When the Gloucester Co pound in NJ killed Moe, an owned microchipped cat upon impound in September, county spokeswoman Debra Sellitto defended the killing, stating that it “wasn’t a random decision.”
*ding ding ding* Correct!
How not random was it? An October inspection of the pound conducted by the NJ Department of Health found that between January 2 and October 9 of this year, the county killed 312 cats, 71 dogs and 1 pet rabbit before the required 7 day holding period had expired. But wait, there’s more not random horrible. The state inspector noted the following (my summary):
- Cats, including Moe and other healthy cats, were routinely killed by jabbing them in the gut with Fatal Plus instead of the required IV injection.
- Cats were not weighed, as required, to determine the amount of Fatal Plus necessary to kill them. Instead cats were generally given 1 ml and kittens were given 1/2 ml – except those who were given a little more or a little less, based upon the whim of the kill tech. Hey, it’s only science, why fuss?
- There were no records indicating that any of the other animals killed at the pound were weighed either.
- After animals were jabbed with the Oh Whatever amount of Fatal Plus, no one was verifying they were actually dead before disposing of them.
- The certification documents for the kill techs did not specify what methods they were certified in, as required.
- A few animals were being scanned for microchips upon impound or before killing but most were not.
- Cats in the isolation room were each placed into a holding cage while their primary cage was cleaned. The holding cage was not cleaned between cats.
- A lethargic kitten with a thick nasal discharge had her face down on the cage floor in the feral cat room. She could barely open her eyes. Despite being clearly ill, she was housed with a healthy kitten and only removed from the cage during cleaning. After being returned to the cage, no notes were made indicating the kitten was sick and in need of veterinary care.
- Cages were not being disinfected properly because who has time for that?
So yeah, not random. A systemic failure to meet even the minimal care standards required by law. But remember, don’t criticize:
“It is truly an unfair evaluation to say that the director and staff of the animal shelter are cruel. The staff of the GCAS are dedicated to animals. Otherwise they would not be working there,” said Sellitto. “Bill Lombardi and his staff go above and beyond every day for the animals that are surrendered to the shelter, by working hard to find them loving and caring homes so they are not brought back to the shelter.
Maybe stop going “above and beyond every day” and just try to get to bare minimums. Any day. Cause that would be an epic improvement.
As for accountability – Barnacles!
At least one person faces disciplinary action, according to Sellitto, noting the county is not required to disclose personnel files due to employees’ privacy rights.
So basically yes, the Gloucester pound kill techs, who may or may not have been properly trained in killing animals, are jabbing some amount of Fatal Plus into pets who haven’t been scanned for microchips nor held for the required 7 days before being tossed into the Probably Dead bin – all of which is against the law – but using the word ‘cruel’ is way over the line. After all, everyone loves animals or they wouldn’t work here. Just ask this snotting kitten lying on her face – note the cage has been cleaned, improperly sure but still. Plus, some mystery person might be disciplined over all this loving animals so haven’t you people gotten your pound of flesh yet?
(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)