Weekend Jade

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A chew in the shade.

Open Thread

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

invictusk9

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Eyewitnesses Report Seeing Maricopa Co Pound Worker Abuse Dogs

Arizona – Two sisters who went to Maricopa County’s West Valley Animal Care Center looking for pets to adopt say they heard a pound employee yelling at a pair of dogs he was trying to put into a kennel. They say they saw the worker repeatedly and violently kick the dogs, although one got most of the abuse, until the cage door was ripped off its hinges, pinning one of the dogs to the floor. The women say they filed a formal complaint at the pound regarding the incident.

Their eyewitness account of animal abuse at the Maricopa Co pound spread on social media. Kim Kulpa, an area rescuer who saw the post, went to the pound and pulled both dogs.  She says one was visibly shaken and injured:

“He was cowering on the ground as soon as I walked up and his eyes were bloodshot and his face kind of puffy, I knew something’s not right with this dog,” Kulpa said.
She decided to rescue the dogs and took Hugo to a veterinarian for x-rays and says that the injuries supported the sisters’ story.
“He had bruises on both sides of his face. She felt he had a concussion. His body had a little bit of swelling,” Kulpa said. “Consistent with blunt force or being thrown against a gate, possibly.”

The pound has placed the accused employee on administrative leave and is investigating itself in the matter. But:

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Phoenix Police tell ABC15 that they have no record of any reports being made.

Off to a good start.

Raise your paw if you have full confidence in the county’s ability to investigate itself with integrity and transparency regarding this abuse complaint which law enforcement denies exists.

Thank you to the irresponsible public for advocating for and rescuing these dogs.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Uh, I’m not –

wut

(Image via news website sidebar)

120 Animals Seized in Hoke Co, ASPCA Swoops In

A veterinarian in Hoke Co, NC filed a report with police after euthanizing a horse, reportedly for malnutrition.  The sheriff’s office obtained a warrant for the property, where a rescuer had been housing animals saved from pet killing facilities, and found approximately 120 animals, including horses, dogs, cats, goats and birds:

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said this is one of the worst cases he has seen in his 14 years as sheriff.

“It was sad to see those animals. It’s like they were happy to see us, the minute we opened the barn to let the horses out, they ran out and wanted to eat on the grass.”

Happy horses in a barn. Hmm. I am not a horse owner but that doesn’t sound particularly damning to me. I am guessing that most horses are probably happy to be let out of their shelter and like to run out and chomp-chomp on the grass. So how bad off were these 120 animals?

“There is no way she could not have seen what we saw. No way she couldn’t have known these animals were suffering and dying,” Peterkin said.
[…]
“Had we not gotten notification when we did, we would have a lot of dead animals.”

Wow. So these animals were literally on the brink of death. Gasping their last. Clinging to life. Skin stretched over their bones, presumably.

wncn hoke co dogs

via WNCN

The dogs look ok to me, although a few are a wee bit chubby. But in keeping with the drama, the sheriff called in the ASPCA to take all the animals away. And to rag on the owner some more:

“I would say that she didn’t go to these shelters to intentionally bring them here and then intentionally neglect them. The intent to neglect them came in when she failed to provide the care that she knows that they needed,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations with the ASPCA. “I think, possibly, she thought she was doing the right thing, but I have to believe that the reality is at some point she knows she’s not doing the right thing by these animals and that’s inexcusable.”

She has to believe that at some point there was wrongdoing. She just has to.  Because otherwise that would mean there was no wrongdoing.  And they just took someone’s animals away for no reason.  Which would be – erm, inexcusable.

And:

When deputies searched the property last week, Destreza said, they found animals had no food, no water and had received no veterinary care.

“To me, that’s a tragedy,” she said. “They should have been better off then they had been.”

They apparently had food and water. Let’s not pretend that the tubbos were starving to death. As for vet care, I can’t say. I don’t even see an elbow callous or long toenails, let alone anything that would be described as a tragedy.  Now I will grant you 120 animals is an awful lot for one person to take care of, IF that was the case here, which I don’t know.  Maybe she needed some help?  Maybe placing some of the animals would have gotten her down to a number she was better able to care for?  Maybe the ASPCA could provide some education on how to find permanent homes for pets so she doesn’t get overwhelmed in future?  I guess that all sounds like work.  And not at all sexy.  Better to yell tragedy and worst I’ve ever seen and imminent mass death and get those photos for the fundraising emails and on to the next.

The rescuer has been charged with one felony count of animal cruelty and is due in court next on August 10.  She has been ordered by the court to have no contact with the animals while the ASPCA finishes hauling them off.

I wish the Hoke Co pound would start doing its job and actually sheltering animals instead of killing them.  Imagine how the community could work together to save animals if there was a true shelter in place.  Rescuers could partner with the shelter instead of operating in crisis management mode year round.  Law enforcement could shift their focus to other priorities, knowing the county’s lost and stray pets were safe.  And the ASPCA could go home and stay there.

(Thanks Lisa.)

Weekend Jade

072416jadehot

This is my hot face.

Open Thread

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

my-little-pony-twilight-sparkle

Roanoke Pound Volunteers Locked Out by Management

Volunteers at the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection in Roanoke, Virginia were heartbroken when they found out two of their favorite dogs at the pound, Murray and Smokey, were suddenly killed on management’s order earlier this month. Smokey had a volunteer willing to take him if he was ever put on the kill list and although she had reportedly communicated that to staff, she was never called.  The killings represented a tipping point for volunteers, as they wrote in an opinion piece on Roanoke.com:

The concerns of volunteers go far beyond the deaths of the two dogs mentioned, as sad and unnecessary as they were. There is systemic mismanagement, high turnover with constant firings and people quitting because of the negative environment, hostility toward volunteers that emanates from RCACP executive director Dave Flagler himself, an atmosphere of distrust because employees are asked whether they are “with” the staff or the volunteers, poor customer service with regular complaints from the public that fall on deaf ears, outdated sheltering practices and an unwillingness to do anything different or beyond what has always been done.

Volunteers and local citizens regularly attend the quarterly meetings of RCACP’s executive committee […] to voice our concerns. They too fall on deaf ears.

Frustrated volunteers planned a peaceful protest after Murray and Smokey were killed.  When management found out about the planned protest, the volunteers were locked out of the pound.  The protest was canceled and management let the vols come back after a few days.

Flagler told WDBJ that volunteers must accept the fact that the facility kills animals:

“If they cannot accept that, then it’s quite possible that this isn’t the right place for them,” said Flagler.

And:

The facility director says the volunteers are overreacting to something that is in the day of a life of an animal shelter.

If killing animals has become so ingrained for Flagler that he literally locks out anyone who doesn’t agree that shelter pet killing is standard fare, he needs to find a new line of work.  Wanting to do better is supposed to be a laudable objective, not a contemptible machination.

Vols recently addressed the shelter’s board to call for Flagler’s ouster.  Instead, the board unanimously voted to have an advisory board conduct a study of animal killing at the pound and report back in 30 days. Flagler said he will only change if forced:

If the review […] finds his approach is out of step of modern practices, he said, then it will be time for him to change.

I’m less concerned about the degree to which this shelter director is out of step with modern practices and more concerned that he doesn’t seem to realize that killing a dog who has an adopter is wrong.  As is punishing those who disagree with you when they attempt to exercise their 1st Amendment rights and by extension, punishing the animals by locking out the people who meet their primary socialization needs.  This is basic human stuff.  You can be taught modern practices.  Compassion and humility, not so much.

(Thanks Lisa and Clarice.)

 

Montgomery Co Vols Call for Shelter Reform

When a dog named Peggy Sue tried to break out of the terrible Montgomery Co pound in Texas, she wound up hanging by the neck, pinned between what appear to be metal grates shoddily fastened on top of her kennel.  She suffered there until a volunteer found her and saved her life.  This is a photo, posted on social media, of the dog being helped by the irresponsible public, while the staff was doing I don’t know what:

peggy sue montgomery co

The Montgomery Co pound is the same place where a sheriff’s deputy bashed a dog’s head in with a 2 X 4 then adopted another dog because the staff allegedly had no idea what was going on in their own facility.  And when they figured it out later, meh.

The shelter volunteers are fed up and calling for reform.  See their action alert here.

(Thanks Nathan.)

MAS Takes in 3 Kittens, 3 Kittens Die Alone in Their Cages

mas 287452

Kitten ID #287452 was brought into the Memphis pound on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The MAS vet noted he had a soft tissue ulceration near the tail base and was underweight. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 9.3 ounces. A note was entered into the kitten’s record that he should be transferred out immediately and not be kept overnight:

mas 287452 note

This kitten was left alone overnight in a cage to suffer until he died. His remains were discovered the next day.

***

mas 287971

Kitten ID #287971 was brought to the Memphis pound by the owner of the litter on June 17. The owner requested euthanasia because the kitten was lethargic, not nursing and had crawled away from the mama cat and siblings. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 10 ounces.

This kitten was left alone in a cage to suffer until she died. Her remains were discovered during vet rounds the same day she was brought in for euthanasia.

***

mas 287672

Kitten ID #287672 was brought to the Memphis pound on June 7. The kitten’s weight was recorded as 1.4 pounds. On June 10, a veterinary evaluation was requested because it was noted the kitten had diarrhea. On June 11, the kitten was seen by the vet and the following notes were entered into his record: Age was corrected from 9 weeks to 6 weeks. Not eating well, no interest in food, underweight, recommended for transfer to foster care and recommended to see a vet. Really.

This kitten was left alone overnight in a cage to suffer until he died. His remains were discovered the next day.

***

The complete records for these kittens can be viewed here.

How many more, Memphis?

(Thank you Lou Ann.)