Weekend Jade

Another tennis ball casualty in The Locking Jaws War.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

Resting Snow Leopard

Resting Snow Leopard, graphite on paper, by Susan Fox.

Name That Animal

This is just for fun and the only rule is:  no researching.  Post your best guesses in the comments.  Reading other people’s answers before posting your own is going to haunt you come caucus night optional.  Answer will be posted in the comments tonight.

nta

600 Animals Seized from Unlicensed NC Shelter

The state of NC has known for years that a private shelter in Hoke Co was being operated so far below minimum acceptable standards that animals were suffering.  Animals at the Haven were not receiving necessary veterinary care, food, water, exercise, or socialization – and there were way too many for the small number of staff to take proper care of.  During the state’s October 2009 inspection, there were more than 1300 animals at the facility:

Portion of a 2009 inspection of the Haven by the state of NC

Portion of a 2009 inspection of the Haven by the state of NC

State inspectors took dozens of photos documenting neglect during their October 2013 visit to the Haven.  Animals were stacked in dirty cages everywhere including the “isolation” area, inside the dog runs, in the barn and in a lean-to:

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Some animals were sick, others were left without food and/or water:

So it would have come as a surprise to no one at the state level when the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Haven yesterday pursuant to public complaints. The ASPCA was brought in. More than 600 animals have been seized:

“You’ve got animals out here with open wounds…obvious skin conditions…animals that appear to be malnourished,” [Capt. John] Kivett said.

According to the ASPCA, the animals were kept in dirty kennels, cages, outdoor pens and paddocks, many without protection from the elements.

The owners have been charged with animal cruelty and possession of a controlled substance used for animals. Additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.

Thank you to the complainers for not giving up on the animals and to the local authorities for taking action. I dread to think how many more years the state would have kept documenting the suffering of animals at this place without doing anything to help.

(Thanks Lisa for the links.)

Discussion: Lost CA Sheltie Adopted by New Owners

An elderly couple whose lost Sheltie got picked up by Stockton Animal Services in December was pulled by a rescue group then adopted while the owners were still searching for her.  The new owners, who had Tipsy for around 2 weeks by the time Mr. and Mrs. Robinson found out what had happened to their pet of 8 years, are refusing to give her back.

[Sharon] Robinson was 10 days too late, and the new family was already in love with Tipsy.
“I just want… I want her back,” she said.
She’s heartbroken and has even offered the new adoptive family a refund for Tipsy’s adoption fee. They have declined.
“They’ve loved her for a little over two weeks. I’ve loved her for eight and a half years.”

Mrs. Robinson still has the pedigree that came with Tipsy when she was a puppy. She searched for her to the best of her knowledge and ability, even when she was sick. She is heartbroken and can not talk about Tipsy without crying. Although it’s impossible to know how Tipsy is feeling, it would be hard to imagine she is not missing the only family she ever knew.

Setting all this aside for the moment, I found this troubling:

We also reached out to the city of Stockton’s Animal Services. They declined an on-camera interview. The animal services department is now investigating Tipsy’s case to see if the proper protocol was followed.

The pound doesn’t know if proper procedures were followed? And they won’t discuss the case? Not good.

Back to Tipsy’s ownership:  On the one hand, Mrs. Robinson certainly presents a reasonable case that Tipsy was well cared for and loved by her family.  I don’t think the new owners would have any worries about her quality of life if Tipsy was returned.  On the other hand, the new owners had a Sheltie who died recently and found Tipsy, whom they were told was a stray and that no owner had claimed her.  They adopted her in good faith and instantly fell in love with her, something I think we all can relate to.  Getting a new pet helps some owners in the grieving process and perhaps Tipsy has been providing much needed comfort to the new owners.

What would you do if you had adopted Tipsy under these circumstances?  Mrs. Robinson says she may hire an attorney.  That might not be a bad idea, especially considering that the pound doesn’t know if proper procedures were followed (which opens up the possibility that Tipsy was not held for the legally mandated holding period and therefore not eligible for release to the rescue group in the first place).  I would hate to see a lengthy court battle in this situation, or any pet custody situation really.  What other options might exist for the Robinsons?

(Thanks Anne for the link.)

Lost Pets in Michigan Lose State Protection

The distressingly bad and wealthy Michigan InHumane has been trying for years to get legislation changed to reduce and eliminate mandatory holding periods for lost pets in shelters.  (And when MHS hasn’t gotten its way, it just blatantly ignores the law.)  Its current proposed bill is terrible.

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Portion of terrible HB 4915 in Michigan.

Unfortunately, the state department of agriculture recently caved on the issue and announced it will no longer enforce the law regarding mandatory holding periods in shelters.

Meanwhile, Michigan rescue groups continue to import shelter pets from the south, citing “no pressing need” to help locally.

If you are a Michigan resident, please take action to protect lost pets from being abandoned or killed by your local shelter before their owners have a chance to find them.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Treats on the Internets

Shame on the Smoky Mountain News for repeating the biggest animal welfare myth in the south while reporting on the shelter situation in Jackson Co, NC:

In [northern] states with strict spay and neuter laws, there are fewer puppies and unclaimed animals in general, so the demand for animals is higher.

The latest in the continuing saga of scientific research into the origin of dogs: They invented themselves.

Pets appear to be growing in popularity with Iranians who consider them family, despite disapproval from conservative religious figures.

Cat ownership is on the rise in Japan while dog ownership is in decline.  They are roughly equal right now with cats expected to move into the top spot soon.

If you didn’t receive the Russian Orthodox cat cuddling priest calendar you were hoping for at Christmas, maybe you can buy this one.  (Thanks Karen.)

Why does a team of volunteers in OR help frogs cross the road?  Because they can.  (Thanks Valerie.)

Rat training ability: Excellent.  Building tiny equipment to train rats on ability:  Very excellent.  (Thanks Valerie.)

Weekend Jade

20160124wenjade

Private Beagle, reporting for bone watching duty.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime. New Open Threads are posted weekly.

macaque puppy

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Ohio Shelter Oops-Neglects Sick Dog to Death

Last week, four employees of the SPCA Cincinnati transported a pitbull type dog for an adoption fair. In the freezing winter cold, they oops-neglected him to death:

Upon arriving in Sharonville between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Thursday, [SPCA Cincinnati Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Dr. Dave] LeBourveau said, four employees assigned to unload and clean the transfer van failed to follow proper unloading procedure and left the animal in the vehicle overnight.

Roughly 16 hours later, SPCA employees discovered the dog suffering hypothermia Friday around 8 a.m. The dog was not expected to survive its injuries and was euthanized.

Oops. And:

Dr. LeBourveau said the dog had kennel cough.

They were taking a sick dog to an adoption fair? Oops.

LeBourveau said the animal would have been found had the employees followed proper protocol.
“Whoever unloads the van, then they check off a roster to indicate that all the pets were there,” LeBourveau said. “The roster in this case, there was some question whether it was accurate or not.”

Oh see, that explains it. There was some question. I know at my workplace if there is ever any question, we all just err on the side of shrug, crank up the heat in our cars and head home for the night. Because question.

Pitbulls have very low tolerance for cold due to their coats, which anyone working in a shelter in Ohio should know.  This particular dog was reportedly sick and likely felt crummy.  It is heartbreaking to think of how he spent his last night on this earth.

The four workers whose failure to do their jobs resulted in the needless suffering and death of a dog entrusted to their care have been disciplined.  They all kept their jobs.

Dr. LeBourveau describe the disciplined employees as animal lovers and great workers.

Well gee if these are the great ones, I’d hate to run into the adequate ones.

And in case you were wondering:

The SPCA transports nearly 7,000 dogs a year.

No word on the number of survivors.

(Thanks Clarice and Lisa for the links.)