Friday, January 20, 2006

Just Another Number: Animal “Shelters” Can’t Keep Track of What Dogs, Cats and Others they Are Killing. Those who Dump Animals Part of the Problem

This article just reminds me how much I hate animal control "shelters". It also reminds me of how much I hate people who dump previous companion animals at “shelters” for any reason. One, it’s irresponsible. Two, read the story and you’ll see why it’s one of the worst things to do. Three, healthy and smart animals end up confused, sick and maybe or maybe not, will be killed.

You’ll see pictures of two dogs at this shelter who were dumped. They appear healthy. Luckily they haven’t been killed yet (only due to paperwork mix up). A pure waste of life should they be killed. Shame on the lady who dumped them and THEN GOT A NEW PUPPY!. Sick, sick, sick.

Dogs thought dead are actually alive

Misfiled paperwork at Animal Control spared canines from being euthanized.


January 20, 2006

By Mary Jimenez

Rebel coughed as he peered through his kennel at Caddo Animal Control on Monty Drive in Shreveport.

Sick, but not dead.

The Catahoula-mix that is not even a year old and his partner, Sambo, a 3-year-old German shepherd, were thought to have been euthanized Jan. 6. But a technician's absence and misfiled records spared the dogs.

The two canines that were brought to the shelter by their owner Jan. 4 now are on the shelter's adoption list.

"I've already mourned over their loss and here they are alive," said Dianne Gallaspy of Mansfield, who brought Sambo and Rebel, two of her five dogs, in hopes of finding them a home. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. I've already gotten another puppy."

Two days after Gallaspy signed a release turning the dogs over to Animal Control, she called back to check on them. Gallaspy was crushed by the news that the dogs already had been euthanized.

But that's only what the records said. Kennel manager Annette Lewis was on vacation, the technician on call to euthanize Jan. 6 was absent and the paperwork for 15 dogs was misfiled.

"When I got back from vacation, I had to match each dog to a record and discovered the mistake," said Lewis, who returned to work Jan. 9. "It took me several days to straighten it out."

She learned of the circumstances surrounding Gallaspy's two dogs. "When I found out her two dogs were still alive, I tried to call and finally reached her Wednesday."

Not all dogs are adoptable, Lewis said, but these two dogs shouldn't be hard to find homes for. Both are popular breeds with families.

"They're both very sweet dogs. Rebel has a kennel cough, but we're treating him for that. And Sambo is getting neutered on Wednesday."

The other 13 dogs involved in the misfiled paperwork have been euthanized.

"I do save a lot of dogs," said Lewis, who often calls animal rescue groups to try to place animals.

"I have Pet Savers coming for three dogs with heart worms that can't be adopted out. And the German shepherd rescue group was coming to look at two shepherds I have."

Of about 10,000 dogs brought into the shelter last year, 70 percent were owner-released and about 8,000 had to be euthanized.

"We tell owners we cannot guarantee they will go up for adoption," Lewis said. "We hear everything -- 'They're too big, they're digging, they're old, they're sick.' This is an owner responsibility issue. And when it comes down to doing something about it, we're the bad guy."

Animal Control holds stray animals for seven days if they have a collar and for four if they don't. Dogs or cats placed in the adoption program are held until they find a home. There is no holding policy for owner-released pets.

While Caddo Commissioner Joyce Bowman understands Animal Control has a job to do, she'd like the owner-release policy changed. "There's a lesson here, and maybe we need to revisit the policy," said Bowman, who brought up the issue during a commission work session Tuesday. "They should at least hold them there for a little while longer."

Gallaspy, shaken but happy her pets are alive, said she probably won't go get the dogs as long as she knows they're going to be adopted.

"If I see them, it will tear my heart out again."

©The Times

January 20, 2006

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