Animal Abuse Allegations Draw Concerned Crowd

2 02 2011

Cumberland County Residents: We were alerted to this story and thought it would be interesting to you. If you can get involved – we encourage it – for Bruno’s sake!

By CookevilleTimes

Story Published: Feb 2, 2011 at 12:23 AM CST

Story Updated: Feb 2, 2011 at 12:23 AM CST

The crowd of over 100 people in the Cumberland County Courthouse last Thursday were hoping for change, or, at least an opportunity to talk about change.   But the committee chairman of the building and grounds committee, Mike Harvel (7th District Commissioner), told the assembled crowd that discussion of officers, shootings or investigations were not appropriate to the Thursday meeting and encouraged the crowd to focus on policy and procedures at Cumberland County’s Animal Control facility.

The assembled citizens, carrying signs that sad “Shame On You” were present as a result of two weeks of petitions and discussions related to the alledged abusive behavior of Animal Control Officers in Cumberland County. 

The allegations as discussions crossed in email over the past two weeks spurred an investigative reporting piece on Knoxville’s WATE station.  Photographs of a blood-spattered dog pen and a blood-soaked snow path were chilling as volunteers told reporters about “Brutus,”  a dog that had been scheduled for rescue the day after he was shot in his kennel.   Volunteers believe that the dog was eating and that he was shot in the top of his head, and state that the claim that he was viscious and charging the officer is not credible. 

Animal Control Officer behavior has been under fire as these volunteers and others have exchanged information over the past two weeks.  Allegations include the shooting of a schnauzer type dog fleeing capture, who was hiding under a car, rough handling, and gross neglect of animals in need of urgent medical care.

According to the leadership Thursday night, county attorney Randal Boston is reviewing state policies and will make recommendations following his investigation of the matter.

Asked to review the current policies of the facility, Harvel said that there was no policy in place today, but that state law regulations were followed.  Those regulations state that animals will be held from three to five days before they are euthanized. 

One woman in the meeting quesitoned the need for Animal Control Officers to carry guns, suggesting that they should carry tranquilizer guns instead.  When several people began to shout and cheer, Harvel said “We’re not going to get into that tonight.” 

After some discussion about the liabilities should a volunteer be bitten (a matter raised by the commissioners, not by the crowd), a motion was made by Commissioner Presley to ban volunteers from working at the county animal shelter.  Commissioner Seiber supported the motion, which prompted an eruption by the crowd holding the “shame on you” signs.

The motion failed, though Presley and Seiber continued to support it.  Voting against that motion were Commissioners Safdie, Carter, Harvel, Rimmer and Lynch.

Harvel indicated that the matter would be on the agenda next month, when an update from the attorney would be expected.


Winter Weather Hitting Shelters Hard

1 02 2011

With the east coast seeing the worst winter in years and still more storms bringing debilitating snow, ice and cold on the way, finding places to put the piles of snow isn’t the only problem. Animals shelters are suffering which means more animals being put down daily.

Since the storms began to hit the east coast in December, adoptions are on the decrease – meaning animals are staying in the shelters longer and shelters are limited in what they can do for new animals who need their services.

While we encourage careful consideration before choosing a new companion pet to bring into your family, if you have been considering adopting a dog or cat, now is as good of a time as any. With the shelters already bursting at the seams, the longer the animals are left, the higher the risk of them being euthanized simply because there’s no room at the inn. For each animal that is successfully adopted, another animal can add an extra day to their life in the shelter- giving them time to be placed in a loving and forever home.

Unsure about what animal is best for you? See our previous posts on adopting the right animal for you. Still confused? Contact us and we can help you find the right animal for your family from a reputable organization.

Hairless Kitten Freezes To Death At Bradley

31 01 2011

This post was originally written by Christine Church: Hartford Cats Examiner.  Being an animal transport organization, I felt this post while most definitely tragic, was worth sharing. It is important to consider the weather situation throughout your entire transport, not just your starting and ending destinations. This is a tragedy that certainly could have been avoided had the airline taken a few necessary precautions. Here is Christine’s entire post:

What an absolutely tragic situation. An 11 week old Sphynx kitten that was being flown from Utah to Bradley International Airport  in Connecticut, was left in the cargo hold while the plane was on the ground for an hour, the airplane’s climate control shut off.

Eyewitness News reports, “By the time kitten and owner united, Snickers was icy cold and couldn’t move her head or paws, Lombardi said. The kitten died a short time later.”

The kitten’s owner, Heather Lombardi, payed almost $300.00 to have her new kitten flown in special and cared for properly. This tragic death should never have happened. If the airline had done their job, the kitten would still be alive. Temperatures in CT, especially this winter (which has been especially brutal) have been ranging well below normal and a hairless kitten wouldn’t have a chance in this kind of cold, even for one hour! It would have been rough on any kitten to be confined in sub freezing temperatures for an hour, but one without hair just doesn’t have a chance.

The price of Snickers the kitten’s air fare included a fee to ensure her safe removal from the plane the moment it landed. This was neglected. Delta Airlines will be held accountable for the kitten’s death, but that won’t bring poor little Snickers back to life, nor does it even the score for the suffering she endured.

Lombardi and her daughter took the kitten to the vet immediately, but despite the heat of the car, the kitten let out a terrible cry and went limp. Hypothermia can cause the body’s organs to shut down and after a time, nerves go numb. The sudden heat on the kitten’s cold body brought nerves back to life causing extreme pain and shock. Ultimately, the kitten should have been warmed back up slowly, but chances are she was too far gone to have made it anyway.

In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, the airline could potentially face revocation of its license to transport animals. “The impact of cold on pets depends on body type, health, coat, where the breed was developed and for what purpose,” said veterinarian Louise Murray, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City. “For example, a greyhound will get colder faster than a cocker spaniel.”

Be careful when planning to transport pets by air. Check up with the airlines and be diligent about making sure the safety of your pet is top priority. If you suspect anything might not be right, ask!

Continue reading on Hairless Kitten Freezes to Death at Bradley – Hartford Cats |