Odessa Pound Kills Owned Pets upon Impound, Two Days in a Row

Prince (photo by Marie Luera)

Prince (photo by Marie Luera)

Three years ago, Marie Luera and her family adopted littermate male kittens from the long troubled Odessa pound in Texas.  She named them Binx and Mojo.  They joined a third kitten at home called Prince.  All three cats were neutered and vaccinated and lived as indoor/outdoor pets.  At night, they slept in bed with the kids.  When Binx and Prince didn’t come home late last week, Marie became concerned.  Neither cat was microchipped and both had persistently removed the collars Marie had tried to keep on them.

The Odessa pound is closed on weekends but Marie checked the website which states:

Dogs and cats that are not wearing a current vaccination for rabies are held for three days.

Since she had last seen Binx and Prince on Wednesday night, she felt reassured that, had they been impounded by animal control, they would still be there on Monday.  She went to the Odessa pound Monday morning as soon as the place opened.  She and her husband walked through the facility but did not see either Binx or Prince so she asked the staff member at the counter about her pets.  The staffer explained that the pound had been accepting a lot of cats lately from one man and that it was possible that man had brought in one or both of her pets.  The staffer told Marie she would check “the dalmatian book” which Marie noted was a notebook with cartoon puppies from 101 Dalmatians on it, filled with red cards.  Inside, the staffer located cards for cats matching the descriptions of Binx and Prince.

Binx (photo by Marie Luera)

Binx (photo by Marie Luera)

Binx had been trapped by a man living on Marie’s street and turned into the Odessa pound last Thursday at 10:03 a.m.  He was killed at 11 a.m. for “aggression”.  Prince had been trapped and turned in by the same man on Friday, also at 10:03 a.m.  He too was killed at 11 a.m. for “aggression”.

Marie was devastated.  She considers her pets to be family members and told me “they are not just animals”.  She requested the cats’ records but the pound refused to provide them, telling her she’d have to file an official FOIA request, which she has since done.   She also requested a copy of the pound’s policy regarding cat evaluations and staff training.

Marie says the pound manager told her the protocol for evaluating cats is for a staff member to attempt to touch the caged cat upon impound.  If the cat hisses or swats, the cat is killed.  It’s unclear to me whether either Binx or Prince was ever removed from the traps in which they were impounded or how the staff could have had the time or handling skills required to scan them for microchips in the 57 minutes each was allowed to live at the pound.

Marie’s children are 11, 9 and 7.  She had to deliver the tragic news to them about Binx and Prince.  She hopes that by speaking out publicly and demanding reform, she might prevent the same tragedy from happening to another family.  She told me while struggling through tears:

I don’t want another mother to have to tell her kids that their family members are never coming home.

Marie says the Odessa pound offered to chip her surviving cat, Mojo for free.  Marie declined because she didn’t want cat killers touching her only remaining cat.  Instead, she took Mojo and the family dog to a facility of her choosing to be chipped on Tuesday.

Let’s be clear:

Evaluating feline behavior upon impound is useless, unless the facility is actively seeking an excuse to kill cats.  It’s debatable whether cats can be reliably evaluated in a shelter environment at any time during a standard 3 – 5 day holding period but certainly at the time of impound (and after having been trapped) would have to be ruled out by anyone who cares about shelter animals.  And regardless of the outcome of the evaluation, no healthy/treatable cat should ever be killed for behavior.  Cats do not represent a threat to public safety based upon how much they fear humans or how much they love them.

Killing caged cats who hiss or swat is indicative of a shelter policy designed to give cat killers hard-ons.

Failing to hold cats for the designated period so their owners can reclaim them is inexcusable, regardless of whether a cat hisses.  Just because organizations like HSUS and Maddie’s Fund are encouraging shelters to eliminate holding periods for cats lacking identification doesn’t make such action any less offensive.  Pets are family.  Cat owners deserve the same opportunity as all other pet owners to reclaim their lost family members from shelters.

Refusing to provide copies of records to owners of pets who were needlessly killed is outrageous.  The technicalities of record requests can be sorted out later.  That’s just evil people twisting the knife around, at best.  Or maybe it’s people scrambling to falsify public records prior to release in an attempt to cover their asses, I don’t know.  In fact, Texas state law requires shelter records to be kept on site and to be made “available for inspection at reasonable times”.  I would suggest that during regular business hours while the owner of two lost pets your pound needlessly killed is standing there asking to see the records would qualify as a reasonable time.

“The dalmatian book” – seriously?  Do you people even hear yourselves anymore?

How many more horrors must be revealed at the Odessa pound before the city demands meaningful reform?

 

Augusta Pet Killing Facility Director Blames Public for Her Failures, Public Responds

I often skip the comments section of articles I read online (not the comments that readers post here of course, because you guys are strong, good looking and above average).  But after reading this depressing article on the consistent 70% kill rate at the Augusta pet killing facility in GA and the director’s blame-the-public excuses, I was just hoping I might find something redeeming.  So I started scrolling through the comments and was pleased to find several people questioning the killing.  A commenter called Navy Gary wrote:

How can these places just kill healthy animals? I guess they think God put them in charge of cats and dogs. I could maybe understand if they were old or diseased but to kill them just because it’s cheaper than feeding them.(?) That is just plain wrong. What are these people thinking? How can they reconcile that certain death for these animals with a needle is better than getting hit by a car or whatever fate might befall them had the “animal shelter” not intervened? We should all be ashamed that it is funded with our tax dollars.

Another commenter replied:

Navy Gary, I know you mean well when you think the animal shelter employees are bad people by killing these animals. Do you have a solution when 150 dogs come in the door unwanted, 15 get adopted, and the pens are full. But wait, 100 more just came in the door. Now what? stack them on top of each other? Pretend they aren’t there? They don’t want to euthanize these animals. It is the irresponsible people that are to blame for their deaths. Do the math.

In fact, the math has been done. It shows that there are more than enough homes for every shelter pet in America. And the great thing about math is, it continues to be true no matter how many killing apologists deny it. I don’t know if Navy Gary has seen the math but I’m guessing that like many people, he has not. Even so, he knows killing healthy/treatable pets is wrong, as he says in his response:

Just don’t kill them, find food, find homes. Let them go wild. Anything is better than killing them. Don’t build an “animal shelter” and kill 70% of the pets. It just isn’t right. Geez, the dogs at Michael Vick’s house had a better mortality rate than the “animal shelter” and he did prison time.

Thank you Navy Gary for making my day. If you happen to find this blog and would be interested in reading Nathan Winograd’s book Redemption, please let me know so I can mail you a copy.  I think you’ll appreciate it and maybe it will inspire you to take action in your community.  Because you are right, killing shelter pets is not the answer.  And there are plenty of homes for all of them.  We just need shelter directors to stop making excuses and start doing their jobs.

I just love that irresponsible public. They give me hope.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

 

Cats Beaten to Death, Displayed in Tree in NYC Suburb

Violence against animals has long been recognized as a trademark among criminals who commit serious violence against people.  That’s why it’s imperative that police find the person or persons responsible for bashing in the heads of dozens of cats then bagging their bodies and displaying them like ornaments in a tree in a NYC suburb.

The bagged remains of approximately 25 cats, some just skeletons and others killed as recently as three days prior, were discovered by a public works crew last week.  The Westchester County SPCA performed necropsies on some of the most recently killed cats and determined that blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of death.  A baseball bat, a metal pipe and two shovels were found near the scene and investigators are working to determine if they are connected to the killings.

One possible motive being considered:

[Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement at the Westchester County SPCA] said there are many feral cats in the area and there has been some tension over feeding stations that some residents have established.

“Some people get frustrated with the people who feed them,” he said. He said it was possible the dead cats were put in the trees “to taunt the people that are feeding the cats.”

Investigators have yet to determine whether the cats were feral or owned pets.  Alley Cat Allies has nonetheless posted a reward for information on the case:

Alley Cat Allies is offering a cash reward of $750 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of at least 25 cats found in Yonkers, NY. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the SPCA of Westchester confidential hotline at 914-941-7797.

In the meantime, I think it’s generally good practice for colony caretakers to carry a cell phone, to feed by the full light of day, and to attend to colonies with at least one other person whenever possible.  No one wants to feel bullied into changing their routines because of some sick individual(s) but taking reasonable precautions in the face of such extreme violence seems sound to my mind.  I wouldn’t want anyone – colony caretaker or otherwise – to run into this person (or persons) all alone.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Nashville’s Faux Rescue of 38 Dogs Represents Years of Failure

Bad:  Earlier this month, Metro police in Nashville arrested six people in connection with a drug trafficking investigation.  While raiding the home of Michael A. Davis, one of the six charged, police discovered dozens of chained pitbull type dogs in the yard.  Some of the dogs were emaciated and others had open wounds (photos of the dogs here).  In addition, police found items often associated with dogfighting including canine treadmills, syringes, and a rape rack.  WSMV reports that 38 dogs were transferred to the Nashville pound last Tuesday as a result of the raid.

Worse:  The night of the seizure, five of the “rescued” dogs, all of whom were apparently unsupervised, were involved in a fight which erupted after two of them got loose.  One dog was killed, another was seriously injured and the other three sustained minor injuries.  After the needless death and suffering on the rescuers’ (non-existent) watch, officials decided it might be a good idea to supervise the dogs 24 hours a day.

Worst:  After the seizure, the county “discovered” that people had been begging the Nashville pound to help the dogs chained at the Davis home for years.  As far back as 2010 and as recently as 2013, citizens had been reporting that Davis’s dogs were being neglected and possibly used for fighting.  The county was “concerned with the lack of documentation of these complaints” and will investigate itself in the matter.  In the meantime, two of the pound’s ACOs are being paid to not work during the investigation.

This waggy dog, shown on the Nashville.gov website, appears to be in decent shape, unlike some of the other dogs seized by law enforcement in the raid.

This waggy dog, shown on the Nashville.gov website, appears to be in decent shape, unlike some of the other dogs seized by law enforcement in the raid.

It sounds as if these dogs could have been rescued – for real, not the fake kind where they end up dead and injured the night they get “saved” – years ago if the Nashville pound had been doing its job.  Unfortunately, Nashville has long considered its “job” to be killing and if the dogs had been rescued in response to the previous complaints, they likely would have been killed under Nashville’s only recently modified Kill Them All pitbull policy.  Tragically, this way too late botched rescue is probably the best these abuse victims could hope for in Nashville.

(Thanks Karen and Clarice for the links.)

Discussion: Letter from Greenville Pound Vet Responsible for Kitten Killing Policy

In the past week, since I posted about the Greenville Co pound’s horrific policy on kitten killing, readers have been sending me e-mail exchanges they’ve had with the pound’s veterinarian, Teri Worl.  Dr. Worl is the person reportedly responsible for the decision to take newborn kittens of certain weights away from their mothers to kill them.  I am sharing one exchange here, sent to me by Diana Riglet, director of Foster Paws Rescue.

Ms. Riglet told me she forwarded an e-mail she had received from Austin Pets Alive celebrating three years of no kill and wrote her own letter along with it. This e-mail was sent to Paula Gucker, assistant county administrator, Shelly Simmons, division manager of the Greenville Co pound, and board members of Foster Paws Rescue. The e-mail was then apparently forwarded by someone to Dr. Worl. Here is Ms. Riglet’s original e-mail:

On Thursday, February 20, 2014 11:14 AM, Diana Riglet wrote:

Hi Paula:

As you can see GCAC doesn’t have to “reinvent the wheel”, but simply model their life saving efforts after a successful shelter.

When I see a situation unfolding at the shelter as I write this e-mail I wonder how dedicated to No Kill GCAC actually is. The cat sick hold kennels are full and there are several cats with ringworm. Rescue groups have been advised to pull these cats or they will lose their lives. I don’t understand why the shelter isn’t also reaching out to the cat loving public for help. I posted on the shelter FB pet rescue page, not the shelter, me personally, for foster homes for these cats. I also posted on Foster Paws Rescue FB page. So far this week my group has pulled seven cats and we are trying to secure foster homes to pull more. FYI four of the sick hold cats we thought well enough to go into the adoption center at Pet Smart. Why then were these cats not in the adoption kennels where they could be seen and possibly adopted by the cat loving public?

Why doesn’t the shelter have a ring worm ward and a URI ward? The cat loving public will adopt these cats!

The question also begs to asked, if the shelter is vaccinating on intake and has revamped its cleaning and medical protocols why are we still seeing so many cats with URI and ring worm?

Finally it seems that some momentum has been lost in terms of moving toward increasing the live save rate at the shelter. I’ve seen your 2013 stats. If accurate, a 50% live cat save rate is unimpressive. If all the programs and services of the No Kill Equation had been implemented with gusto you would have a 90% or better live save rate by now. Many shelters have achieved just such a live save rate within a year or sooner of implementing all the programs/services. It doesn’t take five years! In fact those who say they’ll be No Kill in five years never achieve No Kill.

Sincerely,
Diana Riglet

This is the response she received from Dr. Worl who, to reiterate, was not one of the intended recipients:

On Friday, March 7, 2014 8:39 AM, “Worl, Teri” <tworl@greenvillecounty.org> wrote:

Dear Diana,

I would love to respond to your concerns regarding the veterinary care of our animals. It would be much easier for me to do that if you would direct your questions to me, a veterinarian, rather than asking someone without veterinary training to comment on veterinary questions. With that said, I will address each of your points.

A question I would like answered about the “successful shelters” to which you are referring is how many healthy cats do they have awaiting adoption? While we would love for all of our cats to find loving homes it is very difficult to justify using more resources to rehome sick cats when healthy cats are being euthanized due to space constraints.

But more to the point, we do reach out to the public for help rehoming sick animals. In fact, all you have to do is walk around our shelter to see signs pleading for foster homes for sick animals. There are hundreds of animals in our foster care program, most of them there because they are ill. We don’t, however, adopt out sick animals to the general public as that would not only be very irresponsible of us, but sick animals cannot undergo surgery and should not receive vaccinations. Instead, we encourage customers to foster-to-adopt, as many of them plan to adopt the animals when they return to health. The foster-to-adopt program has been very successful; in fact nearly 100 cats have been saved by it in just the last two and a half months that might otherwise have had to be put to sleep. This is in addition to our regular cat adoption efforts.

The four cats in sick hold to which you referred were not on the adoption floor because a trained veterinarian had examined them and determined that they were not yet healthy enough to return to the adoption floor. There are many very subtle signs of illness displayed in cats and dogs which typically go unnoticed if not specifically checked for. In addition, if full courses of medications are not completed the animal is at higher risk of relapse. Furthermore, cats continue actively shedding viruses beyond resolution of clinical signs so we take extra precautions in our sick animals. Taking an animal straight out of sick hold and putting them into a stressful environment such as PetSmart is highly unadvisable as it increases viral shedding by 60% and puts other animals at risk.

We would love to have specific wards for different illnesses. But we do not even have enough wards to house all of the healthy animals we have here, much less the sick animals.

Illness in cats is a multifaceted issue. It takes several days for a vaccine to prime the immune system of an animal. Generally speaking, it is a minimum of 5 days before a vaccinated animal would respond well enough to a vaccine for it to be effective. Depending on age, an animal may require between 1-3 booster vaccines given every 2-4 weeks to be considered immune to the disease against which we vaccinate. This is best case scenario and assumes a healthy animal. Cats and dogs are vaccinated prior to entering the general population, however, since the vaccine will not be effective for several days the cats may still be susceptible to any disease to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, this is the least of our challenges with cat illness.

While vaccines are important in preventing illness in cats stress reduction is infinitely more important. About 60-75% of cats coming into the shelter will already be harboring viral diseases. This is the same percentage of cats harboring illness in the community. They are in carrier states. However, they do not shed these viruses consistently and do not show signs of illness until and unless they become stressed. Stress suppresses the immune system and allows secondary bacterial infections to take hold. This is when cats start to show signs of illness.

The same is true for ringworm. Many cats will be in a carrier state and never show clinical signs of the disease. But when they become stressed they may start losing hair. Once ringworm spores are shed an entire room can be quickly infected. To give ringworm the opportunity to spread in our shelter by keeping infected cats in adoptable areas would not only be unfair to unaffected cats but, as a zoonotic disease, is also a public health risk to those individuals entering our facility. Should we someday have a ringworm ward, where special precautions can be made when entering/exiting the area to protect healthy cats as well as people visiting, adoption opportunities may then be a conceivable option.

We have taken many steps to help reduce stress in our cats. In my last correspondence with you I invited you to come in and discuss the efforts we have made but you did not respond.

Finally, I will leave you with the following:
Animals being euthanized in shelters indicates a problem in the community.

In the two emails I have read from you there has been considerable criticism and negativity. Constant badmouthing by rescue groups and other individuals in the community is not only detrimental to the shelter but it directly harms the animals you say you want to help.

The animals here get sick because we are overcrowded. Not because we don’t care properly for them. If you want to save the cats then help us get the healthy cats out of here BEFORE they get sick. Pull healthy, highly adoptable cats quickly and get them into homes. It is a chain reaction. If you take a healthy cat you will get it rehomed much more quickly and use fewer resources. Once that cat is rehomed then pull another cat and do the same. If you can place two cats in the time that it would take you to get one cat healthy enough to adopt then you have saved double the number of cats. And if you’ve pulled double the number of cats from the shelter then that reduces the number of cats in the wards which, in turn, lowers the level of stress and illness in the cats and fewer cats are at risk of euthanasia due to illness or space constraints.

Every person in this shelter is here because they love animals. We have the same goal that you do: to save the lives of these innocent animals! So instead of criticizing us why won’t you get behind us and listen to some of our ideas about how to help? We could certainly use your help.

Dr. Teri Worl
Shelter Veterinarian
Greenville County Animal Care Services
328 Furman Hall Rd
Greenville, SC 29609

Ms. Riglet states that she replied by e-mail that she would be happy to meet with Dr. Worl. Further, she says she stopped by the pound one day and asked to see Dr. Worl but was told she wasn’t there. Ms. Riglet says she left a greeting card with a note requesting a meeting, plus a bound copy full of material on no kill. She never received a response.

I am opening up the floor for your impressions. Does reading this letter from Dr. Worl make you feel better, worse or the same about her policy to take newborn kittens of certain weights from their mothers to kill them? If you are a rescuer, foster, or other shelter pet advocate, how does Dr. Worl’s letter make you feel as far as partnering with her to save lives? Based upon this letter, what do you believe is the likelihood of the Greenville Co pound achieving no kill under Dr. Worl’s leadership? If you were advocating for no kill in Greenville Co, what might be your next steps?

Amarillo Pound Under Investigation, Video Depicting Abuse Surfaces

The director and assistant director at the long troubled Amarillo pound in Texas have been on paid administrative leave for the past 2 weeks while local police investigate allegations of improper pet killings.  Texas law (Sec. 821.052.) dictates shelter staff follow the current American Veterinary Medical Association’s Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.  The AVMA’s 2013 publication states that care must be taken to minimize the stress on shelter animals being killed, including sights, sounds and smells in the kill room.  Intra-cardiac injections must only be performed on unconscious animals and death must be verified before the pet’s body is taken for disposal.

News Channel 10 has posted a video allegedly taken on the loading dock at the Amarillo pound which depicts shelter staff violating every provision stated above.  (Warning:  This video is disturbing and shows a fully conscious dog being jabbed in the heart area with a needle then being dragged to a pile of dead dogs on the loading dock.  It is short but will be overwhelming for some readers.  Use your discretion.)  There appear to be multiple staff members present during the killing, though none are identified.  It is unknown to me whether the director or assistant director are among those present in the vid.

In addition to the horrifying cruelty allegedly displayed by Amarillo pound staff in the video, there are additional concerns.  An ACO told News Channel 10 the facility has no scales to weigh pets.  Without an exact weight, there is no way to calculate the correct dosage of Fatal Plus required to achieve a humane death in an animal.  Pronews 7, which also received and aired the video, talked to someone who says the kill room abuse goes back more than a decade at the pound:

 “Whenever they’d euthanize them, they’re grab them by the scruff of their neck and skid them across the floor, kick them in the rear end and they’d just laugh about it the time they were doing it,” said Daniel Osborn, who witnessed the euthanasia.

The city says that no employee review will be conducted until after the current investigation is complete.  So presumably in the meantime, animals at the Amarillo pound will continue to be tortured in the kill room while the staff yuks it up.

And if that’s not sickening enough, animal control board members are already bringing the excuses and trying to cover their asses:

“Prior to mid-march I was completely unaware that there were any allegations and that there anything inappropriate occurring at animal control,” said Sunny Hodge-Campbell, the Animal Control Board Chair.  “Mid-march I became aware and I presented the information to the city commission. “

If you are the AC board chair, and this kind of sadistic abuse has been going on at your facility for years, you don’t get to play the ignorance card.  Forfeit.  Just resign in shame already.

Dr. Jim Cook, another AC board member, wants to make sure everyone knows that even though crazy cat ladies might have their panties in a bunch because animals are being killed, we need to remember how heroic the pound staff is for killing pets:

“It’s a hard job because you’re dealing with people with emotions tied up with love for their pets so really speaking we’ve done a good job here in keeping up with the demands of the city,” said Dr. Jim Cook.

Take your good job and shove it.  Resign already.

The city of Amarillo needs to bring in an outside agency for this investigation – investigating itself isn’t going to cut it.  EVERY STAFF MEMBER at the pound needs to be fired today.  If they want to re-apply and make a case for why they should be re-hired during the screening process, they can go for it.  EVERY AC BOARD MEMBER needs to resign today.  Shame on them for overseeing torture.  Let the public in to care for the animals during the transition.  As soon as the investigation is complete, EVERYONE who tortured pets needs to be prosecuted.  And if there is any possible way to charge those who watched and laughed while pets were abused, do it.

In other words, put a match to this place and start with a clean slate.  The right way this time.  Stop protecting animal abusers.  Start doing your jobs.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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Note:  Sorry to be so bad-wordy this morning but seeing this video and reading all this bullshit has made me sick.  So fair warning to bottom feeding killing apologists: even though I let your comments through sometimes in the interest of fairness, today is not that day.  Any asshats coming here to blame the public and/or defend the holiness of pound employees who kill pets can go fuck themselves.  Your comments will not be published, you will be banned and in case there is any need for additional clarity, refer to previous directive. 

Dog Abusing City’s ACO Charged with Cruelty

The city of Winnfield, LA is home to Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials – an annual event where dogs are turned loose in an enclosure with wild hogs whose tusks have been removed. The length of time it takes the dog to pin down and/or maim the hog determines the winner. Winnfield proudly advertises the blood sport on its website, describing the event as the “Super Bowl” of hog dog rodeos.

Although Winnfield’s city website does not mention an animal control officer, it apparently has one.  Or had – as the last one is currently in jail, charged with animal cruelty.  Former Winnfield ACO Eva Wise allegedly stopped paying rent in October 2013.  At that time, her landlord, who was preparing to evict her, received a phone call from the Heart of Louisiana Humane Society requesting permission to access the property for a cruelty investigation.

Wise had allegedly left 9 dogs on the property she abandoned, chained without food or water along with 8 dogs and a litter of puppies on another property one mile away.  Two of the dogs were already dead and the rest were reportedly in such bad shape, all but two were euthanized on site.

The landlord, Jennifer Johnson, says she asked Wise why the dogs had been left to starve to death:

“She just said that she couldn’t hardly afford to feed herself, much less the animals and she had said that she had told some of her husband’s family they needed to come get the dogs because she had apparently up and left and this had been for several weeks,” said Johnson.

Although the dogs were discovered in October 2013, Wise was not arrested until February 28, 2014.  Law enforcement declined to explain the reason for the lengthy delay.  She has since pleaded not guilty to seven counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.  Her court date has been set for July 28.  One of the two surviving dogs has an adoption application pending and the other is available for adoption.

City of Winnfield, this is your wake-up call. Stop being proud of hurting dogs and start attracting a different element in your animal control department.  Every dog has the right to live, to love and to be loved.  Advertise that.

(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)

CA Police Officer Attempts to Shoot Dog in His Own Fenced Yard, Shoots Self Instead

On this blog, we have long lamented police officers whose sole tool in the toolbox when encountering a dog is GUN.  We’ve seen dogs shot while restrained on chokepoles, while locked inside animal shelter cages, while chained in their own yards, and while fearfully cowering in the bushes after fleeing police.  The shootings are typically explained away as the officers being afraid for their lives and/or protecting the public, the police department investigates itself, and Bob’s your uncle – no wrongdoing found.  But this is a first – and not in a good way.

Last week, a CA deputy was so eager to shoot a dog who barked at him as he approached the dog’s fenced yard, he drew his gun and forgot to aim at the dog, shooting himself in the leg.  The deputy was apparently attempting to serve an eviction notice AT THE WRONG HOUSE in Riverside Co when the resident pet barked at the officer.  (Note for any I-just-like-to-shoot-pets police officers who may be reading:  Barking is the thing that dogs do when strangers approach their home.  It’s one of the primary reasons people have dogs.)

The sheriff’s office said the dog was a giant mass of seething hate who intended to eat the officer for an afternoon snack.  In order to save his own life, the officer was forced to draw his weapon and fire.  The deputy shot himself in the leg and was taken to the hospital for treatment of “non-life threatening injuries”.

Screengrab from a video posted on the KNBC website.

Screengrab from a video posted on the KNBC website.

But when a local TV news crew arrived on the scene, they found a medium sized dog named Precious playing with his kids inside their fenced yard.  They filmed Precious shuffling about the place, tail wagging, tongue lolling out like a goofball.  In the video, he looks as if he’s already had his afternoon snack but wouldn’t turn down a Happy Meal.

The sheriff’s office has an explanation for the discrepancy:  The sound of gunfire transformed Precious from an eat, swim, make little sharks eating machine to an ambling BFF.  Talk about your Magic Bullet Theory.

Precious was not taken into custody by the pound.  No word on whether the sheriff’s office ever figured out the right house to serve the eviction notice.  Or anything else.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Treats on the Internets

Two Canon City, CO police officers opened fire on a dog after one of the officers was “attacked”, but sustained no injury, during a response to a domestic violence call.  The dog later died at a veterinary clinic.  The police press release about the killing thanked other first responders for their assistance with the call:

“Without their help, this incident may not have gone as well as it did.”

(Thanks Davyd for the link.)

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The Klamath Humane Society in OR is another facility that changed its name in recent years to bypass the common misconception among animal lovers that HSUS provides their funding. Now called the Klamath Animal Shelter, a spokesman explained to a local paper that the name was changed “because the National Humane Society provides no money for homeless pets.”

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In the Caucasus Mountains, researchers find sheepdogs aren’t so much keeping the wolves at bay as they are chatting them up, inviting them in for drinks and let’s see where the night takes us.

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France moves towards legal recognition of pets as “sentient, living beings”, a change from their current status as “personal property”.  (Thanks Arlene for the link.)

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Fave read of the week: Excerpts from the essay “Why Look at Animals?” which examines the relationship between humans and animals over time.  (Thanks Valerie.)

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Magical photographs of snails.  Yes, magical.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments.

Happy Easter.

Happy Easter.