Quote of the Damn Year

Chosen not for its uniqueness but rather for its ubiquity in the world of pet killing facilities.

Prior to the media’s arrival at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association on Wednesday, the shelter reportedly killed a number of cats but as far as I know, refuses to disclose how many.  After public outcry apparently caused KCHA to cancel its plans to kill every pet in the building following positive results on distemper tests for 2 dogs, a board meeting was held:

Thursday morning’s meeting was very emotional.

One shelter worker said the board misrepresented how many animals had been put down Wednesday in a post on Facebook. The message read 5 cats and 6 puppies had to be euthanized.

“I know that there were more than five cats put to sleep [Wednesday]. I saw them! I saw them in the back! I saw Dale throwing them in the furnace! I’m sorry but I’m not going to hold my tongue. There was a trash can full of cats!”

That isn’t the quote. That’s just to give you a little context. Read on.

Several members of the board were highly upset with posts on Facebook accusing the shelter of unsanitary conditions causing the distemper outbreak.

Karen Porter, a shelter worker for more than 20-years, says that’s just not the case.

“We don’t accept responsibility for what has occurred. It’s the public’s fault,” Porter said. “If they’d take care of what they had they wouldn’t have this problem.” [emphasis mine]

Let’s break this down.  “What has occurred” is a trash can full of cats thrown into a furnace and then represented publicly as 5 cats who had panleukopenia.  “What has occurred” is 2 dogs testing positive for distemper and the shelter’s plan to kill every living thing in the place in response.  That’s what KCHA is not accepting responsibility for.  That’s what Ms. Porter says is the public’s fault.

And note the distinction between WE – who don’t take responsibility – and THEY who don’t “take care of what they had” and now “have this problem”.  THEY being the public, the taxpayers, the people providing you with a paycheck every week.  THEY “have this problem” which is what, exactly?  Oh yes, it’s YOU needlessly killing healthy cats you are supposed to be sheltering, throwing them into the furnace by the trash can full and then failing to tell the truth about it.  It’s YOU threatening to kill healthy dogs and only stopping to reconsider when public pressure forces you to back down.

Yes, that is some problem THEY have.  I hope THEY do something about it.  As in, petition the county for a redress of grievances including first and foremost the failure of everyone at KCHA to do their jobs.

38 thoughts on “Quote of the Damn Year

  1. Funny how this shelter had a cat disease outbreak and a dog disease outbreak the same day- the week before Christmas.

    The shelter will now probably take this public outcry out on the animals by not allowing volunteers to help a the shelter because the volunteers TELL THE TRUTH and it gets out on social media. They want to continue to kill when convenient without anyone knowing about it. They can’t continue to kill in secret now that people are watching them.

  2. This is the most HIDEOUS way of putting animals down I have ever heard!!  Cremation is done when the animal or PERSON is DEAD, not ALIVE and breathing and screaming for it’s LIFE!!   This is just inconcievable  to me how in the HELL ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND  that have ANY FEELINGS AT ALL could even DO such a thing!!   I hope the people that made this decision, the person that actually DID this deed, and the people that let it happen, wind up in that SPECIAL HELL THAT GOD HAS WAITING FOR PEOPLE LIKE THEM!  AND TRUST ME .. HE DOES!!!!    


    Sorry, but that’s my 2 cents worth on this matter…. the more I think about  it the madder it makes me..               “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened”                               Kathie


    1. I think the implication was that he was throwing bodies into the furnace, not live cats. Did anyone bother to run blood on these cats to see what their white count was? I’m betting not. I’m betting that they just went with the “kill them all, it’s easier for us” route. Oh – and the way panleuk is primarily spread through a shelter? Fomites. AKA, the staff is responsible for the spread (if there even was one – it doesn’t sound like they’ve got a vet on staff to actually make a determination).

  3. Sounds like an open records request is needed. What do you think Shirley? I will gladly spend a few of my hard-earned, taxed paycheck dollars to help out!

    When are these “shelters” going to get it that WE “the irresponsible public” are watching their every stupid move?

      1. Folks, it wv LAW that the disposition of each animal in a pound or shelter (adoption, euth, death, rescue) be recorded. That is LAW so if they aren’t keeping records they’re breaking said law. Also, if records of this PUBLIC facility aren’t released they also are breaking laws. Just because it makes it rough on them is not an excuse for ignoring law.

  4. From what i was told they euthanized the cats the evening before the meeting with the 4 vets. I never heard that they put cats into the furnace alive. They stopped the killing of dogs when the media arrived but, sadly, had already killed the cats (by lethal injection, i hope!)
    If you need help, please let me know. I am not close to Charleston, but i am in WV. In Lewisburg (Greenbrier County). JulieandCJ@aol.com

  5. Sarah Tedrow just postet this on their fb page:
    Funny, we have a direct quote from a worker at the shelter stating “I saw a trash can full of dead cats as he was throwing them in the incinerator” Sorry guys, they aren’t telling you the whole story. There were lots of cats last week, I know, WE LOOKED AT THEM! Now there are THREE, and again, a QUOTE from a volunteer who was there to help. She was there to clean, and they sent her to the cat room saying “you can clean in there, they are all gone” Lets not sugar quote the situation here. Oh, and better read this quick, cause in 5 min or so it will be deleted, as is ALL negative comments…

  6. In the video, no meniont is made of cats…the shelter director says the “weight of the world has been lifted off” – yes, sounds like you got rid of a bunch of cats… what a price to have weight lifted off.

  7. Now the county is refusing to honor the freedom of information act stating that this organization that the city and county contracted is not obligated to honor the law! And stating they have no records and no access to them because the kcha is a private group. HELLO!

    1. So a private group who happens to contract to provide a service to the county – using TAX PAYER;s money is no obligated to release information??? for the services that people pay for? WHAT? So there is no transparency? no way for tax payers to know how their money is spent???? No way to know how many cats were slaughtered with tax payer money? i hang my head in shame at the sheer evil of all this…

    2. The Sunshine Laws of WV– any facility– public or private– that receives public funding, such as KCHA, is subject to FOIA. KCHA is indeed the recipient of tax dollars from the county who contracts with them to provide animal control. http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/West_Virginia_Freedom_of_Information_Act#Time_allowed_for_response

      The agency has 5 days to respond to a request. Even if that response is to ask for more time. The person who requests information, By LAW, has a right to look at the documents before paying to have them copied– to see if they even want the document. After 5 days, if the agency has refused or ignored the request, the person requesting information needs to send a written reminder (by certified maiil) that there are civil and criminal consequences for ignoring a federal FOIA from the public. Be ready to have an attorney, though, and be sure to send copies to the media..

    3. When you FOIA, KCHA, as a facility acting as animal control, has to keep individual kill records on each animal killed. Those individual records are required under law to be filed or at least available to the WV Board of Veterinary Medicine. So for this period, you would want to ask for those in your FOIA to confirm each animal– species, description, weight, etc.– that was killed.

      1. They have to keep individual records of what happens to each dog, euth’d, adopted, rescued or died of natural causes. All should be available and notated.

  8. Shirley, and everyone else here who gives a damn, I hope you can all take a break on Christmas day not to have to look at the hell these ‘people’ are forcing us to deal with.
    Call it a mental health day. Hug your safe pets and know that you will be back at the coal face fighting for those not so lucky by Boxing Day.
    But take Xmas day for yourselves.
    Love to you all and gratitude from my four-legged lot who have a future thanks to good folk like you.

  9. If you are concerned about the welfare of the animals in kanawha county then put on the pressure. Call , email or write each of the county commissioners and demand the firing or resignation of every board member and shelter management!! It’s time for change!

  10. I think this interaction from the kanawah county facebook page is well worth preservation –

    Recent Posts By Others

    Diane Packett

    I see a comment that “There are 3 cats at the shelter currently”. There are never just 3 cats at that shelter. Please answer the question: were 60 cats euthanized (as is being reported in some social media) because of an outbreak of canine distemper?

    Like · · 12 hours ago

    All Things Cat – North Central WV’s Biggest Cat House likes this..

    Kali Nicole Tichenor No! This question has actually already been answered.. this is what was said. “No only 8 cats were PTS because they contracted panleukopenia”

    12 hours ago · Like..

    Diane Packett Thank you. I was referring to your answer to Donna Thomas’ comment below., which appeared to avoid the question.

    12 hours ago · Like..

    Kali Nicole Tichenor I wasn’t trying to avoid the question at all. I should have answered it in a better way. I’m not directly linked to the shelter. I’m just a concerned citizen that was heartbroken by the situation and this happens to be my Christmas break from college. I’ve spent a lot of time on this site and have read many questions and answers post previously so that I can help share information and get all of these babies adopted. I have 1 rescued dog and 2 cats from this shelter so I can understand the concern for ALL of the animals (not just dogs).

    11 hours ago · Like..

    Kali Nicole Tichenor

    11 hours ago · Like..

    Sarah Tedrow Funny, we have a direct quote from a worker at the shelter stating “I saw a trash can full of dead cats as he was throwing them in the incinerator” Sorry guys, they aren’t telling you the whole story. There were lots of cats last week, I know, WE LOOKED AT THEM! Now there are THREE, and again, a QUOTE from a volunteer who was there to help. She was there to clean, and they sent her to the cat room saying “you can clean in there, they are all gone” Lets not sugar quote the situation here. Oh, and better read this quick, cause in 5 min or so it will be deleted, as is ALL negative comments…

    11 hours ago · Like · 2..

    Diane Packett Sarah, if your comment is deleted, keep reposting it. I hate when organizations–ANY organization– does that. Meanwhile, will keep looking for answers.

    11 hours ago · Like..

    Ashley Eskew Guys quit being to cruel to each other. The shelter is doing the best it can! These people donate a lot of time & money to do this! They dedicate their lives to saving as many animals as they can! If the people who degrade the animal shelter with negative comments took that energy & spent it on trying to help get animals adopted this world would be a better place! All these people who are now concerned about what the shelter was doing didn’t give 2 hoots about what was going on there last week! If you care so much about what they are doing why don’t you go up there & become board members? Sheesh people!!!

    11 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2..

    Diane Packett I was a volunteer at the shelter for years back when I lived in Charleston. I sent a donation every month and wrote a letter to the Gazette on their behalf, because I knew that they handled 1,000 dogs and cats every month and I knew how it hurt the staff to euthanize them. That was 15 years ago, and I’m sure the load is heavier now. But because of the advances in social networking, inter-shelter outreach and assistance, and veterinary treatments, I would hope that they could now find creative solutions when a crisis hits, as has the Randolph County Humane Society where I live now.

    11 hours ago · Unlike · 3..

    Julie Delorenzo The shelter is lying about the cats. They need to tell the truth. Why are they lying and deleting posts. People saw the dead cats!

    7 hours ago · Like · 1..

    Julie Delorenzo anyone know who “Dale” is?

    7 hours ago · Like..

    Victoria Brooks It is the lying that keeps makes things worse. Owners who are told “the animal will surely get adopted” and then take them directly to the back room to be killed. In many cases, when an owner is told the truth, they will work with the pet or rehome the pet themselves (not all). Sometimes, they think they are giving the animal a chance at a better home. It also makes people distrustful of shelters, when they hear stories like this. Secrecy is the problem.

    5 hours ago · Like..

    Sarah Tedrow I am a board member and am a VERY active foster, thanks. I have tried to support the shelter, donate supplies and ALWAYS get my animals from them. Even after this I will continue to support and foster because if I didn’t it would only hurry the animals…See More

    2 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1..

    Sarah Tedrow When asked “how many cats were euthanized?” They will only say “I know more than 5” that is NOT an answer!!! I will not stand silently by, allowing them to sweep this under the rig. Had someone not called the media when they made the decision to put them all down, we would all be crying about the loss of over 100 animals.

    2 hours ago via mobile · Like

  11. Check out the board minutes from October and you will see there was a need for action. Read the minutes Nov and there is no mention of any action taken or reference to the problem…fast forward to yesterday- if there had not been an outcry they would have clean house sort of speak and no one would have been the wiser- because we made negative comments some dogs have a chance at a home and folks that adopted pets may know why they have spent so much time at the vet.
    Everyone just wants some transperancy in information- fair request.

  12. The shelter must deal with a written public record request within 5 days in writing ciring the legal reason why the request was denied. They can’t cite HIPPA since the beings aren’t human. There is a state law regarding freedom of information of public records. You can make an inquiry with the Ethics Commission if your attorney feels you have a case. I hope your attorney nails them to the wall.

  13. The statement “we don’t accept responsibility” says it all-
    My God- Ms.Porter should be quietly led from the premises and placed in a quiet padded room so she can enjoy her illusions.

  14. Operation Underdog has offered to help this shelter, like they have done with Raleigh County, WV shelter. They have reduced kill rates from 68% to 13% in 1 year. WHY is the Charleston, WV shelter not on board with Operation Underdog’s plan for becoming no kill. It is easier to KILL and they are obviously kill happy. Here is a story about Operation Underdog and how they can help shelters…But they need 100% cooperation from the shelter to make it happen.

  15. Yesterday the shelter posted an attack on the public on their Facebook page. They blamed the public for dog’s not being adopted. They neglected to add that many people were put off adopting because the shelter was insisting on blind adoptions. Meaning you had to adopt before you could see or meet the dog. Ridiculous!!

    Now I hear there are only 9 dog’s left in the shelter. 90 dog’s have not been adopted. The vets only reccomended 4 be put down. Do the math, folks. They killed those dog’s anyway. Disgusted and repulsed by their actions.

      1. Nor has anyone else. They didn’t have pictures of the dog’s needing homes, wouldn’t let anyone back to take them and people coming to adopt had to adopt the dog’s sight unseen. THEN they got to actually see the dog when they took it home.

      2. Outrageous. And downright irresponsible. Can this really be true? They really ARE doing this?

      3. Doesn’t it just smack of yet another way people who actually want to kill dogs have cooked up to constructively dismiss potential adopters?

      4. Punitive at best. As if they’re saying, “we’ll teach you to interfere again”. It decidedly is NOT the action of peoples interested in saving the animal’s life.

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