Case Update: Klein Animal Shelter Director Guilty of Cruelty

Many readers likely recall the horrors documented by the state of Texas at the Klein Animal Shelter in Jacksonville.  For those who don’t, click through using caution because the images are very disturbing.  In a nutshell, the untrained staff was physically abusing animals, leaving injured animals to suffer in filth without treatment, cruelly killing animals in view of other animals, mixing dead animals with live animals in cages – all while the director spent her days running a fight club of which the staff were members.  The facility has since closed, and some of the rural counties which contracted with Klein for AC have failed to secure new contracts, instead taking found animals to private vets to be killed.

Today, an update on the case.  Former shelter director Angela Wallace will spend zero days in jail:

Ms. Wallace pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses in late June: Cruelty to non-livestock animals and illegal euthanasia.
She was sentenced to two years probation – the maximum length of time for misdemeanors.
She was charged $3,000 in fines and $594 in court costs for both charges and was ordered to perform 140 hours of community service, Cherokee County Attorney Dana Young told the Progress. Other conditions of probation included completing anger management classes and not owning any pets. Ms. Wallace cannot work with animals again.

If you are wondering what happened to the felony charge against Wallace, she utilized a state law which allowed her to admit guilt while not being prosecuted for it. If you are wondering where the justice is for the animals who suffered such heartbreaking abuse during Wallace’s time at the shelter, I got nothing.  I also have no information on what is happening with the other two employees who were charged in connection with the case but presumably, if the person in charge got off with probation, the subordinates will probably get less.  Maybe a bouquet with a “sorry we charged you” card from the DA’s office, I don’t know.

(Thanks Stephen, Clarice and Nathan.)

Police Facilitate Business for CA Dog Flippers

NBC Los Angeles described a story run on May 9 this way:

A man was reunited with his lost dog but was questioning why he was put up for adoption during his disappearance.

After reading the story, my take is uh, rather different.


Jack, as shown in a video on the NBC Los Angeles website.

A woman was caught on surveillance video stealing a purebred Havanese puppy who slipped out of his owner’s workplace.  She takes him inside a neighboring business and neither are seen again.  The owner, Lou Gotowski, immediately began searching for his puppy Jack on numerous fronts.  Jack has two microchips.

The owner found Jack listed for adoption on a website belonging to a non-profit called Pet Match Rescue, 40 miles from where Jack was last seen.  In checking the website for this group, I noticed they have mainly white & fluffies, many of them pups.  Which seems odd.  As is this:

Gotowski said the minute he tried to claim the dog, his ad disappeared from the website. He also tried to catch up with the rescue group during an adoption event at a Petco, but Jack wasn’t there.

Sounds legit.  Ultimately two women from the group contacted the owner and told him he could buy his dog back for $525.  They met at the local police station and instead of arresting the dognappers, police supervised the ransom exchange while an ACO scanned Jack’s chip to verify it was him.

An officer brought the fuzzy 6-month-old pup out, and Jack began squirming in excitement at the sight of Gotowski.

Jack kissed his owner and wriggled in joy, clearly happy to see a familiar face.

Gotowski wondered why the microchip wasn’t scanned earlier – it could have saved weeks of heartache.

Or:  I wonder why dognappers/puppy flippers would not comply with the law and scan their victims before resale.  Hmmmm.

From California Penal Code section 597.1:

(m) It shall be the duty of all peace officers, humane society
officers, and animal control officers to use all currently acceptable
methods of identification, both electronic and otherwise, to
determine the lawful owner or caretaker of any seized or impounded
animal. It shall also be their duty to make reasonable efforts to
notify the owner or caretaker of the whereabouts of the animal and
any procedures available for the lawful recovery of the animal and,
upon the owner’s and caretaker’s initiation of recovery procedures,
retain custody of the animal for a reasonable period of time to allow
for completion of the recovery process. Efforts to locate or contact
the owner or caretaker and communications with persons claiming to
be the owner or caretaker shall be recorded and maintained and be
made available for public inspection.

Just leaving that there.

The women from the nonprofit told NBC4 there was no dispute, but would not say how Jack came to them.

And to reiterate, this was at the effing police station.

“I got Jack back, and forever am I grateful but my big deal is how many other people have lost their dog in this type of situation? That’s the scary part,” Gotowski said.

Ya think?

(Thanks Clarice and Nathan.)

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, 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.)

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.


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.)

NY Shelter Refuses to Return Elderly Lost Dog to Family

Manson, as pictured on the CBS 6 website.

Manson, as pictured on the CBS 6 website.

When Alysha VanDyke’s 13 year old min pin slipped his collar and got lost last month, she began looking for him but there were no sightings of the dog, named Manson, for weeks. She thought that because of his advanced age and poor health, Manson may have gone off to die. But then a friend saw a posting on Facebook of a dog being offered for adoption by the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley. The dog looked like Manson so the friend alerted his family:

“We were like, ‘Oh my God here he is!’ And we thought that this was the greatest ending and everyone would be happy. Only to find out that was not so,” VanDyke said.

VanDyke says the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley refused to give her dog back when she called and then showed up at the shelter the very next day.

“It felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach. It’s like he’s here but I can’t see him? And now I can’t have him?” VanDyke said.

Ms. VanDyke says she showed photos of Manson to the shelter as proof of ownership. But shelter staff told her she wouldn’t be getting her dog back because he wasn’t neutered and therefore she’s obviously a crummy owner. Then they called the cops and had her escorted out of the place. The local CBS affiliate has repeatedly contacted the shelter and its attorney but their only response has been: Hide.

The shelter did post on Facebook about the situation with Manson. They basically say it’s the stupid owner’s fault she didn’t get her dog back because:

  • Didn’t reclaim him fast enough.
  • Not licensed.
  • The proof of ownership she provided was unacceptable.

Also, if the owner does somehow provide the sort of proof of ownership they fancy (while she’s being taken away by police, I guess), she’ll have to pay the extensive vet bills they’ve run up on the dog in addition to the other fees they charge.  Meanwhile, a feeble old dog is sitting in a shelter while his family is waiting for him at home.

So yeah the mandatory holding period expired.  But the shelter knows who the owners are NOW, knows they want their pet back, and knows how hard it is for old dogs removed from their home environment.  Why would you call the cops on someone trying to reclaim their pet – because they didn’t neuter the dog?  Why not use the opportunity to educate the owners, get the dog back home and look like heroes to the public?  Keeping the dog under these circumstances is just ugly.  I guess HIDE sounds like a reasonable plan for the shelter at this juncture.

(Thanks Clarice and Jan for the links.)

TZI: The Emperor Has No Clothes

Can I see some ID?

Can I see some ID?

The troubling Target Zero Institute, one of the sham “no kill” consultants that participates in the war on cats, is being called on the carpet by a no kill advocate in Huntsville, AL. At issue are the do-nothing tactics and general fakiness of the group:

Target Zero is actually a nonprofit called First Coast No More Homeless Pets which is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The name of the organization has flip-flopped in the last few years but it was last changed from Target Zero to FCNMHP in May of 2014; it has received numerous grants over the years, two of the largest being from the Best Friends Animal Society (a 2012 grant for $340,000 and a 2013 grant for $280,000).
Target Zero was in Huntsville in early September of 2014. We found out in early March of 2015 that the City had signed a contract with Target Zero on January 15, 2015. When I contacted Cameron Moore of Target Zero in March of 2015 to inquire about plans moving forward, I was told that a Town Hall meeting would be held at some point. Beyond that, there were no specific plans shared with me during our hour-long phone conversation. When I expressed the opinion of our coalition that the city should make a commitment to become a no kill community in order to obtain an in-kind commitment from the public, I was told this position is “silly.”
Target Zero has yet to become visible in this community, to hold a Town Hall meeting here or to otherwise inform the public of how it plans to make ours a no kill community.

As a backdrop to the Huntsville fraud, the shelter in the city of Jacksonville, TZI’s home base, is in disarray. The division chief is quitting her job while under investigation for falsifying records to make it look like the facility has achieved “no kill”:

The city’s inspector general confirmed Thursday that the chief of Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services Division who resigned Wednesday is under investigation.
Nikki Harris’ resignation came a month after at least two whistleblowers made allegations that the shelter was being mismanaged and possibly putting animals’ lives in danger.
Harris personnel file shows that she came to ACPS from First Coast No More Homeless Pets in 2013. She was appointed chief the next year and given a salary of $90,000.

Gee, I’d like to keep a salary that size too, if I had one. Although I’d be inclined to actually do my job in order to keep the salary – not kill animals and lie about it. But I guess I’m “silly” too.

The emperor will presumably continue to show off his invisible clothes. The question is, how much longer must the animals being victimized by this chicanery, especially cats, wait for Best Friends, the Jacksonville Humane Society and the other enablers to start protecting their interests.  Because waiting is lethal.

(Thanks Brie and Clarice for the links.)

Google Reviews of Memphis Pound

Some of the dozens of reviews which have earned MAS a 1.5 star rating on Google:

mas google reviews
mas google reviews1
mas google reviews2
mas google reviews3
mas google reviews4 mas google reviews5
mas google reviews6

(Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.)

Lady Transforms Life at City Pound, Mayor Tells Her to Beat It

It sounds like life for lost and homeless dogs in Livonia, LA used to be pretty wretched if they ended up at the city pound:

The dog pound is located outside, directly behind town hall and is tended to by a single paid employee. The Mayor of Livonia tells NBC33 his name is Brian and he looks after the dogs every afternoon.

Penned up outside, waiting all day long for a guy to come by to clean and throw some food down. And I don’t imagine Brian works 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year either. So there were probably even longer gaps in there which would be cruel to any dog, especially puppies who need to eat several times a day. It doesn’t sound like there was any veterinary care offered to the dogs and ultimately, they were killed – because you know, “unwanted” and such.

But last year, Lisa Shields moved to Livonia from Texas where she had been a shelter volunteer.  She offered her services to the city.  And how:

For nearly a year, Shields fed, bathed, and cared for the dogs like they were her own children. She would take them to adoption events, raised money for them, paid for their vet bills and never asked for anything in return.

Ms. Shields says she had an agreement with Brian that she would care for the dogs in the mornings, since he wasn’t there.  She says things had been working out very well and killing had been completely eliminated since she came on board.  Success by anyone’s standards.  Or not:

At some point in the last month, Shields says Brian started having issues with the work she was doing with the dogs. The Mayor took issue too, saying Shields was over stepping her boundaries.

“I’m not saying she was breaking any rules but we have things that we have a guy, you know, that does washing of the pens, the feeding of the animals, you know, and we asked her, you know, don’t do those type of things” says Troy Chustz, the Mayor of Livonia.

The mayor banned Ms. Shields from the pound.  And that’s with her not breaking any rules but simply volunteering to do some additional feeding and cleaning.  I guess if she had broken any rules the mayor would have sent her to Gitmo.

“I can’t even drive by there and look now to see if there’s dogs down there because I know they’re just going to get the blue juice and be buried in the bayou and it’s just heartbreaking, it didn’t have to be this way, it didn’t have to go this far” continues Shields.
Shields is now hoping she can rally the town behind her at the next city council meeting.

Geez, I hope so too.  Come on Livonia, give the lady who single-handledly eliminated the needless killing of the community’s lost and homeless pets while vastly improving their quality of life and paying their vet bills one more chance.  Pretty please?  If she promises to let some puppies go hungry and sit in filth?

(Thanks Davyd for the link.)

Forsyth Co Oops-Kills Cherished Pet, meh

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Maximus, as pictured on the Fox8 website.

Forsyth Co forced the owner of a dog who scratched someone to surrender him for an 8 day quarantine at the pound.  Ashley Burton had adopted the border collie/labrador retriever mix, whom she named Maximus, as a puppy 5 years ago.  It was heartbreaking for her to surrender her pet:

“I was in tears and could barely speak with him because I just didn’t want to let him go,” Burton said.

After the 8 days expired on July 2, she went to the Forsyth Co pound to pick up her beloved Maximus.  Pound staff gave her a pitbull mix named Spike instead of her own pet.  She waited for 30 minutes while they looked for Maximus then was taken to the manager’s office:

“He said, I don’t want you to panic right now, but we can’t find your dog,” Burton said.
Burton was then told there was nothing else she could do, and to go home while the shelter investigated.

Yeah don’t panic.  And definitely don’t look at the numbers Forsyth Co reported to the state of NC last year, reflecting the killing of 63% of the dogs and cats in its care.  OK, do panic.  But please, do it at home.  We’re busy killing animals here.

Ms. Burton later received a phone call from the pound manager explaining that staff meant to kill Spike but killed Maximus instead.  Oops.  The local Fox affiliate went to the pound director, who never contacted Ms. Burton personally, to find out what happened:

“At some point, either the identifying kennel cards were switched, or the dogs themselves might have been switched,” said Tim Jennings, Director of Forsyth County Animal Control.

Jennings said, since the picture taken of Maximus was not clear, and their descriptions were similar, it resulted in the mistake.

“The photograph is to be the definitive security issue, and in this case we could have done a better job there,” Jennings said.

So basically something got switched, we don’t know what exactly, and we took a crappy picture which is our “definitive security issue” but whatevs, and big black dogs, and did I mention we kill 63% of the pets here?  So I mean, odds are…  Also:

Jennings also told FOX8 that this is not the first time the wrong dog has been euthanized at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter. He said a similar incident happened some time in 2014.

Some time in 2014, some incident, some thing.  Oh but don’t ask for any sort of reform because Forsyth Co is on it:

Jennings said the photograph issue, among others, has been addressed.

See, it’s a photograph issue.  Like cropping.  And it’s been addressed.  Whew.  So just forget about the oops-killing of an owned pet and whoever might have been responsible for that still working at the place and the fact that 63% of the pets who come through the front doors leave in garbage bags.  We’re keeping the public safe!

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)