19 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. In the beginning of October, I was a reporter/writer for the Kokomo Herald, a local newspaper in Kokomo, Indiana. I was assigned a story regarding the horrific happenings at the Kokomo Humane Society.

    When I began this story, I was fully aware the “euthanasia” happened in our local shelter, but I had no idea how serious the problem was.

    My first story was supposed to be about a young volunteer who had witnessed killing in masses within the shelter. Along with that, the less than appealing behavior of the staff members, regarding animal care and compassion.

    This young volunteer was prepared to tell the story of two dogs the KHS led her to believe had been adopted. However, when she showed up the next day, during business hours, the renderring truck was there, the dogs and cats thrown in a barrel, and being chucked one by one, by the legs into the truck like garbage. This young lady’s story was never told because the KHS had notified her that she was not allowed to use thier name in any way without prior approval.

    I ended up writing another story about how this young lady dedicated all her time, at the young age of 15, to taking pictures and making videos of animals in need of homes. After the article was published, members of the KHS approached her and told her she was no longer allowed to take pictures.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    The KHS REFUSES help from a number of organizations throughout Indiana. During my interviews and research, I have encountered several rescues who have reached out to help the KHS in the form of money, volunteering, transporting, pulling, fostering, donating items, etc. These people were all told “no” by the KHS. Why?

    When requesting the 990 tax forms, which are of public record, an email, written by the Executive Director, Jean McGroarty, was sent to another rescue in this community, accusing me of being a volunteer for that organization and denying my rights to the 990, claiming they could only release the forms to “funders.” A complaint was filed with the IRS, along with a copy of that email.

    After waves were made within the community, due to the story, the KHS approached the paper. The paper took me off the story. I then removed myself from the paper entirely, feeling as though if that business was not intent on printing the facts in their entirety, or supporting this mission, then that was no place for me.

    I am in direct communication with Nathan Winograd and he has offered to help in any way possible. Yet, the KHS refuses to speak with me.

    The KHS takes in roughly 4200-2500 per year. Of those, the highest adoption percentage for the past 3 years has been 30%. The kill rates are an astounding: 61% in 2010, 63% in 2011, and 47% in 2012 (the year is not over).

    The KHS Executive Director, Jean McGroarty, went on to brag in last week’s article of the Kokomo Herald, that they are working with over 50 reputable shelters in Indiana. I found this to be quite odd, seeing as how they have not moved over 7% of animals in the past 3 years through transfers. In fact, this year to date, they have only transferred 194 animals in 11 months. That is simply pathetic.

    The KHS is not active within the community. They rely almost solely on tax dollars and donations. In fact, according to the 990 forms, if I have done the math correct, they are operating on $1,133,972 per year. Of this money, only 36k was brought in through the TWO fundraisers they did.

    There is no TNR program in place. There is no low cost spay/neuter program in place. No temperament tests are done. There are no breeding ordinances in place (I say this because for an organization claiming “overpopulation” is the problem, you’d think this would be a no brainer). There is a serious lack of education among the community as to how severe this problem truly is. The adoption rates are out of this world; the price for a cat is $130!

    The Animal Control Officers are supposed to be available 24/7, yet if you visit the KHS webpage, you will see, clearly stated, that the ACO’s are only available during business hours PROVIDED that they are not on vacation, sick leave, or in training. After hours, they are only available for emergencies, classified as a dog bite or an injured dog. If it is not an emergency, then what?

    Currently, there are two lawyers and 2 vets sitting on the board of directors. No wonder there is no low cost spay/neuter program in place. Furthermore, the lawyer, Mr. Brent Dechert, who is the VP of the Board of Directors at the KHS, has called another local organization on NUMEROUS occassions begging for help because he KNEW the animals would be killed. Yet, this same man, sits high enough up on the board to make changes. I have a problem with that.

    My biggest concern as of now, is the new facility the KHS is building. This new facility will average $2 million dollars, yet it will not be any bigger. In fact, an article written in a 2012 issue of the Kokomo Perspective quoted Executive Director, Jean McGroarty, saying the KHS has to “euthanize” due to lack of space, yet she did not think a bigger facility would help save lives. That same article quoted Dr. Bob Mason, who was a board member at the time saying that going “No Kill in Kokomo” was not even “feasible.”

    Lastly, the Mayor has claimed he has no control over what happens at the KHS because they are a seperate entity from the city and are governed by a board of directors. This is a load of crap if I ever heard one. While the mayor may not have direct control over what happens within the shelter, he most certainly has control over where our tax money is going. Therefore, I believe he owes the community the courtesy of explaining what he is going to do to better this problem.

    The KHS is not open to receiving help. They are not properly educating and informing the public. They are taking a very serious issue and watering it down, all the while, playing the “poor me” card.

  2. “The truth is this is an animal, that without medical intervention, would have died, and the owner sat by and watched this happen,” Director of Bernalillo County Animal Care Matt Pepper said.

    “If you have an animal, whether it’s accidental or not, that becomes injured or is suffering, you have an obligation to do something,” Pepper said.

    Read more: http://www.koat.com/news/new-mexico/albuquerque/Owner-faces-charges-after-dog-found-with-exposed-bone/-/9153728/17368182/-/ixnhc1/-/index.html#ixzz2C1ufrNFF

  3. On the Happier Side… Thanks to all the posted, shared and donated… both my girls will have their knee surgery. Celie will have her surgery on Nov 15 and Progie will have hers on Nov 20. Thank you so much…

  4. Need help/advice here. The situation in a nutshell is that the county AC is working hard to become as much or more shelter than AC alone. The director is doing much to get animals adopted, into rescue or returned to owners. However, the county keeps cutting their funds. I know that there are more things the director could do, but sometimes she has little to no support from the county.
    I recently asked her what I could do to help (since I can’t foster or adopt, and will not volunteer at this time) and she said a letter of support to the county commissioners would be great. My question for all of you is, what kinds of things might I say that would be effective with government officials (some more sympathetic than others) and not make me sound like a crazy cat lady? I want to offer support in ways that are logical and reasonable, rather than simply emotional.
    Any help with this one?

    1. In my dealings with county commissioners, I’ve found that they put more weight into the “numbers” approach. Find out what bits they’re cutting and why. Then show them the fiscal advantages to putting funding where it’s needed. If you show them that they are cutting off their noses despite their faces (and making themselves unpopular with the pet-valuing constituents at the same time), they may be swayed.

  5. Hello everyone, I am very aware of the many tragic ways animals are treated by some humans and today I would like to speak about a local rescue/shelter in our area of NC, GA . Some of you may remember the killing fields of Boggs Mountain Shelter where the director was pulling dogs through GA that had large amounts of sponsorship money attached to them and then claiming they were adopted or were agressive/health problems and were killed. When in fact, Lowanda ‘Peanut’ Kilby and her side kicks forged pictures of animals being adopted when in reality she was killing them. What I want to speak of this evening is the current charity that now is set to reopen Boggs as Rabun Paws 4 Life.
    The nightmare continues most recently is a situation where 2 of the dogs sent by Michelle Doneza ( the new director of the old shelter) to Michigan despite many people warning her that the rescue’s she was sending to were questionable and one was under investigation. Both of these rescues were used by Peanut why did she even use them knowing what kind of person Peanut was? On top of that there were fosters from the AC Sammy came from asking for him back and was told, ‘NO’ by a Boggs BOD. Feebe and Sammy were dumped by HER chosen rescue in a high kill shelter in Michigan and the new and improved charity Rabun Paws 4 Life knew about this situation for a WEEK .

    Luckily WE discovered yesterday after speaking and communicating via email to the Rescue Coordinator at the kill shelter in Michigan that Feebe and Sammy was ALIVE. And ya know what? After Rabun Paws 4 Life learned she was alive, they STILL didn’t go and get Feebe and Sammy out of that shelter, despite the rescue coordinator informing them the shelter was packed and dogs would have to be put down. So now Feebe and Sammy are being held until Friday in that kill shelter. How many dogs are going to die in the interim because these 2 dogs are not out of that shelter?

    So to recap, it has not ended with the new charity taking over Boggs. The new shelter director has a long history with Lowanda ‘Peanut’ Kilby and apparently does many things in the way Peanut did. How many other surviving dogs that were sent to MI. per her were dumped at the local Ionia Shelter Control. And just as important what does the future hold for those dogs that go to the new shelter under her watch?

    Thank you for the space here, I know there IS people here that truly have these dogs best interest at heart.

    1. Ionia County has their hands full with enough animals without taking them from out-of-state. This doesn’t smell right to me.

      1. 3 surviving dogs from the tradey at Boggs Mountain Shelter last year were sent to Wyatts Way in MI to be “saved”. This rescue was one of Lowanda ‘Peanut’ Kilby’s resources that she sent MANY dogs to. ‘Lynzie’ who operates this rescue took 2 of them to the local KILL AC and said, they are strays. The 3rd dog that was sent cannot be located. These dogs were sent by Michelle Doneza who IS NOW the shelter director of the charity that took over the old Boggs Mountain. Do you live there?

  6. Nope, but it’s a couple of counties over. Never heard of Wyatts Way. I don’t understand why they would do that. It makes no sense, none of it. Are they trying to get their numbers down or what?

    1. The only info I have is that the woman who runs it was a rescue resource for Lowanda ‘Peanut’ Kilby at Boggs Mountain Shelter and most recently Michelle Doneza of Rabun Paws for Life. Another that was sent.with these 2 which now cannot be located. But there was many more prior to the story breaking about Boggs last summer.

  7. Wyatts Way is a very small rescue, according to Petfinder, with only one adoptable dog listed right now. They don’t have much about it except that they are a very small dog rescue.

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