Pete Brock, the recently fired director of the Martin Co pound in NC, has been arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty. This is in addition to the charge he was already facing regarding alleged threats made to a former co-worker. The new charge was filed as the result of an investigation stemming from a February 12 euthanasia inspection in which the facility received only one “acceptable” rating and twenty-two “not acceptable” ratings.
On that date, the state inspector found impound paperwork for nine cats. Although the drug log only showed that six cats were killed, there were eight cat carcasses in the freezer and one cat was in distress in a trap. ACO Beck explained that then-director Brock had injected the cat with a euthanasia drug before leaving for the day, telling him to check on the cat later. If the cat wasn’t dead, ACO Beck was to re-kill the cat. ACO Beck is not certified to kill animals and asked the inspector if she could kill the cat. The inspector instructed ACO Beck to take the cat to a local vet clinic. The vet at the clinic determined the cat had been injected with something that failed to kill him. The cat was re-killed by the vet. A technician called the state inspector to report on the cat and said that this wasn’t the first time this had happened.
The technician told the inspector that one week prior, ACO Beck had shown up at the clinic “in a panic” with a kitten who had been injected by Brock and left in the freezer overnight. ACO Beck found the kitten alive in the freezer with icicles on her ear tips, whiskers and fur. The tech described the kitten as “hypothermic, wobbly, showing signs of neurologic compromise, thin, hungry and had frostbite damage to the eartips.” The kitten was saved and has been adopted.
Drug logs at the Martin Co pound were either incomplete or non-existent according to the inspector’s report. Controlled substances were left unsecured, both inside the facility and in Brock’s county issued vehicle. Brock was allegedly killing trapped cats immediately upon impound with improper documentation. ACO Beck had never seen Brock sedate an animal prior to killing and trapped cats were being jabbed at random spots on their bodies through the spacing in the wire traps. The inspector found no euthanasia manuals on the premises nor was there a stethoscope to verify death.
On March 11, the state permanently revoked Brock’s kill license. That document details the two botched cat killing attempts as well as an incident with a dog at the pound. The dog was slated to be killed on December 3, 2014 and ACO Beck reportedly witnessed Brock use the county’s tranquilizer rifle to shoot the dog with several darts filled with euthanasia solution. The dog was in his cage while Brock repeatedly shot him in the shoulder. After the dog collapsed, Brock went into the run and injected him with more drugs.
And in case anyone was thinking that these taxpayer-financed violent crimes against dogs and cats are indefensible, hold up:
The county manager says they recently started lethal injections on animals after receiving grant funds to do away with the gas chamber.
David Bone says, “This was a new program we started recently, so anytime you start something new, there can be challenges.”
Bone says the State Department of Agriculture came to the shelter for a routine inspection to check on how they put down animals.
He says, “Part of that process was when they found some discrepancy about the records.”
Bone says, “He’s had a good career, unfortunately these circumstances came up and so we’re dealing with them .”
Ah, circumstances. Records discrepancy. Challenges. And for some additional context, I refer again to the state inspector’s February 12 report, in which she states she met with county manager David Bone to detail her findings:
During this session it was clear that Mr. Bone had not known of any of the improprieties and showed much shock and surprise.
*slow clap* What a performance.
This is what enabling looks like. This is why we have animal cruelty happening in our broken shelter system. This is why re-training, moving to a new building, and juggling numbers do not solve any problems. We need systemic reform, now.
As for Brock, he is reportedly out on a $500 bond and due in court on March 30. Watch this space.
(Thanks Clarice for the link.)