Animals Suffer and Die from Neglect at Indiana Pound

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.)

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. This is so disgusting and Police must take responsibility instead of hiding the situation. I’m sick to death of poor shelter care!

    Reply
  2. Sarah Nelson

     /  October 24, 2013

    What the f— is wrong with people? Do the same to them!

    Reply
  3. karenj

     /  October 24, 2013

    At the very least the State of Indiana Vet Board who is over shelters should have been doing inspections on this facility. The citizens need to have a revolt and an uprising. Petition the Chief if Police and get involved . I am saddened And angry and disgusted. The officers who tried to cover it up were told to do so by someone. Who??? Yes…fire them all.

    Reply
    • The details on how this place functions are unclear to me. On the website, they say they take strays to the Indianapolis pound. But clearly they have their own facility. I’m wondering if the Lawrence pound served as a “holding” facility and perhaps was exempt from (or last on the list for) state inspections. I don’t know (which is why I didn’t write about it in the post), just having some guesses.

      Reply
      • Clarice

         /  October 24, 2013

        Protocol says that after seven to ten days, depending on the dogs specific position, they are to be transferred to Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. The IACC either puts them on the adoption floor if their behavior and health is up to par or it hands them over to animal rescues.

        The problem is that only one dog was transferred between the two facilities in June, and August 15 was the last transfer date. That is more than two months ago.

        Read more: http://fox59.com/2013/10/24/criminal-investigation-underway-after-dead-dogs-found-at-lawrence-animal-shelter/#ixzz2igROJOig

      • Thanks for the link. They make it sound as if the Indy pound doesn’t kill animals but they do. They don’t have stats posted on their website so only they know how many they kill.

        Eleven dogs left alive at the Lawrence pound. No charges filed.

  4. mikken

     /  October 24, 2013

    A brick through a window…well, that’s one way of getting change to happen.

    I think it’s VERY safe to say that this abuse and neglect has been going on for YEARS and that the police are responsible for allowing it.

    Lazy and evil are a very bad combination.

    Reply
  5. karenj

     /  October 24, 2013

    Hmmmm…I will try to research later today.

    Reply
  6. Tia Fox

     /  October 24, 2013

    Well, at least the employee was fired. In Hendricks County, Indiana we uncovered documents (time sheets) that PROVED animals were being frequently left unnattended for up to 76 hours at a time. The commissioners were contacted and they have REFUSED to even address the issue. :(

    Reply
  7. I don’t believe they have the right to refuse! They are elected officials and need to attend the will of the people!

    Reply
  8. Sharon

     /  October 24, 2013

    We are talking about lives—living creatures. Neglect and abuse is WRONG AND EVIL. There is no excuse for neglect and deaths that result from the neglect is murder, plain and simple!

    Reply
  9. vida

     /  October 24, 2013

    I think it’s symptomatic of the breakdown of the system that elected officials and other”public servants” can totally ignore the citizens wishes, it’s sick and sad and has to be stopped. In our locality some great people finally, after repeatedly calling and reporting someone for animal abuse with no results, made a video and posted it. Finally the dog was rescued with much complaint by ac about how the public slowed their investigation. The investigation had apparently consisted of ….nothing. Sad when people have to be forced to do their job.

    Reply
  10. Clarice

     /  November 5, 2013

    The shelter employee was arrested and is facing animal neglect charges. The deputy
    chief, in charge of overseeing the shelter, has been demoted to lieutenant.

    http://www.wishtv.com/news/local/former-animal-shelter-employee-arrested-facing-charges

    Reply
  11. Another case of police being legal criminals. The public needs more freedom to monitor police activity.

    Reply

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