Never Mind the Presidential Primaries, the Oscars, and Those Other Things – This is Important

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Dog that I love.

Last week, a Good Sam saw a little beagle running down the highway in NC. She stopped, opened her car door, and the beagle hopped in. The Good Sam took her home and reported her as found to the county shelter. She kept her at her house for the mandatory holding period except for a trip to the shelter to be scanned for a microchip. Since no chip was found, the dog wasn’t wearing a collar and no one reclaimed her during the holding period, I adopted her.

I drove to NC on Saturday, believing I was picking up an adult dog. As it turns out, she is a puppy. She has all her adult teeth but she is absolutely a puppy. Wall to wall carpeting=wall to wall chew toy. Box of tissues=box of toys. Going potty is something the humans like to take you outside and talk about while you sniff around, waiting to get back indoors so you can actually go potty.

But I’m not complaining. I love her. She is very sweet and very perfect. She uses the house as a race track at 5am. And various other times. She is tiny, weighing just 13 and 1/2 pounds this morning, and Cheerios are the right sized treat for her. We will fatten her up a little though with regular meals of good food, which it looks like she hasn’t been receiving, out on the highway at least.

20160228waf We don’t have many pictures of her yet but this too will be remedied. After extensive discussion, we finally decided on a name: Newt. Did I mention I love her?

Thank you to reader Lisa for working the phones and finding this beagle in need.

Watch this space.

Weekend Jade

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New friend

Open Thread

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

terrier pups

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Arapahoe Co Just Backdoored BSL on You. Oh and While They’re Backdooring You…

A recent announcement appearing on the Arapahoe County, Colorado website reads, in part:

Arapahoe County has partnered with the City of Aurora to provide sheltering and related services, such as veterinary care for sheltered animals, for lost, stray and impounded dogs through the Aurora Animal Shelter. County Animal Control Officers will have 24-hour access to the facility to ensure animals get shelter and care as soon as possible.

Care as soon as possible. Gee, that sounds swell.  Except that Aurora has a ban on pitbull type dogs and therefore refuses to adopt them out to the public.

This new partnership also provides opportunities to improve efficiencies in daily operations for the County’s animal control program.

And by efficiencies, I assume they mean faster pitbull extermination.

I reached out to Arapahoe Co regarding this issue and asked about the pitbulls impounded by the county, where there is no BSL, being taken to Aurora, which does have BSL.  I received a response from AC supervisor Caitlyn Cahill.  It reads, in part:

Due to the breed restriction laws for the City of Aurora, the shelter is not able to adopt out Pit Bulls; however, once a dog has passed the County required stray hold period and is able to be adopted, it will be transferred to another facility. The Aurora shelter works with many other agencies to ensure that dogs are able to be transferred.

She went on to list a number of private shelters where pitbulls “will be transferred”. My BS indicator light started blinking fast enough to host a dance party so I asked:

To be clear, all pitbull type dogs are guaranteed a space at one of these other shelters after the hold period expires?

Ms. Cahill responded, in part:

I cannot speak for the shelter regarding their statistics but know that they put a large amount of time and effort into working with partners to transfer out adoptable animals that they are unable to care for or adopt out to the public due to their limitations.

Oh. I see. Pitbull killing is a “limitation”. And if you like that doublespeak, or even if you don’t, prepare for more since the Aurora pound is a member of the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance.  The  MDAWA is all about controlling language from its members, including rescuers and fosters, in order to deceive the public about what goes on in the kill rooms of its pounds. Rescuers for example, are not allowed to say they “rescue animals from shelters” or use the terms “no kill” or “high kill”.  I wonder what happens to someone who slips up and exercises his First Amendment rights as a U.S. citizen.  I hope it’s not enhanced interrogation techniques.

So Arapahoe Co managed to effectively institute BSL without a vote to get approval from the people.  And then came up with this great Pitbulls Will Be Transferred to Private Rescue Groups bit of fiction in order to give the appearance that pitbull killing is not the fault of people doing the killing (they put in time and effort), it’s the rescue groups who don’t step up that are to blame.  Rescues which already have pitbulls in every kennel, bathroom, broom closet and dresser drawer they can manage.  But if they don’t take every pitbull from Arapahoe Co, the Aurora pound will have to kill them.  I mean limitation.  Er – efficiencies.

 

Name That Animal

This is just for fun and the only rule is:  no researching.  Post your guesses in the comments.  Reading other people’s answers before posting your own is not going to force Apple to break into your phone but you should still be concerned optional.  Answer will be posted in the comments tomorrow.

nta

Sassy birds so sassy.

Treats on the Internets

The director of the Houlton Humane Society in Maine resigned after police opened an investigation into the death of Harley, one of several special needs pets in her personal care.  The director posted on social media that she had found a home for Harley but an employee found the dog’s body in the freezer at the HS.  She later claimed the dog had fallen down the stairs at her home and that she had fabricated the adoption story to avoid judgment from others.  (Thank you Clarice for the links.)

A woman claiming to be a Lab rescuer in CT has been charged with third degree larceny for allegedly taking money from people who believed they were adopting shelter dogs she was saving.  She allegedly never produced the dogs.  (Thanks Clarice.)

CT ACOs are calling for state regulation of rescues and private shelters.  Approximately 20,000 animals were imported, mostly from the south, to the small New England state in 2014 by state licensed importers.  Many animals wind up in private, unregulated shelters.  A few of these places have been raided by police resulting in animal cruelty charges.  (Thanks Clarice.)

The Maryland Natural Resources Police are investigating the deaths of 13 protected bald eagles found on farm land and have offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.  (Warning:  dead bird photo at link.)

While the Memphis pound continues to kill animals, Memphis Pets Alive has been holding low cost microchip clinics and fundraisers for a new building.  MPA also trapped 60 cats for World Spay Day and took them for neuter surgery.  (Thanks Ona.)

Lying Idaho Shelter Kills, Lies, Blames and Lies

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Bunny, as pictured on the KIVI website.

When Sheila Combs lost her family’s six year old Chihuahua/Boston Terrier, Bunny, on January 31, she immediately began looking for her.  Unable to find her beloved pet, she went the next day to the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell. Bunny was not there so Ms. Combs filed an official missing pet report including an 8 X 10 photo and a detailed description of Bunny’s size, markings, wonky rear leg and three missing teeth. She was told that all missing pet reports are checked against new arrivals at the shelter. The family continued trying to find Bunny daily.  Although Ms. Combs never heard from the shelter, she visited again on February 9 to look for Bunny, just in case:

“They took me through all the rooms in the back where the dogs are in crates, and the new dogs that come in,” Combs said. “She wasn’t there.”

In fact, Bunny was there, having been picked up by AC on February 4:

West Valley Humane Society Executive Director Jonathan Perry says it’s unclear how Combs didn’t see Bunny in the lost and found area.
“As far as we know, it was always in the same kennel in the back, so it should’ve been seen,” Perry said.

Oops.

A stranger who had seen Ms. Combs’s online posts about Bunny contacted her on February 11 to let her know Bunny’s photo was on the shelter’s website.  Ms. Combs immediately called the shelter, understandably frantic over her lost family member:

“I said, ‘Listen! You’ve got to listen! That dog, “Tanna” on your website is my dog, I made a report, it’s in your book. I’m coming, it’s my dog don’t adopt her!” Combs explained.
By the time Sheila made it to the shelter roughly 20 minutes later, it was too late.

The director told the Combs family Bunny had already been adopted and initially, he declined to contact the adopters. After being pressed by Bunny’s family, he did make a phone call to the adopters, because you know, he cares, but had to leave a message.

Oops.

Turns out, those were all lies. The phone call? Fake.  The truth was that West Valley Humane had killed Bunny while the owner was on her way to reclaim her dog.

Oops.

Perry says the shelter vet saw stroke or seizure-like symptoms several times in Bunny beginning on February 7, and decided on the eleventh it was best for the dog to be put down.

See, the killing was totally justified. The vet saw seizures. Or strokes. Or something else medical sounding that begins with S. It was such a righteous killing that the director was motivated to fabricate an adoption story and make a *winkety wink* phone call to The Land of Make Believe to show he cared.

The whole wad of oopses and lies surrounding Bunny’s killing is the owner’s fault though, obviously:

Bunny wasn’t microchipped and due to her sensitive skin, she wasn’t wearing a collar at the time – something the shelter’s executive director says could have prevented the whole mix up.
While he says they plan to make procedural improvements to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again, he recommends all pet owners keep a current photo of their pets, always keep a collar on, and be sure all tag and microchip information is current and regularly updated.

And more blame from Brenda Cameron, president of the shelter’s board of directors:

“We had no way to call and inform the family their dog was in the shelter,” Cameron said.

No way except for the lost pet report. Or telling the owner in person when she was there looking through the kennels. Twice. No OTHER ways.

We do everything we can to reunite that animal with the family. Microchips help. Anything that we can identify the animal with. The owners did supply a picture but Bunny was actually an older dog with grey hair so that issue could have made things more difficult for volunteers or staff,” Cameron explained.

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Bunny with grey on her face, as pictured on the KIVI website.

Oh my stars. Bunny had some grey hairs on her face therefore: unrecognizable. If only there was some way shelter professionals might be able to know that dog faces sometimes grey with age and that if the breed, markings, size, missing teeth and wonky leg are all a match between the lost pet report and the newly impounded lost pet, it’s worth a phone call to the owner. But I guess that’s just pie in the sky.

Oh and thanks, shortened hold periods:

In previous years, families have had their pets adopted out because they missed the three day deadline to pick up their missing dog or cat from the shelter. Cameron said the deadline used to be five days for lost strays, but the decision was made to shorten that time frame.

“When I came in, the shelter was overpopulated,” Cameron said. “We needed a way to move the dogs out of the shelter.”

When animals are in shelters for an extended period of time it can cause the pet to have mental, emotional and health problems in the future, she said.

A pet might go mental if they hold him for an additional two days. Must be a nice place.  It’s touching how concerned they are about moving the merchandise the possibility of PTSD in their dogs’ future but it sort of seems like the definite condition of DEATH should trump those concerns.

The board fired the director after he went on television and embarrassed them.  And they posted an apology to Bunny’s family on Facebook.  So obviously they take the killing very seriously.  I mentioned the apology, right? On Facebook.

*boop boop beep* I am pushing the buttons on my pretend telephone to call the Mayor of Impudentville because you know, I care.

(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)

Weekend Jade

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Babbling brook pose.

Open Thread

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

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Just a Note

…to say I haven’t fallen off this flat earth of ours and that I hope to be back to regular blogging very soon.  I’ve attempted to get a post started several times but nothing happens.  I think I just don’t have the stomach for writing about pets being needlessly killed by people who are supposed to be sheltering them right now.

We’ve had to euthanize three beloved family members in the past year and I guess I just need a little break from writing about people who do it for a job, despite the proven, lifesaving alternatives available to them.  If there had been any proven, lifesaving alternatives available to us when we’ve been faced with euthanasia decisions for any of our pets, we would have been all over them.  I find I am grieving for the loss of my own pets and all the others whose lives were snuffed at so-called shelters – pets whose owners wanted them back, pets who were in between owners, pets who had the right to live and love and be loved.

I’ll be back.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next week.  I will continue to tell the stories of those who deserved so much better than to be put in the dumpster.  I can’t bring them back of course, but I can raise hell about it.  More.