State Inspection Report on Klein Shelter Documents Animal Suffering and Inhumane Conditions

Photo documenting filthy conditions at the Klein Animal Shelter (Photo posted on the KE website.)

Photo documenting filthy conditions at the Klein Animal Shelter (Photo posted on the KETK website.)

Note:  This is the latest post following the animal cruelty arrests of 3 employees of the Klein Animal Shelter in Texas. The previous posts are here and here. Some details may be disturbing to sensitive readers.

Acting on a tip, two inspectors from the Texas Department of State Health Services made a surprise inspection at the Klein Animal Shelter on January 14. Angela Hopkins and veterinarian Melinda Hergert found director Angela Wallace and a volunteer were the only people inside the facility. The volunteer was washing dishes in “filthy water”:

“This is not an unusual finding, and Angela Wallace has been told before about dirty dish and mop water,” Hergert said.

Wallace told Dr. Hergert that she hadn’t taken a day off in 3 months until the day prior and that she walked into the shelter in its current state that morning. Inspectors found that most cages were full of urine and feces, some overflowing, and many cages were too small for the dogs they housed.

Wallace was cleaning outdoor runs on the shelter’s back porch where several dogs were stacked in carriers. The crated dogs had no bedding and had been left outside all night in the sub-freezing temperatures, shivering in their own waste. One of the crated puppies had been impounded with parvo and left to freeze to death. Dr. Hergert notes in her report that Wallace had been told in past that dogs can not be housed outdoors in crates. Wallace told the vet that after cleaning, she intended to get the intakes registered and start killing animals.

Inside, Dr. Hergert found two runs housing dams with litters. A litter of six puppies, including one deceased pup, were all huddled together on a floor covered in waste and pools of dried blood. The mama dog had her chin resting on the dead pup.  They had no bedding and one bowl containing “old or contaminated food”. In her report, Ms. Hopkins described the bowl as having “a substance in it that I could not identify” with mold on top.

The volunteer told Dr. Hergert that she had informed Wallace of the dead puppy in the cage. When asked by Dr. Hergert, Wallace denied any knowledge of the deceased pup and stopped cleaning to remove the pup. At that point, Dr. Hergert called police to report that they had better come to the shelter because animal cruelty was taking place.

In addition to the two dead pups, inspectors also found two severely injured dogs who had been left to suffer in filth – one with a broken back who was unable to move and another with two broken legs that had been wrapped in a soft, dirty bandage without any stabilizing support.

Cats were also housed inhumanely, some in filthy crates, with overflowing litter boxes and dirty food and water bowls. Ms. Hopkins states that Wallace had been told several times in past that this inappropriate housing is unacceptable.

Although no past inspection reports on the Klein shelter have been published, the references to previous warnings about sub-standard practices leave little doubt that the situation on January 14 was not the result of the director taking a day off.  And since these deficiencies were previously noted, what action was taken to ensure compliance?  Were Wallace’s employers notified that the person they were paying to run the shelter lacks basic dishwashing skills?  How could they possibly have entrusted rabies quarantine and public health issues to this person?  Did anyone from any of the municipalities which contracted with Klein ever actually visit the place?  Where is the accountability for this condemnable use of taxpayer dollars?

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for the links.)

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12 Comments

  1. Unbefuckinglievable.

    I’m so glad that she called police at that point.

    These people sound like they have serious mental issues – has anyone been to their homes? Are they meth addicts or what to behave in this fashion?

    Reply
    • Clarice

       /  February 2, 2015

      My guess is they are sociopaths.

      Reply
      • db

         /  February 2, 2015

        They are something that should not be working around any kind of living creature. I hope these animals were taken care of and treated for their injuries. And I hope that those responsible are sent to prison for animal cruelty. There is no excuse . . .

  2. Sadly, I’ve seen conditions nearly like this in shelters all over North Texas. To this day, I’m not as proud of working to make the Rockwall shelter No Kill as I am to have made sure that uncaring and unethical ACOs no longer had access to the shelter animals. To our everlasting regret, Rockwall fired the one ACO who was ethical enough to help us document cruel conditions similar to those at the Klein shelter. They treated him much as they treated the animals in the shelter. The shelter animals had more dignity than the people who used to “care” for them.

    Reply
  3. Karen F

     /  February 2, 2015

    This is just unbelievable. Especially in light of Michael’s comment.

    Reply
  4. vida

     /  February 2, 2015

    This is chilling, no excuse in the world for this kind of cruelty. I keep trying to understand the mindset of people that can do these things and I come up empty. I know people are capable of horrible evil, I know that being in a group that encourages that evil makes it seem normal to some people. But still, hard to take in the hard hearted idiocy of this.
    I suppose if you’re going to murder them in any case it helps to pretend they are things, not sentient beings? Why no kill is the answer to so many problems, if the workers see the animals as worth saving the incentive to be uncaring is taken away.

    Reply
  5. spaycritter

     /  February 3, 2015

    And the word Shelter is in their name ?

    Reply
  6. BC

     /  February 9, 2015

    I am really one for less Federal overreach however it has become apparent that the States just do not have the will to fix the broken shelter system.
    This is no different when there used to be hanging trees. It took the Feds to dorce the change. Of course after the NYT article about the USDA auschwitz and them allowing the forced rape- yes rape of a young cow- I am not sure they can fix their own issues.
    Maybe Federal law then law firms during these idiots will work. Because there sure doesn’t seem to be a will to do it right.

    Reply
  7. BC

     /  February 9, 2015

    I am really one for less Federal overreach however it has become apparent that the States just do not have the will to fix the broken shelter system.
    This is no different when there used to be hanging trees. It took the Feds to dorce the change. Of course after the NYT article about the USDA auschwitz and them allowing the forced rape- yes rape of a young cow- I am not sure they can fix their own issues.
    Maybe Federal law then law firms sueing these idiots will work. Because there sure doesn’t seem to be a will to do it right.

    Reply
  8. I have been investigating Klein since October. I have the entire health department file and if you really want to know what occurred I encourage you to read the notes from Dr. Melinda Hergert that are extensive https://www.scribd.com/doc/254950259/Complaint-and-Hergert-s-Notes as well as the notes from inspector Samantha Puttick.I have inspection reports going back to 2013 if you want them, but these two documents will give you a very good idea of what happened. CAUTION: It may be very difficult to read some of this. https://www.scribd.com/doc/254949871/Samantha-Puttick-Notes

    Reply
  9. Here are some past inspection reports concerning Klein. https://www.scribd.com/doc/254945797/4-29-13-Inspection-Report

    Letter putting the shelter on probation after they failed the 4/29/13 inspection https://www.scribd.com/doc/254945380/May-1-2013-Letter-to-Wallace-Putting-Shelter-on-Probation

    Health Department vet email to the Jacksonville Chief of Police requesting a meeting with city officials over the conditions at the shelter. https://www.scribd.com/doc/254946642/Hergert-Email-to-Daniel

    5/7/13 Inspection where it passed probation, but still had issues https://www.scribd.com/doc/254949500/5-7-13-Inspection-Report

    5/14/14 inspection documents very horrific conditions at the shelter https://www.scribd.com/doc/254949698/5-14-14-Inspection

    Letters to the health department from two former shelter workers https://www.scribd.com/doc/255253166/Herring-and-Allen-Letters

    Reply
  10. There’s a place in hell for abusers, and I hope they get there soon!

    Reply

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