Weekend Jade

“Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more”

080816 jade

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

leonard gobi

[x]

A Lesson in Empathy

mrchops ktnv

Mr. Chops, as pictured on the KTNV website.

What sucks:

A Good Samaritan picked up a lost dog in Henderson, Nevada last month and brought him to a local vet.  The vet scanned him for a chip and determined he had an owner.  The vet then called AC to pick up the dog.  Right then and there, either the vet or the ACO (or both) should have contacted the owner.  But that did not happen.  Instead, the ACO loaded the dog onto his truck then went on several other calls.

Meanwhile the dog’s family, Jim Whipple and his 17 year old son Brandon, were actively searching for him.  Mr. Chops had been rescued by the Whipples many years ago and was well-loved:

The Whipples say Mr. Chops loved to play with socks and was full of energy.
[…]
“If something was going on, he was always there to comfort you.”

At 4:30 pm, the ACO returned to the shelter, parked the truck and left for the day.  It was 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mr. Chops suffered in the heat, trying to claw his way out of the cage, until he finally died.  His remains were discovered the next day when the ACO returned to work.  The police department, which runs AC in Henderson, is investigating itself in the matter and won’t comment on the investigation.  They will say however that in future, the policy will be to brings dogs back to the shelter in a more timely manner and to check the truck to verify there are no animals on it before leaving for the day.  Ya think?

Although I said it at the beginning, it’s worth repeating:  all that sucks.  Mr. Chops’ agonizing death was entirely preventable.  The dog never should have been loaded onto the truck in the first place.  A microchip, as we are so often scolded by various AC outfits, is supposed to protect your pet.  But as has been reported way too frequently on this blog, microchips only work when AC does their job.  Government investigating itself is unacceptable.  The fact that there was no existing policy which required ACOs to check the trucks before leaving them for the day is inexcusable.

What doesn’t suck:

When the Henderson police realized that Mr. Chops was dead, they wanted to notify the owners:

The family was notified in person by a Henderson Police deputy chief, people from Animal Control and a grief counselor.

By sending these particular people to the Whipples’ home to deliver the tragic news, the Henderson PD not only demonstrated empathy for the family but also respect for the fact that to most owners, pets are family. They recognized that in all likelihood, the news would be heartbreaking for the Whipples.

And while many of us might be tempted to issue a call for someone’s head as a result of the needless suffering and death of our beloved family member, Mr. Chops’ people responded differently:

The Whipples say while they hope to see policy changes, they do not want to see the officer who left Mr. Chops in the back of the truck to lose his job.
[…]
The Whipple family was obviously devastated, but says they realize it was a tragic mistake.

“Honestly, I understand people make mistakes they can forget things. I often forget things, but it is a life. He is gone,” Brandon Whipple said.

“We as a family are concerned about the poor individual that made the mistake and left him in because they have the grief to live with,” Jim Whipple said.

Both father and son saying they hope that everyone can learn from Mr. Chops’ death.

Yes, I believe we all just did.  Thank you.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Pets Suffering at OK Pound

When June Woodall went to the El Reno pound in Oklahoma to reclaim her family’s lost dog, she found him in terrible condition and took him to her vet.  The vet determined he was extremely dehydrated.  The dog’s urine was black.  He had been at the pound for 2 days because the place is not staffed, making it difficult for the public to get inside.

Ms. Woodall went back to the facility later that week, concerned for the welfare of the pets still housed there.  She took video of caged pets in filthy conditions with no water or a very small amount of dirty water.  Outside, there were animal bones and piles of fur on the ground near the dumpster.

“So, I posted on Facebook trying to get some help. I called the after-hours number, and they said there’s nothing they can do. The police department answered. They said the guy was off work,” Woodall said.

The police department is responsible for running the pound:

“It’s not manned here, but we have two full-time animal control officers. They’re in and out, dropping off animals and then back out on calls,” said Lt. Greg Meeks with El Reno PD.

With one of those officers on vacation, Meeks said it’s been a tough week.

[..]

He said the animals are fed and provided water daily.

If a dog in your care for 2 days is pissing black, your “daily” watering would appear to be insufficient.

Lt. Meeks also told KFOR that people tie animals outside the facility since it’s usually closed.  He says the remains filmed by Ms. Woodall may have been dumped there too.

Maybe, although it seems extremely implausible to me that someone would dump bones and piles of fur next to a dumpster at a pound.  Most likely the pets were left there in some other state, prior to the extensive decomposition evident on the video.  I guess my question is:  How do they know that one or more of those pets were not left there ALIVE, perhaps tied to the dumpster or immobile from injury or old age?  They say people leave pets there regularly and they don’t know anything about how the bones got there.

In fact Lt. Meeks told News9:

“People will drop off animals, tie them up to the poles in front of the shelter or just tie them to the door knob or dump them off at the dumpster and we asked they don’t just dump the animals because it may be an hour or so before an animal control officer gets back and we want to make sure the animals are left in a safe manner,” El Reno police Lt. Greg Meeks said.

An hour or so. Bones and fur. Reconcile at will.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the video posted by Ms. Woodall.  The first shows kittens who appear to be sick and the second shows dogs in a dirty kennel with what appears to be a gaping hole in the floor, possibly an uncovered drain:

kittenselreno

dogselreno

I get someone going on vacation but come the hell on. This place either needs to be staffed properly, possibly with the help of volunteers if the police will unlock the doors, or they need to shut it down. Because this is unacceptable. I hope local residents will demand immediate reform in El Reno.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Weekend Jade

072416jadechew2

A chew in the shade.

Open Thread

Post anything animal related in the comments, anytime.  New Open Threads are posted weekly.

invictusk9

[x]

Eyewitnesses Report Seeing Maricopa Co Pound Worker Abuse Dogs

Arizona – Two sisters who went to Maricopa County’s West Valley Animal Care Center looking for pets to adopt say they heard a pound employee yelling at a pair of dogs he was trying to put into a kennel. They say they saw the worker repeatedly and violently kick the dogs, although one got most of the abuse, until the cage door was ripped off its hinges, pinning one of the dogs to the floor. The women say they filed a formal complaint at the pound regarding the incident.

Their eyewitness account of animal abuse at the Maricopa Co pound spread on social media. Kim Kulpa, an area rescuer who saw the post, went to the pound and pulled both dogs.  She says one was visibly shaken and injured:

“He was cowering on the ground as soon as I walked up and his eyes were bloodshot and his face kind of puffy, I knew something’s not right with this dog,” Kulpa said.
She decided to rescue the dogs and took Hugo to a veterinarian for x-rays and says that the injuries supported the sisters’ story.
“He had bruises on both sides of his face. She felt he had a concussion. His body had a little bit of swelling,” Kulpa said. “Consistent with blunt force or being thrown against a gate, possibly.”

The pound has placed the accused employee on administrative leave and is investigating itself in the matter. But:

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Phoenix Police tell ABC15 that they have no record of any reports being made.

Off to a good start.

Raise your paw if you have full confidence in the county’s ability to investigate itself with integrity and transparency regarding this abuse complaint which law enforcement denies exists.

Thank you to the irresponsible public for advocating for and rescuing these dogs.

(Thanks Clarice.)

Uh, I’m not –

wut

(Image via news website sidebar)

120 Animals Seized in Hoke Co, ASPCA Swoops In

A veterinarian in Hoke Co, NC filed a report with police after euthanizing a horse, reportedly for malnutrition.  The sheriff’s office obtained a warrant for the property, where a rescuer had been housing animals saved from pet killing facilities, and found approximately 120 animals, including horses, dogs, cats, goats and birds:

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said this is one of the worst cases he has seen in his 14 years as sheriff.

“It was sad to see those animals. It’s like they were happy to see us, the minute we opened the barn to let the horses out, they ran out and wanted to eat on the grass.”

Happy horses in a barn. Hmm. I am not a horse owner but that doesn’t sound particularly damning to me. I am guessing that most horses are probably happy to be let out of their shelter and like to run out and chomp-chomp on the grass. So how bad off were these 120 animals?

“There is no way she could not have seen what we saw. No way she couldn’t have known these animals were suffering and dying,” Peterkin said.
[…]
“Had we not gotten notification when we did, we would have a lot of dead animals.”

Wow. So these animals were literally on the brink of death. Gasping their last. Clinging to life. Skin stretched over their bones, presumably.

wncn hoke co dogs

via WNCN

The dogs look ok to me, although a few are a wee bit chubby. But in keeping with the drama, the sheriff called in the ASPCA to take all the animals away. And to rag on the owner some more:

“I would say that she didn’t go to these shelters to intentionally bring them here and then intentionally neglect them. The intent to neglect them came in when she failed to provide the care that she knows that they needed,” said Kathryn Destreza, director of investigations with the ASPCA. “I think, possibly, she thought she was doing the right thing, but I have to believe that the reality is at some point she knows she’s not doing the right thing by these animals and that’s inexcusable.”

She has to believe that at some point there was wrongdoing. She just has to.  Because otherwise that would mean there was no wrongdoing.  And they just took someone’s animals away for no reason.  Which would be – erm, inexcusable.

And:

When deputies searched the property last week, Destreza said, they found animals had no food, no water and had received no veterinary care.

“To me, that’s a tragedy,” she said. “They should have been better off then they had been.”

They apparently had food and water. Let’s not pretend that the tubbos were starving to death. As for vet care, I can’t say. I don’t even see an elbow callous or long toenails, let alone anything that would be described as a tragedy.  Now I will grant you 120 animals is an awful lot for one person to take care of, IF that was the case here, which I don’t know.  Maybe she needed some help?  Maybe placing some of the animals would have gotten her down to a number she was better able to care for?  Maybe the ASPCA could provide some education on how to find permanent homes for pets so she doesn’t get overwhelmed in future?  I guess that all sounds like work.  And not at all sexy.  Better to yell tragedy and worst I’ve ever seen and imminent mass death and get those photos for the fundraising emails and on to the next.

The rescuer has been charged with one felony count of animal cruelty and is due in court next on August 10.  She has been ordered by the court to have no contact with the animals while the ASPCA finishes hauling them off.

I wish the Hoke Co pound would start doing its job and actually sheltering animals instead of killing them.  Imagine how the community could work together to save animals if there was a true shelter in place.  Rescuers could partner with the shelter instead of operating in crisis management mode year round.  Law enforcement could shift their focus to other priorities, knowing the county’s lost and stray pets were safe.  And the ASPCA could go home and stay there.

(Thanks Lisa.)

Weekend Jade

072416jadehot

This is my hot face.

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