Case Update: Disturbing Details in Investigation of Oklahoma ACO Who Lied to Owner about Pet’s Death

Many readers probably remember the story of Major, the German shorthaired pointer who got lost in December in Elgin, OK.  When the owner asked the city’s ACO about her dog, he offered up assorted lies, making her suspicious.  The owner ultimately went into a pit of dead animals she found at the shelter and discovered the bloody remains of her pet, whose ears were missing.  The city closed the pound and put ACO Daniel Linthicum’s contract on hold while the matter was investigated.

This week, there are some updates and ain’t none of them good.  Major’s owners took his remains, as well as those of the dog whom Linthicum ultimately claimed had killed Major, to the state university for necropsies:

[D]octors could neither confirm nor deny the actual cause of Major’s death. But, they did determine Major had cancer in both lungs and was in bad health. They also determined the other dog had a whole ear and a piece of an ear in his stomach.

The attacking dog ate the ears?  I’m no expert but that doesn’t sound like any dog fight I’ve ever seen.

Linthicum told investigators that when he found Major, he was still alive but barely.  He gassed Major and the attacking dog to death using the exhaust from his truck.  And if this sounds like some kind of rogue operation, you got that right:

During the investigation, it was discovered that neither the City of Elgin nor [Daniel] Linthicum had a shelter license through the state. A shelter license is required for any place housing 10 or more animals.

But it’s all good:

The findings of the investigation were presented to an assistant district attorney twice, who declined to file charges.

Gassing of animals in some sort of Rube Goldberg device using truck exhaust is horrifying.  But to make matters worse, Major was severely compromised, clinging to life and likely gasping for air with cancerous lungs at the time he was gassed making it probable that he suffered even more than the typical victim of such a barbaric killing method would.  I don’t know what sort of shape the other dog was in at the time but if a private citizen committed these acts there would be criminal charges.

And despite the city promising it would hire a new ACO, Linthicum is back on the job picking up animals, focusing mainly on wildlife and only handling pets in emergency situations.  Because he’s demonstrated he handles those really well.

The next city council meeting in Elgin is February 10.  Please for the love of popsicles let someone show up to talk some sense into the asshats paying this guy.  There is something so obviously wrong here that Scooby Doo could solve the case all by himself.  Taxpayers deserve better.  They need to stand up and demand it.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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10 Comments

  1. This case cries out for a lawsuit by the owners — probably the only way to get results.

    Reply
  2. Lazaro Marino

     /  February 6, 2015

    @marianna,
    I completely agree that a fat lawsuit is needed,
    But that takes money or at least a great pro bono
    Attorney.
    I really hope that justice is done, no dogs deserve
    To die like that.
    This guy is a true asshat! The district attorney
    A wussie,
    Poor major owner had to endure lies and deceit
    He deserves justice,

    Reply
  3. How can they justify not prosecuting? This guy killed these dogs in an inhumane manner (and God knows how many others) and allowed how much suffering while under his “care”? Then he felt the need (in his official capacity) to deceive the very public who pays his wage.

    There is so much bullshit here, it’s unbelievable. And then to let him carry on as if nothing has happened (and one dreads to think what end those poor opossums and snakes are meeting at his hands – maybe just beat them to death with a shovel?) is incomprehensible.

    Is Elgin, OK so desperate for an ACO that they’re happy to scrape the very, very bottom of the barrel on this? Apparently so.

    Reply
  4. I cannot believe the number of people defending this ACO on the news site’s fb page -https://www.facebook.com/KSWO7News (you have to scroll down for it – apparently, there’s another shelter being investigated, too – different news story).

    Everything from “he’s a great guy who loves animals” to “well, he was doing his best with what he had”.

    I despair for Elgin, OK.

    Reply
  5. Linda

     /  February 6, 2015

    Time for a massive surge of Letters to the Editor in Elgin OK with a copy to the city/county prosecutor. They need to know that those outside of their humble burg ar watching.

    Reply
  6. vida

     /  February 6, 2015

    My sympathies to the poor dogs people, this is the kind of horror that haunts forever. I hope the locals can demand some justice, and yeah, it’s scary and sad that people will defend any amount of brutality toward animals. I think they just can’t stand to think about it or really see it so they refuse to.

    Reply
  7. BC

     /  February 9, 2015

    There are two places I would never live. And I have been to real third world shit holes. One of them is OK. I got stationed there for a couple of years and while I found the area nice enough there was something about the people. Not all the people but the majority of average run of the mill folks. And in a place like Elgin no one wants to Rock the boat and if you do your life will be made a living hell. Shot out windows. Your house egged. Harassment from merchants. Just nasty stuff made up behind your back and acted upon. Sometimes we need to look to History for the answer and the term Oakie surfaces and there was a reason for it. And it hasn’t changed.
    When you have a failure of government on top of it that maintains control and the status quo- Instead of lifting/leading the community into a more progressive state-Then The area will remain forever Backwoods and dysfunctional.
    The fact that the DA refuses to enforce the laws of the State is not a surprise. He gets elected by the same dysfunction and primarily uses his office to go after those they- the mob or power holders- want culled from the herd.

    Reply
  8. Jenn

     /  February 10, 2015

    I live in Elgin, OK and will be attending the council meeting tonight to hopefully hear discussion of reform following an investigation by the Oklahoma Veterinary Board. I would be happy to share the results of the meeting. Wish us luck!

    Reply
  9. Jenn

     /  February 13, 2015

    After attending the city council meeting, I can say I am rather disturbed, although not terribly surprised by the way this city regards animals. The ACO in question has been reinstated to respond to calls of animals at large and removal of wild animals, but the shelter remains closed for now until repairs and improvements can be made. A police investigation found no criminal activity or intent on the part of the ACO. His most recent contract with the city expired in 2011 (council members did not realize it needed to be renewed every year…) but council, the city attorney, and a committee of citizens have been working on a new contract to be approved next month. The ACO’s only compensation is $50 for each call and absolutely nothing (and no regulations beyond mandatory stray hold) regarding care for impounded animals. That is all at his own discretion. From now on, all necessary euthanasia will be done by a veterinarian. There are plenty more issues, such as the fact that the mayor and council members almost unequivocally support the ACO in spite of admitted lies and their concern that allowing public access to the shelter (there were no public hours for the “shelter”) could expose visitors to disease. The only issue the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture had upon inspection of the facility was that the concrete floors and walls need to be sealed.

    Although some of the immediate glaring concerns have been addressed, I am hesitant to be confident in the city’s ability to run an effective, humane program. I, along with several others, will be making my voice heard and demanding this city do better.

    Reply

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