Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Death of innocence, lies, damn lies and statistics

20741 Gone but not forgotten
Animal ID # is 20741 -- I am a FEMALE, PEN 129 - LABRADOR
The shelter thinks I am YOUNG
I will be available for adoption starting on 12/03/2011

Webster's dictionary describes "skittish" as 1. Nervously excitable;; 2. Shy, coy or timid; 3.a. Excessively lively or frivolous; 3.b. Undependable : fickle.

Killing a young, year old dog simply because it is "skittish" is reprehensible.  What's missing from Webster's a definition which describes "skittish" dogs are the words "dangerous, not trainable or not adoptable".

Instead, even dogs that enter Gwinnett's "dysfunctional" Animal Shelter that are listed as "friendly" are being killed for picking up this deadly disease  called being "skittish".

One such victim of this abusive shelter policy that lacks any credible reasoning that justify taking an animal's life is a sweet one year old female lab mix only who's destiny turned out to be two numbers - she was listed as "20741" and she was 1 of 116 dogs killed in Gwinnett's "dysfunctional" Animal Shelter.

Open Records for this poor dog are disturbing.  They show a callous somewhat hateful nature of our animal control which allowed this poor dog and her running mate to be killed even though the shelter made little or no effort to seek alternatives which would have saved both of these precious animals.  It was a blatant act of betrayal that we should all be ashamed of.

The facts on these two are clear, they were picked up a few days after Thanksgiving and would be dead less than a week later.  They were deaths that didn't need to happen nor should have happened in a professionally run shelter.  Sadly, this happens all the time at Gwinnett's dysfunctional shelter and we citizens must insist that this senseless killing be stopped.

According to the Open Records Request the following time line was reported;

(Sunday) Nov 27, 2011 11:54 PM  - Call # P113312034

Nov 28, 2011 12:04 AM:  Officer Ryan Banaham writes in his report;

On 11/27 at 23:14 I impounded two stray canines.  Both canines are female lab mixes.  The black lab mix limps with the rear right leg.  Canine does not appear to be in any pain.  Will have officer Velazquez follow up.  Owner unknown.  Negative scan #1727.

Dec 4, 2011  8:35 AM  aid #20741 10-0 (killed) due to skittish behavior per 1707  1703

Dec 4, 2011  8:37 AM 10-0 (killed) aid #20740 due to possible URI per 1707  1703

Dec 5, 2011  1:57 PM  Dispatch K Arrington took a phone call from a Jim Henley who thought AID20740 might be his dog.  The dog had been euthanized (killed) the day prior, and the remains cremated.  Mr Henley was hoping to know if the dog had spots on it's tongue.  I contacted his wife 706-###-#### and advised her we had euthanized the dog and were not able to determine any further details.  1703 

Two young one year old dogs alive when they were picked up, described as friendly according to their intake sheets were DEAD less than seven days later with no effort whatsoever being made to find their owners or to consult the rescue community for help.

The reason these two are now dead doesn't matter.  Could that reason be the rumors of morale issues at the shelter on who was being scheduled to work the holiday weekend?  I don't know.  Could it be overcrowding - the answer to that is no.  Could it be that either suffered from an illness or condition that wasn't easily treatable - the answer is again no.  Could it be that the management practices at the shelter ALLOWS this killing to continue?

What is really sad is that while the shelter staff and management showed absolutely no concern about saving these two dogs the same can't be said by the rescue community. 

In fact, with no help from Gwinnett's rescue coordinator several local rescue advocates were working frantically trying to find a suitable rescue group to take these two in but since the shelter only made them available for "rescue" for one day these two were killed when in all likelihood help was on the way.

Here's a thread that was posted during those critical 48 hours when our hopes for these two just suddenly disappeared do to the thoughtless actions of the shelter staff that killed these two for no reason.

What allows an officer employed by animal control to come back to work after celebrating their Thanksgiving Weekend with his family including his family of pets; to return to work a few days later and take the lives of two innocent dogs who could have simply been tossed a dog dish full of food and left alone in a half empty shelter defies common. 

There is NO ROOM for the sadistic thought process that allowed these two dogs to be not only be killed but to be killed tow minutes apart while each were probably in the same room. 

I can only imagine the fear that went through these tow dogs minds in their final moments and even though I never had the privilege to meet either my heart is broken nonetheless.  I could not let them die in vain as if their lives were so insignificant that they were reduced to a statistic on the shelter's yearly shelter numbers. 

They are listed as killed when they should have been listed as being "adopted" or "transferred to rescue".  Instead of being alive living in a foster home and being taught to be well socialized pets they were killed and tossed into the incinerator.   

That is but one of thousands of failures with our current management at the shelter that reeks a stench that goes all the way up the chain of command to the inept management of our shelter by the Gwinnett Police Department.  If there ever was a reason to privatize our shelter and to bring in professional humane management this senseless slaughter of illness is an example.

Facebook help was on the way

On Facebook (a social networking tool that the shelter refuses to use) we find the following thread and comments on the picture included with this article;

Helping Animals at Gwinnett County Shelter. I like to watch my dogs sleeping, they look like angels.
December 1, 2011 at 12:23am ·

Kristin Bruns What's her status please??!!
I'm in in pensacola Fl. What GA Rescue can help me???

December 5, 2011 at 10:35pm ·

Carley Tigrett Omg this is the cutest thing I have ever seen! How old is this dog and male or female?
December 5, 2011 at 11:00pm

Kristin Bruns Female, young! I can find out tom am! Under a year for sure :) She's beautiful! :)
December 5, 2011 at 11:12pm

Carley Tigrett She is def beautiful! Can u find out if she is house trained, a chewer and stuff like that? U can email me at ctigrett@cs-law.com
December 5, 2011 at 11:29pm

Helping Animals at Gwinnett County Shelter. killed confirmed !!!!!!! :*(
December 6, 2011 at 1:19pm

Samantha End Bsl Lanata why has she been killed if theres ppl asking about her?
December 6, 2011 at 1:24pm

Kyle Bridgeman aw no way i would have had her she looks like my lab
December 6, 2011 at 1:35pm

Lisa Cacici are u kidding me?????? this beautiful girl was put down?????? why did they do it so fast if there were people trying to rescue her? she was only available for adoption for the last couple of days! i am sick over this. so sad
December 6, 2011 at 2:12pm

Kristin Bruns I can't stop crying!!! There has to be something we can do!
December 6, 2011 at 2:22pm

JennyLee Savingdogsandcats What a shame. I don't get it
December 6, 2011 at 9:25pm

Elizabeth Hanson WHAT!! OMG..:-(((( .. devastated...
December 6, 2011 at 9:31pm

Merrilee Bauman Why did they kill her? Don't the shelters get the messages that people are interested?
December 6, 2011 at 11:50pm

Sandi Kasmarsik she was only adoptable on the 3rd! I'm so sad...Why? this is Wrong! Ugh They didn't even give her a chance.
December 7, 2011 at 3:47am

Kristin Bruns She was actually only off her "hold" 3 days & was pts because they said she was "skiddish"?!?!!! Tell me that isn't aweful;(((( She was just scared....a puppy! :(
December 20, 2011 at 9:48pm

Even though I requested all the documentation centering around the death of 20741 I was not provided any behavioral analysis that was used to determine how the dogs temperament went from being "friendly" on the intake evaluation to "skittish" needs to be killed six days later.  Nor can I find any documentation on which vet examined the other lab mix and determined that A) she had a "possible URI" and that the illness was not treatable with a prescription that costs less than a few dollars.

In my experience the reason this documentation isn't included in the file is because personnel who are not qualified to make these life ending decisions are doing so nonetheless.  There is also no documentation on exactly who signed off on killing this pair despite that too being required as part of the shelters Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as well.

We will continue to have innocent animals betrayed and killed until the rescue and pet loving community demands that change.  That change will NOT come about if WE allow our leaders to hold the task force meetings under a veil of secrecy where citizens nor the media are allowed to participate in the meetings seeking to put an end to this senseless betrayal.

Please add your voice demanding change that while it won't bring back these two precious young vibrant dogs at least their senseless slaughter would not be in vain.  We are tired of the excuses on why Gwinnett is one of the only county animal control agencies in the Atlanta area that does NOT promote pet placements on Facebook.  We're tired of a rescue coordinator who works harder finding excuses to kill than she does finding suitable rescue places for these dogs to go.  It's long past time this inept management is sent packing.


  1. The wrong people are in charge of too many of these death camps. They are most assuredly NOT shelters. The community needs to get involved and shake things up. Get the media involved and demand answers. It is , afterall, our tax money that pays them.We can fire them. Dekalb County did and we now have a task force to get a new shelter built and new policies in place.

  2. No. Simply put - NO. This will not keep happening. Gwinnett County is supposed to take pride in it's innovative prisoner program to SAVE our "skittish" babies and our humans. We were proud of this - we were proud of YOU. How dare you deceive us like this. How dare you lie to us. How dare you underestimate this community - this ANIMAL LOVING community. This will not go unnoticed, unpublished, unshared, unexposed nor unpunished. Since you are obviously oblivious to the plight of these poor creatures who are unfortunate enough to find themselves under your "care", I'll put this in terms that you CAN understand: Clock in early - your jobs are at stake. You better be ready to lose them.