State Report: Lawton Pound Sucks but More Importantly, Facebook Sucks Worse

The Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners conducted an investigation into allegations of neglect and other wrongdoing at the Lawton pound at the request of the city manager.  The 464 page report starts out with a page titled “Conspiracy and Connection of Defendants”.  On one side of the chart featured on this page is a local spay-neuter clinic and on the other side is a Facebook page with various uh, conspirators named below each.  Yes, that says Facebook page.

The Facebook page is administered by a group called Lawton Citizens for Humane Treatment of Animals.  On that page, which I have not visited, people apparently post complaints regarding the mistreatment and killing of animals at the Lawton pound.  I know this because the board’s lead investigator has screencapped a ton of inflammatory posts from that page and included them in the report.  To show that some people act like dicks on Facebook, I guess.

If you are interested in reading a bunch of trash talk and the investigator’s wagging-finger-o-shame responses, knock yourself out.  The gist of the report, in my interpretation, is that oh sure, animals were being neglected and starved to death at the Lawton pound but you know, Facebook is terribleawfulsuperblech.  And the employees are doing the best they can.

Here are a few items I fished out of the muck and summarized that don’t have anything to do with Facebook:

Page 27, Item 69: Employees complained to the investigator that neither the kennel staff nor the ACOs had been properly trained; kennel staff refused to do their jobs and refused to follow instructions from supervisors; male staff refused to wash bowls or do laundry because it’s “woman’s work”; sick and injured animals were left to suffer without veterinary care.

Page 28, Item 70 and 72:  If the rescue group trying to pull a pet was not liked by the employees, they would kill the animal in retaliation.

Page 28, Item 73:  A dog was placed in a kennel with a dog who was known to be a resource guarder so that workers wouldn’t have to clean an additional cage.  (This was reportedly not an uncommon practice.)  The resource guarder prevented the other dog from eating and the dog starved to death after 3 weeks.  One of the employees responsible for the dead dog’s feeding and daily care has since transferred to the Lawton police department.

Recommendations, Pages 39 – 40:

  • Rotate animal killing shifts among the entire staff so that each person gets a longer break between killing shifts.
  • Ban all the people who talk smack on Facebook.
  • Sharing information and photos from inside the facility should be “strictly prohibited”.
  • The city needs to re-evaluate the practice of allowing animals discovered to be pregnant during spay surgery to give birth.
  • Staff should be trained in areas such as basic animal care.
  • A fresh coat of paint!

The city manager says that by July 1, all the violations noted in the report will be brought into compliance.  I would note that one of those violations was starving a dog to death.  But yeah, let’s silence the critics, start killing unborn puppies and kittens, slop some paint on the place and call it good.  The Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners must be so proud.

(Thank you Clarice for the links.)

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15 Comments

  1. mikken

     /  March 23, 2015

    Well, yeah, people on Facebook are MEANIES and they hurt our feelings while we’re busy starving dogs to death.

    Still, a fresh coat of paint should fix everything.

    Reply
  2. Yes, let’s just condone the killing – the cruel, inhumane, and lazy way out! And a couple of those “recommendations” are opening them wide up for civil rights violation lawsuits.

    Reply
  3. M Covault

     /  March 23, 2015

    I have been following the Lawton AC issue in the local paper for a while. Eating their own? Surprised they haven’t found a way to blame that on owners and breeders too.

    Lawton has long been anti-breeding, anti-dog-sales. Their MSN ordinance and BAT requirements are extreme. The backlash to that from the nasties who actually support the ordinances is predictable—they have to go after *someone*, and in this case it’s the pound and the supposedly care-less employees. So long as we as a society *enable* these kind of folks with “socially correct” jargon and attitudes, the worse they will get, until there is a fatal occurrence with another human—there are already many fatalities among animals.

    Reply
    • mary frances

       /  March 23, 2015

      MSN ordinance is mandatory spay/neuter ordinance. But what is a BAT requirement? thank you.

      Reply
      • animalandpeoplelover

         /  January 16, 2016

        BAT = “”Breeding/Advertising/Transfer permit” or “(B.A.T.),” would authorize the holder to breed, sell, trade, advertise, receive for any compensation, give away or transfer ownership of no more than one litter per licensed animal, per household, per year.”
        Fee is dog or cat, each, $250! [https://www.municode.com/library/ok/lawton/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=APXAFECH_CHA-5AN]

  4. Thank you for blogging about this. I surely hope that with exposure, change will come.

    Reply
  5. Jenn

     /  March 26, 2015

    I am a new-ish volunteer at the Lawton animal shelter (volunteers have only recently been allowed at the shelter). This report was infuriating. I can tell you that positive change has and will continue to happen, but there is a long long way to go. Many things in the report were taken out of context or flat out wrong. It is incredibly frustrating that the investigator devoted so much time and effort into tearing down concerned citizens and so little on the actual issues at the shelter.

    Reply
    • TY for volunteering Jenn. I assume they’ve got you doing the dishes and laundry. Glad to hear that you have seen improvements. I hope it continues.

      Reply
  6. Stay tuned for a full response…and there will be one. There is much more to this story.

    Reply
  7. FYI – some of the screenshots were not from the Lawton Citizens for Humane treatment of animals page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LCHTA/

    Reply
  8. Christina Lamb

     /  April 7, 2015

    Let me add the chemical neutering with calcium chloride ( Rock Salt) which was happening at the Lawton pound. Calcium Chloride was injected into the testicles , and according to pound management without any ill effects. We saw the pictures from the side effects, and the little rescue dog that they finally released so he could be taking for treatment, required $3500.00 worth of surgery after the neutering to keep him alive.
    The City Manager did stop the chemical neutering.

    Reply
  9. Tonya

     /  April 11, 2015

    This is exactly how I felt after the inspector’s report from PAWS. Unreal. Shelter reform is needed-stat!

    Reply
  10. Beverly

     /  December 8, 2015

    As I stated on April 7th…this will not be dropped. Several months ago I began the process of legal action against the investigator and the Oklahoma State Board of Medial Examiners. Additional legal action against others is still being discussed. The details of the allegations will be listed in a forthcoming press release.

    I strongly believe that we must stand up for what is right. If we do not…who will? Animal advocates should not be subject to targeting and retaliation when they exercise their right of free speech and demand a redress by government.

    There has not been a day since this report was released that I haven’t thought about it or worked on the case. We must fight for truth always. This report contains false information, insinuations and outright fabrications including a trumped up conspiracy theory between individuals who barely knew each other. We simply cannot let it rest.

    One of the most disturbing issues that took place at the Lawton Animal Shelter was experimental medical procedures on shelter animals, specifically Calcium Chloride Castration (not the FDA approved Zeuterin). Due to public outrage over serious complications including deaths, the City Manager, Bryan Long halted the procedure at the shelter in January 2015.

    The then shelter superintendent, Rose Wilson was quoted in the Wall Street Journal in Nov. 2014, stating “We haven’t seen any problems with it” …even though the “dead or dying” dogs were openly discussed by city leaders (in my presence and others). Kennel workers reported euthanizing dogs due to severe complications, including a dog in August 2014 in which they took a photo of the complication before euthanizing the dog. One kennel worker described a beagle he had to euthanize who had “half of his penis eaten away by the chemical”. One of the dogs being held for 30 days post experimental injection in the testicles with calcium chloride and ethyl-alcohol (possibly for harvesting testicles and sending to a lab as they had done with other dogs)…what happened to that dog? He starved to death. Sounds like great oversight of experimental procedures…NOT.

    It seems the OSBVME believes these non-FDA experimental procedures are OK in an animal shelter even though injecting calcium chloride into muscle or body tissue is contraindicated in humans. Calcium Chloride is used cautiously and given intravenously for certain conditions. However, if it infiltrates into body tissues it can result in the need for skin grafts. Obviously, I disagree with the OSBVME. I personally believe the FDA should ban the use of this drug for animal uses in which it is contraindicated for in humans. At minimum, I believe veterinarians should be allowed to make an informed decision. How can they make an informed decision when secondary surgical interventions and severe complications up to and including death (or euthanasia due to untreatable complications) are swept under the carpet.

    I personally pulled a dog with complications from the shelter. I was alerted to the dog’s condition via photo by kennel workers who were concerned he would be the 8th dog euthanized due to complications. The vet tried to block me by stating he was treating a gum infection. Of course the dog had a gum infection…he was a senior yorkie mix. However this was a shelter that was very rarely providing medical care to even animals with severe injuries. Now they were concerned about a gum infection? I’ve never believed that for a second. Regardless, under pressure he released the animal to me a couple days later. I have the photographs from that first exam and how those complications progressed. After 10 days in the hospital he was finally able to undergo surgical castration of his necrotic, infected testicles. A large portion of his scrotum had to be removed as well.

    Should I remain silent about this? Should I care that the US shelter experience…the Lawton experience is being pushed via the Wall Street Journal article with the false claim of Wilson “We haven’t seen any problems with it”? I simply cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of animals while this is being pushed as just a “neuter shot” all over the internet.

    Where can I post pictures that gives you a better idea of the suffering? Advocates need to see.

    Reply
  11. Beverly

     /  March 15, 2016

    Lawsuit filed against the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and thier investigator for retaliation against animal advocates who raised concerns. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10209169521580859.1073741845.1404734035&type=1&l=901d844dfb

    Reply

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