Nevada Pound Kills Pet Whose Owner Was Short on Cash

Carson City Animal Services in Nevada killed a dog named Rollie after the owner couldn’t come up with the redemption fee within the 3 days allowed by the shelter.  But first they made time to issue the owner, who was at the pound the day after Rollie was picked up, a citation for abandoning her pet.  Shelter management was fine with the killing at the time they authorized it.  They were fine with the killing while Rollie was being snuffed.  And they were fine with the killing afterward.

Only when the heartbroken owner spoke out publicly in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper did shelter management backpedal.   Even then, Deputy City Manager Marena Works defended the killing, saying “it was within our legal right” while conceding the pound should have allowed the owner additional time to come up with the ransom.

Astonishingly, as if Rollie’s killing wasn’t horrifying enough, the pound closed for adoptions for 3 days this week so staff could undergo “intensive workforce development training in customer service, ethical decision making and best practices,” according to a press release from the city.  Closing for adoptions in the middle of summer is unthinkable at any animal shelter, let alone for teaching ethics to the staff who likely had no say in Rollie’s killing or any policy making decisions.

Ms. Works says that there will be changes made in the pound’s policy in future:

“We want to tighten up our euthanasia policies.”


“If any owner is identified, the animal is not considered stray and we will make every effort to place that animal back in its home, regardless of the individual’s ability to pay,” she said.

File under Fucking Duh.

If you’re going to call it “euthanasia”, which means ending the suffering of medically hopeless pets, why not “tighten up” the policy as follows:  Do you goddamn job.  Stop killing pets and start sheltering them.

Shame on Carson City shelter leadership for having a policy which included the needless killing of pets whose owners couldn’t afford to pay the fines.  Shame on them for issuing Rollie’s owner a citation for abandonment when she was standing right in front of them, pleading for her dog’s life.  Shame on them for only facing up to the cruelty after the brave owner went public to expose the practice.  Shame on them for defending the killing and implying the staff needs to be taught ethics while closing for adoptions for 3 days in the middle of summer.

There aren’t enough homes for them all?  Rollie had a home with an owner who wanted him.

Killing is the irresponsible public’s fault?  It was a member of the public who exposed the evil practices at this pound and forced a policy change to protect future lost pets.

Nobody wants to kill animals?  Another lie.

There ought to be a law.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me links on this story.)

13 thoughts on “Nevada Pound Kills Pet Whose Owner Was Short on Cash

  1. Absolutely outrageous ! What MORONS ! The city needs to shit can all of them, and fill these positions with persons who can come to logical solutions to ANY problems which may arise.

  2. I can guarantee you that with no “actual shelter” running experience, I could do a better job that any of these *bleep*s that are hired at these awful ‘shelters’ and are killing animals left and right. And I could turn it around to a no-kill, open-admission shelter within 1-2 years. PLUS they could pay me darn near minimum wage to do it!

      1. Yes, yes, yes, these shelter workers all need to be canned. Murdering animals takes a whole lot less time, work and effort then it would to get off their lazy asses and find homes for these innocent animals. If NH can become a 100% no-kill state then I believe everyone can. Yes, NH is a small state but not only does NH save the lives of animals there but they come to the south and rescue animals that are in kill shelters.
        Take a look at Stray Rescue of St. Louis at any given time they have 600 dogs in their shelter and in foster homes and the director even has taken dogs home. I mean the director goes out into the worst area of St. Louis MO to rescue dogs and promise them a new life. These dogs even animal control won’t go near because these are true street and feral dogs. We adopted our last one back in April from Stray Rescue. We drove 4 1/2 hrs. to adopt.
        Every dog deserves a chance at life. I will never wrap my head around why humans are so willing to murder these dogs when the problems that we have with strays, pet overpopulation and the list goes on is a problem that humans created and the innocent dogs are the ones paying the price. I think that it is about time for every shelter to lead the way in coming up with a solution and stop the killing of innocent dogs and cats.
        If a shelters first priority isn’t the animal then the shelter needs to change its director and staff

  3. In Sonoma County we did two beautiful German Shepherds on the same time for the same amount, different owners. One guy came in twice to try and work out a payment plan for his dog. He got told pay all or go to hell. His dog sat in the back another 24 days until it totally unraveled, so that SCACC could say they killed it for “aggression”.

    We call it “Fee aggression”

  4. The issue of people not being able to afford the fines arises here, too. I know this is not an isolated incident. I’ve wondered if it is actual legal for them to hold the pet for ransom like this. A pet is considered property under the law, can they legally take that property for the fines, if the owner comes forward and wants to reclaim the pet? It seems to me they would have to return the property, and the fines would be a separate matter, that they would have to take you to court to collect. I believe our local law says they can hold the pet, but would it hold up, if someone challenged them in court?
    Legal or not, there is no doubt that it is wrong.
    How long do they think they continue to treat the communities, they are supposed to be serving, like this? Pets are family to most of us. Would this policy be acceptable if it were a child, rather than a dog? How can they be so oblivious that they are causing people this pain and grief? How can they be given tax dollars, to torture the tax payers in this way? And then the tax payers cover the cost of killing the pet, and sheltering it for an additional 2 days, when it could just have gone home, and lived happily ever after, at no cost to anyone. The meanness and stupidity is just beyond my comprehension.

    1. Whether one holds the pet as a legal equivalent to a child or a sofa, it seems likely in either case that holding on to the pet in a demand for payment of fines may be illegal.

      1. Glad to hear this. I’m going to encourage people to insist on the return of their pet even if they do not have the money to pay the fine, and put them in touch with an attorney, if they are refused. With the cats here, in Carroll Co., MD, it is not even a fine. It’s legal to allow the cat to roam, so owners have to pay an impound fee instead. it’s $40, and then $5 “boarding” for each night the cat was there. Ridiculous when you consider that 1. the cat shouldn’t be there, in the first place, and 2. the Carroll Co. “Humane” Society gets a whole crapload of our tax dollars TO SHELTER PETS. There is no reason they need to charge an impound fee.

  5. Years back the same thing, it was stated that all staff was retrained, aspca stepped in to help… and here it happens again. I was under the impression that it was A NO KILL SHELTER, least that was the announcement here years ago. The staff was fired last time, WTF??? Could they not accept $1 a month, have a written contract anything, I understand the fees, it helps pay to keep homeless pets there until they can be adopted… this is unacceptable! I live here, donated there, adopted from there, anyone in Carson wanting to protest on the steps of the capital email me: put Rollie in subject, we can all work on times and days to protest.

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