Florida ACO Under Investigation After Details of Disturbing Bird Killings Emerge

So this happened.

On February 27, 2016, Hillsborough Co deputies raided a cockfight in progress.  A dozen men ran off, abandoning “numerous dead and live caged chickens”, and no arrests were made. ACOs from the county pound were called in to kill the roosters.

Yay, we’re saved.  *Four seconds later*  Oh FML.

Hillsborough Co pound manager Morgan Woodward apparently sat ACO Sgt. Steve Scanlon down before sending him to the site.  He was supplied with sodium pentobarbital and needles and told not to kill the birds by sticking them in the brain.  Why such a conversation was necessary – well, readers can draw their own conclusions.

According to [Hillsborough Co pound director Scott] Trebatoski, county policy is that roosters should be euthanized with an injection of sodium pentobarbital into the body cavity. The county generally tranquilizes the birds first.

Gee, that’s generally nice.

Upon arrival at the scene of the raid, ACO Scanlon apparently told his staff to stick the birds in the brain. When word got out, the county investigated itself. From a taped interview conducted in connection with the investigation:

“The only thing that I violated ma’am, was I violated our county policy. I did not treat any rooster in a cruel manner,” Scanlon [said].

Scanlon admitted that the method utilized to euthanize (injecting sodium pentobarbital in the back of the head) was the wrong method.

Before we get too far down the rabbit hole here, I guess it needs to be clarified that jamming a needle of Fatal Plus into a bird’s brain is not a method.  There is no such thing as – uh, brainsticking.  He’s making it sound as if he didn’t have a uniform clean for work so he wore street clothes.  Uniforms and street clothes are both actual clothes.  Heartsticking, when performed on an animal already rendered unconscious via drugs, is a recognized method of animal killing.  Brainsticking is a thing made up, presumably by some horrible person, in order to (and I’m guessing here) inflict extreme pain while killing an animal.  ACO Scanlon’s claim that he did not treat any rooster in a cruel manner would have to be false considering the suffering every one of those birds would have endured after having a needle jabbed in his head.

ACO Scanlon has been placed on desk duty while the county continues to investigate itself.

(Thanks Clarice.)

5 thoughts on “Florida ACO Under Investigation After Details of Disturbing Bird Killings Emerge

  1. I’m very frustrated with this place right now. Just the other day Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center (“HCPRC”) euthanized three kittens with a rescue’s pick up person minutes from the shelter. Yes, she was late but the pound was notified in advance that the rescue’s pick up person was stuck in traffic and would be a few minutes late. She has MS and is in a wheelchair. This woman was so traumatized by this event it caused her MS symptoms to flare. A little compassion would have served HCPRC well about now but they didn’t take that train. They went from zero to hero and are boarding the zero train again.

  2. This is awful, of course. News link in the story also bad in that it “reports” cockfighting ring was broken up when actually the cockfighters had merely scattered and no arrests were made.

    1. That really bothers me too. They accomplished less than nothing. No arrests made, no arrest warrants issued as far as I can tell, roosters killed for no reason, and killed horribly inhumanely at that.

  3. What the…?!


    Secondly, what has transpired previously that the director needed TO TELL HIM NOT TO DO IT? That’s like saying, “Oh, when you pick up that baby, don’t pick him up by the nose. Slide a hand under his back and support his head at all times. In fact, use both hands. That’s how we pick up babies, here.”


  4. i am traumatized myself by what goes on regarding animals.i am well aware of abusers,scumbags,etc-we expect this from them,but when so very many shelters & others entrusted to care for animals,act like psychopaths as well? it is becoming an epidemic.just as child molesters seek to sneak into jobs where there are innocent children,so are too many psychopaths seeking & GETTING jobs where there are animals to torture & abuse.it will not end until we make it.get invoved but you must stay comitted to the cause.think of the screams,terror & death of the animals,its about them,not us.

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