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.
(Thank you Clarice and Davyd for the links.)