Kelly Shackelford is sick of animals dying at the Polk County Animal Control, and she wants people to know it. Now there is a very pregnant dog who is likely to give birth at any moment, and the shelter officials refuse to allow her to take the dog to a veterinary clinic where she could give birth in a safe and sanitary environment. Even though it wouldn’t cost the county a penny.
According to the press release issued by Polk County, “A rescue group has offered … to pay veterinarian boarding fees.” So the dog will be giving birth to her puppies in a shelter environment which experts agree is not a sanitary place for newborn puppies. Polk County Animal Control has had parvo cases there. Parvo is very contagious and deadly to puppies.
The press release goes on to state: “If the hound in question does not give birth by Tuesday, it will be available for adoption or rescue. If the hound gives birth before it is available for adoption, the dog and the litter will be available for adoption or rescue as a group. Medical leave for animals in the shelter are available when an animal is unlikely to survive without extensive medical treatment, but not for non-emergency situations such as birth.”
So someone will be able to adopt the pregnant dog next Tuesday and sell the puppies or use them for whatever they wish, yet the shelter will not allow a group to sponsor the dog at a medical clinic where she will receive appropriate medical care, if needed. Shackelford also points out a huge mistake in the press release on her Facebook page,
“Does Polk Co AC not understand, it is against Department of Ag rules to adopt out any kittens or puppies under 8 weeks. Any under 8 weeks, can only leave via a rescue. So they are claiming the DOA rules forbid them to release mom on a medical pull but it is okay to break the DOA rules and adopt out newborns as long as they go as a group.”
Most shelters will not adopt out dogs and cats unless they have been sterilized. Those who adopt puppies and kittens under the age at which the surgery can be performed can leave a deposit that will be refunded upon sterilization. For a county animal control to allow puppies to be adopted by a person along with the mother does not make any sense to those who do animal rescue.
Charlotte Harrison’s heart broke a few weeks ago after she held a dying dog, named Oliver Twist, in her arms for hours as he bled from the rectum. He was filled with worms and had been confiscated from his owners. Harrison, director of the Cedartown Humane Society, begged the animal control officers to allow her to take the extremely ill dog to get medical care but was refused each time she asked. According to the article written by The Polk County Standard Journal,
‘Harrison said she asked Animal Control officer Jeremy Guttery several times to give his permission for medical reasons to release the dog to her so it could be taken to a veterinarian, but refused as the dog bled from the rectum.
“It had pale gums, was covered with fleas, and was lethargic the whole time,” Harrison said.’
The little poodle died the next day alone in his kennel. Witness Caroline Holstein, (who, according to Shackelford, is an 18-year-old local resident), wrote in a press release (an 18-year-old who sends press releases?) that she sent to the newspaper that while she was “very saddened that this little life was lost,” he would have died in spite of any medical care. She went on to say that at least the dog had “proper clean water and something to eat” before he died. The article does not claim that Ms. Holstein is a medical expert, but apparently she can diagnose a dying dog who wouldn’t be helped by medical treatment.
Shackelford also claims that in August of this year, “on a Sunday an AC officer went to feed the animals and found Rusty, a pitbull, in a pool of blood and unresponsive. He literally opened up a can of wet food and left it for him. They found him dead the next day. This is spelled out in the official AC report.”
Shackelford describes the shelter as “by far the worst shelter I have ever seen.” She claims that in the past year, 150 dogs are missing and 133 cats are missing. Why, she asked at a recent County Board meeting, would 11% of all dogs and 17% of all cats taken in be missing. She did not get a response.
So now a pregnant dog lies in a concrete kennel where she may give birth at any time. There is no medical expert on staff. If she experiences problems, she and the unborn puppies could all be dead before help arrives. And to say that the animal control officers would help might be wishful thinking. According to past practice, they might just dump a can of food in front of the dying animals and wish them luck.
Please contact the Board of Commissioners for Polk County. They are the ones with the power to change things at Animal Control. They are the ones who need to hear that those who are voiceless, the animals, have people who will make their voices heard on behalf of the animals. The Chairperson is Stefanie Drake Burford, 144 West Avenue, Cedartown, GA 30125. 770-749-2100 (office); 678-476-4665 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org (email). The contact information for the others is on the link.
LINK TO RESPONSE BY POLK COUNTY AC
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