Directors keep resigning from the troubled Escambia Co pound in Florida. The latest is veterinarian Alphonso Steward III who just took over operations in November 2013. He replaced a director who only lasted 2 months on the job.
Animal advocates claim an inordinate number of shelter pets were dying after Dr. Steward performed routine neuter surgeries on them. For his part, Dr. Steward blames the deaths on his tech, whom he says cleaned cages with a “noxious spray” and exposed the pets to toxic fumes during their surgical recovery.
In addition, Dr. Steward told the local paper that the pound’s kennel manager, Phyllis Trout, was giving information to animal advocates in an effort to drive him from the pound. Dr. Steward said Ms. Trout is responsible for selecting animals for the kill list at Escambia Co:
“If her friends knew how many animals she would sign off every week, they wouldn’t be as friendly to her any more. She signs off as many as 20-30 animals a week.”
The county is launching an investigation into the post-surgical deaths under Dr. Steward:
Interim Escambia County Administrator Larry Newsom said the county is bringing in an independent, third party veterinarian from out of town to look at the animal deaths, and the county will look into any issues with the hiring of Steward.
Neither linked article indicates if any of the carcasses of the animals in question have been frozen for examination but without the ability to conduct necropsies on these animals, the investigation will be limited.
Wherever the truth lies in all this muck, the fact remains that needless death is standard operating procedure at the pound. Lifesaving is not the prime directive. Reform needs to start there. Focusing on anything else will result in more pets in trash bags and more drama, which seems to be the only area where Escambia Co excels.
Escambia Co needs to take a long, hard look at its institutionalized pet killing and determine why its directors keep running from the place. Maybe county administrators could use some of that noxious spray on their eyeballs to see if it helps erode the accumulation of awful.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)