Lost Pets, Pregnant Animals and Others Being Killed and Sold for Profit in Duncan, OK

The city of Duncan, OK has an animal control department but it’s unclear to me exactly how that department operates.  The website seems to indicate AC picks up stray pets.  But in a recent media interview, the department refused to disclose details on its operations:

Although the City of Duncan’s Animal Control Department refused to comment on how long they hold animals before they are euthanized, [city manager Jim] Frieda said the humane society is notified of the animals being held so that adoption possibilities can be explored.

The humane society being referred to is apparently the Stephens Co HS. They won’t say how long they hold animals either. From the organization’s website:

SCHS is an open access shelter. We take all animals, excepting only the very ill, the very aggressive or city strays that must be processed through a city’s animal control department. We do not have a minimum ‘hold time’ on any of our animals; based on the high intake numbers we routinely experience, we simply do not have available space to do so.

With every county stray intake, we assess the dog and make a determination 1) whether someone may be looking for it, 2) its adoptability and 3) available space.
[…]

SCHS does not hide the fact that we are an open access facility and that we do euthanize.

Oh crud. They are open admission but won’t take those animals most in need. Of the ones they do take, they won’t say how long they’ll hold them. But they will decide if someone might be looking for them or if someone could ever possibly love them before killing them.  Yay.

Within this partnership of secrecy lies a money making scheme for the city of Duncan.  It sells the dogs and cats killed by AC for profit and has been doing so for about five years according to the Duncan Banner.  The city contracts with Bio Company Inc. and Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.

Bio Company pays $2 for dead cats who measure over 12 inches from nose to tail. The company embalms the carcasses then sells them to schools that dissect cats in their biology classes. But wait, there’s more gruesome:

A customer service representative from Bio Company said the price range depends on what kind of injections the specimen has had, how big they are or if the animal is pregnant.

I don’t suppose the city of Duncan will want to comment on the killing of pregnant animals either.

Skulls Unlimited pays $3 for dead cats and $5 for dead dogs so long as each possesses a full set of adult teeth. After cutting off the animals’ heads, the company removes the flesh and bleaches the bones. The company sells the skulls of housecats for $69.

The city manager wants people to know what a sweet deal this is:

Both companies are responsible for providing equipment to store the animal carcasses, such as freezers, and for disposing of all animals that do not meet their standards.

Frieda also noted that with these agreements, more money is being brought into the general fund.

“With these contracts, we get something for the animals.”

That’s what animal “sheltering” is all about, at least to the city of Duncan I guess. Getting something for dealing with animals. Doing their jobs to actually shelter animals and return them to their owners or help them find new ones is not getting something apparently. I’m not seeing any dollar signs there so no, not getting something. But don’t react normally or anything:

City Manager Jim Frieda said residents should not be alarmed by the contracts.

[…]

“For the most part, all of these animals are animals that are not claimed by any owner that might want to keep the remains or go through a burial process.”

But I mean, how do you know? Neither the city of Duncan, nor the “humane society” it partners with will say how long they hold stray animals, some of whom are lost pets whose owners are looking for them. And with a financial incentive to kill animals, how can local residents possibly give the city the benefit of the doubt?

(Thanks Salette and Nathan for the story.)

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25 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  August 5, 2014

    Holeeeeeeeeey shit.

    Do they rub their hands together with glee when they get a very pregnant cat?

    How do they decide by looking at a dog that someone might or might not be looking for that dog? Do they have a magic 8 ball they consult on that one?

    They’re not sheltering, they’re Class B Dealers. This is so fucking evil, I can’t even say.

    Reply
    • mary frances

       /  August 5, 2014

      hell does have a basement…Washington State University veterinary School of Medicine has had a contract with the local animal control since 2003. (and many others throughout the state – Oregon and Idaho as well) They are called “sourced” animals.

      Lots of practice procedures on animals, research and harvesting of animal parts – they keep them in what is called a colony – the McCoy Building…A2Z Animal Sheltering Services dba Tri-Cities Animal Shelter & Control Services – the local AC I live near provides “sourced” animals….I agree they’re not sheltering, they’re Class B Dealers.

      “The chief weapon of sea pirates [or animal control and/or antiquated veterinary university ghouls], however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.” Kurt Vonnegut

      My apologies to sea pirates.

      Reply
  2. Again, I ask: what is wrong with the newspaper in this town that the reprehensible conduct by those charged with caring for stray, homeless and abused animals is not spread all over the front page – repeatedly? Selling animals that could have found homes if someone had used some basic marketing techniques is just beyond the pale and simply unimaginable. WHERE IS THE NEWSPAPER? My only guess is “out of sight, out of mind.” If this had happened in my Texas county, I would have been all over this. Unbelievable! What penny-pinching morons

    Reply
  3. Just when you think you’ve seen the worst people like this show you that hell has a basement.

    Reply
    • Dot Cassidy Glenn Davis

       /  August 6, 2014

      It does, indeed. I’m afraid to learn more.

      Reply
  4. Holy crap, I really thought “Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.” was your dark tragic comic wit. Then I searched on it. Holy crap. I don’t know how to respond.

    Reply
  5. Sherry Lobajeski

     /  August 5, 2014

    They should be charged with animal cruelty charges for every animal that they’ve KILLED!!! When an animal is found, every means possible should be taken for at least a week to find its owners. If the pet I’d deemed adoptable by a reputable veterinarian, then it should be placed up for adoption. What in the hell is our world coming to?

    Reply
  6. mikken

     /  August 5, 2014

    You know, what these two places need is a full independent audit. There is some seriously sketchy stuff going on and I will bet you money that they are selling pets “out the back door”, too. Anything for money, right?

    Reply
  7. What a load of crap! Do they think we’re stupid enough to buy into this BS? Maybe the residents do, but this is an unforgiveable act! They probably kill more animals than they need to for the money! How stupid and money hungry assholes! Karma’s a bitch and they’re overdue!

    Reply
  8. Eucritta

     /  August 5, 2014

    Bio Corporation doesn’t include an ethics statement on its website, but Skulls Unlimited does:

    We do not condone and will not support poaching of animals, nor do we approve of destroying an animal solely for the purpose of gaining an osteological item. Our suppliers and their sources obtain osteological material from natural & predator deaths, road kills, food source by-products in exotic regions, legal hunting & trapping operations, and from attrition in zoological gardens. You can be assured of, and take comfort in knowing that your purchase conserve treasures and promote the ethical utilization of limited resources.

    [ http://www.skullsunlimited.com/index_aboutus.php ]

    You’ll note that purchase from a dodgy high-kill animal control facility isn’t mentioned.

    Reply
  9. Dot Cassidy Glenn Davis

     /  August 5, 2014

    Good God Almighty. Strike these people DEAD.

    Reply
  10. The SCHS has a FB page. I asked them for an explanation. The more people asking, the merrier…

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephens-County-Humane-Society-of-Oklahoma/100700226641163

    Reply
  11. dan riggs

     /  August 16, 2014

    Some years ago the mayor and city council approved a privately funded program through the Humane Society known as TNR to aide in the feral (wild) cat population (colonies) that we have in Duncan. The Humane Society, having funds donated though private grants, not taxes, after taking care of the colonies prescribed in the code and being a non- profit organization used the remaining monies to establish other TNR colonies. Ref. city code 4-301D. The Humane Society can be contacted about this humanitarian TNR program. (Trap,Neuter,Release)

    7 July 2014 9:30a.m.Now,imagine yourself a 74 year old widow, living alone. You sleep in not only because you can but are on prescribed medicines. You are awakened by someone pounding, not knocking on your back door. You answer the door and find not one but two uniformed men in your driveway. They threaten you with multiple $500.00 fines and jail time because a complaint has been filed against you about a colony of feral (WILD) cats that are around your neighborhood as being NUISANCES,RUNNING LOOSE AND VOID OF RABIES TAGS.
    You are issued tickets and ordered to appear in city court on 28 July 2014. You go to court and plead not guilty because the cats in question are not yours but rather a city approved, privately funded effort by the Humane Society to help Duncan with a serious problem. Your BAIL is set at $349.00 which you can’t afford but you can borrow in order go home instead of to jail for the first time in 74 years. The judge sets a date for your TRIAL.
    You are informed IF YOU DON’T SHOW UP FOR YOUR TRIAL AN ARREST WARRANT WILL BE ISSUED. You are informed that you may speak to the city attorney before your trial in order to explain your position and you do so on 5 Aug 2014. He promises to call the next day to inform you of what he will recommend to the court in resolving this matter. To date no calls have been received at either of the phone numbers given to the city attorney.
    So by order of the court, you show up 7 Aug.2014 at 12:45p.m. so you won’t be late for your 1:00p.m.TRIAL and therefore inspire an arrest warrant. You show up with witnesses, some who have taken off work to testify only to be told that the court has postponed YOUR trial because the plaintiff (he/she who filed the complaint) was on vacation. You have NO RECOURSE but to show up on the newly established TRIAL date under the same warrant issuance THREAT as before totally ignoring the lost wages and time of those who WERE there and ready.This entire ordeal is a travesty and should be taken seriously by Duncanites.
    We will show up again and all people who want to see how your city government really works and all the animal lovers who appreciate the work of the Humane Society please attend this trial involving a city approved tax free plan by some really good hearted people and a flagrant abuse of power including way to much authority given to or assumed by city personal. The new court date is 21 Aug 2014 at 1:00 P.M.at the city court next to city hall on Willow St.
    I wrote the above letter on Aug. 11, 2014 with full intention of sending it to the Duncan Banner but decided it might prejudice my sisters case so I held off.
    I have had some misgivings about the way the city has handle this matter with my sister and others.This article has proven my suspicions to be valid. Again the city “fathers” are completely out of control and need to be fired, recalled or picked up by animal control.
    As citizens you will be glad to learn that the city is $14 or $16 richer as a result of grabbing 7 or 8 feral cats from around my sisters neighborhood. Animal Control was not concerned about killing the cats with-in “20 minutes”. Now the question is ;How were they killed? If you are as concerned about this as I please come to court on Aug.21 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
    Sincerely,
    Dan Riggs

    Reply
  12. Theresa Riggs

     /  August 16, 2014

    This is disgusting!

    Reply
  13. dan riggs

     /  August 16, 2014

    As an aside I called city hall a week ago to find out the revenue the city court has taken in year to date.1/1/14-8/1/14 $433,361.00

    Reply
  14. dan riggs

     /  August 16, 2014

    As an aside, I called city hall a week ago to find out the revenue the city court has taken in year to date.1/1/14-8/1/14 $433,361.00.I then requested the revenue taken in on animal control issues only. Even with follow up calls the silence so far has been deafening. I will try again Monday. I’ll post what they say.

    Reply
  15. Jade

     /  August 28, 2014

    I am a resident of Stephens county and, I, for one, am sick to hear that our “humane society”, is more concerned about its profit bottom line than the lives of the poor animals it is supposed to care about! If it is “non-profit” what in the world allows them to kill and use an animal’s body for profit?!

    Reply
  16. paul daniel riggs

     /  October 31, 2014

    Jade, the humane society is not at fault, the city of Duncan is totally at fault. Animal control here ,as I stated in my letter is out of control. Think about how you feel when you hear about young people (kids) treating animals really badly. Do you think that maybe they will turn to other kids or even adults as they grow older? Oh, by the way, after another postponement this time because the dog catcher was on vacation, we finally got our day in court and lost badly(not a surprise) as judge Sherrell wasn’t interested in the facts as they were presented. All he wanted to know was who is feeding the cats. The city approved tnr program calls for the cats to be fed. I presented 12 state and local ordinances that proved no fault by the defendant all of which were ignored. It really didn’t help a hell of a lot that as we were walking out of the courtroom the plaintiff and the animal control officer were sharing a hug in the court clerks area. There will be petitions asking for both the two animal control people and judge Sherrells immediate removal from Duncans payroll. As the city counsel appoints the judge and the city manager appoints animal control I am hoping to get enough signatures to impress city hall that people are serious about this matter. Look for the petitions and tell you’re friends and all animal lovers about this effort. Thanks,Dan

    Reply
  17. Buttercup

     /  December 29, 2014

    Adding a bit more to the sheer stupidity of Duncan’s Animal Control “ordinances”… Cats are supposed to be EXEMPT from the “running at large” provision, meaning that they are SUPPOSED to be allowed to roam free. BUT it is also perfectly legal for ANY citizen to request a trap from the AC for the purpose of trapping ANY animal that is on their property within City limits…if the animal is not claimed by the owner within 72 hours and the Humane Society does not have room to rescue it, the animal is euthanized regardless of ownership, health or demeanor. I personally know of THREE addresses in town who trap on a regular basis. I contacted my local councilman AND the City Manager to try and get clarification on the ordinances…my councilman responded that he was not familiar with the ordinances and would forward my question to the City Manger who failed to respond at all.

    Reply

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