Char-Meck Animal Control Seizes Family Dog Over Rabies Vaccine Issue

Captain, as pictured on the GoFundMe website.

Captain, as pictured on the GoFundMe website.

On April 24, a 6 year old plott hound called Captain got into a tangle with a raccoon in the woods at his NC home.  The raccoon tested positive for rabies.  Captain’s owner took him to the vet for a booster shot on his rabies, even though he was already current.  One month later, Captain exchanged pleasantries with a second raccoon who also tested positive for rabies.  Captain’s owner called the vet for advice and was reportedly told that since the dog had just been boostered one month earlier, there was no need for another vaccine.

Unfortunately, the vet’s recommendation put Captain at odds with the Mecklenburg Co health department because NC law does not specifically mention how to handle a vaccinated dog post exposure who was just boostered one month prior:

State law requires that every single time a pet comes into contact with a rabid animal you must take it to the vet for a booster shot within five days of the incident. Or your pet will be taken from you.

Yesterday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC seized Captain and advised the owner he has 3 days to choose whether to have Captain killed or to pay for an expensive 6 month quarantine.  The owner does not have the money to pay for the quarantine but does not want his beloved pet killed.  He started a GoFundMe page to try to raise money for the quarantine bill.

I tried searching online for rabies vaccination information that would be relevant to this case but didn’t find anything.  Post exposure booster of rabies vaccine does seem to be generally recommended for dogs but I could not find a recommendation regarding two exposures in one month’s time.  My layman’s understanding of how vaccines work is that even if Captain had received an additional booster after the encounter with the second raccoon, it would not have boosted his immunity.

An interview with rabies researcher Dr. Ronald Schultz does not specifically address the question of revaccinating dogs post exposure but does offer this general bit of information which may be relevant:

There is absolutely no scientific reason for anyone to vaccinate an animal more often than every 3 years with products that are licensed by the USDA to be given at 3 year intervals.

Re-vaccinating that animal more frequently will not enhance […] protection against rabies.

It seems to me that Captain’s vet’s opinion, on which the owner relied, should be taken into consideration by the local health department in Captain’s case.  The strict interpretation of the law that the health department appears to be utilizing would dictate that a dog who received a rabies vaccine then got taken home and came into contact with a rabid animal would have to turn around and be taken back to the clinic for another rabies vaccine in order to avoid being seized.  I am not sure this interpretation is based in science or doing anything to protect public health.  No pet, including Captain, should have to die because of a poorly written and/or poorly interpreted rabies law.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Charlotte Charity Collects Money for “Shelter Pet Enrichment”, Buys Soda for Pet Killers

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg pound in NC is a pet killing facility under the police department with a sordid history of, shall we say, questionable judgment.  It comes as little surprise that Char-Meck would partner with this crock-o-501c3 called the Shelter Pet Enrichment Fund which asks people to donate on its homepage:

Your support allows us to enrich the shelter environment at CMPD Animal Care & Control and create happy pets ready for their forever home.

And when they say “enrich the shelter environment”, they mean for the people who kill pets instead of doing their jobs.  You didn’t think it was enriching the environment for the pets – the ones that are going into the wheelbarrow anyway – did you?  Silly human.  Shelter Pet Enrichment means something different in Charlotte, apparently.

The Char-Meck pound posted overnight on its Facebook page:

snacks for pet killers

There were also several photos on Facebook displaying the Cracker Jacks, sodas and other junk food purchased for the staff.

cracker jacks


Oh yeah and that “staff that will be working through the holidays”?  The Char-Meck pound states on its website that it will be closed on Thursday and Friday this week. The original posting on the website read:

In recognition of Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov 28) and Black Friday (Friday, Nov 29), Animal Care & Control will be CLOSED. We’ll reopen on Saturday, Nov 30 at 11am.

They later duh-changed it to remove the reference to Black Friday as a holiday.  So while Char-Meck won’t be sending any pets out alive on Thursday or Friday, at least the people there doing the killing will be hopped up on sugar which will surely be a comfort to the animals.  Consider your environment enriched, suckers.

(Thanks Lisa and April for sending me info for this post.)

Charlotte Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Man is a Former ACO

Some of you have likely seen news of the killing of a young man named Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte, NC on Saturday.  Mr. Ferrell was reportedly involved in a bad accident in which his car went down an embankment in the woods.  He was able to free himself from the wreck by climbing out the back window.  Mr. Ferrell walked 1/4 mile to the nearest home, most likely to ask for help, and the homeowner called police. Three Charlotte police officers arrived and spotted a man in the area who fit the description provided by the homeowner.  Mr. Ferrell reportedly ran towards the officers.

Officer Randall Kerrick, who had drawn his gun, fired 12 rounds at Mr. Ferrell, hitting him 10 times and killing him.  Mr. Ferrell was unarmed.  Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD issued a statement Saturday night indicating that evidence showed Officer Kendrick had used excessive force and fired his weapon needlessly.  Officer Randall Kendrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter and is on paid administrative leave.

The Charlotte police department runs the local pet killing facility which has a notorious history of abuse.  WBTV in Charlotte reports that Officer Randall Kendrick started his work with the police department in 2010 as a pound employee, transferring the following year to the Hickory Grove division.  During fiscal year 2011, the Charlotte pound killed 11,790 animals.

As we have often discussed on the blog, pet killing not only harms pets, it harms people.  Pet killing facilities sometimes attract and provide cover for people who enjoy hurting defenseless beings.  Sometimes pet killing facilities create monsters by placing people in an environment rife with apathy and needless killing.  An animal shelter is supposed to be a safe haven where lost and homeless animals are protected during their time of need.  Instead in too many places, including Charlotte, they are little more than abusive killing facilities.

No one except Officer Kendrick can claim to know why, instead of protecting and serving Mr. Ferrell in his time of need, he needlessly killed him.  But the link between violence against animals and violence against people is well established.  And the parallel to a related pattern of behavior at the Charlotte pound is worth examining.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

“Staggering Statistics” Actually Just Felt a Bit Woozy for a Moment, Now Right as Rain

An 8 pound dog on a chokepole, as pictured on the Charlotte pound's PetHarbor site.  AHA acknowledged the pound as demonstrating extraordinary commitment and "profound grace and respect" with regard to the animals in their care.

An 8 pound dog on a chokepole, as pictured on the Charlotte pound’s PetHarbor site. AHA acknowledged the pound as demonstrating extraordinary commitment and “profound grace and respect” with regard to the animals in their care.

American Humane Association brings the drama:

The numbers are sobering: Every year, some 7-8 million animals end up in our nation’s shelters, which struggle valiantly to provide life-saving services to them. Nearly 4 million are euthanized. Now, new research published by American Humane Association indicates that hundreds of thousands of animals who manage to get adopted from the nation’s shelters are no longer in their homes six months later. These staggering statistics do not even factor in the number of homeless pets abandoned by their former owners to the streets, who wander aimlessly without a roof over their heads, unsure of when their next meal will be. What can be done to get these animals in to loving, forever homes?

Oh noes!  This sounds terrible.  Hundreds of thousands of shelter pets being jettisoned from their homes in addition to the untold hordes of pets already turned out into the streets.  It’s little wonder any of us can make it out to the mailbox without wading through a sea of homeless pets.  Adoption is pointless.  There’s no way out.  I see that now.  Oh!  This is the big one!  I’m coming, Elizabeth!

Before I depart this mortal coil though, let’s take a look at the AHA study.  The survey included 572 recent adopters from 3 cities – Charlotte, Ft. Worth and Denver.  In each city, adopters were selected from one municipal facility and one private shelter.  Results determined that roughly 90% of the adopters still had their pets after 6 months.  Approximately 5% had returned the pets to the shelter and the remaining pets had been rehomed, gotten lost or died.

Gee, when I type it all out, it doesn’t sound so TerribleHorribleReallyQuiteBad anymore.

Let’s go back to that dreadful news on the AHA website:

New study: 1 in 10 adopted pets gone within six months

“Gone” sounds so, I don’t know – final. Like they were sold for use in the slave trade in some faraway land. Or they were fitted with cement shoes and tossed into the river because they couldn’t repay their gambling debts. But really, what the AHA study found was that 90% of adopters kept their pets. Isn’t that kinda yay? And 5% returned the pets to the shelter – the safe haven, if you will – presumably because the pet wasn’t a good fit for their family. Isn’t that kind of expected? And the remaining 5% either had a pet get lost or die or gave them to someone else. Again, this falls under the expected category to me, not the Hair on Fire Emergency that AHA seems to think it is. Things happen. Pets get lost. Pets die. People die. Pets need to be rehomed.  No need to deploy the National Guard.

Kitten at the Charlotte pound, as shown on PetHarbor.  The respect.  It's profound.

Kitten at the Charlotte pound, as shown on PetHarbor. The respect. It’s profound.

I’ll be honest and admit I didn’t read most of the rest of the study.  You might like to read it in full.  In the main, I don’t trust AHA since they kill dogs and cats. But with this study specifically, they seem to be making a mountain – a fiery, ash-spewing type of mountain – out of a molehill. I am concerned though that AHA may attempt to use the findings to encourage shelters to restrict adoptions even further. Better dead than taking a chance on anything else, right?

Overall, my take on this study is this:

  • 90% pet retention 6 months post adoption=pretty good.
  • 5% return rate=about what I’d expect.
  • 5% other life stuff happens rate=about what I’d expect.

Stand down.  Unbunch your panties.  Keep calm and keep adopting.

Cats: Thanks for the Rescue. Oh Hey, What’s That Blue Needle?

January 2012, Texas:

Authorities on Jan. 3 seized 200 cats from Whiskerville Animal Sanctuary Inc. in Texas City after finding them in squalid living conditions. Caring for the surviving 170 cats, including those that were sick, soaked in urine and covered in feces, overwhelmed the county’s animal resource center, which sought help from three other organizations.

In May, just one week after legal custody of the cats was transferred to the county, a jury awarded $231,884 to the shelters caring for the cats.

But that was then, this is now:

The [Galveston County Animal Resources Center] will begin humanely euthanizing the remaining Whiskerville cats Aug. 22.

Kurt Koopmann, spokesman for the Galveston County Health District, says the 30 cats may be killed due to space, not because they are medically hopeless and suffering.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite:

They are healthy again after spending the last eight months recuperating, Koopmann said.

“There’s such a big difference between when we found them in the shelter in January and now,” Koopmann said.

Aw, touching.  They’ve come so far.  Time to throw them in the dumpster.  Oh and, of course:

“We’d love to see them adopted,” Koopmann said. “The last thing we want to do is euthanize the cats.”

Totally.  We don’t want to kill them so much that we scheduled a date for it, marked on the calendar with sparkly balloon stickers next to the sign up sheet for cake and soda.


Charlotte-Mecklenberg ACC seized 45 cats last week from a Mint Hill, NC man who was taking care of them in his home but couldn’t afford to have them all neutered and vaccinated.  Char-Meck “had to” kill most of the cats – not because they were medically hopeless and suffering, in fact not even a sniffle was reported by the pound, but “due to lack of socialization.”  As you know, cats who are appear scared or withdrawn when removed from the only home they’ve ever known and dropped on the stainless steel table at a pet killing facility are deviant beasts who don’t deserve to live.

It must be gratifying for the staff at Char-Meck to know that, instead of offering to neuter, vaccinate and assist in rehoming these healthy, owned cats, they have done the community a service by putting pets who refused to tap dance on demand didn’t pass their behavioral evaluations into the freezer.  There, they can hone their social skills while awaiting the Dead Cat Man who rummages through cat carcasses at NC pounds and picks out which ones he’ll pay $5 for in order to supply his dissection specimen business.


Remember folks, don’t criticize anyone who enables these types of killings rescues.  We all want the same thing.  We’re all on the same team.  They have a hard job killing rescuing pets and you’re not allowed to judge unless you are willing to do their jobs for them for free.  No one wants to kill pets.  They have to because the public is irresponsible and the only two choices are kill or – oh wait, I guess there is only one choice.  Yay Team Killing Rescue!

(Thanks Lisa for the links to the Char-Meck story.)

Stay Classy, Char-Meck

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg pound, the place that brought you such classics as The Drugged Kitty Photo-Fest and Oops – We Killed A(nother) Pet, brings you this posting on Facebook.  Read it and weep.

Facebook post from CMPD ACC on June 27, 2012.

Yup. It’s a promo for a stray horse they named MEATY. They are auctioning him. Aren’t these folks just fall down funny?

Cats at the Charlotte Pound

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control in NC hasn’t updated its statistics since the end of February 2012. That month, the pound killed 67% of the cats in its care. Here are some of the cats currently shown on Char-Meck’s PetHarbor pages.

Cat #A1030651 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, as pictured on

Kitten #A1030580 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, described on PetHarbor as weighing 1 pound.

Kitten #A1030747 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, described on PetHarbor as weighing 1 pound, appears to be falling off the desk as he is scruffed for this photo.

Kitten #A1030905 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, described on PetHarbor as weighing 1 pound, pictured with both front feet off the desk.

Cat #A1031138 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, appears to have been in a cat carrier that was turned on its end, tossing the cat to the rear of the carrier before the photo was taken.

Can you feel the love? Kitten #A1030840 at Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC, described on PetHarbor as weighing 2 pounds.

Bringing Up from the Comments

Regarding the Char-Meck pound failing to notify adopters of a confirmed case of parvo and then inviting the public to come to the facility for free rabies vaccines, a commenter stated:

missjanenc Says:

April 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm

FYI, the shelter holds free rabies and s/n clinics every second saturday of the month. Those who avail themselves of this clinic don’t go past the front of the facility and don’t go anywhere near the adoption kennels.

To my knowledge, there is one public entrance to the pound.  All visitors bringing in strays or owned pets (sick, healthy, vaccinated or unvaccinated) as well as potential adopters come through this entrance.  I don’t know if the ACOs have a separate entrance for their impounds but regardless, the front entryway is obviously an area where the spread of disease would be a concern.  Standard shelter cleaning protocols for disease prevention should be utilized.

This is one of the pound’s listings on PetHarbor.  It appears to show a puddle of urine and a cat left in a trap in the entryway of the facility – the same area the public would bring their dogs for the rabies clinic:

CMPD ACC listing as seen on (Click to enlarge.)

In addition to the previously stated concerns about the pound failing to disclose the occurrence of parvo, I wanted to make a comment on the poor cat in this listing. For starters, who is either going to recognize their lost cat or fall in love with this cat for adoption based upon this photo? No one. Further, I HATE seeing cats in traps on the floor. This is psychologically cruel in my opinion. They are already scared out of their minds and a trap provides no place to hide or even a solid floor. At the very least, set the trap up somewhere elevated to provide a slight feeling of safety for the cat. All around FAIL.

Charlotte Pound Has Confirmed Parvo Case, Chooses Not to Share Info

Earlier this month, Char-Meck ACC in NC held an offsite adoption event at SouthPark Mall.  One of the dogs who was adopted, Ginger, broke with parvo shortly after the new owners brought her home.  The owners wisely contacted the pound to advise them of the deadly disease.

The pound’s vet Dr. Mary Blinn says Char-Meck does “everything in our power” to prevent incidents such as this from happening, including vaccination.  When asked specifically about testing dogs at adoption events for parvo, she explains that testing isn’t the valuable tool some might think:

“That doesn’t guarantee they were not exposed to parvo and won’t break with it later,” Blinn said. “It just means when I did the test that day, it was negative.”

Fair enough.  Dr. Blinn’s opinion seems to be that even if a dog is vaccinated and appears healthy, it doesn’t mean the dog might not already have been exposed to parvo and will become symptomatic after adoption.  So what about the other 14 dogs who were with Ginger at the adoption event that day?

[…] Blinn said animal control has decided not to notify the owners of other dogs adopted out with Ginger at SouthPark Mall.

Wow.  Not even a heads up, these are the symptoms to watch for, don’t take your dog to the park type phone call?  Is this doing “everything in our power” to keep the community’s dogs healthy?

Blinn said parvovirus is most often spread through feces, and officials don’t think any of the dogs went to the bathroom inside the mall over the weekend.

We don’t think any dogs pottied at the mall.  For real?  I guess Ginger was the only dog at Char-Meck to have parvo and was kept isolated from every other dog there including being walked at a separate location?  Does that seem at all plausible?

Not only is Char-Meck not giving a heads up to the other new owners whose dogs were with Ginger, they went on TV to invite the general public to bring their dogs to the pound the weekend after the adoption event for a free rabies shot.

In recent months (March is not posted at this time), Char-Meck has been killing roughly 40% of the dogs in its care.  Everything in our power, blah.

Action Alert: Protesters Needed Thursday in Charlotte

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg ACC pound in NC took in 18,203 animals last year, killing 11,625 of them.  That’s a kill rate of 64%.  The Char-Meck pound also likes to pose drugged cats for photos, torture cats with chokepoles and kill pets assembly line style, forcing living pets to watch others being killed and tossed into a wheelbarrow until it’s their turn to die.  The pound doesn’t adopt Pitbulls to the public.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise to learn that HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle thinks the Char-Meck pound is swell.  And according to an e-mail sent out by Char-Meck director Mark Balestra, Mr. Pacelle is going to stop by for a visit tomorrow before heading to an area book signing:

We have confirmed that HSUS President/CEO Wayne Pacelle will be at our facility this Thursday February 2nd at 4:30 PM for a Shelter tour. He has heard many great things about our organization  and community outreach  efforts to reduce euthanasia and decrease the over population of companion pets.

Please ensure that we and the facility are well prepared for this tour and uphold the standards that we represent.

In other words, dust off your chokepoles, spit-shine the wheelbarrows and get your cats drugged and posed in delightfully witty settings because the Animal Welfare Scammer in Chief is in town!

I hope area animal advocates will visit the Char-Meck facility on Thursday, February 2 at 4:30pm to speak for the 11,625 pets killed by the pound last year.  Cos I somehow doubt anyone inside the place is going to mention them.  Make a sign to speak for the victims of Char-Meck ACC and protest peacefully during Mr. Pacelle’s visit.  Contact the local news to let them know what you’re doing and why.

11,625 dead pets is not an achievement to be praised or rewarded.  HSUS is not humane and Char-Meck ACC is not a shelter.  Stand up for the truth.  Stand up for the voiceless pets in Charlotte.