More on Triangle Pet in PA – It Gets Worse

Warning:  Details of animal cruelty may be too disturbing for some readers.

The owner of Triangle Pet Animal Control services in PA, facing multiple charges, has challenged the validity of the state inspections which found filthy kennel conditions and neglected animals.  And there are new details on the criminal charges related to the death of a dog at Triangle Pet:

The charges against [owner] Bernard Dudash and kennel manager Paul McIntyre are summary offenses. Possible penalties are a maximum fine of $750 and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Records indicate that Triangle employees picked up a medium-sized brown and white mixed breed dog in Ross on Sept. 11. A state dog warden saw the dog at the Triangle facility on Oct. 1 and told employees the dog was emaciated and needed veterinary care.

The dog did not receive treatment and died in its cage on Oct. 4, according to the [Western Pennsylvania] Humane Society.

The article does not clarify whether the dog was emaciated upon impound and I don’t know if that information is publicly available.  But it’s reasonable to question whether a facility in a Pay by the Body Bag agreement with the state would spend any money on things like pet food for the animals in its care.  After all, pets who die in their cages represent revenue, without the added expense of euthanasia drugs or labor.

One of the 58 municipalities which contracts with Triangle Pet is Pittsburgh.  When the president of the city council heard reports of wrongdoing at the Triangle pet facility, she took action:

Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris sent her own employees undercover into Triangle Pet Control in McKees Rocks and claims they saw horrifying abuse.

[…]

“When my staff member went out, he actually saw a needle going into the mouth of one of the animals to euthanize it,” she said.

They found another animal slowly dying.

“It had a tomato can on its head,” she said. “They said it suffocated.”

Her employees also photographed a dumpster which was reportedly full of animals – both dead and living.  The images were deemed too graphic for broadcast by the news agency which has been reporting on the Triangle Pet case.  Pittsburgh has since canceled its contract with Triangle Pet.

This will definitely be a case worth watching for developments.

(Thank you to reader Bernadette for sending me these links.)

9 thoughts on “More on Triangle Pet in PA – It Gets Worse

  1. This horrible story is really very clearly highlighting what the problem is at many shelters. Whatever sign they have hanging on the door (Animal Control, Humane Society, SPCA, Triangle) if they are contracted by the local govt. to perform animal control & sheltering for the area, they are receiving tax dollars to do it. The amount of money they receive will be based on what their intake is. It may not be “per animal” in such a clear, contractual form as w/ this shelter, but local officials will be looking at that number to determine the amount the shelter should be given. So, if intake drops off, budgets get cut, and people are dismissed from their jobs. Not a big motivator to reduce intake, is it? Then when the stray animals do come in, they can do one of 2 things- hold it for it’s legally mandated stray hold, then declare it is “unadoptable” and kill it, and most of the funding they receive for that animal is “gravy” helping to ensure everyone gets a raise that year. Or, they can feed, clean up after, and vet the pet, and market it effectively to a community that is is awake and aware and has been rallied to help the homeless pets in their community and adopt from their local shelter, thereby moving it as quickly as possible into it’s new home and generating an adoption fee to off set the cost of it’s care. That is a bit more work, but if you really care about animals, that is what you do. Trouble is, unless the community holds them accountable, it usually does not happen. The truly savvy director, who doesn’t actually care all that much, figures out how to work it both ways, keeping intake steady, killing most of what comes in, but creating the illusion for the community that the shelter is full of truly caring, compassionate individuals who do their very best to save every animal they can, and that most animals make it out alive. That keeps their budgets large, and the community off of their backs.The “Humane Society”, or “SPCA” sign can really help w/ that. This Triangle shelter has not figured all that out, obviously, and doesn’t even bother w/ keeping appearances up. Yet, how long have they been able to get away with this?

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    1. May I clarify something?

      Triangle Pet is considered “animal control” here in the Pittsburgh area. They’re the dogcatcher, for lack of a better term, for numerous municipalities.

      The Western PA Humane Society (along with the other two Pittsburgh metropolitan area shelters, Animal Friends and Animal Rescue League) is actually an animal shelter. They aggressively market the animals, return lost animals to their owners, train shelter animals in behavioral classes to make them more adoptable and find new homes for the animals they temporarily house.

      Both WPaHS and ARL are open admission shelters, and both are well-run facilities that do what animal shelters should do — get animals into homes, not dumpsters. Animal Friends is not open admission, but does take in numerous neglect, abuse, and hoarding cases, including some of the pets housed at Triangle Pet when the state shut TP down.

      I have personally volunteered at both AF and WPaHS, and both facilities are run by people who clearly care about the welfare and future of the animals in their care. I have not personally volunteered at ARL, but their volunteers and staff are very involved in numerous projects I have participated in, and they’re in it for the animals’ sakes.

      Triangle Pet is another story entirely. Let’s not lump Triangle Pet in with the “good guys” at Pittsburgh’s animal shelters.

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      1. Sorry. I did not mean to do that. These would be privately funded organizations, though. They sound like good ones. Where I live, AC & the Humane Society are one in the same. They are not nearly so impressive, and yet, because they have a “Humane Society” sign hanging on the door, many people assume they do not kill. On average, when my group is out at an event, we’ll explain 5-10 people that they do indeed kill, and less than 35% of the animals make it alive, despite a pretty ample budget provided by the taxpayers.
        Anyway, my point was that in most cases, the tax funded shelter system is a bad set up, basically designed to fail the animals, unless the public has gotten involved and demanded some accountability from the shelter. I didn’t mean to give the impression that ANY agency that calls itself a Humane Society, or a SPCA is bad, and I may have, so thank you for pointing out that many of them are wonderful.

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  2. Wow. Just awful! And horrifying. Im glad that this woman stepped up with undercover reporters and stopped their contract with this Triangle group. The people allowing this abuse to go on at the shelter should be charged too, just like we think those at MAS should be charged. Abuse is abuse.

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  3. This is what happens when you pay by the death-greed! Were any of these animals available for adoption or could be redeemed by their owners? Working for 58 municipalities, there would be a lot of animals to take care of. Did this place have the kennel space and/or employees to take care of this many animals? I cannot believe that no other cities/counties questioned the amount and/or followed up to see what was happening to all these animals.

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  4. The policy of pay for per dead animal policy needs to be changed. This policy ensures that all the kind of people we do not want taken care of animal will be not taken care of them. Seems like we need to get together and go after the goverment to take this out of the equation. Triangle is wrong but so is the pay for per dead animal.

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