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.)
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.