LA Pound Kills Two Lost Dogs While Telling Owner They Aren’t There

rufus-and-mikey

Rufus (top) and Mikey, as shown on the KTBS website.

When Amber McMillan’s dogs, Rufus and Mikey, got lost last month, she went to the long troubled Caddo Parish Animal Shelter in Louisiana looking for them. She brought photos of her pets to show staff and was escorted around the kennels. After not finding the dogs on her first visit, she filled out two lost pet reports. She returned to the shelter two days later to again show pictures and look for her pets. Three days after that, same. Then two days later. Even her parents visited the facility looking for Rufus and Mikey. But the staff repeatedly said they had not seen the dogs. When Ms. McMillan went to the shelter again, 12 days after her first visit, she was finally informed her dogs had been at the facility but were killed after the four day holding period expired. No staff member had ever contacted her about the dogs.

When asked by local media for an interview about the killing of Rufus and Mikey, pound director Chuck Wilson refused. But in a statement issued by the parish, the pound accepted full responsibility for their violent actions which needlessly and permanently ripped a family apart. Only joking. They complimented themselves and blamed the owner:

[I]n their press statement, the parish says “no paperwork pertaining to Ms. McMillan’s missing pet report was misplaced or improperly located.” The statement goes on to say, “proper protocol and procedure was followed.”
[…]
“Unfortunately, [Ms. McMillan] did not identify her pets after each visit.”

So to recap, they HAD the lost pet reports with the descriptions of the dogs and the owner’s contact information the entire time, they just never contacted her. And the lady was too dingy to recognize her own dogs so shrug.

Ms. McMillan posted a response on social media, describing herself as heartbroken:

They were my babies for over 10 years.
[…]
Every time I went in and showed pictures they claimed [the dogs] hadn’t come in and had no record of them being there.
[…]
I did not overlook my dogs that I have had for over 10 years. They were not in the areas I was shown.

I believe you Ms. McMillan. And I’m sorry your beloved pets fell prey to monsters who kill the very animals they are paid to protect from harm.

(Thank you Clarice.)

Weekend Jade

20161113jade

A cold rain, all day long.

Open Thread

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

donkey-family

With little to say, I find some small refuge in the words of others.

[The word balance] seems to speak as much to being stuck and immovable, as much as to harmony. There is also the sense of unbalancing that must take place in order to push a person into a new and larger set of circumstances.

— English poet and philosopher David Whyte

It’s been a hell of a year.  I haven’t been able to look at any stories of shelter pets being hurt or killed this week so I have nothing to write for the blog.  But I didn’t want to just go dark so I looked in my drafts folder to see if anything was swirling around and I found this.  I saved it one year ago.  I believe my intention at the time was to examine the quote in terms of its relevance to shelter reform.  Today, when I find myself lacking, I am glad to come across this quote and to observe its relevance in a different way.  I thought some of you might enjoy it too.

I realize this is not the type of post most of you come here to read.  In consideration of that, I won’t prattle on.  Suffice to say, I am lost and afraid and deeply saddened.  But I am not alone.  We are not alone.  The only thing I feel certain of right now, is the importance of remaining connected to one another.  This I know.  Stay together, no matter what.

jade 062914

 

Mental Health Break: Poetry

WILD GEESE

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Weekend Jade

Open Thread

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

monti4prez

[x]

I’m Going to Stop You Right There

As most pet owners know, end of life decisions are heartbreaking.  When a beloved family member has been diagnosed as medically hopeless by a veterinarian or even when suffering is evident, it is not uncommon to hold onto hope.  Maybe tomorrow will be better, maybe she could feel well enough to go for one last walk or play ball one more time.

In some cases, that hope is not realistic and as painful as it is, we must face the truth and make the decision to let the pet go.  In other cases, very rare ones in my experience, we do get that chance for one more moment in the sun together.  We might spend it at the pet’s favorite hang-out spot in the yard or at a park.  We might share a cupcake or some other special treat because hey, smoke ’em if ya got ’em.

But inevitably, we all face that final goodbye, where we hold our friend in our arms or stroke their fur and talk to them about good things while the vet gives the injection.  It’s the final kindness we can bestow upon our faithful companion.  One last act of love before we part ways in this life with all the hope of seeing each other again someday.

That is euthanasia.

This is killing:

From: “Rescue, MAS” <MAS.Rescue@memphistn.gov>
Date: November 3, 2016 at 9:26:33 AM CDT
Subject: Critical List 110316

Good morning everyone-

WE ARE FULL!!!

This morning I have had an amazing dog hanging out in my office, which technically is against the rules. You see, she has been here for an entire month. She is a generic, non descript, heartworm positive, quirky dog and despite me buying her extra time repeatedly, it isn’t fair to her to house her in a kennel any longer, nor is it fair to the other dogs whose spot she takes in the building. Tomorrow morning, I am putting her on the euthanasia list. I will take her outside for a final romp, give her some delicious treats and I will hold her when it is time. It is not something I want to do, she is my wiggly girl, we talk every day while I do rounds and she dances at me. I cannot take her home, my pack already includes too many quirky dogs. I have sent video of her in my lap to various people. She has been pinned to the top of a highly active rescue page. She has been on the critical list for far too long. I have done absolutely everything I can do to avoid this outcome for her. She is extremely quirky with other dogs, which I know played a large factor in why she hasn’t been pulled by a rescue. I hate it but I also understand it. So while it will break my heart, as well as the hearts of others she has charmed, I will move forward tomorrow with it, unless someone pulls her. She is hanging out, enjoying kongs of kibble and other treats, getting loved on by everyone who comes by my office and just enjoying her time in here.

[snipped]

Whitney Van Zandt, Shelter Supervisor

The above is a portion of a guilt-trip email sent to rescuers this week by Memphis Animal Services – a place that does almost no offsite adoptions, keeps “stray” dogs behind locked doors, leaves cages empty, and opens to the public begrudgingly and relatively rarely. A facility serving a community the size of Memphis should be holding several offsite adoption events daily, getting pets featured on TV and radio daily, unlocking all the doors in the facility so the public can see and fall in love with all the animals, using every available cage for lifesaving, and staying open for adoptions 7 days a week, including evenings. They don’t do the bare minimum to get pets adopted at MAS, never mind “absolutely everything” they can do.

Despite their many failings though, they don’t have to kill animals. That’s a choice they make. And if it’s the best they can offer, they should get out of the animal sheltering business because it’s unacceptable.

And as far as taking the dog out for a last romp, feeding her treats and holding her while she is killed – no. Fuck no. You don’t get to say that. You don’t get to lay the burden of that loaded image on weary rescuers who are kept in constant crisis mode via your “only you can stop us from killing by doing our jobs for us” emails.  We who are committed to lifesaving and to love for animals, we who believe where there’s life there’s hope, we who understand what a precious gift a healthy, happy pet represents – we own that. We own all that. You have no right.

Treats on the Internets

Texas – A former Bastrop County Animal Shelter employee who says she was fired from her job two months after bringing shelter pet abuse concerns to the county will have her whistleblower protection lawsuit heard in court. The county had tried to get the case dismissed but was unsuccessful.

A dog in Detroit who was left behind after his family was evicted from their home waited for them to return for a month before a local rescue group took him in.

A new report from the World Wildlife Foundation and the Zoological Society of London states the planet’s wildlife population has declined by nearly 60% since 1970 and by 2020, that number will be roughly 66%.

Horse art made from found objects including sticks and scrap metal.

Japan has everything.  Including owl cafes.

Hit:  Guy who dressed up as his dog’s favorite toy for Halloween.  Miss:  Guy who dressed up as his cat.

More Halloween:  President Obama at the White House with a baby Tigger and a lame duck.