Ebony’s Owner Requested Euthanasia at MAS, All Ebony Got was a Cage to Suffer In

End of life decisions for pets are painful and difficult.  None of us wants to take a pet in for euthanasia too soon and at the same time we don’t want to wait too long.  On the one hand, there is hope the pet could possibly rally once more and have a little bit more quality time in this life.  On the other hand, when the vet has told you there is no reasonable hope for recovery and you believe your beloved family member has no rallies left in her, you don’t want her to needlessly suffer through to the natural end of life.  Nature can be cruel.  Euthanasia is the final kindness we can offer to our pets.

Speaking for myself, once I’ve made the decision that it’s time, I don’t want to delay.  I want the suffering to end as soon as possible.  My vet has always been very good about moving us to the front of the line in these cases.

This is one of the reasons why, when reviewing the records for the many animals who die in their cages at the Memphis pound each month, I found Ebony’s story so heartbreaking.  Ebony was a 15 year old pitbull whose health was failing.  She had stopped eating, which is one of the ways dogs prepare themselves for death.  She had wasted away to a mere 20 pounds.  Her owner decided it was time.  He brought her to Memphis Animal Services on the afternoon of May 10 and requested euthanasia.  It was a Tuesday, when MAS was open for “all services” from 1pm to 7pm.

ebony cage card

Copy of Ebony’s cage card at MAS, obtained via FOIA request.

Rather than immediately get a vet to look at Ebony and then, assuming the vet agreed that she was medically hopeless and suffering, perform the euthanasia, MAS staff put her on a dolly, wheeled her to a cage in the kill-holding room and left her there.  A staff member entered a note in her records indicating she was a “high priority euthanasia”.  But it was after 4 pm and apparently high priority means something other than HIGH PRIORITY at MAS, at least after 4pm.  Ebony was left alone in a cage to suffer until she finally died at some point before someone on the next morning shift noted she was dead.

I have held my own elderly, frail, weak dogs in my arms at the end of their lives.  I have carried them, sometimes in blankets, as gently as possible, knowing every movement is painful for them.  It makes my stomach turn to think of MAS putting 20 pound Ebony on a dolly and wheeling her to a cage. Leaving her there alone, in pain, surrounded by the smells and sounds of fear from the other dogs awaiting death, makes my heart hurt.  She must have been confused and frightened on top of her physical torment.  I dread to think how long every minute of those dark hours must have seemed before death finally arose from the cold concrete to embrace her.

But as awful as all of that is to imagine, the thing that pissed me off was the solitary vet note entered in Ebony’s records:

ebony med note Passed while sleeping.  Excuse fucking me?  THIS is the vet note?  Not, “none of us here are doing our jobs so we just left this pet to rot” or “appears to have groaned in agony all night long, alone in the dark while we cashed our paychecks” but the ever so peaceful sounding “passed while sleeping”.  So tranquil.  Almost like a service at a spa.  A spa for death.

That is some first class enabling/criminal cover up there.  I guess practice makes perfect.

Fire these outrageous excuses for animal care professionals already.  Every one of them.  Then prosecute them using the same standards as would be used against any citizen who intentionally left a dog to suffer like this.  This is hardly the first time.  And until the citizens of Memphis take a stand, it won’t be the last.

I hope your 15 years on this earth were beautiful and happy, Ebony.  I’m sorry your death at MAS was so needlessly cruel.  There are such things as monsters and you should not have had to find that out at the hour of your greatest need.  How many more, Memphis?

(Thanks Lou Ann.)

IL Veterinarian Accused of Brutal Acts Against Shelter Pets

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued a 17 page complaint against Andrew Kaiser, the contracted veterinarian for the Quincy Animal Shelter who also runs a private practice. The document alleges numerous incidents where Kaiser failed to exercise “skill and care” in treating animals. Two of the alleged incidents occurred at the shelter.

Kaiser allegedly strung up a friendly pitbull at the shelter in a chokepole until the dog couldn’t breathe, hanged him then slammed him to the floor. The dog, whom Kaiser was supposed to be vaccinating, was left bleeding from the mouth.

A chihuahua whom Kaiser was supposed to euthanize at the shelter reportedly behaved in an aggressive manner. Kaiser allegedly tightened the noose of a chokepole around the dog’s neck, dragging and choking him inside the cage. The dog ended up breaking several teeth against the cage wall before Kaiser finally dragged him to the ground and stepped on the tiny pet with both feet while injecting him.

The remainder of the incidents allegedly happened at Kaiser’s private clinic and seem to demonstrate a pattern of willful negligence and violence against animals. Surgeries, including declawing and limb amputation, were allegedly performed without pain medications being administered during or after the procedures. Post surgical patients were allegedly left to bleed to death, unattended. When a dog balked at being caged, Kaiser allegedly punched him in the hip repeatedly.

The city of Quincy needs to decide what to do with Kaiser’s contract.  I have suggestions.  The county state’s attorney is dragging his feet too:

KHQA reached out to Adams County State’s Attorney Jon Barnard.

He said his office is waiting for an outside consultant before making a decision on whether to charge Dr. Kaiser with criminal charges.

The outside consultant is reportedly the ASPCA.  They need the ASPCA’s opinion on whether stringing up a 5 pound dog in a chokepole, knocking his teeth out then standing on him with both feet while killing him rises to the level of criminal charges.  Because grey area.

While all of the allegations are horrifying, the one that sticks in my craw the most is the hip punching.  To me, that’s an indication of someone who has been abusing pets for years and knows how to inflict maximum pain without leaving visible marks.  And if the owner noticed the dog limping or crying out after jumping on the bed at home, he’d probably take him right back to Kaiser for treatment.  Nice little business model there.

I hope the city of Quincy and the county state’s attorney don’t take too long consulting on Kaiser’s skill and care.  How many more animals must suffer and die while they make up their minds?

(Thanks Clarice.)

Disturbing Surgical Complications at Maricopa Co Shelter

An investigative report that appeared on azcentral.com over the weekend examines several cases of surgeries with “grisly outcomes” at Maricopa Co Animal Care and Control in Arizona.  The most disturbing of these is the occurrence of pets who undergo spay surgery and then have their guts fall out shortly thereafter.  Vets at the shelter reportedly use a “simple continuous closure” where one piece of thread is used to suture the incision with a knot at each end.  If the knot at one end comes undone DOT DOT DOT.  I didn’t go to vet school and I’m very bad at sewing but this is how I sew socks and I can’t imagine it’s a good way to sew up a spayed dog.

Assistant County Manager Rodrigo Silva, who oversees the Maricopa Co shelter, cites the facility’s 0.05 percent surgical complication rate:

“I found no lower case of complications than we have here,” Silva said. “Can we do much better? It is unreasonable to expect zero (complications).”

Fair enough.  Some complications are going to occur after surgery.  It doesn’t necessarily indicate incompetence.  But as a layman, I can’t help thinking that stitching the surgical incision sufficiently closed so the guts don’t fall out is something that should be a given.

In the estimated 111,000 surgeries performed by vets at the Maricopa Co shelter between 2008 and 2013, records indicate that 72 animals had their incisions rupture, also referred to as dehiscence.  That is an alarming number to my mind.

[Melanie Peters, manager and veterinarian at the Tempe Spay-Neuter Clinic] said spay incisions should not just come undone.

“If it is done correctly, it shouldn’t happen,” Peters said. “There’s no reason you can’t do high-volume spay and neuters … without complications.”

[…]

She said any clinic racking up dozens of dehiscence cases in less than six years needs to change its operation.

“There should be no expectation of dehiscence,” she said. “I wouldn’t expect all of the clinics in the Valley (combined) to have those kinds of numbers.”

And dehiscence is not the only surgical complication suffered by pets at Maricopa Co:

The records show instances of “blade left in abdomen,” “gauze left in abdomen,” “lacerated spleen,” “incised bladder” and “surgical infection.”

There are cases where animals returned to heat after being spayed. There are cases of abdominal bleeding. The county cites “anesthetic deaths.” At least one animal “died before recovered” and another “died after recovering.”

Gee, that 0.05% complication rate doesn’t sound so swell anymore.

In what seems to be a glaring oversight, the vets performing surgeries at the Maricopa Co shelter are not accountable to the state vet board:

Veterinarians are typically subject to Arizona’s Veterinary Practices Act. But the law makes an exception for pet owners and allows them to treat their own animals.

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control officials maintain the shelter owns the animals that are abandoned to its care. Therefore shelter veterinarians are, in essence, treating their own animals and not subject to state oversight.

That means veterinarians working for county and private shelters cannot be disciplined for mistakes that, if made by vets in private practice, could be punished with fines, probation and license revocation.

The Maricopa Co shelter reportedly has a contract which specifies that the shelter is the legal owner of the animals in the facility.  And since the statute exempts “a person treating an animal belonging to himself”, shelter vets are not answerable to the state board, even when animals they spay end up with their guts on the floor.

This is concerning on several fronts.  First off, why is it ok for owners to perform surgery on their own animals in Arizona?  Secondly, shelter vets should not be exempt from state oversight – practicing veterinary medicine is practicing veterinary medicine.  And why does Maricopa Co have a contract declaring the county to be legal owners of the animals at the shelter?  Shelters are intended to be short term holding facilities for lost pets whose owners are looking for them and for pets in need of new homes.  It is widely understood that the county is merely housing the animals temporarily, not taking ownership of them.

There appear to be some serious flaws in the statutes and county contract which need to be remedied.  Instead, the county created a task force to identify ways to improve conditions at the shelter.  *yawn*  I hope “Keep the innards on the inside” makes the list.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

More Tragic Cases of Veterinary “Care” at the Memphis Pound

Puppy ID #275425 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Puppy ID #275425 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Puppy ID #275425 was impounded as a stray by MAS on February 27, 2015. Her age was estimated as 8 weeks and she weighed just 7 pounds. Her intake condition was listed as “poor”. Records indicate she was unable to bear full weight on her right rear leg due to a dislocated hip. There was no x-ray taken at the “state of the art clinic” as notes indicate “system currently unavailable”. On March 5, it was noted that she had soft stool and that “overfeeding” must be ruled out as the cause. Records indicate she was being fed just 1/2 cup of food per day. A puppy this age and size would need to be fed this amount 3 – 4 times a day.  Feeding just 1/2 cup per day would presumably be prosecutable under local cruelty statutes.

A rescue group offered to take the puppy but MAS refused to release her intact.  Because policy, MSN, whatever.  On March 7, despite her young age, poor condition, dislocated hip and starvation diet, MAS spayed the puppy. She died shortly after the procedure.

***

Dog ID #275494 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

Dog ID #275494 at the Memphis pound, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive.

An 8 year old dog, ID #275494, was impounded as a stray by MAS on March 2, 2015. The medical records indicate he was “emaciated” with a body condition score of 1/9 and had “deep degloving type wounds” to both front legs and “pyotraumatic dermatitis over rump”. The vet notes state that the dog needed “daily cleansing of wounds”. There are no notes to indicate the dog ever received this daily wound cleansing. There are no notes indicating the dog ever received any medication for pain. In fact, the note “monitor for pain” was entered in the vet notes on March 2, as if there was some doubt as to whether a dog whose front legs are flayed would experience pain.

Thankfully after 10 days at the pound, the dog was pulled by a rescue group.  I assume he finally got the care he needed immediately thereafter, thanks to the irresponsible public.

Taxpayers pay the head veterinarian at MAS $87,400 a year.  In case any vets out there are looking for a job where you don’t have to work too hard.

Case Update: Contracted Dolton Veterinarian and Employee Indicted on Felony Cruelty Charges

The Village of Dolton, IL contracted a private vet clinic, the Dolton Animal Hospital, to care for stray pets.  The animals were housed in the clinic’s basement.

In September, a Dolton police officer was dropping off a stray dog at the vet clinic and observed conditions reflecting serious neglect.  Four of the dogs in the hospital were dead in their cages, urine and feces were everywhere, and nine other dogs and one cat were starving to death.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Police removed the surviving animals and shut the place down.  A reporter spoke briefly with the clinic’s owner who seemed unimpressed with the public interest in his basement torture chamber:

“It’s a sad situation, but we’ll look into it and get back to you if there’s anything more,” said Dr. Amardeep Sangha[.]

This week, there is something more.  Although Sangha and one of his employees, Sharon Cargile, had been initially charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, charges were upgraded after necropsy results came back on the dead dogs revealing the pets had been starved to death.  Sangha and Cargile now face 3 felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

Sangha’s attorney, Scott Frankel, appeared with him in court on Wednesday.  He seems about as unimpressed with dogs being starved to death as his client:

“Obviously, we are very disappointed, we believe, at the worst, what happened here should have been resolved as misdemeanors, if anything.”

If anything.  Because starving pets in cages next to dead pets whom you’ve already starved while pocketing cash from taxpayers to care for stray animals is nothing, basically.

“I’m sure when we get into the details it will be obvious to everyone that he is a responsible doctor, he is a great guy, he’s a family man, he’s supporting a family. And he still feels terrible that he has to answer all of these charges in court,” Frankel said.

I can’t wait to learn these amazing “details” so I can get on board with this Great Guy thing.  What a life transforming event that’s going to be – journeying from here to way, way over there.  And oh, how distressing that he has to answer for his crimes.  In court, even.  Like a common Not Great Guy.

Cargile failed to show up in court so there is a warrant out for her arrest.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Shelter Pet Abuse and Cowards In Taos County, NM

In New Mexico, the city of Taos as well as the county of Taos pay a group called Stray Hearts more than $230,000 a year to perform animal control duties. Stray Hearts hired veterinarian Eugene Aversa to work at the facility in November 2013, providing medical care to the animals. He resigned last month, after a complaint made by shelter volunteers and staff led to a hearing before the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine, the findings of which were damning:

Eugene Aversa was found to have violated state codes in his treatment of or failure to treat 18 animals.
[…]
In its order, the seven-member board suggested Aversa was not qualified to work as a veterinarian at Stray Hearts. The order said Aversa “did not exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence that reasonably prudent New Mexico veterinarians would have employed” in several cases. The doctor’s care for some animals was found to have constituted “gross negligence,” including in the case of a dog with a fractured paw which eventually fell off, a dog with cancer and a cat with a fractured paw as well as exposed bone.

Details of individual animals forced to suffer under Aversa’s “care” are disturbing to read.

A cat named Taffy was being given fluids by Aversa when the needle slipped out from under Taffy’s skin and the fluids spray Aversa in the face. The state report indicates Aversa threw Taffy to the floor in response. A worker found Taffy dead in her cage the next day, “with blood everywhere.”

A dog named Petey came to the pound in March 2014 with a fractured paw and Aversa left him to suffer until late July when he finally performed surgery on the dog. The state report says Aversa subsequently refused to change Petey’s bandages regularly and his paw eventually “fell off.”

Felicia Valencia, who assisted Aversa during procedures, says it took 90 minutes for a kitten to die after being “euthanized” by Aversa, and that the kitten’s suffering was only ended when Aversa finally jabbed a needle in the pet’s heart.

Ms. Valencia says when she spoke up about the abuse she witnessed, the shelter administration fired her.  Several Stray Hearts board members have resigned this year and the director recently quit.  Aversa’s malpractice and the shelter administration’s failure to take action to stop it has obviously taken a toll.  Still, the administrators appear to be trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug:

 Asked whether Aversa had been qualified to work at the shelter, the nonprofit’s chair said Tuesday she was “not qualified to comment on the veterinarian’s qualifications.”

Yeah, that’s not the only thing the administrators for Stray Hearts aren’t qualified to comment on.

The state veterinary board suspended Aversa’s license for 30 days and ordered him to shadow a shelter vet for 64 hours without pay. Once the required hours have been put in, Aversa will again be allowed to practice, and will be on a probationary status with the board. Which will surely bring comfort to any animals he hurls to the floor or leaves to suffer in pain until their fucking feet fall off.

If you live in Taos County, contact county manager Stephen Archuleta and tell him you don’t want one more penny of your tax money paid to Stray Hearts unless the entire board steps down.  Let the vols and staffers who filed the complaint run the place while things get sorted out.  Or find another group to contract for animal control.  Maintaining the status quo is unacceptable.  If Stray Hearts won’t do right by the lost and homeless animals in Taos Co, it’s up to the public to demand immediate changes be made.  At minimum, the shelter animals in Taos Co deserve a vet who won’t hurt them but will instead do his job to help them and shelter administrators who recognize that hurting pets is intolerable and will take action to protect the animals, not the abuser.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

No One Minding the Store in Dolton, IL as Stray Pets Suffer and Die

The Village of Dolton, IL indicates on its website that it uses Cook Co for its animal control services.  It’s not clear that either the village or the county has a facility to shelter animals.  But the ABC affiliate in Chicago reports that Dolton pays a private vet clinic, the Dolton Animal Hospital, to care for strays:

The Village of Dolton has had a long-time agreement with the hospital to drop off strays, even when the facility is closed. The hospital gets a fee from the village to take care of the strays.

On Sunday, a Dolton police officer was dropping off a stray dog at the vet clinic and observed conditions reflecting serious neglect.  Four of the dogs in the hospital were dead in their cages, urine and feces were everywhere, and nine other dogs and one cat were starving to death.

Dep. Chief Michael Anton of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police said the animals “were very close to dying” at the time they were removed by authorities on Sunday.

“As far as we know, we have not had any complaints here,” Dep. Chief Anton said.

That does not appear to be the case, per reporting form the CBS affiliate in Chicago:

Tina Robinson says her dog Duke was like a member of her family when she boarded the dog at the hospital for a week back in July. It that was the last time she saw her beloved pet alive.
She said the dog was healthy.
Robinson says she notified village officials about her concerns but was told nothing could be done about the hospital.

The Cook County sheriff’s police are investigating the clinic, which has been ordered closed, and have questioned an employee. No arrests have been made at this time. The CBS reporter got a brief moment to speak with the clinic’s owner on camera, but he seems lackadaisical about dead dogs rotting in his hospital, noting to the reporter that they were all strays, so pfft:

“It’s a sad situation, but we’ll look into it and get back to you if there’s anything more,” said Dr. Amardeep Sangha, describing what happened inside his hospital.

Sangha says he’s been in business for 20 years. He says some of the animals are strays brought to him by the village in many cases already sick and dying.

He says the four dead dogs had all been abandoned to the streets.

“Those are all stray dogs.”

Gee, if only there was someone who went to vet school who was getting paid to take care of these animals. dot dot dot

Cook Co AC took the surviving animals away to an unnamed shelter. No word on whether those animals are now being cared for properly or if they’ve been killed.  The vet reportedly hasn’t been seen since his interview with the TV news and police have not spoken to him.

It seems hard to believe this kind of squalor developed in a vacuum. What about the previous dog who was left by police officers or ACOs at this place – did anyone notice anything wrong then? Or the pet before that? Or anyone, anytime, anything?  Did Dolton officials simply keep handing over checks to Dr. Sangha, asking no questions?  Did they communicate with the officers who dropped off stray pets at the hospital?  What about the lady whose healthy dog died while being boarded there – was her complaint filed in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’? How deep does the incompetence run in Doltsville Dolton?

(Thank you to everyone who sent me this story.)

Hillsborough Co Describes the Needless Suffering and Death of a Mama Dog and Her Pups as a “Distraction” from “Progress”

The troubled Hillsborough Co pound in FL has placed a veterinarian on administrative leave after she allegedly left a pregnant dog to suffer and her puppies to die.

The pregnant mixed breed dog was impounded on Saturday and the ACO informed the vet tech upon intake that the dog appeared to be in labor and in need of urgent vet care.  The tech examined the dog, confirmed that the dog was in distress during labor and alerted the vet on duty.  That vet, unnamed as of yet, did nothing – maybe painted her nails, I don’t know – but not one thing for the dog.  She never even looked at the poor pet.  When her shift ended, she went home for the night, leaving the pregnant dog in agony.

When staff arrived the next morning, they found the dog had managed to deliver one dead puppy but had lost so much blood overnight that the on-duty vet determined euthanasia was appropriate to end the dog’s suffering.  Unless this dog had been carrying a single puppy (unlikely for a dog described as a Pitbull mix), her remaining pups smothered to death inside her.

Taking a page from the well worn Killing Apologist Playbook, the county says that other than this bit of a wrinkle, everything is shiny:

“It’s really uplifting to see where the progress is, and that is what makes this situation even more disappointing,” said [Hillsborough County Pet Resources Director Ron] Spiller. “And it’s a distraction from the positive direction the shelter is now headed.”

A distraction?  It’s criminal neglect to my mind which should be prosecuted with the same fervor as Hillsborough Co would if a private breeder allowed this needless suffering and death to occur.  The county is currently investigating the distraction.  Vols say the vet in question has a history of similar behavior.

Here is an opportunity for Hillsborough Co to put their money where their positive direction mouth is:  Fire this vet immediately and ask the county prosecutor to bring charges.  Demonstrate to the community that animal neglect will not be tolerated, including and especially when it’s perpetrated by those charged with protecting animals from neglect.  Lead by example.  Anything less will indicate to me that Hillsborough Co is still piloting the same fail boat over the same waterfall.  Except now they have a mouthpiece to point out how refreshing the mist is.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Puppy Stops Breathing after Surgery at MAS, is Left Alone

Puppy #259882 at MAS, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive on October 8, 2013.

Puppy #259882 at MAS, as photographed by Memphis Pets Alive on October 8, 2013.

Puppy #259882 at Memphis Animal Services was approximately 8 weeks old and had rescue lined up but MAS spayed her on October 14, 2013 prior to release. The puppy was dead before 1o o’clock that night. Let’s take a look at what happened.  Keep in mind that I am not a veterinarian and as such, I will be asking lots of questions.

Portion of records from Memphis Animal Services for puppy #259882

Portion of records from Memphis Animal Services for puppy #259882

Portion of

Portion of records from Memphis Animal Services for puppy #259882

Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance with known recreational uses.

Xylazine is a Schedule IV, prescription-only drug with known recreational uses.  The label for xylazine includes the warning: “Do not use xylazine in conjunction with tranquilizers.”

Acepromazine is a tranquilizer.

Combi-Pen is an antibiotic and anaphylactic reactions are listed as a side effect.

Yobine is a reversing agent for xylazine.

This puppy could not possibly have weighed 98.5 pounds as indicated in the veterinary record.  Clearly an error was made in recording the dog’s weight.  Drug dosages are based on an animal’s weight.  A FOIA request filed with the city of Memphis revealed MAS does not maintain drug logs for any drug other than Fatal Plus.  If an overdose of Xylazine was administered to this puppy, the drug log would reflect that but since no such log exists, there is no way to check and the dosages listed above are the only records available, which we know contain at least one glaring error.  Yobine, the antidote for xylazine, was administered three times according to the records.

  • Why was epinephrine given when there is no note of cardiac arrest?
  • Why was Combi-Pen administered at the start of surgery instead of after the patient had demonstrated the ability to recover?

Here is where things go tragically wrong:

259882 vet record3

The puppy, who had gone into respiratory arrest while recovering from surgery and should have been considered a high risk patient from that point on, was apparently left alone after the tech punched out at 5pm.  At 8pm, the puppy was found seizing and her body temperature had dropped to an alarming 94 degrees.  Between 5 and 8pm, I would guess she was convulsing and that her tongue was probably white or blue.  How could this have possibly gone unnoticed for hours in a high risk patient at the “state of the art vet clinic” inside MAS?

Finding a puppy in this state would indicate emergency procedures – that is, the crash cart would be hauled out – intubation, lifesaving drugs, heated IV fluids and a warm water enema might all be immediately administered. Karo syrup and heated corn bags are not emergency medicine from a veterinarian in a “state of the art vet clinic” but rather something that panicked pet owners might try at home if they wake up to a seizing puppy in the middle of the night.

One note indicates that the “state of the art vet clinic” had no IV dextrose available.  I found it online for $2.29.

  • Why was 250ml of fluid administered to this tiny puppy (perhaps weighing 10 pounds) in a 5 hour period?  AAHA guidelines appear to recommend significantly lower rates.  Did fluid overload lead to this pups’ death?
  • Why wasn’t the puppy’s temperature taken as soon as she recovered from surgery and regularly thereafter?  Instead, the temperature was apparently never taken until someone noticed she was seizing and vocalizing at 8 o’clock at night.  By that time it was an extremely dangerous 94 degrees.  Did the failure to recognize and treat a possible low body temperature in this pup lead to her death?
  • Was the puppy given a dangerous drug combination (ketamine, xylazine and acepromazine) and/or possibly an overdose of one or more of these drugs based upon a wildly inaccurate weight listed in the record?
  • Why was this high risk pup apparently left alone for hours?  Did failure to monitor this pup as she was deteriorating lead to her death?
  • How does  $7.2 million shelter with a “start of the art vet clinic” not have IV dextrose on hand and why is the vet relying on things like karo syrup and heated corn bags to save lives?  Did Memphis Animal Services’ failure to secure appropriate clinic supplies and/or follow standard veterinary emergency medicine protocols lead to this pup’s death?

By the way, for anyone who didn’t catch the punch line at the end of the pup’s record, the vet attributes the pup’s death to a suspected liver disorder.  In other words:  I take no responsibility whatsoever, go Memphis yourself.

This isn’t the first time a dog has died at MAS post surgery because no one was monitoring the pet per standard veterinary protocols.  The city of Memphis has been a running a tab on neglect and cruelty at its pound for years. How many more pets must pay this debt with their lives before a local group takes meaningful action and demands reform?

Fire.  Them.  All.

Oops Killing in Douglas County, Georgia

The strange saga of the Douglas County pound has taken a dark turn.  Cheryl Bohannon’s two dogs escaped her yard recently, were picked up by Douglas Co AC and impounded.  Ms. Bohannon called the pound to advise she was on her way to pick up her pets.

Someone at Douglas Co, and it’s not clear from the article whether it was the impounding officer or another person, diagnosed an eye infection in one of the dogs and inexplicably sent both dogs to a local vet’s office.  The vet says she forgot to look at the accompanying paperwork for either dog and immediately killed both pets.  Oops.

For its part, Douglas Co seems to feel it’s off the hook as far as taking responsibility for the needless killings of these pets, going so far as to announce to the owner upon arrival:

“She says, ‘I’m so sorry, it was not our fault,'” said Bohannon.

I disagree.  For starters, it was apparently the county’s call to send both dogs to the vet when only one was in need of treatment.  And the vet they sent the dogs to seems to operate in “If it’s from Douglas Co, they must want the pets killed” mode – because that’s exactly what she did.

To not even so much as glance at the paperwork before killing seems negligent.  But what’s even more telling to my mind is the fact that these pets, save for a supposed eye problem in one of the dogs, were apparently healthy.  Anyone who graduated from vet school should be able to distinguish a medically hopeless and suffering dog in need of euthanasia from a healthy one with even the most cursory of exams – which presumably would be required before any killing.  This vet failed to make that distinction on not one but two pets.  This underscores my thinking that Douglas Co may routinely send healthy/treatable animals to this vet for killing, often enough that she doesn’t even blink when killing two healthy pets.

The vet offered to give Ms. Bohannon two other dogs.

“I said, ‘You can’t replace the dogs that I lost,” said Bohannon.

We understand.  Pets are family.  It’s past time Douglas Co started treating them that way.

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)