The Bridgeport police department runs the city pound in Connecticut. A 5 pound dog called Gizmo was brought to the Bridgeport pound as a stray on October 7 with a splint on one of his forelegs.
The Connecticut Post reports that under state law, the pound was required to either take Gizmo to the city veterinarian for treatment or, if no funds were available, reach out to rescue groups with a plea for Gizmo. The Bridgeport pound did neither. In fact, staff apparently did nothing at all to help Gizmo’s injured leg and simply left him to sit in a cage for weeks.
On October 30, a rescue group pulled Gizmo and took him to a vet. The vet determined Gizmo’s broken leg required surgery and that a splint was inadequate to heal the injury. The dog also had an open wound, probably from the pressure of the splint rubbing on the skin. Gizmo has been receiving care for both the fractured leg and the wound ever since. (Thank you to the so-called irresponsible public, once again.)
The police department has all sorts of excuses for its neglect of Gizmo which caused him pain and suffering for weeks. The pound is understaffed. Gizmo fell through the cracks. The staff thought the splint looked pretty spiffy and figured a real live professional must have done the leg up right – so why check, know what I mean?
Limiting the amount of money spent on vet care has been a priority for the police department:
Budget restrictions have been an issue, according to the city’s veterinarian, Dr. Amr Wasfi, of Black Rock Animal Hospital. Wasfi began working for the city about a year ago. He said that even though he has charged the city “peanuts,” the police department has haggled over treatment.
At a budget hearing earlier this year, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett told members of the City Council that he was trying to better control his department’s veterinary bills.
Success! I guess.
In response to the public outcry over Gizmo’s suffering, the police department indicated it might actually start upholding the law:
Because of Gizmo, [Lt. Steven] Lougal set up a protocol requiring staff to immediately bring any animal needing medical attention to the veterinarian, including those that appear to have received unverified treatment.
Gee, if only the Bridgeport police department had been doing its job in accordance with the law all along, there might not be a need to set up a protocol requiring pound employees to do their jobs and not violate state law. What wacky thing will the Bridgeport police department come up with next – setting up protocols to not rob banks?
State legislator Brenda Kupchik, who helped pass the 2011 law requiring shelters to treat sick and injured animals, plans to file a complaint with the state Department of Agriculture. But a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture toured the pound last week and was all, They’re doing the best they can.
If private citizens neglected Gizmo like the Bridgeport police department did, I assume there would be arrests and prosecutions. As far as I know, no one at the Bridgeport pound has lost his job or even been reprimanded for the mistreatment of Gizmo, never mind been arrested or charged for violating state law. Color me skeptical about seeing any meaningful changes as a result of Gizmo’s needless and unlawful suffering at the hands of those who were supposed to protect him.
(Thank you Clarice for the link.)