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.)

***

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. 

Leave a comment

11 Comments

  1. Andrea

     /  April 24, 2014

    People of Amarillo- please, please raise hell over this. Don’t make the same mistake the people of Memphis did. Protest, write letters, whatever it takes. People who abuse animals and the people who cover it up often don’t change just because their caught. It takes enormous pressure from the community.

    Reply
    • Cristina Thompson

       /  May 17, 2014

      Andrea -I sure hope more people listen ..
      very disturbing that video –the city goverment shuold be shame of itself–
      they all would need that type of care from the citizents..

      Reply
  2. Clarice

     /  April 24, 2014

    Deja vu MAS.

    Reply
  3. mikken

     /  April 24, 2014

    Either the Board knew that there were problems and ignored/allowed them or they had no idea that there was abuse under their watch. Either way, inexcusable.

    Don’t be Memphis, Amarillo. Demand change and fight to get it. Or the horrors will go on and on…

    Reply
  4. vida

     /  April 24, 2014

    I remember a phrase from my youth, “dead to shame”. I think the authorities exemplify the phrase well.
    I hope some accountability can be forced on this place but honestly I am not so hopeful anymore. I am always open to being pleasantly surprised though!

    Reply
  5. spaycritter

     /  April 25, 2014

    Are these people damaged when hired, or do they become damaged after being on the job too long? For the board to be unaware of this , what? They never asked for reports? They never visited the facility?

    Reply
  6. Kittypurr

     /  April 28, 2014

    To the Amarillo Board of Animal Control- Go FUCK yourselves!!!
    You sit in those meetings to support the animal control director – period.
    You should be drummed out of town for the lowlife POS you are-
    Every one of you- hear that Dr. Cook!! You should get the heart stick and see how you,your wife, and children like it.
    I don’t know what kind of Dr. You are but I hope you lose your license since you think this is just hunky dory!!
    To the Amrillo DA- take them all to the cleaners!!! And hold everyone accountable for felony charges- including the Dr. Apologist!!

    Reply
    • Cristina Thompson

       /  May 17, 2014

      A gree -those are people that should be speak to with respect ..–they can be shame –they should all live their positions ..wonder if those that elected them knew ?
      Maybe they didn’t and didn’t care –humanity stincks ..

      Reply
  7. Clarice

     /  April 29, 2014

    The local humane society held a press conference regarding the investigation of animal control.

    “There are questions about the commitment of the city to investigate its own department and to fix the many problems that are alleged,” said Carry Baker, an attorney and a board member of the Panhandle Humane Society.

    The Humane Society, which is a separate and independent charity that shares a building with Animal Control, informed the general public that they have retained legal counsel in case they need to file suit against the city to stop the improper euthanization. They said that they plan on blocking further euthanizations if animal control doesn’t begin following the law.

    http://www.connectamarillo.com/news/story.aspx?id=1037118#.U198gvldWTM

    Reply
  8. Joan Arc

     /  May 1, 2014

    Actually the Board is just as appalled. They were the ones who brought this evidence to the city, because they were the ones approached with evidence. Several of them also sit on rescue boards. These problems were put in their lap, because they had no idea what was going on because as appointed members of the public, they are not privy to euthanasia procedures at the shelter. The law says it must be performed “outside of public view”, they are included as public because they are not employed by the city. And well, that’s one law they strictly follow to hide their misdeeds. The board has been kicking and screaming at the city to FIX this, The CITY is to blame and is back-peddling to cover themselves. They had the evidence in early March, and REFUSED to watch the videos! From the mayor down through the administration at animal control, the corruption runs deep. They are still trying to cover it up! There is a petition at the bottom that I would ask you to please sign. We are 291 short of 5,000. Please help us, help the animals!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/city-of-amarillo-terminate-employment-of-animal-control-administrators-currently-on-paid-leave-and-install-new-leadership-to-bring-the-facility-into-compliance

    Reply
  9. Debbie

     /  June 10, 2014

    Right now I am ashamed of Amarillo! I live 53 miles south east of Amarillo in an unknown town. In the past, when I answer the question of “Where ya from” I would say Amarillo. I can’t do that any more, not until the city rectifies this injustice. Maybe the shelter will become a no kill shelter and maybe Amarillo will donate property for rescue centers.

    Reply

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