The police department oversees the city animal control pound in Lawrence, Indiana. The facility is staffed by one full time ACO.
On Tuesday, police responded to a report of vandalism at the pound and found that several windows had been broken. They also found that the pets in the facility were dying from neglect. Covered in urine and feces, malnourished pets were left in their cages without food or water. One dog and one cat were dead at the time police arrived. Rather than take immediate action and get medical care for the dying animals, police apparently tried to hide the evidence by cleaning up the place themselves. While they did so, another dog died. When TV news crews came by, police refused to allow them inside.
The sole ACO, a civilian employee, had been on the job for many years. How could this have happened?
[Police chief Michael Walton] said the employee had been with the department between 7-10 years, and they’d never had problems with him before.
“We saw no need to have to go by and check on this person who had given us many years of decent service, and had never done anything like this before,” said Walton.
Yeah but I mean… how do you know? The police chief admits his department never did its job in overseeing the shelter and never checked on how this person was treating the animals. The neglect might have been happening for the past 10 years for all the police chief knows. Nobody bothered to check. And when they finally did discover the abuse, the police cleaned up the mess themselves and locked out local news crews rather than seeking immediate veterinary care for the dying pets. The police department’s apparent attempt to cover up the wrongdoing cost yet another poor shelter animal his life.
A state veterinarian is scheduled to visit the facility today and assess the pets who survived the neglect. It’s unclear how many animals are still living at the pound but this RTV6 video report mentions “thirteen dogs”. The ACO has been fired and a city employee has been transferred from another department to replace him. No cruelty charges have been filed.
Thank you to whoever put a brick through that window and got the police off their asses and the TV news down there.
Fire them all.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)