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