Rhode Island Pound Closed, ACOs Suspended Amidst Police Investigation

The Woonsocket, Rhode Island police department is in charge of supervising the local pound.  On Tuesday the pound was closed indefinitely and its two ACOs suspended without pay pending a police investigation:

City solicitor Michael Marcello told NBC 10 an anonymous tip in November prompted Woonsocket police to launch an investigation into allegations that food and other donated supplies were being transported out of the Woonsocket shelter to a location in Burrillville.

The “location in Burrillville” was where one of the ACOs was living.  If the city solicitor phrased it to the media as a “location”, making it seem like some mysterious place, that sounds like cover up to me.  Then there’s this, from Dr. Ernest Finocchio, president of the RISPCA:

“I guess the good news is that this has nothing do [sic] do with animal cruelty.”

And this, from Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt:

Baldelli-Hunt noted there was no abuse of animals and that the animals were cared for properly.

Yeah – about that.

There were eleven dogs and no cats at the pound at the time it was ordered closed.  Eight dogs were transferred to other facilities.  Two were killed for behavior after being housed in the cinderblock structure for up to two years.  Another dog required emergency vet care.  The police guarded the facility during the removal of the dogs and wouldn’t allow the media inside, which is always reassuring.  But yay, no animal cruelty.  No transparency either, or adequate supervision apparently, but hey, it’s all good.  Cops sitting in unmarked cars outside the pound to prevent the press from reporting the truth is a hallmark of community trust.

Remind me again how southern shelters are run by good ol’ boys who don’t take proper care of pets while shelters up north are all shining beacons of progress where all the pets are saved.  I have trouble keeping my stereotypes straight sometimes.  I’m sure the many people shipping shelter dogs up north will be interested to know ignore what’s been happening in Woonsocket.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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4 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  January 14, 2015

    What a mess. I feel so comforted that the police refused to let media in and kept the place buttoned down tightly. Really makes me think that it’s all good, there…

    Reply
  2. vida

     /  January 14, 2015

    ” Cops sitting in unmarked cars outside the pound to prevent the press from reporting the truth is a hallmark of community trust.”
    Also the hallmark of a third world country, it’s really sad to see how far the US has fallen.
    I still think there are many good people and the good outnumber the bad but it’s just so depressing to see this here.

    Reply
  3. Karen F

     /  January 14, 2015

    Thanks for writing about this. I grew up in New England and it was all too easy to absorb a sense of regional superiority . . . unspoken, vague, very much in the background, but there nonetheless. This report is one more sad reminder that the assumptions underlying shelter killing are held by pounds nationwide — including the ones in supposedly enlightened N.E.

    Reply
  4. Kittypurr

     /  January 20, 2015

    Absolutely right about stereotypes. Please tell me this at least reached natl news and the behavior of LE will be investigated- along with the two dogs killed.
    Speak up people who live in this community – tell the rest of us what is going on!! Sunshine is the only cure. Of course I remember the same sunshine blackout in Conn. recently too.

    Reply

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