Halifax Humane Society Oops Kills Rescuer’s Lost Dog

In 2011, I reported on the Halifax Humane Society (HHS) in Daytona Beach, FL when plans were announced to remove the overnight drop off cages from the facility.  The executive director was tired of people who needed to surrender pets successfully dodging the staff’s lectures and finger wagging that took place during normal business hours.  Now, more bad news in the HHS customer service department.

Heidi Klem, a local rescuer, had a dog named Stick escape last week and immediately began making phone calls.  One of those calls was to HHS to file a lost dog report for Stick, who was wearing two collars at the time he escaped.  HHS does not post photos of all the pets in its care anywhere online.  The HHS staffer told Ms. Klem he had conducted a walk-through of the facility and Stick was not there:

This was at noon Wednesday; they euthanized him at 5:45 that evening,” Klem said.

Oops.  At the time of the walk-through, Stick was reportedly in the clinic at HHS receiving medical care after being hit by a car.  And yes, there’s a lame-o explanation for the killing:

The humane society said Stick’s lost dog report was filed incorrectly, which is why no one knew his owner was looking for him.

“We’re deeply apologetic for our role in this dog not being returned to its family.”

Our role.  Dude, what?  The implication that there were other roles involved in the killing of Stick is offensive.  HHS killed Stick.  Full stop.  If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

Klem is asking the shelter to make changes by posting pictures of lost dogs on Facebook and on their own website.

I would ask that the Halifax Humane Society not only post photos of every pet in the facility upon impound – a simple lifesaving tool that every pound should use – but also that they stop killing pets.  A dog wearing two collars is someone’s pet.  A person filing a lost dog report with your facility is your customer.  Do your jobs.

(Thank you Clarice.)

12 thoughts on “Halifax Humane Society Oops Kills Rescuer’s Lost Dog

  1. Goddammit. “not being returned to its family” is a nice, soothing euphemism for what they actually did.

    1. We’re sorry we accidentally treated his injuries, placed him with a foster owner for recovery, and now allow him to chase butterflies in rolling meadows of bluebells instead of returning him to his family. I mean “its” – its family.

  2. Our facility lets people accompany the kennel workers when searching for a lost pet. I wouldn’t trust some apathetic nobody to search for my pet without me being present.

    1. Ideally, I wouldn’t want to have to rely on a so-called humane society employee to search the kennels for my lost dog either. But if I was stuck at work, had no access to transportation, was very ill, out of town, or any number of other possible scenarios – I would at least like to think I could rely on them to do their jobs until I could physically get there.

      If anything, shelter employees should be thrilled to get lost dog reports and go around labeling the cage cards of every pet in the place that bears any resemblance to the lost pet “HOLD FOR POSSIBLE OWNER ID” – you know, just in case. And heck, if I worked there and got a call from a pointer rescuer looking for her lost pointer, I’d label every possible pointer mix with a HOLD just in case I could get her to take one or more of them, even if they weren’t the lost dog she was looking for.

    2. I saw the post on FB when this owner was looking for her dog. She has been at the hospital with a sick relative for what sounded like a very long time. This is why (I assume) she wasn’t out doing walk-thrus at the shelters, but called instead.
      It’s a tough position, especially for someone in the rescue field, to not be able to do the physical walk-thru’s knowing how possible it is their pet may not be recognized by strangers…as well as what happens to pets who aren’t claimed. Still, the quickness in which her dog was killed had to be a shock. The tremendous pain of losing a 4-legged family member, in addition to the stress of advocating for a 2-legged family member’s patient care… My heart goes out to her.

  3. And here’s something else I don’t get – if a dog has been hit and you’re TREATING it, why kill it? Or why treat it in the first place? What a bunch of idiots. This “humane” society isn’t and needs some new management. How hard is it to have a facebook page and update? If the technology is beyond them then hire a 16 year old to come in and do it for them. How awful for Heidi.

  4. I’m on a first name basis with our local kill humane society. They really try to save as many as possible but had their own oops under previous management. I had the opportunity earlier this week to call and let them know my fence climbing Coonhound, of whom they have a photo, was out again. She is chipped and has a Silverwalk Boomerang collar-tag. She came home. Luckily, I’m able to make my own walk throughs and always tell my adopters and inquirers to use their own eyes to check for their dogs every other day in multiple shelters.

    This should never have happened – this was not an “irresponsible” public person; she could/may have pulled dogs from them before. Shame for not owning up to their tragic, fatal, fast KILL.

  5. I hope I’m just being a bit on the paranoid side to think that the oops kill might not be so much of an oops? The sad number of dogs killed when they are tagged by a rescue and the speed with which dogs requested by rescuers are sometimes killed makes me wonder about this. Some shelters really seem to enjoy doing that, they seem to view people who rescue dogs as enemies to be thwarted.

  6. Well, I think y’all are making a mountain out of a molehill. Yes, the killing of the pet was wrong. But how come, the dog could roam the streets and get hit by the car in the first place? Was he hungry? Did he want to poop?..Strange that the owner abdicates her responsibility .
    Secondly, mistake can happen, guys! We’re all humans after all. They killed a pet by mistake but surely you cannot label them as frauds. The fact that they are saving dozens of others eliminates that possibility.

    1. And yet…if you find a dog wearing two collars, don’t you think that MAYBE someone owns that dog and you should be looking for that owner?

      This is a mistake that SHOULDN’T have happened. And yes, it is a fraud when a system that is set up to shelter animals in need choses instead to slaughter them.

  7. I remember well when stick was killed by HHS well before the 72 hour hold despite the calls the collars and obviously somebodies family member!! Heidi is a beloved member of our community and a committed Animal lover and hero! Sticks story is what caught my attention and heart ……while some things have changed and somewhat better at the glencoe location the LPGA location is killing good dogs to save $$$ so they can divert funds and donations to make a Dog Park…Imagine that building a dog park with the blood of other dogs=/ ….. the CEO of this facility needs to be investigated and books should be gone over with a fine tooth comb please join us in our fight to make changes.. NO-KILL Shelters is the mission homes for all dogs is our dream! You will see Don Friedman standing outside the LPGA location holding his sign “STOP KILLING GOOD DOGS” honk in support and join him in protest…I did!

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