First and foremost I would like to stress this is a peaceful attempt to bring awareness to an ongoing issue that is currently affecting our city pound. For quite some time, residents of our town have been asking for change to the way things are being handled and dealt with at the pound, answers to questions regarding the welfare of the animals being housed there, and reasons as to why multiple dogs are missing/unaccounted for or have been euthanized. So far, no direct answers have been issued, only claims that these issues are being "looked into" and an answer will be provided when paperwork has been received. It's been well over a month and still no word. The Animal Welfare League has literally begged to cover medical expenses for the animals in need of verterinarian assistance out of their own pocket (no charge to the city), provide labor (free of charge) to ensure proper housing conditions, food & water (again free of charge) so that these animals can have proper nutrition, all in addition to working tirelessly to network and find the unclaimed animals a good home and avoid being euthanized.
Beyond being a lover of all God's creatures, this request is personal for me. While on a weekend getaway our dog of 13 years managed to get through the gate of a fenced in back yard and go for a run. While not unusual, she did slip her collar before getting out. After awhile she still had not returned and this was definitely odd. She's always ran around for a bit and came straight back wanting to be let back in the gate. We arrived back from our trip on Monday & started calling the pound since Lady had been missing overnight and there was no sign of her anywhere. No answer, the pound was closed. Tuesday: No answer, the pound was closed. Wednesday: Dispatch was called to see why no one was at the pound for 2 consecutive days & we were told no one was there today either so we should call back tomorrow and ask if someone was there. Thursday: Same response from the dispatcher informing us we had to call back the next day. At this point my dad became angry and asked to speak to an officer to complain. Upon being transferred, he was informed that our dog was indeed out there and had been picked up on Tuesday by the Animal Control Officer after a woman in the neighborhood called to complain about a dog romaing around. My dad asked why no one had been out there all week and he was told if he went out there right now there should be a woman there that will let him get our dog. With no answer to his question he hung up and they left to go pick up Lady.
Horror, disgust, outrage, heartbreak, all do not begin to do justice to what was witnessed. The pens were beyond filthy and caked in feces. The new ACO was onsight and apologized profusely for the conditions and informed my parents it was her first day out there and she was working really hard to get everything cleaned up. She also claimed the dogs had no food or water for the past 2 days, a statement she now says was misunderstood as what she meant was OUR dog had refused to eat or drink the past 2 days (although this was her first day being out at the pound.) Finally, our dog was spotted huddled behind a wall in a segregation pen. She is a long haired dog and her coat was completely matted with feces, urine, vomit, and fly eggs. Horriffingly disgusting to say the least. Her eyes had a 2 inch thick layer of pus that had oozed from both her eyes and crusted over preventing her from being able to see. It was obvious she had been hosed down with Mace. Mom called for her to come but she could not see and was too weak to walk. After several failed attempts to stand, she began trying to drag herself towards my mom's voice but was too weak to even do that.
This was a healthy dog prior to this tortureous experience. She was 13 years old, but she was healthy for her age. Lady never showed any signs of aggression and would eagerly walk up to any stranger in hopes they would pat her head and love on her. She was the most loving dog I have ever seen. The ACO informed my parents she was supposed to charge them a fee for picking up our dog but she said she wouldn't do that given the circumstances. She continued to apologize profusely and said she would do all she could to make sure things were taken care of at the pound.
After getting her home mom cleaned and flushed her eyes repeatedly trying to clear them out. She gave her water and she couldn't even keep it down. She was vomiting profusely. She tried cooling her down with wet towels and tried to get her to eat some chicken broth. She eventually was able to keep that and some water down but could not gain enough strength to stand. Her breathing was shallow and labored so we took her to the vet where he said she had a temperature of 105 and was severely dehydrated. He said he would do what he could but didn't know if she would pull through or not. Lady spent the night at the animal hospital but showed no signs of improvement the next day. It would take another day for the lab results to come back so we had to sit and wait and pray for our loved one. We awoke to the sad news on Saturday that there was no hope for Lady. The lab tests showed she had suffered a heat stroke, her kidneys were failing, she appeared to be blind, and the damage to her internal organs was beyond repair. The humane thing to do was have her put down and end her suffering.
So we brought our angel home in a box, the end result from being housed at the city pound. The same pound that is funded by our tax paying dollars has just allowed our pet to die because she had no water for 2-3 days in heat that was in excess of mid to high 90's. It was obvious to any moron this dog was in serious need of medical attention. Why, if someone was out there checking on them, was she allowed to lay there and suffer in such deplorable conditions?
Sadly it appears these same issues have been brought before the commission and police department before and still nothing is being done. We have been fed lie after lie, excuse after excuse, finger pointing to shift blame onto someone else, AND IT HAS TO STOP!!! There is NO reason why this is happening. Why is the city administrator so adamant that volunteers from the Animal Welfare League not be allowed on the property to photograph the animals that have gone unclaimed, in hopes to have them adopted so they can live a happy, healthy life?? Why are animals missing and dropping dead for no reason?? Why is the city refusing to allow someone to pay out of their own pocket to help these dogs since they clearly are not going to provide medical assistance when needed themselves?!?!? Why, Why, Why, Why, Why???
My family chose to take the high road and are making every attempt to have this manner handled properly, peacefully, and quickly. There are still animals at the pound that may or may not be suffering the same way our precious pet suffered. To date, we have declined several interviews with various media outlets & the option to file a class action lawsuit against the city. We are hoping it doesn't have to go to such unnecessary lengths to get such a simple resolution. The time for change is now!! This problem has gone on long enough and it needs to stop today. Please, for the love of animals and humanity, help us during this difficult time to bring hope and reassurance to our furry friends who cannot speak for themselves. They should not suffer another minute due to the ignorance of those who consider this an out of sight out of mind problem. The Animal Welfare League respectfully asks to be allowed onto the premesises to look for themselves and ensure these animals are being cared for properly. The "word" of our city leaders can no longer be valued or trusted after multiple instances reflect their lack of sympathy, compassion, or interest. So far, my status has been shared & liked in excess of 75,000 on Facebook. Please take 2 seconds of your time to sign this petition so we can show our city officials we are no longer going to tolerate this sickening injustice to animals. I promised our sweet Lady her death would not be in vain. Please have a heart and help us out.