A dog named Buddy was on the kill list at the Sumter Co pound in Florida this month. Animal advocates say the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter Co, which partners with animal control, posted him with the wrong picture and an incorrect ID number, making his chances for rescue rather slim. But thanks to the efforts of rescuers who did not give up on Buddy, a foster was found at the last minute.
A rescuer reportedly called the Sumter Co pound at 4:45pm on August 15 to let the staff know that Buddy was definitely going to be pulled. The HS/SPCA, which has limited hours and is never open past 3pm, was already closed but someone reportedly did answer the call about Buddy:
Their response was he has to be out of the building by 5pm. Well the HSSPCA was closed and we were in Tampa. We told them he could be pulled in the morning and they said policy says he has to be out of the building by closing.
It was impossible for anyone to physically get to the facility to pull Buddy within the 15 minutes allotted by the pound. Buddy was reportedly killed the next morning, immediately upon opening, before rescuers could get inside to save him.
This is usually where the people in charge issue some response along the lines of oops. Not in this case. In fact, the HS/SPCA board chair, Celine Petrie, not only made no attempt to claim the killing was in error, she went so far as to issue a general non-apology, not mentioning Buddy and by the way, she wants credit for the lives they did allow rescuers to save:
“While we regret every animal where a life is lost, we have saved 1,054 animals this year,” she said.
She can’t conjure up any fake sympathy for Buddy, specifically? Does she even know his name? She sure knows the exact number of lives rescuers have saved, which she wants credit for. Just a vague “where a life is lost” – as if it’s something other than a friendly, healthy dog being held down on a kill table and having the life snuffed out of him by people who knew he was wanted. Some cold brew there.
Fifty animal advocates attended the Sumter Co commissioners meeting this week seeking reform. They asked the county to do more than respond to vicious dog calls during off-hours:
After hearing their concerns, commissioners asked County Administrator Bradley Arnold to work on addressing the problems in the next county budget, which will be enacted next month.
While it remains to be seen whether this leads to any improvement at the Sumter Co pound, it doesn’t address the real issue. The county has people working at the pound who intentionally killed a pet whom they knew had a home waiting for him. Until the county gets rid of all those capable of this kind of violence, along with everyone making excuses for them, there will be no meaningful reform in Sumter Co.
Buddy’s killing is a betrayal of public trust in Sumter Co. Worse, it is a betrayal of the rescue community, on whose backs the animals are being saved. Worst of all, it is a betrayal of Buddy, a sentient being who had a right to live but fell into the hands of public servants paid to protect him who, instead of doing their jobs, killed him with malice aforethought.