Genesee Co Pound and Director Named in Whistleblower Lawsuit

The long troubled Genesee Co AC pound in Flint, MI took in 5168 dogs and cats in 2013, killing 3246 of them – a kill rate of 63%.  (The 2014 reports haven’t been posted yet.)

In early January 2015, the county hired Paul Wallace as pound director and Karen Dombrowski as deputy director.  Ms. Dombrowski was fired by Wallace one month later.  This week, she filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the county, the pound and Wallace.

The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Dombrowski observed numerous instances of illegal activities while employed by Genesee Co, that she reported these to Wallace who dismissed her concerns, and that she went over his head to report them to county commissioners.  She was fired shortly thereafter.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit:

  • Animals were not receiving food, water, and clean cages on a daily basis.
  • An emaciated dog did not receive proper care at the pound.
  • A dog had been in a cage for seven months without adequate food, water or exercise.
  • A small dog experiencing pain was left unattended in a cage in a cold garage at the pound for several hours.  He was later euthanized.
  • A dog with a bone sticking out was left unattended for several hours.
  • A mother dog whelped a litter of puppies in a cage in the pound’s garage and no one at the pound provided any sort of box for the family.  As a result, the puppies repeatedly fell down the drain hole.
  • Wallace refused to allow an investigation into the finding of a deceased dog who appeared to have been used for fighting.
  • Dogs were seized from an owner’s home without due process.
  • A dog who had been “euthanized” by an ACO was found alive and suffering in the cooler the next day.
  • Expired drugs were used to kill a dog named Ana.  She was left in a cage.  When she woke up later, she began thrashing and injured herself.  The ACOs had already gone home when Ms. Dombrowski found her.
  • Dogs were killed via heartstick while fully conscious by untrained employees.
  • Feral cats were being killed in a gas chamber.

Ms. Dombrowski can be seen along with Ana, the dog she saved from the Genesee Co pound, in a video accompanying this news piece.  Additional reporting here.

(Thank you Clarice and Davyd for the links.)

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6 Comments

  1. “”The biggest issues that I have are the illegal, inhumane and out of date practices that are continuing to go on a daily basis,” Dombrowski said.”

    Typical. You can’t tell “the good ol’ boys” anything because they know everything and that’s how they’ve been doing it for the last two decades, so keep your mouth shut and collect your paycheck like everybody else.

    I’m glad she’s suing. It’s the only thing that makes these people listen.

    Reply
  2. Har

     /  March 6, 2015

    Mikken you beat me to it. The illegal, inhumane and out of date practices are the status quo. So many of these things happen here and at other shelters I know about.

    Reply
  3. Linda

     /  March 6, 2015

    Good for her. A real live hero for the animals. And if they don’t settle out of court then all the goods will spill out into the public domain. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

    Reply
  4. db

     /  March 7, 2015

    Those of us who live near this place had high hopes for some real change. If she doesn’t win her lawsuit, then I fear it will continue as is. Those who care about animals worked so hard to find animal-friendly candidates for the county board of commissioners. They haven’t stood by their promises, either. Sounds like the same old sh$t, different day. I so hope the good guys prevail in this fight.

    Reply
  5. Anne

     /  March 8, 2015

    GRACE, the citizen group formed several years ago to bring about change at GCAC, has not come out in support of Ms. Dombrowski.

    Reply
  6. Not sure I agree with GRACEs position. They have NO proof one way or the other with the allegations- but are siding with the Director. A go along get along seems to be raising its tentacles. The lawsuit could expose the truth and more.

    Reply

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