Dog Owner Alleges Severe Neglect at Detroit Pound

Major and his person, as shown on the Motor City Muckraker website.

Major and his person, as shown on the Motor City Muckraker website.

Veronica Seward’s dog Major was seized by the city of Detroit last month following a bite incident.  Motor City Muckraker chronicles “a series of blunders” by the city regarding the case:

Instead of seizing the dog on the day of the bites – June 25 – Animal Control officers waited until June 29. Although they planned to euthanize Major, “the dog was released in error by Animal Control” on July 7, according to the press release issued by the police department but attributed to Animal Control.

“Once the error was recognized, the dog was picked up again by AnimalControl officers the next day,” the press release read.

No warrant was issued.

When AC seized Major from the owner the second time, she was reportedly told that he must be held at the pound until a judge rendered a decision on the case.  Ms. Seward visited her dog on July 9  and was concerned about his unusual behavior.  She returned the next afternoon with her cell phone on to record video (later uploaded to YouTube) and found Major lying in his own waste and a pool of blood which was running down the front of the cage into a drain.  She says the cage was too small for him to stand up, he had no water in his bowl and the pound vet, who saw Major while Ms. Seward was there, “refused to provide care”.

The owner took Major to a veterinarian who diagnosed him with parvo.  The dog was also reportedly suffering from urine scald and pressure sores.  Despite treatment, he died the next day.

On July 12, Ms. Seward and local animal advocates held a press conference outside Detroit AC.  Pound staff hid:

During the Sunday morning news conference, workers could be seen inside the Detroit Animal Control center. Once media crews arrived, they put up a “closed” sign, shut off the lights and did not answer the door. Calls to the center during business hours, which was open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., were not answered and messages could not be left.

On Monday, the Detroit Police Department, which oversees Detroit Animal Control, issued a statement, saying animal control staff and a veterinarian found no symptoms with Major during daily morning rounds on July 10.

“By the afternoon, the staff checked on the dog with the owner and determined he was ill,” said Sgt. Cassandra Lewis.

So no charges for anyone at the pound because apparently in the morning Major was all butterfly stickers and glitter but by the time the owner got there in the afternoon his cage was filled with blood, feces and urine and he was on death’s door.  Sounds legit.

Lewis said of the other 179 dogs at Animal Control as of Friday, “none had exhibited symptoms of parvo.”

“As a precaution, animal control staff are closely monitoring each dog and will be testing all 179 dogs for the parvovirus,” she said.

Closely monitoring – uh, lol?

Aaaaaaanyway, DAC probably isn’t overly worried about disease or dogs suffering in their cages or anything like that since the place doesn’t adopt out dogs and kills roughly 3 out of 4 pets in its care every year.  I mean how closely do Dead Dogs Walking need to be monitored, amirite?

Detroit taxpayers need to demand humane care, transparency and accountability at their municipal shelter.  And they need to keep demanding it, louder and more frequently, until someone in a position of leadership takes meaningful action to remedy the situation.  The status quo is unacceptable.

(Thank you to everyone who sent me links on this story.)

Leave a comment

7 Comments

  1. db

     /  July 14, 2015

    Welcome to the world of DAC, MHS and some of the other ‘facilities’ in the greater Detroit area. We have some really fine shelters, true shelters, but too many who are just in the business of catch and kill. Everyone is aware, but no one is willing to do anything – those who have the power to make changes, that is. I’m so sorry for this poor dog and his family. How many others?

    Reply
  2. D. Lake

     /  July 14, 2015

    I don’t understand, Why was he bleeding all over ? how did he get sore in such short time ?

    Reply
    • db

       /  July 14, 2015

      I have no doubt that they either did not check on him, or did and just disregarded that he was dying and bleeding. That’s how they are at DAC. There isn’t an ounce of good that goes on there. THEY.DO.NOT.CARE And they ‘partner’ with Michigan Humane Society who is headed by none other than Matthew Pepper. The animals simply have little to no chance, except for some very fine rescues and a few true shelters who are working hard to turn things around. It is very sad and heartbreaking to know it goes on daily.

      Reply
    • I don’t think he was bleeding all over. Since the vet diagnosed him with parvo, I would guess that the blood came from the intestines since that is one of the symptoms. He was at the pound for 12 days – plenty of time to suffer urine scald and pressure sores inside a filthy, cramped cage.

      Reply
      • D. Lake

         /  July 14, 2015

        Why would the owner not know her dog had Parvo, Or did someone of thing
        abuse him. Never know about DAC.

      • D. Lake, the most likely place for the dog to have gotten parvo is at the pound. And the owner wouldn’t know until she saw symptoms and took him to a vet.

  3. ANOTHER DISGUSTING INCIDENT OF HORRTIFIC ABUSE IN SHELTERS! ANIMALS WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT THEIR HELP! THE STAFF KNOWS IT DID WRONG, OTHERWISE WHY HIDE? THEIR ACTIONS AND THE VET’S ARE DESPICABLE! ARE THEY SO STUPID THEY CAN’T RECOGNIZE A SICK DOG WHEN THEY SEE IT? THEY’RE ALL UNACCEPTABLE AND DISGUSTING AND I DON’T KNOW WHY THEY EXIST!

    Reply

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