Lufkin AC Posts Picture of Dog Being Suspended in Mid-Air

Photo posted on PetHarbor by the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter in TX.
Photo formerly posted on PetHarbor by the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter in Lufkin, TX.

Before anyone gets all worked up at seeing a little dog apparently being suspended in mid-air by a shelter worker with a noose around the neck and fistful of rump skin, let me reassure you that Rhonda McLendon, the director at the Lukfin shelter where the photo was taken, has already seen the image and cleared everyone involved. She says the dog was fearful and snappy and the method of restraint in the photo “is a proper method with an animal that’s trying to bite.”

According to McLendon this method is not harmful to the dog.

“It doesn’t cause pain if you lift equally in the front and the back that’s why the dog is actually upright in the picture.”

A veterinarian found the dog was not harmed by the handling and also endorsed the method of restraint in the photo.

After conducting a full investigation and taking the dog to the vet the director at the City of Lufkin Animal Control has determined that there was no wrong doing on any part, by any of the staff.

Feeling reassured?  Me neither.  The notion that grabbing a fistful of ass while holding a noose around a dog’s neck somehow negates the fact that the dog has a delicate windpipe, not meant to hold the animal’s body weight – or half the body weight – does not make sense.  A dog is not a table that as long as you lift equally from both sides, won’t split down the middle.  A dog has living parts.  And emotions.  Further, anyone who has ever inadvertently grabbed the skin over the hips of a dog knows that dogs do not like this.  It scares them.  It scares already fearful dogs even more.  Add in being simultaneously hung by a noose around the neck and voila – you have abusive treatment at the hands of shelter staff, to my mind at least.

Ms. McLendon did fault the staff member for using poor judgment – not in handling the dog in the manner depicted – but for posting the photo on PetHarbor so the public could see it.

Out of interest, I flipped through the Lufkin AC listings on PetHarbor to see how they hold other small dogs for photos.  Here a few currently on the site:

Screengrab from PetHarbor
Screengrab from PetHarbor
Screengrab from PetHarbor
Screengrab from PetHarbor
Screengrab from PetHarbor
Screengrab from PetHarbor

(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)

24 thoughts on “Lufkin AC Posts Picture of Dog Being Suspended in Mid-Air

  1. i,m sorry but i don,t think soooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wish my KURTH family had never gave this dump the kurth name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! rhonda mclendon kiss my arse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is no way to treat a dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I’ve worked a animal clinic for several years “THAT is not a way to handle any animal”.!! I’ve also retained very aggressive dogs, feral cats and never have I ever held them that way (in any of those pictures)!!! They are not there for the animals and they also have a fear if thats what they do to any of the animals they dont need to be there and this place needs to be shut down completely!!!!!

  2. Oh no they don’t. :-( Does this “shelter” ever actually adopt out any animals? While they’re alive, I mean? Of course this is abusive and no matter how they attempt to justify it, it’s still abuse. Poor dogs – to be handled like this while already terrified – no wonder the first dog was thought to be a threat to bite. I would bite a stranger who was abusing me in this way! What a horrible thing -and the fact that it’s all in a day’s work just makes it worse.

      1. As if they give a rat’s ass. Sorry, but they’re still awarding “shelters we love” awards to high kill gassing shelters.

        The locals need to get involved and speak to their elected officials directly.

  3. Holy fuck. I’m sorry for the language, but…holy fuck.

    Look, we’ve seen this attitude before – the people in Memphis who defended this type of “handling” time and again were actually defending animal abusers just “doing what they do”. I will bet you any amount of money that if you had hidden cameras placed at this “shelter”, you would see criminal abuse occurring on a regular basis.

    You can’t “retrain” people like this (heaven knows, Memphis went down THAT road enough times). These are animal abusers who simply do not care that they are mishandling/hurting/frightening animals. These places either need *massive* staff changes or to be shut down entirely because that’s the only way to end this cruelty.

    1. And in this case, no “retraining” is even being promised b/c the director stamped the abuse with her seal of approval. The only thing being “retrained” is teaching the workers not to post photographic evidence of themselves abusing animals on PetHarbor.

      1. Not one of these staff members give a damn about the animals. It’s obvious – that yes – like Memphis we have a culture of mishandling and disrespecting lives of the animals they are “in charge of.” It comes straight down from the Director to the staff. Those pups should be cuddled!!! ARGH…

      2. I can certainly understand and appreciate that shelter workers need to be safe and that not all pets are going to be happy, confident or even normal at the pound. I fully admit I would not want to be near the business end of a biting dog myself and I don’t expect anyone else to do it either. That said, I can think of 100 other ways to accomplish the picture taking while keeping safe – not one of which includes anything akin to abuse. It’s horrible that the worker did this, worse that the photographer thought it was ok and stood there taking the picture and worse still that the director approved of the whole thing. They should all be fired.

  4. Undercover operatives and hidden cameras, then youtube, then send the link to the mainstream media.
    THEN go to your elected officials and remind them that at the next local elections they could be out of a job.

  5. you telling me there is no other way to handle a nippy 8 lbs dog? you are seriously inept at your job and should be replaced.

  6. The only “mistake” made (and the only truthful statement in the statement made) was that the picture was taken and somehow got out in the first place. Godalmighty.


  7. One of my dogs is a really easygoing dog, but I’m pretty sure he would even nip if handled like this. Whatever happened to using blankets or towels to grab and hold them? Works for a lot of people without hurting the animal in the process. I know, I have used it for nippy dogs and have seen it used.

  8. Having the shelter director conduct an investigation is somewhat like having the fox guard the henhouse, yes? What is he/she going to do do? Indict her own staff? Agree that they abuse animals? Hardly!!! This cries out for third party investigation and firings!!!!!

  9. This woman at the shelter is wrong. They should all be fired immediately. I bet she wouldn’t like it if I grabbed her nasty little offspring by the back and yanked on the little turds. I hope they all lose their jobs.

  10. That is not a typical way to restrain a nippy small dog. If anything, it puts the person holding at greater risk of a bite because there’s no real control of the head.

    I’m a vet tech, I have to restrain nippy small dogs all the time, often by myself. I would NEVER “scruff” a dog by the butt skin. Hell, most of the time a one-arm hug close to your body is all it takes for them to subside since most dogs are only nippy going in/out of a cage or when actually being messed with, NOT when they’re just being held (as long as you keep fingers away from their face).

  11. As a retired dog groomer of 20+ years, and Vet Tech. For 6 yrs..I have to say I have never,never seen anyone or myself handled any dog in this manner, and I’ve handled both fear and aggression biters both large & small..There are far more humane/suitable ways to lift/handle a “snappy-nippy” dog, that shelter workers and managers should be trained in..anyone handling a dog in the manner shown, is only reinforcing the biting behavior claimed to already exist, and would most likely create a biting issue in a dog where it didn’t exist! This is totally unacceptable!

  12. I think a letter to the AVMA regarding their opinion on the restraint method used. I will bet it will come back as abuse. Then go after the AssH gets license who approved this.
    There are a ton of quacks in the business.

  13. Here is Lufkins propaganda-
    #1 Micrometropolitian community???
    growing in health care???
    Let’s see how they treat patients at their hospitals-
    I sent a note to the chamber – basically laughing my ass off at them for their moronic AC and elected officials that support this.

  14. a bunch of abusive morons,,,when will this stop? everyday this kind of thing is all over the internet,,,,makes me soooo sad,, animals just cant win it seems,,,wish I could save them all,,,this world sucks,,,


    I am sick to my stomach to hear this–
    This vet (that gives some joke of an excuse) has to be the same one that has helped put me in a financial pit–gave a pregnant dog a CLEAN bill of health 2 days prior to putting her on a plane and sending her to Washington D.C.

    She was here for appprox. 2 1/2 weeks before giving birth to 8 (that’s right, EIGHT) puppies. thousands of dollars and 2 months-out-of-work later, I feel nauseous reading an article like this.
    I beg everyone to get a LEGITIMATE person in there to see what the heck is going on there.

    THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THESE ACTIONS or the dogs to be handled as seen above (its pathetic that excuses were made for the person doing this, proves the lack of judgment on behalf of the “director”).

  16. Thank you for voicing the truth. When I began reading this article I was so mad because I THOUGHT for an instant that the public had fallen for this crap. Thank God the writer saw through this. Unbelievable. Look at all the other pictures! You are all morons who seriously look like you hate your job and animals. Get outta there then and go find another job! Leave those poor babies alone! Let someone hold you like that and see if you like it! I’d like to bite each and every one of them for these innocent babies!

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