Last month, the shelter director at Hillsborough Co reported an 89% live release rate to county commissioners. Florida animal advocates are concerned that pets are being sold without appropriate screening and cite examples of dog flipping and a dog who cyclically got adopted then impounded as a stray again within weeks before ultimately being killed after a bite.
In addition, the Hillsborough Co shelter is reportedly failing to maintain its Do Not Adopt list – a list of people who are not allowed to own animals by order of the courts. When asked in January why the list hadn’t been updated since 2014, the director blamed a glitch in the system. In April, it was reported that the 4 people convicted of torturing a dog named Cabela, a reject from the dogfighting ring 2 of the men operated, still weren’t on the DNA list. Cabela was turned over to a pair of teens for killing in 2015 because she wouldn’t fight. They shot her and left her tied to railroad tracks. She was rescued by police and received treatment from a vet. Any of the 4 people involved in the case could walk into the Hillsborough Co facility and adopt a dog today.
Also in April, a worker at the secret shelter maintained by Hillsborough Co to house court case dogs reportedly mixed two cleaning agents together which created toxic fumes. Four workers at the secret location got sick. But the director maintained the animals, who breathed the same air as the workers, were unaffected.
Lastly, as regular readers may recall, Hillsborough Co recently disciplined an ACO for brainsticking roosters seized from a cockfighting ring. A former supervisor at the shelter says she witnessed the current director willfully violate the county’s euthanasia protocols for roosters and kill non-sedated birds via injection of Fatal Plus into their necks.
These recent news tidbits provide a disturbing backdrop to an otherwise admirably improved live release rate. And it makes me wonder what else is going on at the shelter that hasn’t made it on to the local news.