Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals – Sumter Co Edition

buddy sumter co

Buddy, as pictured on Facebook.

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.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Dallas Pound: Stop Me If You’ve Killed This One Before

SpencerTracy

Spencer Tracy, as shown on the Dallas Morning News website.

When a Good Samaritan in Texas saw a dog running in traffic, she whistled for him.  Michelle Henderson got the friendly, 84 pound dog into her car while he slobbered kisses on her.  She brought him to the Dallas pound and gave staff her contact information for his record to make sure he wasn’t killed as she intended to find a foster home for the dog, whom she named Spencer Tracy.  After lining up a foster, she called the pound to check on the dog only to learn staff had already killed him.  Oops.

But hold up, there’s REASONS:

  1.  In addition to Ms. Henderson, another person had asked to have his/her contact info posted in the dog’s records.  Staff did contact that person before killing the pet but didn’t bother contacting Ms. Henderson because “staffers believed the two were the same person.”
  2. Pound staff decided the dog was unadoptable because he was “shy and withdrawn” and as such, put him on the kill list.

Gosh, a dog acting shy and withdrawn in a cage at a pet killing facility? Weird. Plus the two people asking to be contacted are really the same person. I just know it. No need to call.

Last summer, when the Dallas pound oops-killed a bucket full of kittens who had a foster home lined up, management expressed regret that staff never bothered to call the rescuer who had asked to be contacted about the kittens:

“[S]he should have gotten that phone call, and we’re devastated that we failed her and those animals.”

Several months earlier, the Dallas pound oops-killed 4 dogs slated for rescue and issued a statement which read, in part:

Euthanasia of animals is tough enough for employees. To know that four dogs may have been euthanized in error has devastated staff, and they are also eager to look for ways to prevent incidents like this in the future. We mourn the loss of homeless animals that can be saved. DAS prides itself on caring for thousands of animals that staff members come into contact with each year. The City, DAS and community remain committed to our life-saving efforts and continued progress in this area.

Now it’s a new year but the same old song and dance:

Shelter manager Teresa Cleek apologized for Spencer Tracy’s death in an email to an animal advocate. She called the death “unfortunate” and promised to remind staff of proper procedures.
“We are sorry we failed this pup and appreciate the opportunity for our continued improvement,” she said in the email, which was forwarded to The Dallas Morning News.

Here’s the thing about continued progress and continued improvement – you actually have to have some progress and some improvement to continue.  All the Dallas pound seems to have is workers too lazy to give a flying fuck, too willing to kill animals whose records have been flagged with DO NOT KILL notes and management too quick to dispense platitudes about how the staff has all the sads.  The Dallas pound staff needs to stop being sorry about failing animals and start doing their jobs.  Maybe if they actually sheltered animals instead of killing them, their dogs wouldn’t be “shy and withdrawn” in their cages.

(Thanks Nathan.)

Arapahoe Co Just Backdoored BSL on You. Oh and While They’re Backdooring You…

A recent announcement appearing on the Arapahoe County, Colorado website reads, in part:

Arapahoe County has partnered with the City of Aurora to provide sheltering and related services, such as veterinary care for sheltered animals, for lost, stray and impounded dogs through the Aurora Animal Shelter. County Animal Control Officers will have 24-hour access to the facility to ensure animals get shelter and care as soon as possible.

Care as soon as possible. Gee, that sounds swell.  Except that Aurora has a ban on pitbull type dogs and therefore refuses to adopt them out to the public.

This new partnership also provides opportunities to improve efficiencies in daily operations for the County’s animal control program.

And by efficiencies, I assume they mean faster pitbull extermination.

I reached out to Arapahoe Co regarding this issue and asked about the pitbulls impounded by the county, where there is no BSL, being taken to Aurora, which does have BSL.  I received a response from AC supervisor Caitlyn Cahill.  It reads, in part:

Due to the breed restriction laws for the City of Aurora, the shelter is not able to adopt out Pit Bulls; however, once a dog has passed the County required stray hold period and is able to be adopted, it will be transferred to another facility. The Aurora shelter works with many other agencies to ensure that dogs are able to be transferred.

She went on to list a number of private shelters where pitbulls “will be transferred”. My BS indicator light started blinking fast enough to host a dance party so I asked:

To be clear, all pitbull type dogs are guaranteed a space at one of these other shelters after the hold period expires?

Ms. Cahill responded, in part:

I cannot speak for the shelter regarding their statistics but know that they put a large amount of time and effort into working with partners to transfer out adoptable animals that they are unable to care for or adopt out to the public due to their limitations.

Oh. I see. Pitbull killing is a “limitation”. And if you like that doublespeak, or even if you don’t, prepare for more since the Aurora pound is a member of the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance.  The  MDAWA is all about controlling language from its members, including rescuers and fosters, in order to deceive the public about what goes on in the kill rooms of its pounds. Rescuers for example, are not allowed to say they “rescue animals from shelters” or use the terms “no kill” or “high kill”.  I wonder what happens to someone who slips up and exercises his First Amendment rights as a U.S. citizen.  I hope it’s not enhanced interrogation techniques.

So Arapahoe Co managed to effectively institute BSL without a vote to get approval from the people.  And then came up with this great Pitbulls Will Be Transferred to Private Rescue Groups bit of fiction in order to give the appearance that pitbull killing is not the fault of people doing the killing (they put in time and effort), it’s the rescue groups who don’t step up that are to blame.  Rescues which already have pitbulls in every kennel, bathroom, broom closet and dresser drawer they can manage.  But if they don’t take every pitbull from Arapahoe Co, the Aurora pound will have to kill them.  I mean limitation.  Er – efficiencies.

 

Discussion: Lost CA Sheltie Adopted by New Owners

An elderly couple whose lost Sheltie got picked up by Stockton Animal Services in December was pulled by a rescue group then adopted while the owners were still searching for her.  The new owners, who had Tipsy for around 2 weeks by the time Mr. and Mrs. Robinson found out what had happened to their pet of 8 years, are refusing to give her back.

[Sharon] Robinson was 10 days too late, and the new family was already in love with Tipsy.
“I just want… I want her back,” she said.
She’s heartbroken and has even offered the new adoptive family a refund for Tipsy’s adoption fee. They have declined.
“They’ve loved her for a little over two weeks. I’ve loved her for eight and a half years.”

Mrs. Robinson still has the pedigree that came with Tipsy when she was a puppy. She searched for her to the best of her knowledge and ability, even when she was sick. She is heartbroken and can not talk about Tipsy without crying. Although it’s impossible to know how Tipsy is feeling, it would be hard to imagine she is not missing the only family she ever knew.

Setting all this aside for the moment, I found this troubling:

We also reached out to the city of Stockton’s Animal Services. They declined an on-camera interview. The animal services department is now investigating Tipsy’s case to see if the proper protocol was followed.

The pound doesn’t know if proper procedures were followed? And they won’t discuss the case? Not good.

Back to Tipsy’s ownership:  On the one hand, Mrs. Robinson certainly presents a reasonable case that Tipsy was well cared for and loved by her family.  I don’t think the new owners would have any worries about her quality of life if Tipsy was returned.  On the other hand, the new owners had a Sheltie who died recently and found Tipsy, whom they were told was a stray and that no owner had claimed her.  They adopted her in good faith and instantly fell in love with her, something I think we all can relate to.  Getting a new pet helps some owners in the grieving process and perhaps Tipsy has been providing much needed comfort to the new owners.

What would you do if you had adopted Tipsy under these circumstances?  Mrs. Robinson says she may hire an attorney.  That might not be a bad idea, especially considering that the pound doesn’t know if proper procedures were followed (which opens up the possibility that Tipsy was not held for the legally mandated holding period and therefore not eligible for release to the rescue group in the first place).  I would hate to see a lengthy court battle in this situation, or any pet custody situation really.  What other options might exist for the Robinsons?

(Thanks Anne for the link.)

NC Rescuer Charged with Crime by Pet Killing Facility

rowan co ph jan152016

Screengrab from PetHarbor of the Rowan Co pound’s cat listings on January 15, 2016.  They’re doing the best they can, prolly.

A woman in NC has been trying to do the Rowan Co pound’s job for them since they are so terribly awful at it.  Jennifer Frasier regularly pulls cats from the pound and gets them adopted to permanent homes.  Pound staff say that Ms. Frasier has come in more than once and taken every single cat on the kill list.  She also pulls for other rescues when they want to save cats from being killed but can’t physically get there before the buzzer sounds.

In November 2015, a group of cats was found abandoned in Iredell Co, which neighbors Rowan Co.  Some of the cats were traced back via microchips to Ms. Frasier’s father (the article is a bit confusing on the details here and of course the county won’t provide any information). Ms. Frasier says she had pulled some of the cats from the Rowan Co pound for another rescue.  She says she turned them over to that rescue the same day she pulled them and has documentation to verify her claim.  The cats were picked up, sent back to Rowan Co then returned to Ms. Frasier’s father.

Last month, Iredell Co Animal Services had police arrest Ms. Frasier and her father on charges of animal abandonment.  Subsequent to the arrest, Ms. Frasier has been attacked on social media and her rescue’s adoption center has been vandalized.  The adoption center is now closed.  Both Ms. Frasier and her father are due in Iredell Co court on February 1.

I will grant you the details of this case are clear as mud but what is known is that both the pounds in Rowan Co and Iredell Co are the suck.  In 2014, Iredell Co killed roughly 3 out of 4 of its cats.

iredell co ph jan152016

Screengrab from PetHarbor showing a cat listed by Iredell Co.

Anyone who walks into a pound and says, “Give me every cat on your kill list” is ok by me. I don’t know why Rowan Co didn’t intervene and tell Iredell Co to back off when this unfortunate situation arose but the whole thing sounds like a bunch of slackers got together with some cat haters and threw a party.  I hope the county withdraws the charges before the court date.  If they can take time out of their cat hating day I mean.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

CA Rescuer Charged with Cruelty, Pound Manager Not Charged with Irony

buell case dog

One of the dogs seized in the felony cruelty case against Buell, as shown on the NBC Los Angeles website.

In April 2015, Apple Valley Animal Services seized 13 starving dogs from rescuer Sherre Kay Buell.  One dog was dead in a trash can on the property, one died on the way to the vet, and two had to be euthanized due to their poor condition.  Buell has been charged with 12 counts of felony animal cruelty in Apple Valley and 3 counts in Hesperia (where she reportedly used to live).  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 3.

Starving dogs is unacceptable.  Full stop.  There is video at the link of a little girl trying to comfort a severely emaciated dog who is too weak to stand.  It’s heartbreaking.

Killing pets, which is what they do at Apple Valley Animal Services, is also unacceptable.  And there is no hope of recovery from death.  Which puts the manager’s comments on the case in rather a – what’s the word – stupid light:

“I think that’s one of the most difficult things for any of us in the animal welfare position. Why do people hurt animals?” asked Gina Whiteside, the manager at the Town of Apple Valley Animal Services.

Yes please killsplain to us why people hurt animals while I browse through page after page of all the animals killed at your facility every month.

“There needs to be some animal action at the state level that regulates animal rescuing,” Whiteside said.
While shelters are regulated by law to humanely care and provide for the animals they take in, the same rules are not in place for rescue groups or the people who foster, explained Whiteside.

The Real Problem. Identified.

So we want to hold rescuers to the same legal standards as shelters that hide and kill animals. Because that would be better, somehow.

Also:

Whiteside acknowledged animal cruelty issues extend beyond the cases against any one individual, calling for progress to be made in laws and procedures dealing with general animal services.
“In my opinion, anything short of changing the ‘status quo’ when it comes to ‘saving animals lives’ does not signal that we (shelters, rescues, the community) want better outcomes for animals in need of our services (at every level),” she wrote.

*Mother of All Coffee Spews*

Being starved and alive with the hope that someone might save you is actually a better outcome than the “services” offered in Apple Valley’s kill room.  The status quo at far too many so-called shelters like Apple Valley is convenience killing. Any interest in changing that?

The Apple Valley Municipal Animal Shelter dealt with its own controversy this summer after Richard Marx and other celebrities on social media criticized the shelter for euthanizing four puppies, which officials had first unsuccessfully tried to house in foster homes. Whiteside said the criticisms, however, were the result of misinformation and distorted facts.

Probably the case for the many, many, really a lot many animals killed at Apple Valley.  Just a bunch of hooey.  If only we had harsher laws for rescuers!

(Thanks Clarice.)

45 Dogs Removed from Abandoned Property by Rescue Before Police Arrive

An odd story out of New Mexico:

An Alamogordo animal rescue group says it saved dozens of dogs from an abandoned puppy mill. The group claims the local sheriff’s department wasn’t doing anything to help but the sheriff’s department says that’s just not true.

The allegedly abandoned puppy mill appears to have housed bulldogs and a number of mixed breeds. Approximately 45 dogs and puppies were taken by the rescue. The director of the group says she contacted the Dona Ana Co sheriff’s office about the dogs but was told flat out that no one would be coming, which seems strange.

A sheriff’s office spokesman says a supervisor was dispatched in response to the call and arrived to find no one on the property and all the animals gone. Because the dogs had been removed by the rescue, the sheriff’s office says it was unable to conduct an investigation which may have resulted in charges against the dogs’ owner.

The director describes “very badly wounded dogs” who were dying on the property but doesn’t elaborate on the nature of the injuries.  A video posted by the rescue appears to show dogs in good condition.

The group is selling the puppies for $2200 and has a Go Fund Me set up aiming to raise $25,000 for care of the dogs.

Without a police investigation (due to the removal of evidence), there is no way of knowing whether the dogs were better off before or after being rescued – or if their situation is pretty much unchanged.  This type of head-scratching case underscores the importance of transparency.  We demand it of our public shelters (although we don’t always get it) and we should expect it from non-profit (?) charities as well.  People busy scratching their heads are not writing checks.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Dallas Animal Services: Skanks Gonna Get Themselves Locked Up If They Don’t Step Off

You may remember Dallas Animal Services from such knee-slapping exploits as oops killing a bucket of kittens while a foster home was being arranged, secretly killing 4 dogs slated for rescue and leaving a cat trapped inside the pound wall to suffer and die.  Now, more hilarity as compassionate citizens who care for strays at an area well known as a dumping ground for dogs who appear to have been abused are painted as criminals:

Are volunteers who feed stray dogs committing a crime? Public statements from the city’s own animal shelter agency and an officer in the Dallas City Marshal’s Office suggest that the volunteer group is breaking the law and possibly harming the animals. “You cannot feed in the city of Dallas,” an officer says in a recording taken by volunteers Marina Tarashevska and Leslie Ysuhuayles. He cites an unspecified “ordinance,” an ordinance that CBS-11 was unable to find when they followed up with a story on volunteers’ encounter with the marshal. Afterward, the city’s animal shelter and animal control agency weighed in. Dallas Animal Services posted a “clarification” on its Facebook page, defending the marshal. While there are no ordinances that actually ban people from feeding loose dogs, the shelter acknowledges, the volunteers may be guilty of littering. Dallas Animal Services also says that people who feed loose animals without doing anything else to help are doing more harm than good. “#IfYouFeedItFixIt,” the posts ends, implying that the volunteers confronted by the marshal were only “feeding” and not “fixing.”

Turns out, the people doing the feeding are also capturing, neutering and adopting out the dogs –  things DAS apparently knows little about.  In fact, DAS is more concerned with outsourcing the killing of its pets in order to “maintain stable workforce” than having its employees actually shelter animals.  (No takers so far, which is weird.)

But just so we’re straight:  The Dallas pound wants to clarify that, while there are people out there tying dogs’ legs together and dumping them (some dead, others still alive) at this one site, it’s the people feeding the dogs who are, in OJ terms, The Real Killers.

(Photo by Casey Post)

(Photo by Casey Post)

Blaming local rescuers, especially Ms. Tarashevska – an outspoken critic of DAS, is standard fare. The pound’s social media coordinator, Rebecca Poling, appears to get a paycheck for it:

In September, Poling shared [on her personal Facebook page] a screenshot of a post that Tarashevska had written that cites the Observer story and criticizes the way Jones runs Dallas’ animal shelter. A group of other rescuers responds with name-calling. Stacy Smith, a co-founder of the Humane Society of Flower Mound, writes of Tarashevska,”#rescuebarbie.” Kate Larkin, who operates a rescue group called Rag Tag Rescue in East Texas, follows with the short and simple “#bitch.”

Erin Schults, who operates Mazie’s Mission animal rescue in Frisco, writes in the thread that Tarashevska will “eventually fade away. When her face is chewed off by a dog she is ‘saving.'”

Others pounce on Tarashevska’s appearance.

Poling, for her part, doesn’t resort to name-calling, but she doesn’t discourage it, either. “Are people still listening to this skank?” Shults writes in another comment in the thread, to which Poling replies, “Unfortunately, yes.”

Neither Poling nor city spokesman Jeffrey Clapper have responded to an email requesting an interview about Poling’s social media strategy.

Social media strategy. #LOL #YouPeopleSeemNice

If I lived in a city where freaks were abusing dogs and dumping them in plastic bags, I’d be kinda worried.  And if it was my job to investigate animal cruelty in that city, I guess I’d get right on that start waving something shiny to distract the public and blame rescuers demanding I do my job for kibble littering.  Which is in fact, a gateway crime.  Every time someone gets their face chewed off, you can always trace it back to skanks putting out kibble.

Never change, DAS. You keep on trying to find someone to kill your animals for you and blaming the public for all the things and social media strategizing.  Your cultural blend of 1940s sheltering philosophy, criminal laziness and Texas sized hate is so uniquely you and becoming harder to find as the rest of the nation progresses unabashedly toward 2016.

(Thanks Nathan and Mike.)

Nashville Pound Kills Owned Dog with Rescue Hold

Sadie Mae, as shown on the WKRN website.

Sadie Mae, as shown on the WKRN website.

When Sadie Mae got lost late last month in Nashville, her family began looking for her.  Sadie Mae’s 6 year old girl made these posters to tack onto phone poles in the neighborhood:

Photo via WKRN website.

Photo via WKRN website.

Owner Janet Mabry checked lost and found pet postings on social media and came across a listing for Sadie Mae on a Saturday. Someone had found her and taken her to the Nashville pound the previous Thursday, placing a rescue hold on the dog if she went unclaimed.

The pound was closed at the time Ms. Mabry saw the listing for Sadie Mae and did not re-open until Tuesday morning. Ms. Mabry called to reclaim her pet as soon as the pound opened on Tuesday but was told Sadie Mae had been killed by staff:

“She kept saying her time was up, her time was up,” said Mabry.

The Nashville pound had held Sadie Mae for the minimum 3 day stray hold then killed her immediately after it expired. The director, Lauren Bluestone, told WKRN that Sadie Mae had been given a temperament test and failed the portion on dog aggression so: Kill. Immediately. The owner says her pet was sweet and had never exhibited any signs of aggression. The director also wants it noted that the owner is a slob and it’s all her fault the dog is dead anyway because:

  • Didn’t file a lost pet report.
  • Didn’t leave a message at the pound while it was closed.
  • Didn’t have the dog tagged or microchipped.

And as far as the finder who placed a rescue hold on Sadie Mae, it sounds like she’s a slob too:

“If truly what she had said was a miscommunication on our part as far as a rescue hold,” said Bluestone. “I’m getting two conflicting sides.”

Metro said it has nothing in writing to verify if there was a hold on the dog.

So many shady people wanting to keep dogs alive in Nashville, sounds like. Thank goodness the Nashville pound director is on duty to administer tests and monitor that 3 day hold clock and mete out punishment to keep everyone in line.

(Thanks Clarice and Arlene for the links.)

Mitchell Co Kills Pets Slated for Rescue

A statement from the Mitchell Co Correctional Institute in Georgia indicates an adoption rate of just 21% at the pound and reads, in part:

On September 1, in accordance with its policies and procedures, Mitchell County Animal Control was regretfully forced to reduce the population of stray animals in its custody in order to maintain humane conditions within its capacity limitations. The County’s priority is to find homes for these animals as often as possible. However, with limited resources to house the constantly growing number of stray or forfeited animals, the County has no choice but to control the population.

Some of the dogs killed by Mitchell Co on September 1, as posted on Facebook.

Some of the dogs killed by Mitchell Co on September 1, as posted on Facebook.

Translation: On September 1, Mitchell Co killed 25 dogs and 22 cats – nearly every animal in the facility, including many who were slated for rescue:

“There was animals that were put down that were promised to be safe and to come in and see the furnace going was devastating,” said [pound volunteer Kathy] Harrell.

Imagine volunteering for a shelter and walking in to care for the animals you are helping to get rescued only to find them in the fucking furnace.

Apparently Ms. Harrell is one of the lucky ones allowed to help shelter staff do the jobs they aren’t doing.  Other rescuers have reportedly been turned away:

Janet Goree says her efforts to help get animals adopted from Animal Control have been denied.

“We are all volunteers that want to see this happen, but the Animal Control won’t let us help,” said Goree. “The doors are firmly shut in our face.”

An adoption rate of 21%, killing animals rescuers are willing to save, turning away volunteers – it doesn’t look like Mitchell Co is doing the best they can, as we so often hear from killing apologists.

To be fair, I took a look at the facility’s website to see how they market animals.  It directed me to this page to see the available pets:

mitchell co 1

Screengrab from the Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Screengrab from the Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Just in case this half-assed effort for two dogs (or halves of two dogs) wasn’t the only effort being put forth by the county, I went back to Google and found this page:

Screengrab from Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Screengrab from Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Now true, they only have one dog advertised here, and she’s from 4 years ago, but how about a round of applause for managing to upload the entire photo?  Finding homes for shelter pets is clearly a “priority” for the county.  And they are “regretfully forced” to kill animals, whom they haven’t marketed and whom rescuers are willing to take.  But nobody wants to kill animals.  That would be like, evil.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

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