Action Item: Ask Dothan Police Chief to Thoroughly Investigate Abuse at Pound

In Dothan, AL, animal control is run by the police department.  On the pound’s Petfinder page, which has zero animals listed for adoption, it states:

Because of the high number of dogs and cats we receive each week, we are forced to euthanize animals regularly.

And by forced to euthanize, they apparently mean getting kicks by torturing puppies to death.

William Henry Roberson, age 57, has reportedly worked for the city of Dothan for 21 years, including the last 14 as an ACO.  Shortly after showing up for work on Friday, ACO Roberson allegedly intentionally locked a live mixed breed puppy in the facility’s freezer, which I presume is full of dead pet carcasses.  Approximately 20 – 30 minutes later, another employee found the puppy, who died shortly thereafter.

ACO Roberson has been placed on administrative leave, arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.  Bond was set at $500.

If this is the first time this man has tortured an animal, I will eat my hat.  I will eat all the hats.  No compassionate person shows up for work at a job he’s been doing for 14 years and suddenly decides to inflict pain and suffering on a puppy for the first time.  It seems only logical to believe this is part of a pattern of abuse with this ACO, one which his co-workers may or may not have observed over the last 14 years.  The difference this time is that someone turned him in.  Thank you, someone.

“It’s obviously disheartening when somebody who’s charged with protecting and caring for these animals then intentionally harms one,” [Dothan Police Lt. Will] Benny said.

Not ONE.  There is a pattern here, I guarantee it.  Will the Dothan police department, investigating itself in the matter, bother to dig deeper to determine if evidence of a pattern of animal abuse exists?  Or will they just take a play from the city shelter abusers handbook and label the guy a bad apple, the torture a one time incident, and move on quietly with the business of animal killing?

Politely worded e-mails to Dothan police chief Gregory J. Benton requesting a thorough investigation to include any possible incidents of previous animal abuse at the pound and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law may be sent to dpd@dothan.org. And while you’re writing, maybe include a link to No Kill 101 from the No Kill Advocacy Center. In case the police don’t want to be “forced” to continue the needless killing of pets at the pound. Hundreds of other communities have ended the killing. The tools are available, at no cost. Can’t hurt to try. And we already know it hurts not to try.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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14 Comments

  1. ACO Roberson needs to be fired! I can’t imagine anyone being that cruel! He is definitely in the wrong job and must be removed before he inflicts more cruelty! A $500 fine isn’t enough to deter this man!

    Reply
  2. db

     /  August 25, 2014

    Going to need some time to figure out how to be polite and respectful. What I want to say now would not help the animals at all!

    Reply
  3. I did get a response from Chief Benton who said the employee is being terminated. I hope they will still conduct a thorough investigation so any previous cruelty can be uncovered and prosecuted.

    Reply
    • Termination would be obvious – or at least should be to most. I mean, they aren’t going to grant him leave from his ACO job while he’s in jail for animal cruelty.

      Reply
  4. kokopelli

     /  August 26, 2014

    I believe that shelter no longer uses Petfinder; they currently use Petango. Their euthanasia rate hovers around 23%…extremely low for a government-run shelter that HAS to take animals, regardless of their condition, age or temperament. That shelter is also very actively involved with numerous transport programs to get the pets out of the area and into facilities where they can be adopted. Where exactly did you get the information for this article?….the inaccuracies make It appear to have just been made up from thin air with the exception of someone being arrested.

    Reply
    • lol, how brave of you to hide behind a fake name and demand verification. There are a number of articles on this case (besides the one I linked to) as AP picked up the story. Try Google.

      If you have complete shelter stats to back up your claim of a 23% kill rate, please provide them. Otherwise, it sounds you know, made up.

      Reply
  5. kokopelli

     /  August 26, 2014

    January through July….Animals picked up: 2866. Animals euthanized: 642. Animals sent on transports: 1538. Owner claims: 145. City Adoptions: 139. Humane Society: 176. Wildlife Released: 98. The difference counts for the number of animals at the shelter at the beginning at January and at the end of July. Or you can call them: 334-615-4620

    Reply
    • So primarily this place is in the business of sending its pets to other facilities that also kill animals. Tragic.

      Reply
    • mikken

       /  August 27, 2014

      But, but it makes their numbers look better! See? THEY’RE not killing them, they’re outsourcing the killing! That makes it okay.

      Reply
      • db

         /  August 27, 2014

        They clearly took some lessons from Michigan Humane and some of the other large (wealthy) “animal protectors”. DAMN THEM ALL

  6. Clarice

     /  August 28, 2014

    Dothan Police Maj. Steve Parrish said Roberson was suspended from duty after a determination hearing held earlier this week with Chief Greg Benton. Parrish declined to reveal the length of the suspension, calling it a personnel matter, but he did confirm it was an unpaid suspension.

    According to a statement released Thursday, after a thorough investigation by the Dothan Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, it was determined Roberson placed what he thought was a deceased dog into the storage freezer. It was later determined the dog was unconscious and appeared deceased.

    The statement also said there was actually one live, but unconscious animal in a cage and one deceased animal in a different cage in the same room, but Roberson overlooked the deceased animal.

    http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/crime_court/suspension-ordered-for-animal-control-officer-charged-with-cruelty/article_036af48e-2ee1-11e4-bca0-0017a43b2370.html

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  August 28, 2014

      OMG, there are dead and unconscious dogs in this place in an alarming number. The fact that he can’t tell living from dead just adds to the sky-high level of disturbing happening there.

      Reply

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