AL ACO Ties Dead Dog to Tailgate of AC Truck

AL – Marshall Co ACO Kevin Hooks responded to a call on Monday regarding a pack of 5 dogs who had killed a pet owner’s dog.  The owner had shot one of the 5 dogs to death.  ACO Hooks captured 3 of the surviving dogs and loaded them onto his truck.  He tied the dead pack dog’s body to his tailgate and drove 35 miles back to the city pound used by Marshall Co.

During the trip, several drivers reportedly got out of their vehicles at a red light and knocked on the truck’s window, trying to alert the ACO that a dead dog was hanging out the back of his truck.  But he disregarded the concerned citizens and continued on to a busy highway where a woman photographed the back of the truck and posted it on Facebook.  Local news outlets ran the story.

Hooks told WHNT NEWS 19 he had live stray dogs in the other cages and wanted to keep them from destroying the dead dog.  Hooks said he also wanted to avoid making two 70-mile round trips.

“The mistake he made was not making two trips,” said [Marshall Co Commission] Chairman Hutcheson. “He should have took the live animals and put them in the location and then he should have came back, put the large animal inside the box, closed it up so it wasn’t visible to the public.”

Dogs are sentient beings who are aware of the difference between living animals and dead animals.  They form bonds in life and they grieve when those they’ve bonded with die.  The notion that this incident was objectionable only because the dead dog was visible to the public is outrageous.  Even more troubling, I get the impression that ACO Hooks might have placed the dead dog inside the cage with the live dogs if he felt certain they wouldn’t have made a mess he would have had to clean up later.

Let’s be clear, the reasons this incident is unacceptable are:

  • A dead dog was tied to the tailgate of an AC truck and placed within sight and smell of his caged packmates who had just witnessed his killing.
  • A dead dog was tied to the tailgate of an AC truck and driven past countless citizens, some of whom tried to alert the ACO to the inappropriateness of the situation but were ignored.
  • A dead dog was tied to the tailgate of an AC truck.  Full stop.

Even if it was impossible to make the return trip to transport the dead dog separately, I can’t help thinking what a difference two black trash bags could have made in this situation. If trash bags are not carried on the AC vehicle (and they should be), the ACO could have asked the pet owner for two or picked up a box of them at a store.  Double bagging the dead dog would have been a reasonable alternative if the return trip was deemed impossible for whatever reason.

ACO Hooks’s faux-pology to a reporter demonstrates his failure to understand the situation:

 “Well yes I’m sorry that we alarmed the public by transporting the animal in a way that it raised an alarm to the public. I believe it could have been handled better if time had permitted” Hooks said.

But since time was an issue, it couldn’t have been handled any better so totally not sorry.  If ACO Hooks does not have time to do his job in a manner consistent with respecting the animals in his care, changes need to be made. But don’t expect major reform as a result of this incident:

The Chairman of the Marshall County Commission says he took disciplinary action against Kevin Hooks, but is keeping him in the position for now.


Note:  The images of the dead dog at the links have been sufficiently blurred to avoid disturbing most readers in my opinion.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me these links.)

Leave a comment


  1. mikken

     /  March 20, 2014

    You know that they don’t care about how the animals feel – after all, they’re just going to kill them for being “aggressive”, anyway.

    The comments section of the article indicates that this guy has been a lazy jackass for quite some time, now…

  2. Mary Ann

     /  March 20, 2014

    Just the fact that this man found this horrible solution to be the best warrants him losing his job, in my opinion. As you said, a couple of trash bags would have respectfully covered this lost dog, and maybe putting the dog in the cab of the truck at that point. How is it that so many people who deal with animals are lacking the compassion needed. It really doesn’t take that much, just a little empathy goes a long way. We had a case just this past week in Kansas City where city workers who picked up dogs that had passed away and were supposed to take them to a crematorium and they dumped them instead. They had one job to do and couldn’t find the compassion to do even that. And our city, instead of firing them on the spot, are deciding on what disciplinary action they should take. Seems obvious to me what they need to do. Here’s the story:

  3. KarenJ

     /  March 20, 2014

    Cadaver Bags should ALWAYS be carried in an AC truck. It is required for zoological and environmental situations just like this one. Let me say this – I’ve carried deceased animals in the front cab of my truck in bags when there was no room in the boxes of the truck. WTH is wrong with this guy? Well – it starts with lack of care, pride, and ignorance. And by the lack of English Language skills used by the Commission Chair Hutcheson – it rolls down from there. Here’s the learned quote “The mistake he made was not making two trips,” said Chairman Hutcheson. “He should have took the live animals and put them in the location and then he should have came back, put the large animal inside the box, closed it up so it wasn’t visible to the public.” He should’ve TOOK and CAME back. WTH?

  4. vida

     /  March 20, 2014

    So once again given several choices in how to do a sad job they chose the worst possible. Honestly, I am sure there are acos who care but too many seem bent on inflicting the most pain and fear possible on the animals that they deal with. So sad.

  5. I had this nagging feeling that I had seen the name Kevin Hooks before. Turns out, I had, right here:



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: