Be Seeing You, Surrey

SAMSUNG

Surrey in 2011 (Photo by Terri S.)

Surrey was about to give birth and on the kill list at the pound in Tipton Co, TN when I saw her photo in an email. With the help of area rescuers and several blog readers, we were able to welcome her home in SC in December 2011. She has been a very easy keeper and nearly without fault – just a few high speed tours of the neighborhood on the rare occasion she was able to manage an escape – but that’s not really a fault with beagles so much as a feature.

She has not been feeling well recently, then rallied for a few days, but then took a downward turn.  My vet worked her in as an emergency yesterday and determined her trachea and esophagus were being pushed to the side, likely by tumors.  This was why she was struggling to breathe and having difficulty swallowing.  Her blood work revealed more bad news and after some discussion, we accepted it was time to say goodbye to dear Surrey.

Surrey was the dog who greeted me at the door every day after work with her baying that she reserved for that occasion only.  Her love love love of food food! FOOD! made us kindred spirits.  She never felt entirely comfortable with physical affection though Billy made it his mission to bring her as far as he could, which she clearly enjoyed.  Although she never wanted to sleep on the bed with us, she did like to get into the recliner next to the bed.  I will miss seeing her sweet face there in the mornings.  And I will miss her silly quirks, such as going to the hinged side of the door, scratching, waiting for it to open.  She even did that in the exam room at the vet’s office last night, despite her poor state.

I wish we could have had more time with her but there are no regrets.  We were lucky to have had her these several years and I will always be grateful to everyone who helped make that happen.

Weekend Jade

021416jadeschr

Be mine!

Open Thread

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

rats-with-teddy-bears-jessica-florence

[x]

Look What You’ve Done Now

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs

maricopa co dog

Shelter dog in a bin, as pictured on PetHarbor.com.

 

lex co dog

Shelter dog chokepoled to the ground, as pictured on PetHarbor.com.

x

rutherford co cat

Bloody shelter cat in a cage, as pictured on PetHarbor.com.

I Deleted Almost All the Profanity From This Post and It Took Me an Hour

A now former ACO with Indianapolis AC & C allegedly stole ketamine, a drug which immobilizes animals but still allows them to feel pain, from her job and used it on puppies at her house.  Specifically, she would allegedly inject a puppy with ketamine, place him on her washing machine, tape his mouth shut so he couldn’t defend himself, then cut up his ears.  One of these puppies reportedly threw up after having his first ear cut up and because his mouth was taped shut, choked to death on his vomit.  She allegedly tried to hide the evidence:

Ashley Chastain, a commander with animal control at the time, then buried the body of the 2-month-old puppy in her backyard, the affidavit says.

Someone who knows Chastain apparently went to the police, providing them with photos of bloodied puppies on the uh, washing machine surgical suite. He also gave police a bag of ears.

Well fuck. After all the horrifying things I’ve had to write on this blog now I’ve got to add bag of ears to the list.

Chastain has been charged by Marion Co with three counts of torturing an animal. News of her arrest spread on social media and one heartbroken man says he recognized her as the ACO who stole his puppy.

But let’s not be part of the problem by complaining with our keyboards.  Remember, it’s a hard job and nobody wants to kill animals and they’re doing the best they can and instead of hating you should donate some money so the shelter can buy more ketamine.  I hear they’re running low.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Treats on the Internets

The director of the long-troubled Maricopa Co pound in AZ is quitting his job on Friday.  Some shelter watchdogs believe the resignation is in response to the latest controversy plaguing the director:  a 22 year old lost dog who was killed upon impound and whose owner came in minutes later to reclaim her beloved pet.  (Thanks Claudia and Clarice for the link.)

A man who has multiple prior convictions for disorderly conduct has again been charged with disorderly conduct along with animal cruelty after he was seen on surveillance cameras choking and throwing a dog at the IL animal shelter where he was performing community service.

Golden Retrievers were recently imported from Puerto Rico to Chicago and from Istanbul to Tennessee.  Last I heard, both Chicago and Tennessee were still killing for convenience because you know, too many dogs, not enough homes – except ASTERISK too many homes, not enough Golden Retrievers, apparently.  (Thanks Ona.)

Anderson Co, SC – The owner of a 2 year old female Boxer who was found starved and shot in the head multiple times will not face any charges.  The owner, whose identity is being protected by authorities, reportedly explained that the dog had bitten his wife so he decided to shoot her.  The dog, now in the care of a rescue group, is blind from her injuries.

Photographer captures the precious bond between homeless children in Bangladesh and their dogs.  (Thanks Billy.)

Juvenile apes in Rwanda find and destroy traps set by poachers.  (Thanks Valerie.)

Discussion: Pet Leasing

charlie

Charlie, an adoptable dog in Ohio (Photo by Casey Post)

Pursuant to yesterday’s post on the pet leasing company that reportedly killed dogs in violation of the agreement it made with the dogs’ shelter of origin, I thought a separate discussion was warranted on the whole pet leasing issue.  I think there are many points to be made regarding the topic but I will limit my input to a few points with respect to shelters:

  1. Everyone likes the idea of saving a shelter pet and, provided the pet leasing company is sourcing its animals from shelters, it makes people feel good to give a home to a shelter animal.
  2.  Pet leasing companies claim they provide a safe place for a pet to go if, for whatever reason, the owner is unable to keep the pet for life.
  3. If the owner must return the pet, he need not fear being shamed for his actions.
  4. A pet leasing company is a business – they provide the services, you provide the cash.  And while they are hopefully at least doing minimal screening (such as checking applicants for animal cruelty convictions) they presumably accept most paying customers with few questions asked.

All of these factors may be in stark contrast to an adopter’s previous (or anticipated) experiences with area shelters or rescues.  For example, the adopter may want to save a shelter pet but can not get to the shelter due to it being closed to the public, having limited hours or being in a remote location.  Some adopters don’t want to go to shelters simply because many are depressing places where you are forced to look at animals knowing they will likely be killed if you don’t take them home.  The leasing company probably has an easily accessible location, convenient hours and may even offer home delivery.

Life happens.  Circumstances change.  While an adopter’s intention may be to keep a pet for life, that’s not always possible or even advisable in some cases.  Having a safe place to rely upon where the adopter knows the animal will be rehomed and not killed provides a sense of comfort if such a need were to arise.  And making the difficult decision to return a pet more of a business type transaction eliminates the fear of being shamed by shelter staff.

The adopter may have previously applied for a pet with a rescue and been subjected to intense questioning and harsh judgment.  They may have been made to feel very uncomfortable or even unworthy.  Applying to a pet leasing company is likely a more straightforward process where one would not expect to be severely scrutinized.

So while I don’t like the idea of pet leasing, I can understand part of its appeal, at least regarding this aspect.  The sad fact is that local shelters and rescues could make themselves equally as appealing (and even more so) in this regard but too many choose not to, driving away potential adopters.  As I have often said, people who are turned away or just plain turned off by shelters and rescues are going to get pets from somewhere.  And we may not like the somewhere.  A savvy businessman saw a potential market and hung out a pet leasing shingle.  Cha-ching.

Please add your thoughts on pet leasing, including some of the other considerations I did not touch upon in the post.  How might the people and the animals be affected by a leasing agreement?  Would you ever consider leasing a pet?  If you run a shelter or rescue, would you ever consider giving a homeless animal to a pet leasing company?

Pet Leasing Company Kills Shelter Dogs

pipkelsocharliebear

Pip, Kelso and Charlie Bear, as pictured on the KGW website.

Apparently pet leasing is a thing.  Veterinarian Scott Campbell founded a pet leasing company called Hannah the Pet Society in Oregon after running Banfield (the vet clinics inside Petsmart stores) for 20 years.  People pay to lease a pet, obtained from a shelter, and Hannah provides the food and veterinary care.  If the pet doesn’t work out in the home for whatever reason, Hannah will take the animal back and find him another home.  Or not.

At Thanksgiving last year, Campbell reportedly ordered the killing of 3 dogs, Pip, Kelso and Charlie Bear, who had been leased and returned.  Hannah had obtained Kelso and Charlie Bear from the Columbia HS, which had provided a number of other pets to the company in past.  The standing agreement between the organizations stated that the dogs would be returned to the Columbia HS if they didn’t work out in a home with a Hannah customer.

Instead of returning the dogs, Hannah killed them without informing the Columbia HS:

“You can’t print our reaction because it’s profane,” said Lori Furman, board president at Columbia Humane. “We were very unhappy. They didn’t call us to take the dogs back.”

Hannah claims all three of the dogs were so aggressive, they had to be killed:

“Dr. Campbell, a licensed veterinarian with decades of experience, worked in consultation with members of his team to reach the conclusion that euthanasia was the only option in this case,” said Kara Hansen, a spokeswoman for Hannah the Pet Society. “The dogs that were euthanized had multiple documented instances of aggressive behavior, including biting. The company stands by the decision to put them to sleep rather than return them to a shelter, where they could face years of re-adoption and return and could hurt people.”

Hansen said there is documentation showing aggression, but it’s considered confidential medical and proprietary information and they do not plan to release it.

If Hannah’s only supposed evidence supporting why the dogs had to be killed instead of being returned to their original shelters is on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of The Leopard”, I’m going to have to put on my skeptical face.

Then there’s the Hannah customer who returned Kelso – not for aggressive behavior, but because the other dog in the house kept picking on him:

“He was floppy and sweet,” she said. “He was wonderful.”
[…]
“He was great, it was just our Boston terrier was so alpha female and wouldn’t allow us to have another animal in the house,” she said. “She was very protective of her domain.”
[…]
She said Hannah told her Kelso was previously returned to the company, but not because of any aggression issues. The previous owner just didn’t have time for a puppy.

Even the employees were at a loss to explain why the so-vicious-all-we-can-do-is-kill-them dogs were allowed to interact with the public at the Hannah stores and then suddenly killed:

“We were all pretty shocked,” said a current employee, who asked not to be named for fear of legal retaliation, citing a nondisclosure agreement. “Vicious would not be how anyone would describe them.”
[…]
Current and former staff say they are not sure why Hannah would euthanize the dogs instead of give them back to shelters. They said if the company had offered the dogs to employees, as they have in the past, the dogs would have been adopted in a heartbeat.

Hannah has received backlash from the public over the killings but has doubled down on the take-our-word-for-it strategy:

“The company does not plan to start releasing confidential medical and proprietary information to the general public,” said Hannah CEO Fred Wich. “We hope you can understand why setting that type of precedent could be bad for the company, for our members and pets – this is private medical and proprietary information.”

Uh, the media is not seeking to publish the name of a rape victim who had an abortion here.  The company is being offered an opportunity to explain, with documentation, the killings it claims were so righteous.

You know what precedent is definitely bad for the company?  Failing to honor the agreements made with shelters they get pets from, killing dogs who appear to have been easily adoptable and then claiming they will make their last stand protecting the privacy of the dead dogs’ records because for the love of ponies, Fluffy’s name will not be dragged through the muck while there is breath in my body.

The Columbia HS has terminated its agreement with Hannah and taken all their pets back.  Every other group that gave animals to Hannah will hopefully do the same.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Weekend Jade

20160206jadeball

tennis ball roll

Open Thread

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

nap

[x]