Warning: There are disturbing images at the links.
ACO Brittany Roberts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Detroit Animal Control after she says she was fired in September for advocating for the animals in the facility. Ms. Roberts says she saw seriously injured pets impounded and left to suffer without vet care until they died. One dog who had been hit by a car was left in a wheelbarrow at the pound for days. The wheelbarrow is normally used to transport dead bodies to the freezer.
In interviews with local media, Ms. Roberts said the dogs were never walked and were forced to live in their own waste. Illness was rampant throughout the facility and she often saw healthy animals become sick very quickly. Many animals died in their cages from illness or starvation. Workers would walk around the facility each morning to count the number of animals that had survived the night. Those still alive would get food thrown onto the feces and urine covered floors of their cages.
Ms. Roberts was appalled at the cruelty she observed but says no one in a position of leadership would listen to her concerns. After she began documenting the inhumane practices, she was fired.
Among the other allegations made in the lawsuit:
- Pets were not scanned for microchips.
- Sick animals were housed with healthy animals.
- Animals were cramped into cages which were too small for them.
- A litter of six orphaned pups was impounded and the director refused to release them to rescue or allow another mama dog to nurse them. They slowly starved to death.
- A 7 pound dog was hanged in a chokepole by the neck while an ACO carried the pole around the facility.
The whistleblower lawsuit is just one of many currently filed against Detroit Animal Control. Several owners whose dogs were impounded due to lack of licenses have also filed lawsuits. The dogs are held at the pound until the owner can produce proof of ownership deemed acceptable by DAC and pay the penalty fees which accrue daily. One owner says he was visiting from South Carolina when DAC took his dogs away for lack of Michigan licenses. Another says her two dogs were licensed but she couldn’t produce the documentation to prove it so her dogs were impounded. Both got sick at DAC and one died.
Then there’s this bit of say whaaaaa:
That brings us back to [pound director] Harry Ward. He also has a dog being held in the shelter. His 6-year-old Mastiff, Peaches, lives in the shelter, but he’s not paying the daily fees.
“It makes you want to do a better job with everybody’s dog, when you know that your dog is here too.” Ward said
Peaches will not be adopted out to a home, and will continue living in her cage. All the while, her food, room, and board is all being paid for by taxpayers.
And if you don’t like them apples, I guess you know, so what.
The city’s response to the lawsuits and allegations was initially uh, hide but when that failed to make the situation go away, they tried announcing that the pound will now super generously allow other groups besides the scammy Michigan Inhumane to pull animals. So come on down to DAC and grab yerself some sick animals out the wheelbarrow to take to your vet for expensive treatment. Just remember not to take the director’s dog. Because she lives there. Because I don’t know.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)