Open Thread

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

kitten1935

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Baton Rouge Pound Oops-Kills Another Pet

Brittany Seelmann left her beloved 4 year old dog Thrall in the care of a friend last month. When Thrall reportedly bit a repairman at the house, AC took him to the Baton Rouge pound for a 10 day quarantine. The facility is managed by a pet killing group called Companion Animal Alliance.

Ms. Seelmann says she called and spoke with someone from CAA daily about Thrall – making sure he was eating and re-verifying that the release date on his paperwork, July 29, was correct. On July 28, someone from CAA called Ms. Seelmann to tell her they’d killed her dog by mistake. Oops.

“I was just devastated when she called me. I immediately started crying,” Seelmann said.

CAA director Beth Brewster released a generic Oops-Kill statement from the Crappy Pound Manual:

“My staff and I are devastated we failed Thrall while he was in our care. He was brought to us after a bite case occurred for quarantine as required by ordinance. Our protocols are based on national standards, but unfortunately human error does occur. Everyone involved has been reprimanded, we are retraining staff on procedures and working on tightening our vigilance to ensure that this will not happen again.”

So yeah it’s sad but don’t forget he was a BAD DOG and we were just following the law and we’re only human and what human hasn’t oops-killed someone’s pet, you know?

Also, retraining and the usual blah.  Which apparently does not include transparency:

CAA would not comment further on how many people were disciplined and how.

thrall memorial

Shelter pet advocacy, courtesy of the irresponsible public. (Image via WAFB)

Ms. Seelmann held a memorial for Thrall at the pound and set up a table to raise awareness about some of the other owned animals CAA has killed. That took guts.  And she had to dig down past her grief in order to harness that power.  Good on you, Ms. Seelmann.  I am glad someone is advocating for the right of shelter pets to live, since no one at the shelter seems to care.  I hope more local animal lovers will join you in calling for reform at this pet killing facility.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Philly ACCT Gives Lost Pet Away, Tries to Blame Finder

jake

Jake, as shown on Philly.com.

A dog named Jake got lost on July 13 in Philadelphia. His owners, Vickie and Mark Remolde, began looking for him immediately. Meanwhile, a good Samaritan had found Jake running loose and taken him to the Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) so that his owners could find him. It didn’t work out so well:

[Chris Ferraro] says he took the dog to ACCT and filed a report with the shelter and provided his contact information. That’s when he says another man in the lobby approached workers about taking care of the dog until the owners came forward.

ACCT staff gave Jake to Man in Lobby. When the Remoldes came to the pound looking for their lost pet, they didn’t find him. Because staff had given him to Man in Lobby. Who then disappeared.

“It was a complete and total joke,” Ferraro said. “As a dog owner myself, it gives me great concern that God forbid if I ever lost my dog, it’d just be given to some random person off the street.”

Vickie Remolde says she asked ACCT to send someone to the address provided by Man in Lobby but when they did, it was Some Other Guy who lived there so shrug.

ACCT issued this statement regarding Jake:

“The dog that we believe to be Jake was never relinquished into ACCT Philly’s care. An individual who found a dog that matched Jake’s description brought the dog to ACCT Philly on July 13th, but before filing a lost report, passed the dog to another person, and left. We do not know why the original finder chose to do this, and we do not condone this kind of interaction between members of the public, but do not have the authority to restrict it. The second individual, who now has the dog that matches Jake’s description, provided identification and completed a found animal report, which is in line with ACCT Philly policy and procedure.

When an owner that matched the description and circumstances of the dog on this report came forward, ACCT Philly reached out to the individual who filed the lost report in order to reunite the family. Attempts at contact over the phone and in person have proven unsuccessful, but we are continuing to do everything in our power to reunite Jake and his family.

48 hour stray holds begin when a dog is taken into our facility. We do not have ownership of animals that have not been formally relinquished into our care and are unable to seize or force them to be turned over.”

Basically: We know nothing of this, how you say, doog and even if we did, nothing is our fault and that good Samaritan sucks so hard, amirite?

That explanation went over like a rock tied to a bigger rock and the owners began investigating the circumstances of Jake’s disappearance themselves. They connected with Mr. Ferraro and got some additional details:

Ferraro said he was giving his information to a woman at the [ACCT] counter when another man walked in and asked if Jake was his dog.

When Ferraro said no, the other man asked if he could have Jake.

“No,” Ferraro replied. “He’s someone else’s dog.”

At this point, Ferraro said an ACCT kennel attendant came over and told the second man that if he wanted to have the dog, he could. Ferraro said he protested.

The attendant said the second man could have Jake as long as the owner had a chance to reclaim him.

The second man’s information was taken by ACCT and he was allowed to leave with Jake.

None of this was related to Mark less than 48 hours later, when he arrived at ACCT. [emphasis added]

Oh snap.

You_Sit_On_A_Throne_Of_Lies

The Remoldes did not give up. They returned again and again to ACCT, demanding accountability and the return of their pet. When it was determined that Man in Lobby had given a phony address, they worried that Jake had been taken for nefarious purposes. They asked ACCT to show them video footage of Man in Lobby, hoping for an additional clue. ACCT refused. The owners got a lawyer.

Suddenly, magically even, Man in Lobby produced Jake and the Remoldes got him back. He’d lost a considerable amount of weight, had a red rash on his neck and his tail was burned “black, like charcoal.” No longer his playful self, Jake is now reportedly fearful. The owners spent $175 at the vet getting their pet fixed up.

ACCT waived its usual fees for Jake, the dog they tried to claim they didn’t really know, because they’re cool like that. But that public, soooo irresponsible:

[ACCT executive director Vincent] Medley said that if Ferraro was uncomfortable with the proceedings, which Ferraro protested, he should have asked for a supervisor.

I assume the good Sam was drunk at the time and wearing a slutty short skirt. You stay classy, ACCT.

Kinda makes you wonder why Man in Lobby types would feel comfortable hanging out at ACCT, scoping out dogs and why ACCT would pass them dogs so casually, then lie about it and hide evidence.

No mention of any criminal charges for anyone.

I also wonder how many other lost pets ACCT gave to Man in Lobby types. Pets whose owners couldn’t afford a lawyer or didn’t realize they needed one.  Pets whose tails may have been burned and then whatever else happens when there is no owner going on TV and raising holy hell, fighting for the return of their pet.

No mention of any criminal charges for anyone?

 

(Thanks Clarice.)

Weekend Jade

“Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more”

080816 jade

Open Thread

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

leonard gobi

[x]

A Lesson in Empathy

mrchops ktnv

Mr. Chops, as pictured on the KTNV website.

What sucks:

A Good Samaritan picked up a lost dog in Henderson, Nevada last month and brought him to a local vet.  The vet scanned him for a chip and determined he had an owner.  The vet then called AC to pick up the dog.  Right then and there, either the vet or the ACO (or both) should have contacted the owner.  But that did not happen.  Instead, the ACO loaded the dog onto his truck then went on several other calls.

Meanwhile the dog’s family, Jim Whipple and his 17 year old son Brandon, were actively searching for him.  Mr. Chops had been rescued by the Whipples many years ago and was well-loved:

The Whipples say Mr. Chops loved to play with socks and was full of energy.
[…]
“If something was going on, he was always there to comfort you.”

At 4:30 pm, the ACO returned to the shelter, parked the truck and left for the day.  It was 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mr. Chops suffered in the heat, trying to claw his way out of the cage, until he finally died.  His remains were discovered the next day when the ACO returned to work.  The police department, which runs AC in Henderson, is investigating itself in the matter and won’t comment on the investigation.  They will say however that in future, the policy will be to brings dogs back to the shelter in a more timely manner and to check the truck to verify there are no animals on it before leaving for the day.  Ya think?

Although I said it at the beginning, it’s worth repeating:  all that sucks.  Mr. Chops’ agonizing death was entirely preventable.  The dog never should have been loaded onto the truck in the first place.  A microchip, as we are so often scolded by various AC outfits, is supposed to protect your pet.  But as has been reported way too frequently on this blog, microchips only work when AC does their job.  Government investigating itself is unacceptable.  The fact that there was no existing policy which required ACOs to check the trucks before leaving them for the day is inexcusable.

What doesn’t suck:

When the Henderson police realized that Mr. Chops was dead, they wanted to notify the owners:

The family was notified in person by a Henderson Police deputy chief, people from Animal Control and a grief counselor.

By sending these particular people to the Whipples’ home to deliver the tragic news, the Henderson PD not only demonstrated empathy for the family but also respect for the fact that to most owners, pets are family. They recognized that in all likelihood, the news would be heartbreaking for the Whipples.

And while many of us might be tempted to issue a call for someone’s head as a result of the needless suffering and death of our beloved family member, Mr. Chops’ people responded differently:

The Whipples say while they hope to see policy changes, they do not want to see the officer who left Mr. Chops in the back of the truck to lose his job.
[…]
The Whipple family was obviously devastated, but says they realize it was a tragic mistake.

“Honestly, I understand people make mistakes they can forget things. I often forget things, but it is a life. He is gone,” Brandon Whipple said.

“We as a family are concerned about the poor individual that made the mistake and left him in because they have the grief to live with,” Jim Whipple said.

Both father and son saying they hope that everyone can learn from Mr. Chops’ death.

Yes, I believe we all just did.  Thank you.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Pets Suffering at OK Pound

When June Woodall went to the El Reno pound in Oklahoma to reclaim her family’s lost dog, she found him in terrible condition and took him to her vet.  The vet determined he was extremely dehydrated.  The dog’s urine was black.  He had been at the pound for 2 days because the place is not staffed, making it difficult for the public to get inside.

Ms. Woodall went back to the facility later that week, concerned for the welfare of the pets still housed there.  She took video of caged pets in filthy conditions with no water or a very small amount of dirty water.  Outside, there were animal bones and piles of fur on the ground near the dumpster.

“So, I posted on Facebook trying to get some help. I called the after-hours number, and they said there’s nothing they can do. The police department answered. They said the guy was off work,” Woodall said.

The police department is responsible for running the pound:

“It’s not manned here, but we have two full-time animal control officers. They’re in and out, dropping off animals and then back out on calls,” said Lt. Greg Meeks with El Reno PD.

With one of those officers on vacation, Meeks said it’s been a tough week.

[..]

He said the animals are fed and provided water daily.

If a dog in your care for 2 days is pissing black, your “daily” watering would appear to be insufficient.

Lt. Meeks also told KFOR that people tie animals outside the facility since it’s usually closed.  He says the remains filmed by Ms. Woodall may have been dumped there too.

Maybe, although it seems extremely implausible to me that someone would dump bones and piles of fur next to a dumpster at a pound.  Most likely the pets were left there in some other state, prior to the extensive decomposition evident on the video.  I guess my question is:  How do they know that one or more of those pets were not left there ALIVE, perhaps tied to the dumpster or immobile from injury or old age?  They say people leave pets there regularly and they don’t know anything about how the bones got there.

In fact Lt. Meeks told News9:

“People will drop off animals, tie them up to the poles in front of the shelter or just tie them to the door knob or dump them off at the dumpster and we asked they don’t just dump the animals because it may be an hour or so before an animal control officer gets back and we want to make sure the animals are left in a safe manner,” El Reno police Lt. Greg Meeks said.

An hour or so. Bones and fur. Reconcile at will.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the video posted by Ms. Woodall.  The first shows kittens who appear to be sick and the second shows dogs in a dirty kennel with what appears to be a gaping hole in the floor, possibly an uncovered drain:

kittenselreno

dogselreno

I get someone going on vacation but come the hell on. This place either needs to be staffed properly, possibly with the help of volunteers if the police will unlock the doors, or they need to shut it down. Because this is unacceptable. I hope local residents will demand immediate reform in El Reno.

(Thanks Clarice.)