Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Problems at the Winona Pound

from Doll...

Two weeks ago I received a call that the Winona City Pound was crowded again. Charlie Brown, the Animal Control Officer, had told us he was retiring so we were concerned. Charlie didn’t have a magic wand, but he and the inmates that cleaned and fed the animals did try. Charlie subsequently quit before the City chose a replacement. The choices were slim as the job was part time, just 16 hours per week.

I went to check on the animals and found 44 dogs and puppies in a 6 run outdoor facility. Most of the dogs were in obvious need of medical care. I contacted the President of Winona Animal Advocacy Group (WAAG), the community humane society, and offered that we needed to arrange for the dogs to be transferred to a facility that could at least properly handle them.
I called my friend Debra Boswell of the Mississippi Animal Rescue League in Clinton, MS. Debra said she would try to aid and we’d figure it out.

Overcrowded runs.

This morning members of WAAG met me at the pound just after 7:00 to assist with the loading of the dogs. We supplied the crates, Charlie came to drive the dogs and a flat-bed trailer was utilized.

Loading the dogs went smoothly, but as we loaded we, the WAAG members and I, as well as the inmates, were dismayed. The crowded dogs suffered hair loss and mild to severe skin irritation. One matted dog was missing hair from his stomach, feet, and legs. His condition was horrid. Then I spotted a dead pup in a run with 4 adults. Most of the pup's head was missing. Within minutes one of the WAAG members and I had found 4 dead pups. An inmate confirmed there had been 4 pups. One pup’s head had been completely bitten off and one probably suffocated as he was shoved beneath the pen frame. I then located the 4th pup. This pup had either crawled, or been pushed out the back side of the run and was in the washout area. His back left leg was missing.

One of four dead puppies.

It’s difficult to express the disgust, dismay, and sorrow of discovering suffering and dead animals in a city run animal facility. These animals were in need of help when they were impounded. They either strayed from their homes, were put out, or were surrendered or abandoned. What in the world could possibly justify their fate? Who is to blame?

The blame game. I think we’re all sick of it, but the responsibility for the suffering of these animals can be spread around. Someone failed as a guardian. The dogs that strayed surely deserved to be searched for. The dogs who were no longer wanted at least deserved for their guardian(s) to exhaust every effort to find them a new guardian. The City – why didn’t someone in city government know the dogs were crowded and seek relief for them? So many citizens speak of and complain about the horrors of the pound that there’s no doubt that officials at least knew these dogs were crowded. Why did no one seek a solution?

This morning Mayor Flowers broke the news that a city employee would continue to work for the water department while allotting time for animal control. Budgets are tight, guardians are scarce, but there’s no excuse for holding dogs in crowded, wet, and filthy facilities.

I will be meeting with WAAG to get a game plan together and then we’ll approach the City. This can’t be another quick fix just get rid of the animals in a hurry while settling for subjecting them to an inhumane environment.

WAAG will continue to enlist fellow citizens to work towards raising money for a real shelter.


Arienne June 24, 2010 at 3:40 PM  

What a heartbreaking story! Something needs to be done!

jazzyarizona June 24, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

This is heartbreaking and disgusting. What did those innocent animals do to deserve a fate like this? Prosecute, prosecute, prosecute....and make sure those sorry excuses for caretakers NEVER work with defenseless creatures again!

Virgil June 25, 2010 at 3:08 AM  

Outrageous!!! That is just beyond sick and there is absolutely no excuse for this type of blatant neglect, no matter how overcrowded the facility is...the puppies were tiny, why weren't they crated somewhere out of harms way? When are we going to start holding AC's that compound the suffering and deaths of animals responsible for animal cruelty? The City should be ashamed... they have failed miserably and deserve a mandate from the public that they clean up their act NOW.

Robyn June 25, 2010 at 9:28 AM  

This is absolutely disgusting and I completely blame the city of Winona. If I lived near that town, I'd do everything to get the elected officials out of office and replaced by others who care!

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