Animal Shelter Investigations in NC, OK, and CA

The secretive United Animal Coalition, a non-profit contracted to run the pounds in Guilford and Davidson counties in NC, is under investigation by everybody:

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and the Lexington Police Department, in conjunction with their respective county district attorneys, are investigating animal cruelty and abuse allegations at both shelters, Guilford County officials said late Thursday.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is also looking into potential violations at both facilities.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture, which oversees and regulates animal shelters throughout the state, is also conducting a separate investigation, a spokesman confirmed Friday.

Although UAC has only been running the Davidson pound for less than a year, it’s had control of the Guilford Co pound since 1998. HSUS has listed Guilford Co as one of its “top ten emergency placement partners” despite widespread killing, breed discrimination and claims of abuse over the years. In 2014, UAC reported to the state that it took in 11,610 dogs and cats, killing 5592 of them.

The UAC president told a local news outlet that both shelters are continuing to operate as normal during the investigations. Which is…reassuring?  I hope HSUS has plenty of cupcakes on standby.

(Thanks Lisa and Alice for the links.)


In May, the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners began investigating Marteen Silas, then-manager of the Pontotoc Animal Welfare Society.  The state reportedly asked her to surrender her euthanasia license as a result of the investigation.  She did and resigned from her job in June.  At issue was the killing of a healthy husky owned by Silas’s neighbor.  Silas reportedly captured the dog, took him to the PAWS facility, killed him, told the employees to keep quiet about it, then lied to the owners who came to the shelter looking for their lost pet.  An anonymous whistleblower described the encounter to the local news:

“She acted really concerned, and said that she would be looking for it and would call him if she’s seen it,” the employee said. “And then when he left, she turned around to all the employees and just smiled at everybody.”

Silas claimed the dog was chasing her livestock.  She was arrested by the county sheriff last month “on suspicion of cruelty to an animal, larceny of a dog, obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, knowingly obtaining a controlled dangerous substance for personal use by misrepresentation and administering a poison to a dog that was the property of another.”

(Thanks Clarice.)


An ACO with Los Angeles Co Animal Control has been placed on leave after disturbing photos posted to his Instagram account went viral:

Some of the explicit photos showed burned dogs, charred roosters, and animal extremities ripped apart.
Animal control officials said they were not sure why the officer posted the graphic photos to his account.

Los Angeles Co AC has refused to name the ACO and is investigating itself in the matter.

(Thanks Nathan.)

6 thoughts on “Animal Shelter Investigations in NC, OK, and CA

  1. There’s a whole lot of not good out there. I’m glad that they’re finally being investigated, but am dubious as to whether or not they’ll be shut down entirely and have criminal charges brought (as they should be). Hopefully, someone is doing a full audit. Cases like this, there is more often than not some kind of peculation happening alongside of the cruelty.

    As for the ACO with the photos…you just know that everyone who knows this guy knows that there’s something not right with him. I wish they’d name him publicly.

    1. I would argue that killing community pets whom taxpayers are paying you to shelter is stealing public funds. But I take your point and using non-profit status to hide behind when anyone asks questions certainly doesn’t scream honest accounting.

  2. Another reason they don’t want the public helping out in the shelter. One shelter director told me, hold on, if they don’t want you to take photo’s or volunteer they’re hiding something.

  3. It does seem as if there is a major shift in public perception of rescues and shelters in general, much needed. Just calling yourself a “rescue” isn’t the free pass it was just a short time ago, in great part thanks to YesBiscuit!. It seems lately like a snowball effect, gaining momentum, with almost daily media articles about all manner of bad behavior by the people we used to trust. Keep up the good work, keep up the pressure. No one should take these groups at face value, the corruption has been exponential.

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