A dog reportedly wandered into a family’s yard in Grant’s Pass, Oregon last month. The family kept the dog for 3 weeks, calling her Riley, while area animal advocates networked her to find her possible owner. Riley was reportedly a friendly dog who got along well with humans of all ages, canines and chickens.
On January 10, Riley got lost and was picked up by the Josephine Co pound. Those who had been working to help the dog attempted to get her out but were refused. First the county said Riley had to be held for a minimum of 3 days for possible owner redemption. Then the county said they had to keep her for a veterinary evaluation, which took another week. Riley reportedly tested positive for heartworm and passed a temperament test while at the pound. Her advocates raised money from the community for heartworm treatment, found an adopter and continued to seek her release from the pound.
Making no headway, a protest was organized for Monday, January 26. Protesters showed up at the county courthouse with signs saying “Save Riley”. But the pound had already killed Riley on Friday, January 23. County commissioner Cherryl Walker issued a statement that day in response to the public outcry. She states Riley was killed upon recommendation of a vet because the dog:
- had fleas and ticks
- was over 8 years old
- had tested positive for heartworm
- had “demonstrated aggressive behavior”
Obviously failing to sell even herself on her lame excuses, Ms. Walker goes on to imply that heartworm is as frightening a public health issue as malaria and that Riley may have died undergoing treatment anyway. So to protect the community from
malaria heartworm and since you know, dog could have fallen over dead anytime, anywhere, anyway, the county decided to kill her. She makes no mention of the rescuers trying to adopt the dog, that it wouldn’t have cost the county any resources to save Riley or that Riley had a right to live, even if she wasn’t young and even though she had parasites.
Diane Hoover, director of the county health department which oversees the pound, is totally fine with Riley’s killing:
“I don’t feel like overriding a vet’s recommendation, when he’s a licensed professional,” Hoover said.
Yeah sometimes I don’t feel like putting forth effort at my job either. But then I worry maybe my boss won’t feel like paying me if I don’t do a decent job. I guess Ms. Hoover doesn’t have that concern. No need to seek a second opinion from another vet or let the dog go to the adopter who wanted her or anything at all actually.
[The Josephine Co pound] typically has to euthanize more than 500 dogs a year. More than 700 dogs are adopted out to good homes in an average year.
Has to? Because Riley’s case makes it seem more like WANTS TO.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)