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.)