Staff at Texas Pound Chucks Donations into the Dumpster

The Montgomery Co pound in Texas has a sign taped on the front door asking the public for donations of towels, blankets, quilts, puppy pads, pet food and various other items typically requested as donations by shelters.  We’ve all heard this one before:  municipal shelters are underfunded and the staff is forced to kill animals because of the irresponsible public and blah.

Well in Montgomery Co, the irresponsible public kindly donated many of the requested items on the pound’s list.  And the staff threw the donations into the dumpster.  Volunteers had to dumpster dive in order to retrieve the brand new pet beds, food, puppy pads and other donations.

Donations from the public thrown away by staff at the Montgomery Co pound in Texas, as shown on the KHOU website.

Donations from the public thrown away by staff at the Montgomery Co pound in Texas, as shown on the KHOU website.

When a KHOU reporter asked pound director Dr. Aubrey Ross for an explanation, he was all oh gee, misunderstanding. But a reporter with The Courier of Montgomery Co got more details:

Included in the items was unopened, unexpired pet food, the volunteer said. The situation was reported to the shelter’s director, who helped pull the items out. According to the volunteer, the director did not know who instructed employees to trash the items.

[…]

However, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark, who is overseeing the transition of the shelter’s new management, said the situation was a misunderstanding between Dr. Aubrey Ross II, who is now managing the shelter, and staff.

He said items were not “brand new.”

[…]

Clark said Ross gave the nod to discard the items under the impression that the items were not usable.

“We didn’t have all new stuff there,” said Clark, adding that many of the items were torn or broken.

Volunteers say many of the donations still had tags on them. I guess the filthy rat bastard public must have ripped up the donations after paying for them and before leaving them at the pound.

On its website, the Montgomery Co pound has two months of statistics – September and October 2013.  Those two months reflect a kill rate of 46%.  I think the misunderstanding here has to do with the meaning of the word shelter. Get some management in there who understands what it means to actually shelter animals and I bet the donation hurling stops all by itself.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

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29 Comments

  1. Carriers, beds, towels…damn. Lots of shelters would be thrilled for these! And to tell the girl scout troop that worked so hard to get donations that they’re going right in the dumpster – way to cultivate the support of the community, jackasses.

    Reply
    • The snobbery bristles. Not brand new so not usable. Give me a break. Even the most threadbare towel could come in useful as a one time time cleaning rag for a sick animal’s cage or SOMETHING.

      Reply
      • Except that some things still had tags on them and they still got tossed! Apparently, even brand new isn’t good enough. Although, if you’re just going to throw the animals in the dumpster too, what difference does it make…

  2. THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THIS PLACE ARE SICK AND TWISTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. This really makes me sick! Are all shelter employees, including management stupid asses,
    mentally challenged or don’t give a damn~Something must be done quickly! I’m sick of excuses, mistakes, and not scanning for micro chips! It’s easier to just kill the dogs! We need to push for shelter reform!

    Reply
    • alvarel

       /  February 11, 2015

      Not all of them are, just the one who threw the items out and the one who ordered it. In fact, I think it was just laziness, someone didn’t want to take the time to sort through what may be usable and what wasn’t. They do get a lot of unusable donations, people will donate their trash. That being said, it should of never of happened and has never happened at this particular shelter before. I personally believe there should be consequences for both the “manager” and the Owner of the management company that heads the shelter who was there Saturday and could of put a stop to it. The Shelter Director who is on the board for the Nonprofit who in actuality the donations belong to went dumpster diving with the employees and was the one who brought it to the attention of said owner even though he chose not to do anything about it. BTW, MCAS is a shelter. I love how the people who have never been to this shelter can sit back and type all of this nastiness when they have NO idea how hard this shelter works to get every single animal that comes in the doors back out through the front doors. How much blood, sweat and tears have been put into these animals to give the highest SAVE rate in our area. Especially for a County shelter that cannot turn anyone away.

      Reply
      • MCAS is no longer a non-profit. It is now owned by a FOR profit company, Care Corp. Brace youself for a lot more stories like this. And the public now won’t even be afforded the luxury of knowing how they spend the tax dollars they’ll still receive.

        Take your donations over to Harris County – they’ll use them!

      • Shannon

         /  February 12, 2015

        I have been to this shelter and can say it’s one of the worst I’ve ever been to. The quality of care given to these animals is a nightmare. I will agree that there are people there that are trying to help however it’s sadly to far above what they can do. I really hope “new management” turns this place around. I feel horrible for the animals that have to spend their last days in a hell hole.

  4. Felecha Freeman

     /  February 11, 2015

    As a volunteer & Youth Group Leader at MCAS, I feel obligated to fill in the blanks on this story so that in the end the shelter animals do not suffer. Yes, something did get out of hand with donations at the shelter this weekend. With that said, this is not the norm. An employee felt that the shelter was out of room to hold onto some of the donations. This employee also told the new management that these items were broken or damaged. Management approved to sing out unusable items. However, this individual then took it upon themselves to begin trashing perfectly good items, including one small flat of canned food. When this was discovered, the Shelter Director spoke with Management to end it so donations will go to fosters with MCAS animals. Management should have gone out to confirm it was good stuff being trashed & ended it then but that didn’t happen. Management did not go out & see perfectly usable donations in the trash so he really cannot even attest to whether items had tags or not. Sunday came around and it still continued without Management there. The Director was there but was too busy helping dumpster dive. Hysteria & anger (rightfully so) grew over night & people began posting & sharing all over public media without first letting Management come in Monday morning to address & handle it. I sure hope management has learned their lesson. We have to give him benefit of the doubt for the sake of the animals.

    The Shelter Director, already asked that everyone please stop posting all over social media world about the donations. The “impression that this is an everyday occurrence is wrong.”
    As posted publicly on Official Site of Montgomery County Animal Shelter:
    “Here it is. Officially. Saturday, when discovered valuable donations were being trashed, I went to Dr. Ross. He believed employees who had stated we were out of room. I said, let’s give to fosters. He said, go for it.
    Sunday, he wasn’t even there. The trashing continued. Very bad call by an employee. I continued to give to fosters and put a lot back in the Shelter.
    That employee will be reprimanded. Dr. Ross assures me of this and It will never happen again. I’m uncomfortable repeating his words or thoughts but, I will gladly share mine.
    I feel it has been handled and won’t happen again. A very selfish, senseless call by an employee.
    IF I ever do see it happening again, I will be screaming the loudest. I promise.
    All this posting about donations being thrown away is being blown entirely out of proportion. Yes, it happened and it was a bad call by an employee.
    It won’t happen again and all this publicity is very harmful to the animals we all work tirelessly to save.” – Minda, Shelter Director

    First, financial donations go through MCASociety, not the shelter directly. So, please encourage people to still make monetary donations. The MCAS website has info on the Society as well as a donation tab. This money is necessary to continue vetting the animals. http://www.razoo.com/story/Mcasociety/mobile
    Secondly, I can understand if anyone feels they are unable to donate material items at this time. We have already established a list of volunteers & fosters that are willing to accept donations & store them at their homes until the shelter puts out a plea that they are needed or for fosters in need. None of us want to see them go to waste. This may continue for some time until we are all assured that this will not happen again.
    Third, yes the shelter now has new owners effective Feb 1, 2015. The shelter has been, for the past 3 years & will continue to be privately run. Operations are privately run but the shelter is funded through the county. This is really what needs to be investigated. Additional vetting & money to help get animals adopted is funded by donations to the Society.

    I want to be clear & make everyone aware that this was not approved nor is it the norm.THIS WAS NOT APPROVED NOR IS IT THE NORM. I beg of everyone to not get caught up in the hype and not let this deter you from continuing to help the animals.
    I ask that every follow Minda’s lead on this issue. All this publicity is very harmful to the animals we all work tirelessly to save. Minda does an amazing job at running the shelter, decreasing eu rates & getting/keeping such a huge group of fosters & volunteers. She sticks up for what is right & will continue to do.

    However, there MUST not be a next time or all bets are off.

    Reply
    • What is happening with your very high kill rate? Seems to me that you need to work very hard to send them out alive. And you need the community to help you make that happen. I hope this is a one time happening, but a for profit shelter? Seems to me that puts the money making vs what’s best for the animals in conflict.

      Reply
  5. jen

     /  February 11, 2015

    The only thing that makes sense why they did that is they are planning on using any of it cause they are actually killing the dogs by euthanizing them or worse :( Poor babies…

    Reply
  6. jen

     /  February 11, 2015

    Aren’t

    Reply
  7. Tina Clark

     /  February 11, 2015

    This happened a few years back at the Pasadena (California) Humane Society. During a big fire, crates were needed, and the public responded and donated them. The were found in the dumpster, some brand new, still with tags.

    Reply
    • The public donated Kuranda beds to the old facility at Memphis Animal Services and the staff vandalized them, cutting holes in them. They were thrown out when the facility moved and now the dogs have to lay on the metal platforms.

      Reply
  8. Jaylin billig

     /  February 11, 2015

    I volunteer at MCAS and I can tell you it’s one of the Best shelters around, better than
    HSPCA and far above most rural county shelters. Our save rate is extremely high, and t is irresponsible and sneaky reporting to twist the percentage. Our save rate is often near 70% and we are well on our way to being a no-kill public shelter. So do not think this is a backwards place.
    We have a huge volunteer network and MCAS is very rescue-friendly. In fact, operation Pets Alive takes 20 to 40 pets every month to transport North. This was an isolated incident and I can assure you it will not happen again. We have already taken measures to insure this before the story aired. Calling anyone associated with my shelter “sick and twisted” is horribly rude. Stop it!
    Why don’t you focus your attention on the hundreds of horses starving to death on League Line Road in Conroe? We’ve been trying for months to get justice but news media ignores us.

    Reply
    • Tip: If your save rate is 70%, you should post those stats on your website instead of the months of September and October 2013 which do not reflect that save rate.

      – Sneaky Reporter

      Reply
    • Nathan Winograd visited this facility around 2005 or 2006 and gave them an assessment report on how to stop killing. So I am puzzled why this facility is still killing even 30% (if that is the correct kill rate)? Some people like Jaylin say they work hard etc. but why, after 9 or 10 YEARS, are they still killing? When the county turned this facility over to Holified, it doesn’t seem like the save rate increased by an substantial amount—at least that is what some of the rescue groups have told me. And now the facility has been sold to someone else as a for profit?? Since when is saving lives a money making endeavor? I say never—think bloated HSUS, ASPCA and PETA. Shelters that are truly saving all healthy and treatable animals are never making a profit. They are using all money to save lives. It is very fishy.

      Also, a woman who works there just posted on Facebook that this facility does not have an animal control contract, meaning they are not the pound. So why are they killing ANY animals if they are not required to be Open Admission with an animal control contract?

      Reply
      • Felecha Freeman

         /  February 12, 2015

        So many great questions. Too much is left in the dark. Not very transparent which has a lot of people concerned

    • Your comment is very inspirational! I really hope it becomes a no kill shelter! Thanks for your post@

      Reply
  9. Rachel Wagner, MCAS may be run by a non-profit, but Montgomery County pays them for animal control services. This means they are subject to Public Information Requests just like a govt agency….. meaning citizens can ask this company to produce records such as budgets and income/outcome records. That company is required by law to product those records.

    Here is a link to the Texas Public Information Act handbook. See II. B. https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/…/publicinfo_hb.pdf

    Reply
  10. Sorry, I should have said “for profit” instead of non-profit above

    Reply
  11. doggirl

     /  February 11, 2015

    Maybe someone can help me find out how one can get information about a shelter’s budget and their “kill” rates for a non-profit shelter that contracts with the city for animal control services. I have tried for years to get info from the shelter and they tell me that they do not have to give it to me because they are not a city shelter. They tell me the only entity that they have to report anything to is the city and that is only if they ask for it. The city does not ask and I have contacted city council and most just ignore my request or turn my requests into something that I am not requesting. How can I legally get the information and who can I contact to get it from? Thanks for any info. I live in Nebraska.

    Reply
  12. It is concerning that someone who doesn’t have the common sense to know better than to throw out perfectly usable donations is working with animals. I wouldn’t trust their judgment nor their ability to execute directives.

    As a donor, I would be deeply disturbed by this. The only saving grace that I can see to this is that someone dumpster dived for those materials and watchdogs were there to call attention to it, which means that it is unlikely to happen again due to the repercussions.

    Reply
  13. Just me

     /  February 12, 2015

    Sounds almost like someone wanted to dumpster dive later in order to resell the items? This may be a red flag warning of other stuff that is going on?

    Reply
  14. Maybe you should know this owners, also “tossed out” Shelter Director, Minda Harris. Makes me think twice about the management change at the shelter. What employee would continue to act against the orders of their bosses? Then, “poof’ the director, is fired. Something smell, and it’s not coming from a kennel.

    Reply
  15. I had the pleasure and opportunity to meet the Dr. Ross a few days ago. It’s important to note that he has been in charge at the shelter for only about 6 weeks after buying out Mr. Holifield’s company. I found Dr. Ross to be a pleasant man, who really has a desire to make things better at this shelter. As with any change in leadership from a high-kill shelter to one that is making a reduction in killing, there are existing staff who aren’t always on board with the changes — which appears to have been the case with long-term shelter manager Minda Harris and many of her supporters. It appears as if Dr. Ross has a very challenging task ahead of him, including getting people on board who are willing to support the mission of saving more lives. I hope he can get the support he needs so that change can happen at this shelter.

    Reply
  16. Dr. Ross is one of the most professional Vets I have ever had dealings with! He is a caring, loving human being! Do you think maybe some of you local yokels are concerned because he is Black!

    Reply

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