Injured dog handled like it was already dead by Downey Animal Care Center: Training needed
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November 17 2015, George Duran pulled over at an intersection in Compton, CA, where he saw a German Shepherd mix lying motionless in the street. Witnesses claimed that the Shepherd had been the victim of a hit and run, and that Animal Control had failed to respond. George took the Shepherd, along with a Pit-bull found at the scene (A4897882), to Downey Animal Care Center.
George, an ex Veterinary Technician, noted that the Shepherd’s rear quarters were injured, possibly broken. Upon arrival at the shelter, he made that clear to the Animal Control Officers (ACOs) that came out to his car to take the dog inside. Despite this, after struggling to move the dog, lifting it out the car by the scruff of the neck, and it falling on its side, the ACOs picked it up by its reportedly injured legs, and lifted it into a mobile kennel/cage. George stated; “They grabbed the dog like it was already dead. Instead of using a muzzle, they had bound the dog’s face with rope. The dog cried out in pain after being transferred into the cage. The way this poor dog was made to suffer was unnecessary and cruel.”
The incident was captured on this shocking video by George. A necropsy of the animal was requested by LA County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) Veterinary Chief of Staff Dr Solacito, however, the vet on duty stated the decision to euthanize was taken due to "signs of spinal injury" and the dog having "agonal breathing" (ie gasping). However, no X-Rays were taken whilst the animal was alive.
This is not the first time that animals’ health and wellbeing has been ignored by LA County shelter employees. Just recently on Sept. 19, 2015, Baca, a two-year-old Australian Shepherd mix tragically died after Carson shelter staff failed to treat him. This is despite rescuer Krista Place alerting Animal Control Officers twice within the space of one and a half hours of the need for him to receive emergency medical treatment. Baca had been throwing himself against the kennel walls and panting heavily.
There is no doubt in our minds that the handling of the Shep constituted cruelty, and the ACOs showed zero compassion for the wellbeing of this dog, and therefore appropriate action should be taken by DACC towards these individuals. That being said, we believe this incident is also indicative of a lack of training and all DACC employees should receive training on a) the handling of injured pets and b) recognizing illness and injury in pets.
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