harder to make sure other animals don’t suffer?

        And as far as cheering on his bringing inmates in to care for any animals, are there cameras to watch that none of them hurts any animals? We all know that never happens anywhere, right. It’s not a point in Joe’s favor, as far as I’m concerned.

      3. KateH,
        You don’t deserve this additional reply, but I like that you are now choosing to stereotype inmates. Not all inmates are violent or would ever choose to be violent. Those types are not allowed to work with the animals. Besides, at MASH, they are under guard watch, and I’m sure they have cameras. So instead of complaining about how terrible things are under “ArpaioLaw” why don’t YOU change how things work here in Maricopa County, hmm???

  6. Just last month the drug logs from Sonoma County, the staff took two dogs off the Euth list as they were about to kill them because they found micro chips…Yep, it seems every single County Shelter is failing except those 50 Shelters that decided to change!

    1. Vickie, do you have a site or blog, or is Sonoma Co. NK still just on Facebook? Are there any face-to-face meets?

  7. Please let’s not make this about Arpaio he has nothing to do with the Maricopa Animal & Control, that is another issue altogether. This has to do with the way these employees and the place is treating these animals who have no voice. Our tax dollars paying their wages for a job they are not doing. Maybe if we get off our couches and go down to the capital like other people do we can make our voices heard, or at least make people aware of what is going on in these shelters.

  8. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control is under the direction of Rodrigo Silva and then the Maricopa Board of Supervisors. It has nothing to do with the sheriff’s office, who is actually very animal friendly. At MCACC there are many many incidents that I know of where the animal is not scanned for a chip, especially if it is an “owner surrender”. Not so sure about the effectiveness of the county attorney here however. They just threw out a cat mutilation case saying there wan’t enough evidence even though neighbors saw the guy throw a cat from his car and there’s a video of him taking another. I will go ahead and contact them anyway though….

  9. That little girl was just being a typical chihuahua; acting out because she was terrified. I’m sure she would have been a great pet just like my two shelter rescue chihuahuas. That picture breaks my heart.

  10. So terrible. I live in Maricopa County so its especially worrisome for me. I will def. make sure to email the county attorney though. In AZ; however, we get a large population of chihuahuas and pitbulls in shelters, so shelters oftentimes if they end up killing one of them, they just kind of go “oh well, we have others here”. They dont look at them as individuals so they dont care.

  11. Dear KateH, Although I get the sarcasm, Sherriff Arpaio has no juristiction over MACC. Further, his office fully supports No Kill Maricopa. And lastly, if we can push to get an investigation started and there is found to be criminal activity, his office may be the team that investigates and takes appropriate action. Trying to use this inhuman act to further your agenda regarding illegal immigration does not help our cause. The two situations are completely different.

  12. Rather than complaining OR praising Joe Arpaio, I spent my time more wisely by emailing the MCACC about going no-kill and contacting the county attorney about this. I suggest all of you do the same. THAT is how you change things, not commenting on a blog and then leaving it alone.

      1. Exactly. Thank you, Shirley. There is power in numbers. They may write off 1 or 2 of us, but if we ALL email these shelters and pounds that we hear about on this blog, then they may start to re-think the situation and realize that THEY are the problem.

  13. @Gwen the shelter doesn’t have money enough to higher qusualified dog behavioralist, and many peeler go in looking for a paycheck I’m sure that most care at first but sting so many did and cats put down they start to block the emotion of it, and it takes time to train got such things.

    Plus rabies is still very much a threat when working with dogs. Aggressive animals can be dangerous.

    Though that does not mean that they should skip steps. If they are sure to implement a porceedure with steps that can not be skipped and what is to be done in case of a certain situation a hard disciplinary actions for those that don’t follow them these are lives not toys and there are plenty people looking for a job that will follow the rules.

    1. Supposedly after the Angel “incident” MCACC pulled all pictures of dogs on catch poles off of the PetHarbor/PetFinder sites. That’s why you see so many with no photos. :(

      1. That would not surprise me if they did that. Other pounds too seem to believe that appearances are what matter, not actual animals.

      2. OMG.. there are so many with no photos.. which means no one will ever see them .. not even a person of a missing pet. this is wrong..

  14. OMG this is evil. I agree Shirley if you cant own up to it dont do it. PAWS for life just forgot or couldnt remember dogs there 8 years with no medical treatment. But this photo makes me sick and once again no one is held accountable.

  15. Are any of you actively involved with volunteering at MCACC? Have any of you ever volunteered at MCACC? That’s what I thought. How about trying to create change from within, make a difference there like so many of the volunteers who bust their asses in there every day do instead of sitting behind a computer screen and complaining? I’m betting out of all who have posted here, less than half even have a clue…

    1. I don’t know if I am in the half that have a clue DOT DOT DOT but I will offer my response anyway, clueless as it may be. I don’t volunteer at places that hurt pets. And as seems obvious from your refusal to put your name to your comment, you are not so “dedicated” as you claim. Like me, you probably know it’s wrong for a shelter to hurt dogs and cats. Instead of busting my ass to enable the abuse of shelter pets, I have chosen different, non-violent avenues for my advocacy. And I’m not ashamed to put my name to them. – Shirley Lyn Thistlethwaite

      1. Shirley,
        You gave a great explanation as to why kill shelters have so much trouble gaining/keeping volunteers. Even if one chooses to help out at a place of misery and destruction, they often don’t stick around long. Valuing the work the volunteers do goes a long way too. Every time I am at MCACC West, I am amazed with how few volunteers there are. I think on a good day I see like 3. For one of the biggest shelters in a metro of 4.5 million people, you’d think they can do better than that!

      2. I live in AZ but have not volunteered at the MCACC (it was too far for me). I did; however, volunteer at the Humane Society for about 6 months. The ultimate reason why I left was because I start realizing that I didn’t have time to keep going back between school full time, homework full time and working almost full time, but there was a deeper reason than that. Every time I had to go for the day, it would literally break my heart to think of which dog (I didn’t do much in the cat area) would be there the next time I came back and which wasn’t. And considering that 95% of the cages were full, I knew that the dog would most likely not be there due to “euthanasia” than because he was adopted during that week. Plus, I volunteered on weekends, so I knew how busy they got and how many adoptions they put through, and it wasn’t much. I just couldn’t stand the thought of coming back to play with “Fido” again to find out he was killed. It made me detach from the animals, which ultimately made me hate going there. This shouldn’t be what a shelter should be about. It should be fun; going to play with animals and adopting one for your forever home. That prospect of making sure the animals are always there and will eventually find their home, to me, is an exciting prospect. But it never actually worked out that way. So I had to quit; I was not strong enough to keep doing that day after day. If I had assurances that the HS would not put down any animals, then I would’ve been perfectly fine with returning there at a later time and picking back up again. And I know that others feel the same way; that they don’t want to keep being around that. So I think that shelters hurt themselves more than help themselves in this area to cause them to have fewer volunteers.

    2. Dear “Dedicated Volunteer” who is too afraid to leave a real name: What type of change have YOU created from within MCACC? Have you spoken to any of the many, many volunteers that have quit because Silva, Sam and Nancy have dismissed EVERY SINGLE ONE of their ideas? Every idea that gets rejected equates to thousands of lives being brutally snuffed out. I’m glad you take comfort in “walking your doggies” or laying down the occasional bedding, or throwing treats into their shit-covered cages, but at the end of the day they are still killed, and they will continue to be killed until a true leader steps forward and takes killing off the table. I bust MY ass every single day trying to save these dogs, and volunteering at MCACC isn’t necessary. When the killing stops, I’ll be the first in line to sign up, as will thousands of others, but not until the killing stops. ~Jenny Shultz

  16. Staff lied to me about what happened. I have email messages from Karen Dickey that I can provide if there is an official investigation.

    1. I have inquired as to this dog’s ID number so I can request records but so far, I haven’t found it. If anyone knows this dog’s ID number, please leave a comment here or e-mail me.

    2. sorry for the typo.. * received no vet care. on one of the posts, I asked if that was blood.. on another post..Some one stated the dog was found dead the next day.

    3. From what I heard from a MCACC employee, the pic of this cattle dog was taken shortly after putting it in the kennel, before she was at least cleaned up. This picture was intended just for distribution to rescue groups in a daily plea that is sent to them. No rescue responded, and she was found dead in kennel the next morning.
      Again, this is what I was told, not my direct observation.
      I do not know if a vet check was put in or if any additional care was provided for this dog.

Leave a Reply