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.)