New MAS Director Writes “I approve humane euthanasia for this pet” an Awful Lot

Below are some of the many pets killed at the Memphis pound on July 12, 2016.  The complete records, as provided by the city via FOIA request, can be found here (part 1) and here (part two).

This is one of four kittens who lived at MAS for a week. Records indicate the kittens were housed in FERAL 01, were eating cat food well and would sleep together in a pile. There are no notes indicating any of the kittens were sick, malnourished, or losing weight. All four were killed on July 12 when MAS suddenly determined, after they’d been apparently thriving for a week, they were too young to survive.  Oops?:

mas kitten too young

This cat’s intake condition was listed as “injured” on July 7 but there are no notes that any veterinary care – even an examination – was ever provided. It’s unclear if he truly was injured.  Romeo was killed for “time/space” on July 12.  Oops?:

mas cat time

Kitten ID 288617 was part of a litter surrendered to MAS.  The family was housed in cage number ER 04:

mas 288617 card

All the kittens’ medical notes are identical and were presumably copied and pasted into each individual record on July 9:

mas 288617 med

The family was killed on July 12 because three of the kittens had colds:

mas 288617 kill

This would appear to be the kittens’ mother, Mona.  Her record indicates she was housed in cage number ER 04, with her litter:

mas mona card

MAS provided no medical notes for Mona so presumably, none exist.  (She was not the only pet killed by MAS on July 12 for whom no medical notes were provided.)  Mona was killed on July 12 for having a cold.  There appear to be no records supporting this claim:

mas mona

This is Molly, kitten ID 288616 at MAS.  She was housed in cage number FERAL 01, just like the kittens who were killed for being “too young”:

mas 288616 card

Molly’s age is listed on her cage card as 2 months. Her medical notes on July 9 appear to have been copied and pasted from records belonging to Mona’s litter of kittens who were described as newborns and housed in ER 04. Note that on July 9, Molly’s apparently incorrect notes state she has a cold but on July 10, “none noted” appears next to URTI, seeming to reaffirm that Molly was indeed healthy:

mas 288616 med

Molly, who was apparently healthy and whose records appear to contain notes from a different litter of kittens, was killed for having a cold on July 12.  Oops?:

mas kitten 288616

These are two of four pups who were killed despite having a rescue offer to take them after MAS determined they had been exposed to parvo. Note that their “outcome” indicates “transfer – rescue”.  Oops?:

rescue pup mas
rescue pup2 mas

Local animal advocates report that the Memphis pound has never once filled all of its roughly 550 cages since its opening several years ago. There are always many empty cages at MAS, yet animals are still killed for space which, like the overwhelming majority of killings at MAS, seems to make no sense.

In the fall, MAS will reportedly bring in Target Zero, a group which has targeted and created zero no kill communities and which advocates for dumping lost cats lacking identification back on the streets instead of sheltering them. Afterward, MAS will reportedly adopt a plan to continue killing pets for time/space (or not) for another 3 years before ending the practice. Killing for being too young/or not, having a cold/or not, being injured/or not and for having a rescue on the way will continue forever, I guess, since none of these excuses are being addressed by the new director.  And in fact, she’s signing off on them left and right.

Look, I don’t know if some or all of the animals killed by MAS on July 12 were killed by mistake. Maybe some or all were killed intentionally – despite being healthy or in some cases, treatable, despite cage space being available, despite having rescue on the way – whatever. What I do know is that killing shelter pets is wrong.

Euthanasia to end the suffering of medically hopeless pets who have been given a poor/grave prognosis by a veterinarian is something completely different than killing. It’s part of animal sheltering – a very small part. Words matter. Attempting to whitewash the needless killing, by mistake or by design, of healthy/treatable pets by referring to it as “humane euthanasia” is wrong.

The main focus of any animal shelter should be lifesaving – immediate and responsible lifesaving. If that is ever to be the focus at MAS, it must start with a director immediately and responsibly committed to it. It appears that MAS, as ever, is lacking in this area.

Some in Memphis want to excuse the new director’s killing by claiming “these things take time”. To my mind, that is nothing more than enabling the behavior. I don’t need to wait and see how many more animals MAS puts into the dumpster over the next three months, three years or three anything. Molly is too many. Mona is too many. Romeo is too many. Every pet at MAS who is left to die in his cage or is killed under the guise of “humane euthanasia” when he isn’t medically hopeless and suffering is too many.

How many more, Memphis?

(Thanks Lou Ann.)

Nobody Wants These Animals: NYC Edition

What would you be willing to do in order to avoid killing a shelter pet?  And let me be clear – in this hypothetical, you are getting paid to do whatever it is your answer is going to be.  So set aside all those obstacles that sometimes hinder us in life when we are trying to save animals.  This is your job.  What would you be willing to do?

I’ll go first:  I would be willing to do just about anything to avoid killing a shelter pet.  The first thing I’d probably do is check the pet’s records to see if any interested adopters or rescuers had placed their names on the animal.  If someone had in fact applied to adopt the pet, I’d call that person.  If he left two numbers, or six or sixteen, I’d call all of them.  If he left an email address, I’d get typing, in addition to the phone calls.  If his mailing address was available, I’d drop a note in the mail if I didn’t receive a prompt response to the calls/emails.  If he put down his place of employment on the application and I hadn’t had any luck reaching him, I might go there, depending on the type of business.  Carrier pigeon, smoke signals, skywriting – I’m not ruling anything out.  And while I wouldn’t quickly give up on the adopter, I’d be trying all sorts of other things in the meantime:  posting an online plea for a temporary foster to buy an extra day, reaching out to rescuers/animal advocates/person I sat next to on the bus once/lady who made eye contact with me at the grocery store/etc.  Like I said, just about anything.

I’m guessing most readers here might give similar type answers.  But if your answer is:  I wouldn’t be willing to do one damn thing even though it’s my job and if I get called out on it later I’d just lie, you might like to apply at NYC ACC.  You know, to be around your own kind.

promise

Promise, as shown in a video posted on Facebook.

This gentleman posted on social media that he had applied to adopt a dog named Promise from NYC ACC.  He was told he’d be contacted upon approval of his application.  While waiting, he tried to check back with the facility several times but couldn’t get anyone on the phone.  Finally he emailed and received a response:  NYC ACC had killed Promise because she had a cough.  They said someone had left him a voicemail but he says that just isn’t true:

I left both of my cell numbers, my girlfriend’s number, my mom’s number, 2 references complete with contact information. I have no missed calls, no voicemails on either of my phones… No email to ensure your transmission was received. No effort whatsoever. Shame on you Animal Care Centers of NYC. You killed my dog for fucking Kennel cough. She deserved better than that. You had a pending application and an eager recipient, yet you took her life anyway.

Her bed arrived last week, she’ll never get to sleep in it. Her new collar with her name on it was on the way, she’ll never get to wear it.

[…]

RIP Promise. We loved you already.

Well done NYC ACC.  You must be proud.  Same shit, different day.

NYC ACC says there is no such thing as no kill.  (There is, of course.)  I heard there was no such thing as monsters but apparently that ain’t true either.

(Thanks Nathan.)

Magnificence on Display in Horry Co

horry co

A pet pig at a pet killing facility.  And they named him Bacon.  Get it?

The Horry Co pound in SC reportedly killed roughly 33,000 of the nearly 49,000 pets in its care from 2011 – 2015.  When contacted by the local paper for comment on the staggering number of killings, Horry County Animal Care operations manager Kelly Bonome had this excellent response:

“It should be obvious that no one wants to perform euthanasia,” she said.

It should be obvious but apparently you clods can’t see past the mountain of 33,000 dead dogs and cats at the landfill. Annoying.

Also, she has more visionary things to say:

[T]here are only so many people who will adopt and most only want puppies and kittens.

Yes, just a small, finite number of people who will adopt. And not one thing Horry Co could possibly do to influence anyone on that account. Plus most only want puppies and kittens. Which means they suck.  Only terrible people want puppies and kittens and again, Horry Co is completely powerless to exert any influence there.

This is the sad reality we have to deal with and, honestly, it is a community problem. We don’t breed animals here. We don’t create the medical or behavioral issues. They are the reality of what is out in the community.

The Horry Co pet killing facility isn’t the problem – it’s the solution!

“There are several low-cost [spay-neuter] clinics in the area so this should not be a problem,” she said. “The true problem is that people believe it should be free.”

The 2010 U.S. census indicates that 11.6% of families and 16.1% of the population of Horry Co were living below the poverty line. Heaven forfend the pound apply for grants and/or fundraise to get pets belonging to poor people neutered. Sounds like work. Plus, they already gots the solution.  Times 33,000.  Stupid irresponsible public.

(Thanks Rick.)

Lying Idaho Shelter Kills, Lies, Blames and Lies

bunny

Bunny, as pictured on the KIVI website.

When Sheila Combs lost her family’s six year old Chihuahua/Boston Terrier, Bunny, on January 31, she immediately began looking for her.  Unable to find her beloved pet, she went the next day to the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell. Bunny was not there so Ms. Combs filed an official missing pet report including an 8 X 10 photo and a detailed description of Bunny’s size, markings, wonky rear leg and three missing teeth. She was told that all missing pet reports are checked against new arrivals at the shelter. The family continued trying to find Bunny daily.  Although Ms. Combs never heard from the shelter, she visited again on February 9 to look for Bunny, just in case:

“They took me through all the rooms in the back where the dogs are in crates, and the new dogs that come in,” Combs said. “She wasn’t there.”

In fact, Bunny was there, having been picked up by AC on February 4:

West Valley Humane Society Executive Director Jonathan Perry says it’s unclear how Combs didn’t see Bunny in the lost and found area.
“As far as we know, it was always in the same kennel in the back, so it should’ve been seen,” Perry said.

Oops.

A stranger who had seen Ms. Combs’s online posts about Bunny contacted her on February 11 to let her know Bunny’s photo was on the shelter’s website.  Ms. Combs immediately called the shelter, understandably frantic over her lost family member:

“I said, ‘Listen! You’ve got to listen! That dog, “Tanna” on your website is my dog, I made a report, it’s in your book. I’m coming, it’s my dog don’t adopt her!” Combs explained.
By the time Sheila made it to the shelter roughly 20 minutes later, it was too late.

The director told the Combs family Bunny had already been adopted and initially, he declined to contact the adopters. After being pressed by Bunny’s family, he did make a phone call to the adopters, because you know, he cares, but had to leave a message.

Oops.

Turns out, those were all lies. The phone call? Fake.  The truth was that West Valley Humane had killed Bunny while the owner was on her way to reclaim her dog.

Oops.

Perry says the shelter vet saw stroke or seizure-like symptoms several times in Bunny beginning on February 7, and decided on the eleventh it was best for the dog to be put down.

See, the killing was totally justified. The vet saw seizures. Or strokes. Or something else medical sounding that begins with S. It was such a righteous killing that the director was motivated to fabricate an adoption story and make a *winkety wink* phone call to The Land of Make Believe to show he cared.

The whole wad of oopses and lies surrounding Bunny’s killing is the owner’s fault though, obviously:

Bunny wasn’t microchipped and due to her sensitive skin, she wasn’t wearing a collar at the time – something the shelter’s executive director says could have prevented the whole mix up.
While he says they plan to make procedural improvements to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again, he recommends all pet owners keep a current photo of their pets, always keep a collar on, and be sure all tag and microchip information is current and regularly updated.

And more blame from Brenda Cameron, president of the shelter’s board of directors:

“We had no way to call and inform the family their dog was in the shelter,” Cameron said.

No way except for the lost pet report. Or telling the owner in person when she was there looking through the kennels. Twice. No OTHER ways.

We do everything we can to reunite that animal with the family. Microchips help. Anything that we can identify the animal with. The owners did supply a picture but Bunny was actually an older dog with grey hair so that issue could have made things more difficult for volunteers or staff,” Cameron explained.

bunny at west valley

Bunny with grey on her face, as pictured on the KIVI website.

Oh my stars. Bunny had some grey hairs on her face therefore: unrecognizable. If only there was some way shelter professionals might be able to know that dog faces sometimes grey with age and that if the breed, markings, size, missing teeth and wonky leg are all a match between the lost pet report and the newly impounded lost pet, it’s worth a phone call to the owner. But I guess that’s just pie in the sky.

Oh and thanks, shortened hold periods:

In previous years, families have had their pets adopted out because they missed the three day deadline to pick up their missing dog or cat from the shelter. Cameron said the deadline used to be five days for lost strays, but the decision was made to shorten that time frame.

“When I came in, the shelter was overpopulated,” Cameron said. “We needed a way to move the dogs out of the shelter.”

When animals are in shelters for an extended period of time it can cause the pet to have mental, emotional and health problems in the future, she said.

A pet might go mental if they hold him for an additional two days. Must be a nice place.  It’s touching how concerned they are about moving the merchandise the possibility of PTSD in their dogs’ future but it sort of seems like the definite condition of DEATH should trump those concerns.

The board fired the director after he went on television and embarrassed them.  And they posted an apology to Bunny’s family on Facebook.  So obviously they take the killing very seriously.  I mentioned the apology, right? On Facebook.

*boop boop beep* I am pushing the buttons on my pretend telephone to call the Mayor of Impudentville because you know, I care.

(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)

Victoria Co Pound Has a 6% Adoption Rate, Zero Tolerance for Rescues

romo victoria co romo info

The Victoria Co pound in Texas, where a dog who had an adopter waiting was recently oops-killed because not killing is hard, is back in the news:

Since November 2014, 3,515 dogs and cats have entered the shelter, according to records. Of those, 238 were adopted.

238 adopted. *sound of balloon deflating*

Glass half full: That number is 30 more than the 208 pets who fell over dead in their cages during that time period. And way more than the 54 animals who went “missing” from the place. You run, Fluffy. You run and don’t ever look back.

Aaaaaaanyway, they don’t need help, especially not from people who ask questions like Why are the animals forced to live in filth? and such:

Victoria County Animal Control has cut ties with a foster group it has been working with for almost three years.

County officials say the group was given the boot for “bullying and unprofessional behaviors.”

However, Kim Cole, the administrator of the foster group Shelter Pets, said the real issue is her attempt to hold the department accountable for what she considers to be inappropriate and inadequate treatment of animals housed at the facility.
Before receiving the letter, Cole said, she had a meeting with Animal Control and the Victoria County Public Health Department, where she brought up issues including the condition of kennels filled with animal feces.

How unprofessional. Bully.

The Victoria Co pound is doing the best they can, probably. But haters gonna hate.

28261872 victoria co28261872 info

It’s a glove. And a kitten. In some sort of cylinder. That’s my best guess. Can I use a lifeline?

(Thanks Clarice.)

Detroit Animal Control Being Sued by Everybody

Warning:  There are disturbing images at the links.

***

ACO Brittany Roberts has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Detroit Animal Control after she says she was fired in September for advocating for the animals in the facility.  Ms. Roberts says she saw seriously injured pets impounded and left to suffer without vet care until they died.  One dog who had been hit by a car was left in a wheelbarrow at the pound for days.  The wheelbarrow is normally used to transport dead bodies to the freezer.

In interviews with local media, Ms. Roberts said the dogs were never walked and were forced to live in their own waste.  Illness was rampant throughout the facility and she often saw healthy animals become sick very quickly.  Many animals died in their cages from illness or starvation.  Workers would walk around the facility each morning to count the number of animals that had survived the night.  Those still alive would get food thrown onto the feces and urine covered floors of their cages.

Ms. Roberts was appalled at the cruelty she observed but says no one in a position of leadership would listen to her concerns.  After she began documenting the inhumane practices, she was fired.

Among the other allegations made in the lawsuit:

  • Pets were not scanned for microchips.
  • Sick animals were housed with healthy animals.
  • Animals were cramped into cages which were too small for them.
  • A litter of six orphaned pups was impounded and the director refused to release them to rescue or allow another mama dog to nurse them.  They slowly starved to death.
  • A 7 pound dog was hanged in a chokepole by the neck while an ACO carried the pole around the facility.

The whistleblower lawsuit is just one of many currently filed against Detroit Animal Control.  Several owners whose dogs were impounded due to lack of licenses have also filed lawsuits.  The dogs are held at the pound until the owner can produce proof of ownership deemed acceptable by DAC and pay the penalty fees which accrue daily.  One owner says he was visiting from South Carolina when DAC took his dogs away for lack of Michigan licenses.  Another says her two dogs were licensed but she couldn’t produce the documentation to prove it so her dogs were impounded.  Both got sick at DAC and one died.

Then there’s this bit of say whaaaaa:

That brings us back to [pound director] Harry Ward. He also has a dog being held in the shelter. His 6-year-old Mastiff, Peaches, lives in the shelter, but he’s not paying the daily fees.

“It makes you want to do a better job with everybody’s dog, when you know that your dog is here too.” Ward said

Peaches will not be adopted out to a home, and will continue living in her cage. All the while, her food, room, and board is all being paid for by taxpayers.

And if you don’t like them apples, I guess you know, so what.

The city’s response to the lawsuits and allegations was initially uh, hide but when that failed to make the situation go away, they tried announcing that the pound will now super generously allow other groups besides the scammy Michigan Inhumane to pull animals.  So come on down to DAC and grab yerself some sick animals out the wheelbarrow to take to your vet for expensive treatment.  Just remember not to take the director’s dog.  Because she lives there.  Because I don’t know.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Shelter Sold Owned, Microchipped Lost Dog to Strangers While Owner Searched

Jingle and Toby, a pair of Schnauzers owned by Anita Sloan in Bedford, Texas, wandered away when someone accidentally left a gate open at the family’s home.  Ms. Sloan raised the pair from pups and considers them family.  She began searching for them immediately, hoping the microchip she had implanted in Jingle would help the family get reunited.

Ms. Sloan visited Bedford Animal Services but did not find her pets.  She was given a lengthy list of shelters to search.  She dutifully visited each one although there was some confusion about the two shelters in Keller:

Sloan explains she visited all but one shelter in Keller. The number printed for the shelter on the list she has, got her nowhere.

“The person you are trying to reach is not available,” a recording says when she dials the number.

The city apparently has two shelters:  Keller Animal Services and Keller Regional Adoption Center.  As it turns out, Jingle and Toby had been picked up by police and left at Keller Animal Services.  The city says it checked both dogs for chips but found none.  After the mandatory holding period, the dogs were transferred to the Keller Regional Adoption Center which is run by the HS of North Texas.  Staff there did detect Jingle’s chip but sold the dogs to a new owner anyway.  Because it’s not their job to return dogs to owners:

“At that particular facility we don’t handle lost and found animals. We just handle adoptions,” says Whitney Hanson, Director of Development & Communications.

Hanson explains that the facility would have only been looking at finding homes for the pets since Keller Animal Services had already processed the animals.

[…]

The Humane Society of North Texas says there is no existing system that allows all municipalities to communicate.

There is no existing system which allows all municipalities to communicate.  Fair enough.  But the HS knew Jingle was chipped.  Finding that chip should have prompted the HS to check the transfer paperwork and see if Keller Animal Services had followed up on the chip and what the outcome was.  The HS had an obligation to verify that the chip was a dead end before proceeding.  A statewide communication system is not required for that – just a phone call or email to Keller Animal Services to ask about the chip’s status.

And while it may not be the Humane Society’s job to return animals to their owners, common sense would dictate that a pair of schnauzers, typically a professionally groomed breed purchased from a breeder, aren’t walking the streets because they are homeless and just happened to meet each other in an alley and decided to pal around.  There would be every reason to suspect Jingle and Toby were owned, likely by the person who registered the chip, whom the HS never bothered to call.

Jingle and Toby are now living with people in Houston.  The HS of North Texas says that “according to Texas law, the schnauzers are the legal property of their new owners”.  The situation has been explained to the new owners and Ms. Sloan has offered to reimburse them for any expenses if they would return her family members.  They are reportedly considering what to do with the dogs.

Keller Animal Services failed to detect a lost dog’s microchip.  The HS of Texas detected the chip but made no effort to find out if Keller Animal Services had attempted to reach the registered owner.  The city says no one is at fault.  The situation looks bad.  It looks like the first shelter is either incompetent or lying and the second shelter is a money-grubbing doggie retail outfit where no one could be bothered to slow down in the rush to sell a bonded pair of little purebred dogs.

It’s 2015, Keller.  Time to step outside the Only This Thing is My Job and I Do Only This Thing box.  You may not have a statewide shelter communication system but I’m guessing there is such a thing as phone service in Keller.  Shame on everyone involved in the needless break up of this family because apparently no one at either shelter knows what the right thing to do is when it comes to pets.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Chihuahua Stealers Offer Chihuahuas for Adoption

PETA’s annual reports to the state of Virginia indicate that the organization kills most of its animals, adopting out just 1% of them.

But as reader Valerie posted in the current Open Thread, PETA has posted on Facebook that it has two Chihuahuas available for adoption.  I don’t know for certain how PETA obtained these Chihuahuas although maybe, as claimed in the FB post, they bought them at a garage sale.

that did not happen

The only way I know for sure that PETA gets Chihuahuas is by sending out dognappers to steal them, as seen in this surveillance video:

Apparently all the negative publicity garnered by PETA’s theft and killing of Maya, the Chihuahua seen in the above video, has motivated them to try a distraction technique involving other Chihuahuas (aw!) – a mother and baby (awwwww!) who were being sold like old glass ashtrays at a tag sale (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!) and now need a good home (awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoowoowoo!).

distraction
Totally fooled me, anyway.

ASPCA Will Teach You How to Kill Viable Kittens “Off the Books” to Keep Your Live Release Rate Shiny

Screengrab of shame

Screengrab of shame

The ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance are teaching more people how to gut pregnant cats whose kittens are so close to being born that they would survive the gutting.  Euphemistically referred to as “late term spay”, this horrific practice inflicts violence on both the mother cat and her unborn babies.  Once cut out of the mama cat’s belly, each kitten helplessly crawls around until someone kills her.  Mama is sewn up and, if she survives the risky procedure, is left to grieve for her kittens whom she knew were alive inside her when the ASPCA vet gave her an injection and are now inexplicably, heartbreakingly gone.  So much for that prevention of cruelty to animals thing.

And all this needless killing can be kept off the shelter’s books since the kittens are not counted as intakes – only the mama cat.  So the shelter’s live release rate can be touted as an achievement even as it masks the killing of kittens deemed so valueless by the shelter they were never even counted as being alive, despite the fact that they most definitely were.

When I saw a link tweeted by the Mayor’s Alliance and the Feral Cat Initiative on Twitter advertising the ghastly “workshop” above, I chimed in with my two cents:

twitter

To be clear, yes there is always a possibility that a kitten, just like any other living being, might die prematurely from an accident or illness.  There is also an excellent chance that she might not, especially if shelters do their jobs to protect life and get homeless animals adopted.  But it is absurd to attempt to justify the killing of viable kittens, ripped from their mother’s belly, in order to protect them from the possibility of premature death.  Late term spay is premature death for kittens.  Death doesn’t get any more premature than that.

I am not saying it’s easy for shelters to handle all the pregnant cats they receive.  I get that it’s a challenge.  What I’m saying is that it’s wrong to kill the kittens who are alive inside these pregnant cats and that option shouldn’t even be on the table at any so-called shelter, let alone a routine practice.

Reaching out to the community for assistance with temporary foster homes is one way to allow the kittens to be born without placing any burden on the shelter.  Partnering with feral colony caretakers is another tool which allows shelters to keep tabs on mama cats and kittens within colonies in order to trap animals at the right time for spaying the mother and taming/adopting the kittens.

There are always alternatives to killing and groups like the ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance should be the ones leading the way in protecting the lives of animals.  Instead they are promoting the heinous practice of killing viable kittens while inflicting emotional and physical harm to mother cats.

Oh and for the record:  vegan pizza?  You’re doing it wrong.

 

Pitt Co Pound Oops-Kills Mama Dog Being Held for Cruelty Case

The Pitt Co pound functions primarily as a pet killing facility.  In 2013, Pitt Co killed 57% of the animals in its care:

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The portion of the NC annual shelter report for 2013 showing Pitt Co.

The carefully developed system of checks and balances employed at the Pitt Co pound to determine which pets are to be killed on any given day is this:

Each kennel has a paper on the front of it stating the name and circumstances of the dog. Then, when it’s time for certain animals to be put down, that paper is turned around so that the plain side is facing out.

Gosh, I hope there isn’t any breeze in Pitt Co or any other circumstance which might result in paperwork being placed the wrong way around on a kennel.  Because obviously the staff doesn’t question the killing of healthy/treatable animals.  Nor do they have supervisors signing off on killings.  OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.  Just if one person, any person I guess, says they saw a backwards paper:  kill.  Brilliant.

Last month, a Greenville pet owner was charged with animal cruelty after authorities found a dead puppy in a crate on her porch and 4 more puppies, aged 12 – 16 weeks, near death inside the home.  The puppies and mama dog were seized and all 4 pups died later that day.  The mama dog, called Venus, was sent to the Pitt Co pound to be held as evidence:

“We specifically asked for a hold, a special hold… because of the case. We wanted to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of pending the case outcome,” said [Greenville Police Chief Hassan] Aden.

Aden says his Animal Protective Services Officers regularly checked in on Venus.

The last time an officer went to the pound to see Venus, the “Pitt County Animal Staff, sort of, reacted a little oddly” and later admitted they had killed Venus that morning because the paper on her kennel was facing backwards.  Oops.  But no worries, there was an e-mailed apology:

In an email to police, the Director of the County Shelter, Michele Whaley, admits that Venus was accidentally put down, stating: “I am truly sorry for the unfortunate situation where the pit-bull we were supposed to be holding for Officer Nichols’ court case was euthanized. I take full responsibility for this mistake.”

So has anyone lost their job over this needless killing?  Anyone disciplined?  Anyone anything?  I suppose it’s back to business as usual at the Pitt Co pound.  And that business is killing.

This is a tragedy.  Mother dogs love their puppies and grieve for them when they die.  Venus would have been suffering deep emotional pain after the loss of her pups and I’m sure it’s no picnic living in a cage in a pet killing facility either.  Her last days in this life were dark indeed and then her life was needlessly snuffed out by pet killers.  This is another case where, as dreadful as it sounds, the dog was actually better off with the person charged with cruelty over her care.  At least then she and her pups were alive.  Now all is lost.

Tip:  Don’t send a dog you want “to make sure she remained healthy and well-taken care of” to a pet killing facility.

Other Tip:  Get some people in there willing to do their jobs to actually shelter animals.  Then the worst Pitt Co would have to worry about is a pet being oops-sheltered.

I hope Pitt Co taxpayers demand better of their public servants at the pound.  Until they do, killing will remain the default, oops-killings will continue, and e-mailed apologies will be the cherry on top of this awful pie.

(Thank you Anne for the link.)

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