Mobile Co Pet Killing Facility Brings da Expluhnashuns

The Mobile Co pound in AL has been in the news a lot this year.  First it was reported that the facility conducted a mass killing in response to one sick dog.  Then we learned the pound killed a freshly bathed, neutered cat named Porkchop upon arrival before his owner could find him.  The pound investigated itself to determine why the cat wasn’t held for the mandated holding period and decided the killing was A-OK because the pet was “feral”.

Now the local NBC affiliate reports that killing pets upon arrival appears to be commonplace at the Mobile Co pound:

We combed through nearly 600 pages of shelter records and policies and found that in the first two months of this year, 400 animals were euthanized. Nearly a third of them were put down on the same day they were brought in, and many within just a few minutes. The reasons given were varied: medical conditions, sickness and injury, aggressive animal, bite animal, feral animal, too young, too old.

I hate to nitpick but every one of the Mobile Co pound’s “reasons” for killing pets upon arrival is bullshit.  Nearly all medical conditions are treatable.  Aggression is impossible to determine upon arrival at a pet killing facility.  The purpose of impounding bite animals is to hold them in quarantine to see if symptoms of rabies develop.  Feral cats already have a place to live – the community.  There is no such thing as being too young or too old – a pet is either alive, with an inherent right to continue living, or dead.  And it’s mostly the latter after they get picked up by Mobile Co.

The shelter’s own policy states all stray animals are to be held for a mandatory seven-day period before any action is taken. Their policy also states the staff will explore “every option available before euthanization.”


Shelter records show many cases where the animal was never scanned for a microchip before being put down. Shelter policy states animals up for euthanization should be scanned not once, but twice for a microchip prior to the injection.

Everyone make sure you spell M-O-B-I-L-E C-O-U-N-T-Y correctly when submitting your nomination ballots for the Fail Awards.

The reporter went to county spokesperson Nancy Johnson with the above concerns and donchaknow – she had a pat answer for everything.

“If they are very sick, if they are suffering, for medical reasons,” Johnson says, “We get a vet to verify that they are in duress.”

[…] Johnson says the 7-day hold policy does not apply to cats deemed ‘feral’ because it’s inhumane to hold them.

“Feral cats, by definition, don’t have owners and can’t be owned,” Johnson says.


The county says some animals are too aggressive and unmanageable to be scanned.


Johnson says the county deals with an overwhelming number of stray and abandoned animals. They are required by law to pick up strays, unlike no-kill shelters.

I’m not sure which is more terrifying – the swiftness with which she offered these utterly lame/outright false explanations or the notion that she may actually believe them.

When asked by the reporter why the shelter is failing to follow its own policy limiting pet killings to 2 hours per day, 3 days a week, Ms. Johnson finally admitted there’s cause to change a policy – to open it up for more killing, natch.  Mobile Co – all killing, all the time.  (If the county commissioners are reading this and realize they are in need of a new tourism slogan, call me!)

“We do a big job,” Johnson says.

Yes.  And you need a big shovel to manage it.

A rescue group called SouthBARK, which was banned from the pound last year, is currently suing the county for $500k.  The group asked the court to put a halt on killings at the pound until the case is decided.  The judge didn’t even wait for the county’s response before rejecting the request.  A hearing has been scheduled for June 18.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)


17 thoughts on “Mobile Co Pet Killing Facility Brings da Expluhnashuns

  1. First of all does a cat need to be given a death sentence because it is feral? Of course not, that is the stupidist thing. All, across this country we have T.N.R. programs popping up everywhere. I really think shelters should get up to speed what is going on. And not all cats deemed as feral are feral. What they looked feral, (just like that dog looked like a pitt bull….Really)As, far as scanning for microchips, it really goes like this kill them first then scan for a microchip. I know I have heard that happening on more then one occasion. OK, now you actually killed that dog because it looked like a pitt bull and not because the dog was aggressive. Let me tell you something: you grab me with a pole, you scare the heck out of me, you throw me in a cage (like I am nothing more then garbage) I am not going to be to happy either. I may show signs of aggression when I am scared and in fear. This is why the hold period was put into place. Everyone human included will act and react in some shape or form when scared and in fear. It is called fight or flight.
    We need to get people into shelters across the country who truly have the best interest of the animal at heart. When you have a director that allows an animal to be killed because it has a cold (kennel cough) instead of treating the cold, when we have a director that finds it ok to kill first then scan for a microchip, when we have a director who is actually a part of the problem instead of being a part of the solution, there actually is only one correct decision to be made …..Get rid of the Director and hire a whole new group of people to staff the shelter.

  2. My feral cats would be very surprised to hear that they don’t have an owner (who is that strange woman who feeds them every day, makes sure that their shelter is clean and that they have heated snugglesafe disks in the winter?). According to veterinary records, *I* am their owner. The idea that they “can’t” be owned is ludicrous.

    Don’t tell me that you “don’t want to kill” when you go out of your way to make every excuse under the sun to make sure you get all of your killing in before the end of the day. You do want to kill. You find it expedient and you find it EASY. If you can’t own it, don’t do it.

  3. So awful and so true, “I’m not sure which is more terrifying – the swiftness with which she offered these utterly lame/outright false explanations or the notion that she may acutally believe them.”

    The name in this instance may be Nancy Johnson but this applies to animal control systems failure everywhere (my humble opinion)..just insert the name.

    Another line animal control and their supporters use and seem to believe – it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

    1. It’s the city/county pounds across the nation – all the same excuses, the same old woman giving lame excuses. I wouldn’t be surprised if she rode a broom. How does killing become so easy for these city/county pounds?

  4. Attorney Ishmael Jaffree for SouthBARKS (and SouthBARKS) – the best to you all. – thanks for reporting Shirley T.

    1. i agree.. the very best to SouthBARK and may the animals win.. and may the killing of innocent beings stop..

  5. Does this woman not understand how stupid she sounds? There are many communities (who also deal with open admission, strays, etc) who don’t offer up such ridiculous excuses for killing. They choose to stop killing and save animals because it is the right thing to do.

    Oh, my feral cat, Tommy, would also beg to differ that community cats don’t have a home. He has a home and personal chef who serves him up the kind of food each day that he enjoys. Just because he is not an indoor lap cat does not mean his life has no value.

    Shame on those who keep the killing going. And shame on those who enable the killing.

    I am also making sure that I don’t bother to visit cities and states where this kind of attitude is so prevalent. Don’t want to support this in any way, shape or form!

  6. “too aggressive and unmanageable to be scanned.”

    How do they manage to control them while they kill them?

    1. It’s a far more delicate procedure to hit the vein of an animal than to scan one for a chip. Maybe they just stab away wildly 400 or 500 times until they hit something. Or maybe they stuff them in a gas chamber. Or shoot them. Whatever it is – I’m sure it satisfies Ms. Johnson as being “humane”.

  7. I moved the South with my husband from NH and I am angry, broken hearted and so frustrated that it is so easy for a shelter to MURDER an innocent animal instead of getting off their butts and actually work like hell to save the life of the animal. I think that if the state of NH can become a NO-KILL state and still come to the South to help become a part of the solution and rescue animals and find them forever homes. I think every state in the nation can take a stand and say NO MORE KILLING. It is sad that an innocent animal has to be punished and die for a problem that humans created. When did it become ok to start killing the innocent and let the guilty go free? We were once thought of as a great nation but not anymore. Ghandi once said the strenght and moralty of a nation can be measured by the way animals are treated.

  8. I just finished a study of the counties in Alabama which have a shelter as required by state law. Almost half do not. Considering what goes on in some of the places called “shelters,” perhaps the animals in a county are better off when officials don’t comply. I’m just venting. Let’s just call this place a Disposal Facility and get real about it.

  9. I’ve worked a it of places and beyond a doubt the people in th Southern states can be some of the meanest, most viscous, nasty people I know. They do horrible things to their own famines for a dime or just cuz.

    1. I was born and raised in New England and I now live in the South. I’ve lived a few other places in between. There are good and bad people everywhere.

  10. @db- unfortunately the arrogance of those in AL don’t give a shit if you visit or not.
    They can inbreed Just Fine without outsiders telling them what To do.
    The woman who raised me was Stripped of
    The little money she had $1500 by a step-brother “preacher” and placed in the most horrible nursing home he could all because she loved her stray kitties and he got pissed I went and TNR all of them with my own money and didn’t give it to him-
    Swear to God- true story.

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