Greenville Co Illegally Kills Lost Dog Whose Owner Wanted Him Back

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)
Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Kalel was a five year old Siberian Husky whom owner Mandi Nalley describes as “my heart, my son”. Kalel was temporarily living with a trainer in the Greenville Co, SC area in July 2014 when he became lost. On July 30, the trainer notified Ms. Nalley that Kalel was missing. She immediately filled out a lost pet report on the Greenville Co pound’s website and included photos. The next morning, she received an e-mail from someone affiliated with the pound that Kalel had been impounded on July 24 and instructing her to bring in proof of ownership, a leash and $85 in order to reclaim him.

Ms. Nalley went to the pound but did not see Kalel. She asked an employee at the desk to look up the dog’s ID number. The employee advised her Kalel had been killed 2 days ago due to heartworms and a leg injury. Ms. Nalley burst into tears and was unable to compose herself for further conversation so she left. She asked a friend to go in and retrieve Kalel’s body. Upon arrival, the friend says she was told Kalel was alive. Then the director came out and explained that not only was the dog not alive, his body had already been sent to the landfill. And that he’d been killed for aggression.

Greenville Co pound records obtained via FOIA request indicate Kalel was impounded on July 24 and killed on July 29 for “heartworm positive/aggression/space”. The behavioral section of his profile is blank. There are no records indicating his temperament was ever evaluated. There is one handwritten note on his records that reads: “Have to be muzzled to touch mouth or do medical. Otherwise he’s good.” The supposedly injured leg was x-rayed and found to be sound, aside from some inflammation which was treated with medication.

Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)
Kalel (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

Because too many so-called shelters were ignoring the state law regarding the mandatory holding period for strays, the attorney general’s office for the state of SC issued a clarification for all municipal facilities accepting stray animals. In the November 2013 release, the AG’s office clearly states that stray animals must be held for five days. In calculating the five days, the day of impound must be excluded, as must weekends and holidays.

Kalel was impounded on Thursday, July 24. Day One of his five day hold was July 25. Day Two was Monday, July 28. On Day Three of his five day hold, Greenville Co killed him. When his owner came to reclaim him on July 31, he was still within his five day holding period. Greenville Co appears to have violated state law by killing Kalel before his mandated holding period expired.

The letter from the state AG’s office seems perfectly clear. And yet public shelters such as Greenville Co continue to kill at will, disregarding the law and tearing families apart in the most violent and permanent way possible. What will it take to get Greenville Co and other kill-because-we-can pounds to comply with the law?

Kalel and owner Mandi Nalley  (Photo by Mandi Nalley)
Kalel and owner Mandi Nalley (Photo by Mandi Nalley)

A lost dog who needs to be muzzled to be examined in a pet killing facility but “otherwise he’s good” is hardly a threat to public safety. There is no information in the records indicating Kalel bit, tried to bite or even growled at anyone at the pound. Heartworms are a treatable medical condition and in fact, Kalel’s owner was already giving him medication under guidance from her veterinarian. Space is not a justification to kill a shelter animal under any circumstances and when it’s done during the five day holding period in SC, it’s illegal.

Shame on the Greenville Co pound for needlessly killing a lost pet whose owner loved and wanted him. There is no excuse. Will there be any justice?

57 thoughts on “Greenville Co Illegally Kills Lost Dog Whose Owner Wanted Him Back

  1. There is no reason to bother with a behavior assessment or medical evaluation when they can use the catchall phrase, “heartworm positive/aggression/space.” The owner did everything right, but sadly those lazy, uncaring, tax payer paid pound employees did everything wrong. I am very sorry for the heartbreak Ms Nalley has to experience and I hope her memories of Kalel will help her heart to heal.

  2. When is there going to be oversight on these places?
    Inspections (unannounced, as they wish to do to all other animal owners).

    Apparently the regulations (local, state) are ignored.

    There have been SO MANY of these stories, just on this one blog alone. We KNOW there have to be exponentially MORE, yet local, state and federal gov’t do NOTHING.

    Animal “rights” (not welfare) groups, that would have a BREEDER or PET OWNER publicly flogged and burned at the stake if they did anything remotely close to how the “shelter” dogs are treated turn a blind eye and ignore the abuse.

    It’s time for pet owners to take a stand. Because that’s the ONLY way it will change…

    Stand up
    Step up
    Speak up

    Will YOUR pet be next?

  3. Any idea if she’s pursuing legal action? Because that is the ONLY way pet killers understand that maybe they shouldn’t be killing people’s pets, apparently.

  4. While it doesn’t excuse the despicable actions of the shelter, the trainer who lost the dog is not blameless either. He apparently waited six days to let the owner know her dog was missing. Had she known Kalel was missing on the 24th, she could have gotten him back before the shelter decided to kill him.

    1. The trainer is not to blame for the county illegally killing the dog. In fact, this is another example of why the mandatory holding periods for strays are so important. Owners do not always realize their pet is missing immediately. In this case, the trainer did not inform the owner so she was unaware. In the case of indoor-outdoor cats, owners may give the pet additional time to come home, believing they simply stayed out all night or got accidentally locked in someone’s garage. Lost pets are AT LEAST entitled to the 5 holding days by any pound. The law says so and it’s for good reason.

      1. I don’t think Leslie was trying to say that it was the trainer’s fault that the asshats at the shelter killed this lovely dog. However, it was wrong for the trainer to wait so long to tell the owner that the dog was no longer under the trainer’s control (however that part happened). He should have told her right away and he should be explaining how the dog got away and how he’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen again – and that he’s changing his notification policies to let owners know right away.

      2. I want to make sure this side issue doesn’t take the focus off the shelter killing the dog in violation of the law. In many of these kinds of stories, it’s easy to lose focus and say things like “owner should have looked for the pet sooner”, “pet should have been microchipped”, etc. All those comments distract from the failure of the shelter to do its job and follow the law.

  5. This made me cry – so sorry for Mandi! These damn shelters all over the US need to be shut down OR practice NO KILL – easy solution!

    1. This shelter takes in over 2,000 animals per month. This is the result of a culture of negligence that pervades the COMMUNITY. The good people of South Carolina fight tooth and nail to keep taxes as low as possible, as a result you have an underfunded government program. The shelter is understaffed and has a tremendous lack of resources. There aren’t enough volunteers and there aren’t enough people stepping up to make a change. If the shelter did the correct thing 99% of the time that would still mean 200 animals a month were falling through the cracks! Where was the dogs micro chip? Why are there so many strays here in the first place? Why are there so many unaltered dogs breeding at random? It is a culture of negligence that pervades not only Greenville county but most of the Deep South. The change needs to come from outside the shelter, they can only do so much with limited resources. I feel bad that this person lost their pet. I know the behavioral evaluation process in shelters is highly flawed, so is breed recognition, but mistakes can and will happen when you are in an area where countless animals are neglected and discarded. The return rate on strays here is less than 20%! We need a change in culture so the burden on the shelter diminishes. You can whine and complain all you want, but action is what is needed and there is too little of that here.

      1. We good people of SC want our animal shelters to do their jobs. Waiting for a change to happen outside the shelter before the shelter staff starts doing their job is a no sale.

      2. Yes, changes need to begin with the owners awareness and responsibility to make sure their pet is spay/neutered and microchipped…….BUT…..there is apparently a lack of education at the shelter that they can not read and clearly understand a directive telling them exact procedure to follow and how to count to 5 using the not day of and not weekends….! Maybe they’re still working on shapes and colors? Next week comes the counting part….dunno. SMH

      3. Lucas. Have you volunteered for Greenville County Animal Care Services? I intended to. I even went through the “orientation” which was an hour long chat where I learned absolutely nothing that I didn’t already know from picking up animals for rescues. They gave out information to us- it was a short list on one side of a piece of paper 1/8th the size of an 8.5 x 11 sheet. Super informative! I never actually volunteered because I felt my time was more useful helping rescues who are actually trying to save animals. I had planned on trying to work with feral cats in the hidden “feral room” at Greenville. These cats are often not feral at all. I know, because I have pulled several from this room. They are not even given litter boxes. They often eliminate in their food trays. It is a small room across from the cat sick hold- which is next to the euth room- how convenient! Then kitten season kicked in and they were killing them all so fast (yes, before the minimum hold required by law) that there would not have been enough time to photograph the cats and post them online to network to even attempt to save them. That room only has 12 or 16 cages, and as soon as they are full they start killing- with excuses such as the animal being ill- funny how a cat can come in healthy and 48 hours later be SO sick it has to be killed without a vet even looking at it! That must be some really wicked illness that keeps happening over and over again in there!

        Multiple volunteers- people who give freely of their time for no compensation- have been tormented and “punished” (THEIR own word- used by GCACS management!) by GCACS for doing such shocking things as saving baby kittens and trying to reach out for help on facebook when their foster kitten is gravely ill and the soonest GCACS can see them for care of the kitten that THEY are responsible for is in several WEEKS. Yes, those silly volunteers, always misbehaving and causing trouble with their lifesaving and seeking of medical care!

        This shelter is not underfunded. Their annual budget this year is a little over 3 million dollars. 3 MILLION. There are shelters in other communities where they are lucky to get 1/10th or 1/20th of that and they still manage to save more animals. Why? Because they work WITH the public instead of against them. Because they get donations. They reach out to the public. They work WITH rescues and volunteers for the well being of the animals in their care instead of doing the exact opposite. They create an environment where people WANT to come in and help and WANT to write checks because they actually make an effort and are honest about what goes on behind closed doors. They don’t see killing as the best option, because they actually have a plan in place. Kitten season isn’t a surprise- it happens every year at the same damn time.

        Why doesn’t Greenville have more volunteers? Would you want to volunteer in a place where you are “punished” for trying to save lives? How about a place where you are “fired” for stepping up and trying to foster a 4 week old kitten headed to the euth room? What about a place where they keep the canned food under lock and key while young kittens starve and cry for food? How about a place where court case animals are hidden away in rooms with paper covered windows and not given proper food, water, and care such as clean cages and litter boxes until they are eventually all killed without them ever even being mentioned to the caring public? I know I wouldn’t.

        And fostering… Would you want to foster for a shelter where as soon as the animal you have been caring for, loving, and living with for days or weeks is returned, they are immediately put on the “urgent” “kill” list and listed as “time is up”?? How about a place where you step up to foster and end up with deathly ill animals…. which can happen.. so you call the number given to you and no one answers… you call again, text, leave messages, call other numbers, email, email again, etc, only to drive down there and be given a medication at the wrong dosage, resulting in you having to rush the animal that you do not even own to your own vet at your own expense for emergency care? That happens at Greenville. I know, because it happened to me last year!

        This shelter is in a wonderful community FULL of caring people. It also intakes animals from Spartanburg County. The combined wealth and population of these two counties could more than handle funding and staffing a no kill shelter in the upstate, but that will never happen with the current management we have at GCACS because they do not want to put in the effort to save lives. Hopefully one day this shelter will be run by people who want to save lives so that the many hundreds and likely thousands of people in the community can work together with them to create a shelter we can be proud of.

      4. Congratulations, Lucas, for hitting all the talking points of the pro kill apologists first try. Blame the community, blame everyone else on the list, but these kill shelters are awful places where awful people kill animals for no good reason.

  6. I completely agree that the shelter was wrong. However in response to the “all shelters should be shut down or be no kill” where do you suggest the hundreds of owner surrenders and strays that come in daily go to when the shelter has no room? Would you like more to be taken from your taxes to pay for medical bills for the homeless pets with heartworms or other medical needs? I volunteer there and yes it is heartbreaking. So many dogs get put down that don’t deserve it. But fixing it starts with the community volunteering donating and fostering the dogs that they don’t have space for or that need a place to crash for a week when sick hold is full. Are you offering to do that? There is things you can do to help with this problem but instead of helping these dogs everyone just wants to fuss and point fingers. Step up for them. Volunteer. Foster a sick dog for a week. Be a solution to the problem.

    1. How many pleas to the public does Greenville Co issue for fosters before killing animals? If the answer is anything less than EVERY SINGLE ONE WHO NEEDS IT, there is a leadership problem. If leadership isn’t interested in saving every healthy/treatable animal, I won’t be donating. If leadership won’t even follow the one law required of shelters, I won’t be fostering. Why would any compassionate person sign up to care for an animal and then return him to a lazy, incompetent pet killer for disposition?

      1. Exactly. I’m so sick of these places saying, “We need fosters!” Okay, you want me to foster for you with the knowledge that you’re possibly going to kill the animal that I just cared for? NO THANK YOU. You can’t get fosters for kill shelters for this very reason. Punishing people who work the hardest to help is no way to build community goodwill.

      2. And yeah, Shirley, why don’t you do something? It’s not like you’re taking in injured strays with medical needs or anything. Oh…wait…

      3. Here’s another factor. In my experience and observation, volunteers have the least power within the traditional shelter hierarchy, and are expected – if not contractually obligated – to adhere to extent policies and practices. Thus, their ability to effect change from the inside of an incompetent or corrupt shelter is likely to be none … and may even be negative, if the shelter director and staff choose to retaliate against efforts to improve conditions and practices. Which all too many do.

        So. This is why I think volunteering not only isn’t necessarily ‘a solution to the problem,’ but may be counterproductive … may even merely enable the very cruelty and neglect we’d intend to alleviate. And me, if I’m going to enable a jackass, I’d rather it be a proper one with four hooves and long furry ears.

    2. Absolutely. Taxes should be raised sufficiently so that no human or animal has to be homeless or suffer from a lack of nutrition. This is a very simple concept – in many European countries it’s taken for granted that we trade higher taxes for better social benefits. Spay-and-neuter programs are a crucial component of what we as a society need to be doing, as is more serious enforcement of bans on “puppy mills” and the like, but we also need to be providing land and shelter for any animal lacking a home.

  7. It’s not like Greenville County is unaware of the State AG ruling. I am one who has ,personally, made them aware. Yet , on their OWN lost and found page , they state ,”5 day hold beginning day of impound”. I .too, possess FOIAs showing this violation. This is NOT a singular occurrence. It is an ongoing issue.Yet , county admin appears to protect and support the director. Alexis says we should do something to support the shelter. Is she aware that the very animals offered for foster , if returned , go right back on the KILL list ? Is she aware that volunteers have been turned away ? Volunteers that wanted to teach GCAC how to host off site adoptions? Volunteers that attempted to teach bottle baby classes? Volunteers that were willing to improve marketing strategies? Volunteers that were willing to foster neonates ? Heck , recently , a veterinarian offered to volunteer his services to assist in shelter exams , vaccinating animals , checking stool samples , advising on care of fosters or sick animals in the shelter, was told ” ummm…. yeah. You can walk dogs for us.” Why ? Because he hasn’t obtained his SC license. All of the aforementioned tasks are currently being performed by non licensed low level shelter staff. A professional offered to VOLUNTEER his services and was told ,” walk dogs”…But , nobody wants to kill..

  8. Sue the trainer (who waited 6 days to tell owner dog was missing) AND the pound which didnt abide by state law.

  9. Where is the accountability of these tax payer funded law breaking employees? In the private sector especially outside of animal welfare, they would be disciplined and eventually terminated. Get rid of them Greenville! They are incompetent, ignorant, and non caring. Replace the leadership!

  10. 4 employees of the shelter attended the No Kill conference a couple of years ago but they have yet to put forth any effort. They have dismantled their foster program, put in place aggressive kill policies for kitten season and the community still perceives them as the “humane society” so they think their beloved pet will find a home. Yes, you can blame the community, but it all boils down to leadership and compassion. Both are grossly lacking. They need to clean house and hire competent, caring people

    1. “Yes, you can blame the community” – a strategy which has failed in countless counties, decade after decade. Why not follow the model of successful shelters and ENGAGE the community instead of blaming? Can’t hurt to try.

  11. An injured dog may show aggression because he is in PAIN, but that doesn’t mean he is an aggressive dog. OMG, how many human patients have I cared for that were aggressive due to pain? Answer is ” LOTS”. This shelter should be sued. This poor owner. My heart goes out to her.

  12. Sorry if he went missing July 24 and the trainer didn’t inform her til the 30th!!! He should have taken on better responsibility and blame placed on him! As a professional he should have known the steps to take when an animal in his care goes missing! This is a no brained if you ask me!

    1. I tried to get more details on the situation with the trainer before posting as I too struggled to understand the lag time in informing the owner. I was unable to get any solid information that I could include in the post. But IT DOES NOT MATTER whether the trainer is a lousy scumbag who failed to inform the owner of her lost pet in a timely manner or a responsible person who has some reasonable explanation for the delay. What matters is that the Greenville Co pound failed to comply with state law and hold the lost dog for the mandatory 5 days. The Greenville Co pound killed Kalel, not the trainer.

  13. I think a purebred like that suddenly being killed inside the stray hold time sounds suspicious given that the story changed marginally over time. I’d want a solid witness to swear under oath as to what happened to him and why.

  14. So sad ..I would sue them for something. .it would bring my “best friend” back , but make them reason not to let them have there dog back..oh I would be so pissed. Heartbroken. . Just breaks my heart

  15. Wtf is wrong with people there is no excuse for this the owner should of been contacted immediately my heart is breaking for u sue the hell out of the pound the city and everybody else that had something to do with this appauling murder

  16. The problem is that these shelters are run by GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, who do not care about the animals, they get these jobs because they “know” someone.

  17. Adrianne Mock, well said! We need to stand up and shout out for animal rights!! This happens every day because some sadist can’t wait to kill another dog or cat. i hope the owner gets a lawyer and puts this so-called shelter in hell !

    1. Not ‘animal rights’ -this is an animal WELFARE issue, and it’s vital that we all recognize the difference. AR groupscare nothing for these animals… in fact PsTA (anAR organization) believes that “death is a gift”. Their words. Where are animal rights groups like H$U$ when these things happen? Silence….

      Those of us that care about animal welfare are the ones that are out here DOING… not begging for $$ that are then used for more fundraising, lobbying to END animal keeping andsalaries.

  18. it’s time to start making these places pay one way or another. nothing is going to change unless we change it.

  19. I can’t even begin to imagine how devastated she is! There has to be repercussions for these “insert bad words here”!!!

  20. Our Creator does not see things the way we do.. To Him there is no limit or amount of days before killing one of His beloved creatures is allowed .. The day soon comes that when He sends His Son to right all wrongs here those that failed in their given duty to protect the innocent will be dealt the same as they have given.. To Him all life is sacred and to end it for any reason not acceptable to Him with be dealt with by Him all on that one day.. I would not want to be on His bad side in that moment for He will not hear any excuses such as has been seen here.. I am ok with the punishment for this horror for the day after I will never hear of it like this again , ever.. There is a sickness in man that needs to go. , and go it will

  21. a lot of explanations here and ther why or what ! so any excuses ! just one thing to say no kills !! we are humans with heart of full of feelngs how can we kill such a living creature !! can we just find wa ay not kill animals nstead talk how to save them ! so many rich peope willing to donate i am sure ! ameicans are generous ! you even help countries under war !! why not animals in your own counrty !!dear people please stop killing shelters ! just because so many strys animals !and no plcace to keep them ! thats bullshits !! you are all good to organize problems and so many brilliant people how to solve this problem s lets us just be compassionate and try to save our nature ! i cant understans so impulsicve decsion to kill in a short time ! PLEASE I AM BEGGING OF YOU ! KILLING SHELTERS STOP YOUR BUSINESS NAMED YOUR SHELTER S ! SAVING ANIMALS !! SAVING LIFE !!

  22. Omfg i would be so upset terminate the people that kill these poor animals they dont deserve it at all.=(
    i am so sorry for kalel =( *justice for kalel* lets all start a pettion for greenville colorado’s pound to shut them down. =(

  23. I think it’s time for a lawyer!! SUE the county &the shelter, NOW!!! Include suing for emotional distress well.

  24. This is so wrong and what the hell is up with the paperwork? My heart goes to the owner who has to suffer through this.

  25. This is my first chance at leaving a comment. I appreciate all the support. I would LOVE to take legal action. It has been a rough month. I don’t get upset as often, but I still have bad days. However, I have reached the pissed off mommy stage. The only problem I’m having is finding a lawyer to take an animal case. I’ve never had to have a lawyer for anything and I’m not sure which way to take. I’m working on getting the story into the news. I’ve emailed this to all the stations hoping someone will take it. Feel free to leave suggestions. I want justice for my baby. Thank you


  27. Shut the place down, how can people in that area, no, that state, live with this happening under their noses? So so sad. I seriously want to harm the ass-hats that “run” that operation.

  28. This is getting worse. This goes on all the time. Where is the justice in this? They need to press charges against the shelter this is wrong if they are that blood thirsty and have so little regard for animals they need to be on the other end of the spectrum. As far as I am concerned what they are doing and what Hitler did there is no difference except these people are doing it to animals who have no voice to defend themselves. I say there license needs to be revoked, than brought up on felony charges.

    1. Amen. They are breaking the law. These high kill Shelters ARE like Hiltler and the hollucoust. Murdering animals. These practices are getting attention and change will be coming. I pray sooner than later. God is watching and taking names.

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