Long Beach Shelter Kills Dog Who Was Wanted by an Adopter and a Rescue

A Belgian Malinois named Thor lived at Long Beach Animal Care Services for 6 weeks this summer. A family who had another Mal applied to adopt him on July 13 but was turned away when the staff decided on July 14 that Thor had suddenly become too big a threat to society to be released to anyone but rescue. So a rescue placed a hold on Thor but Long Beach ACS killed him anyway, an apparent violation of California’s Hayden Act. Then Long Beach ACS began shoveling the excuses.

A [July 14] report from ACS’s Behavior and Rehoming Coordinator Jill Prout said the dog was exhibiting signs of “kennel deterioration,” was “spinning in kennel & jumping off kennel wall,” attempted to bite his leash and his handler’s arm, was “lunging at members of the public” and appeared to “have become highly stressed and anxious,” a behavior “not seen upon intake.”

OK for starters, any dog living in a shelter for 6 weeks who wasn’t spinning, jumping, and pulling the dog walker’s arm off trying to visit people had probably emotionally shut down and given up on life.  Be thankful that didn’t happen to Thor. Secondly, any Mal in a shelter for 6 weeks who hadn’t eaten his way through the chain link, opened all the cages and put together a competition canine wrestling team sounds like a highly extremely super adoptable pet, especially for a family that knows the breed.  Thirdly, a dog who “attempts” to interact with people and things orally may have an oral fixation – common in retriever breeds as well as many high drive dogs (which is why in training they are often rewarded with oral-oriented play such as tug toys).  None of the behavior described in this isolated incident, coming on the heels of 6 weeks of normal behavior, should have disqualified Thor from being adopted, let alone gotten him killed.  So I’m going with NO on that line of reasoning.

Then there’s this response to the shelter operations supervisor who asked the manager why Thor, whom she describes as one of her favorite dogs, was killed even though a rescue placed a hold on him:


Rescue hold placed after Thor was killed. That’s checkable. Let’s check.

Here is a copy of the rescue hold, timestamped 12:41 pm:


And here are two entries in Thor’s records regarding his killing: one from the tech who administered the pre-kill sedative and the other from the tech who did the killing. The entries are timestamped 1:02pm and 1:05pm respectively:


So the time excuse is also a NO.  But there’s an excuse for that excuse:

ACS director Ted Stevens, though, says Thor was put to sleep hours earlier than the 1:05 p.m. official time.

“Staff began euthanizing the animals around 10 a.m. and they were finished by noon. They do that, then they come back later and enter them in the log.”

OK so Long Beach routinely kills animals without checking the computer records for those animals. Gee, that sounds reckless, at best.

But to put the whole time issue in perspective, Thor’s behavior that landed him on the kill list happened Thursday morning, July 14th and was entered into his records at 10:29am:


So Long Beach apparently changed him to rescue-only the morning of July 14th, after killing had already started for the day, and then rushed him to the kill room as fast as they could.  What kind of chance does that give an animal to be rescued?  It’s just another gigantic NO.

The pre-kill sedative that was used on Thor, and is presumably used on other animals at the Long Beach shelter, is not recommended for use as a pre-kill sedative in the HSUS killing manual. Specifically on pages 35 – 36, HSUS says “ace should never be used alone” as a sedative “because it’s a tranquilizer, not an anesthetic” and carries a number of risks with it as well. HSUS further states that when given orally, it takes 30 – 40 minutes to take full effect. Thor was given ace just 3 minutes prior to being killed according to the records. Except the times are all wrong, I guess. So does anyone know if Thor and all the other animals being killed at Long Beach are given ace 40 minutes prior to being killed? Because apparently we can’t rely on the shelter’s records to provide that information. And why are they using ace anyway?

But enough with the questions because the manager wants everyone to know that Thor’s would-be family adopted a different dog. And Long Beach removed one dog from the kill list on July 14 and put Thor in his place. So it’s all good. Because dogs are widgets and entirely interchangeable. Put one in this column, one in that column, mark them as rescue-only while holding them down on the kill table, give them some sort of drug, whatever time you like, who cares?

Stayin’ Alive Long Beach has filed a complaint over Thor’s killing with the city attorney.

(Thanks Nathan.)

11 thoughts on “Long Beach Shelter Kills Dog Who Was Wanted by an Adopter and a Rescue

  1. Oh you bad bad people that is so sad he never had a chance because you decide who to kill and who should die. I’ll tell you right now you lowlife price of garbage no animal deserves to die you are not God and you don’t have a right to play God and take these poor animals life’s I am just getting so fed up with mean evil people hurting and killing poor helpless animals when all the animals want is to be love. My prayer is that you will burn in hell

  2. Although really vile, this doesn’t surprise observers of primarily donation funded forprofit rescues, that also call themselves “shelters” in order to make their killing of healthy animals more palatable to their stupid, entertainment-addicted enablers-cult members in the public.

    In fact, there is a horse rescue in SoCal, whose founder is a former ACO that used to do a lot of killing (according to her) at the San Diego County shelter she worked at, who has stated in public writings that she regularly shoots horses that were attained with donation money which included extra money for vet exams, with a .22, and then they go to the sale/auction every week and “rescue” more horses from the evil clutches of the kill buyer Dave Meissner (their pet name for him is Voltmore (sp?) or “V”. They don’t call him the kill buyer most of the time now because they’ve had problems with questions regarding the fact that WHY aren’t they turning him in based on the law in CA banning horse slaughter dealings that was voted in on November 3, 1998. Gosh, why would they try to get that law enforced seeing as without the threat of horses going to slaughter the crisis donations would dry up?
    No biggee that they shoot horses I guess because they beg for donation money, receive it by the thousands of dollars week in, and week out, they “sort” the horses, and then kill or disappear horses that aren’t adoptable, or aren’t adoptable for enough money to make it worth taking care of them even though they collected designated donations to do so.
    The president of the “rescue” has written they’ve killed 51 horses this year, but a lot more than that are unaccounted for, so that number is most likely much higher in many people’s opinions of horses that are dead.
    They also refuse to post vet reports so the supportive, donating public, and also concerned horse lovers that are worried about the “rescued horses”, can see if there is any valid justification for killing horses (acute illness, severe, uncontrollable pain for instsnce) that were/are supposed to be safe in rescue through the use of THOUSANDS of dollars in donations every week, and also at least $30,000 in grant money from the aspca.

    It’s a sad reality that taxpayer-funded “shelters” kill animals, and now that there are donation-funded forprofit “rescues” that are also “kill shelters”, the USING of animals to receive free money and free animals that can be sold, and then the vile betrayal of useless animals, has the bodies piling up for the mere price of a bullet, and a disposal company that gives a discounted rate (Ive spoken to the disposal company and confirmed it) because “rescues” get a better price if they kill more innocent, healthy animals that are supposed to be rescued on behalf of donors.

  3. Talk about a facility in severe CYA mode . . . NOTHING makes sense in this instance and a wonderful dog (and who knows how many others) lost his life. There are no excuses and I hope that the lawsuit goes through. No animal deserves to be treated like this.

  4. Convenience killing, plain and simple. Reminds me of MAS where they also tend to “forget” to check the computer and answering machine before they start their daily killing…

    1. I’m with you on this one. Patricia told me about it right after an article in her area came out about Thor. So he was sweet and adoptable one day and dangerous the next? Doubtful. I would not be surprised to learn that he was taunted or that someone just decided that another dog was more adoptable and Thor had to go to make space.

      The whole time issue is just an embarrassment to the city. This is a culture which says killing is okay and they simply cannot hide behind what they want to call a record-keeping error. If they really cared about this dog’s life, they would be as mortified as the rest of us and would be moving quickly to keep this from happening again. They are not. Actions speak loudest. Thor is dead and they are defending the indefensible.

  5. Sounds like another spite killing. Some shelter workers seem to take real sadistic pleasure in killing wanted animals. Sad and wrong, a sin and a shame.

  6. Yikes! At 13:02 Thor weighed 73.76 lbs. At 1:05 he weighed 80 lbs. Do those people not know what the hell they are doing at all?

      1. No one should be allowed to run a dog shelter unless they have been proven to be an animal lover keep the mean heartless people away from our precious animals

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