View Full Version : Shelter question

PJ's Mom
06-11-2001, 01:00 AM
While waiting for the shelter to open yesterday morning, I witnessed things that were somewhat disturbing to me, and I was just wondering if they're normal happenings in shelters.

1. Yelling at the dogs
The man who was cleaning out the cages was walking around screaming "shut up" to the dogs. I don't know if this is ok or not, but I wouldn't do it.

2. Hosing down the dogs
The same person, while cleaning out the cages was spraying several of them down with the hose. By the time I got in there, several of them, especially the smaller ones were soaked! Maybe it was done to cool them off (?)

3. Hitting/Pushing them with the squeegy
After the spraying, the same man, while trying to get the water out of the cages, opened the door, and very forcefully pushed them out of the way, sometimes hitting them hard in the chest. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif

4. Water
Considering the fact that there are several small dogs in the shelter, I don't think the water should be placed in buckets they can hardly reach. I went into more than one cage and scooped the water into my hands so the little dogs could have some. We are in Texas, and it's been getting pretty hot over the last few days.

I noticed that the dogs only get fed once a day, even though a lot of them were noticeably malnourished. I guess they can only do what's absolutely necessary to keep them alive for awhile. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif

I asked about volunteering, and was told that they don't have a volunteer program available right now, even though they admitted one is needed. I'm seriously thinking about going in once a day with treats for all the dogs anyway.

Is all of this normal for most shelters? Am I making too much out of this, and if not, what can I do about it? The shelter is run and funded by the city, so there may be nothing I can do.

06-11-2001, 03:31 AM
Yelling and hitting is definitely not normal based on the shelters I've seen. That isn't the way the animals should be treated. You could try contacting your state Humane Society (or maybe the Dept. of Agriculture?). Since the shelter is city-run, contact your city council representative and the mayor. Go to the newspaper if you don't get a satisfactory respose from the city government.

06-11-2001, 09:57 AM
No! Its not normal! Unfortunately many city shelters are dirty and the animals aren't in great living conditions but hitting, pushing and yelling are not acceptable! I am sort of near you so I will help you out if you want me to. I'm going to ask some people at the humane society here what can be done. Our facility is very clean and we have tons of volunteers giving all the dogs and cats so much loving and training. Its so hard for me to visit city shelters. I should probably go work/volunteer at the city one in Austin because I'm sure those dogs need it more. I'm afraid emotionally I wouldn't be able to handle it. Anyway, let me know if you want me to help you do anything in protest to that shelter. I agree something needs to be done.

4 feline house
06-11-2001, 12:38 PM
Is this the Arlington shelter?

PJ's Mom
06-11-2001, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by 4 feline house:
Is this the Arlington shelter?

Yes. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif

4 feline house
06-11-2001, 02:43 PM
I emailed the City of Arlington Animal Services this page. Here is their email address if any one else feels moved to make sure this is not typical behavior of Arlington's Animal Services employees:

[email protected]

PJ's Mom
06-12-2001, 01:14 AM
Thanks for taking a step. I didn't even know where to start. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I have a feeling it's just the one employee guilty of mistreating the animals. (at least I hope it is.) He is a "heavy" hispanic male. Unfortunately, I didn't catch a name, but he seems to enjoy his job way too much. My husband wanted to walk up to him and punch him.

Whether it's just him, or all of them, something has to be done. Maybe now, things will change.

4 feline house
06-12-2001, 12:36 PM
PJ's mom, I got a response from the shelter. They want more information so they can take corrective action. I forwarded the email to your email address in your profile. Let us know what becomes of it!

06-12-2001, 01:15 PM
Thanks, Leah (4 Feline) and PJ's Mom for being proactive. The only way to stop this is to do exactly what you are doing. Bring it to their attention, document what you see, recruit help in your efforts, and don't give up! I can not believe that there is no volunteer effort in that shelter! I thought most shelters relied on volunteers for their survival.

Please keep us posted on what happens.


06-12-2001, 02:57 PM
Is there anything more we can do to help?


4 feline house
06-12-2001, 05:32 PM
It's been my experience, at least in North Texas (where Arlington is - it's the next city south from my town of Euless) that the city Animals Services or Animal Control departments don't utilize volunteers. I'm sure there's many reasons for this. The Euless Animal Control department does utilize teens who are serving community service in lieu of fines for misdemeanors such as breaking curfew, traffice tickets, and petty shoplifting, but last I asked they don't have a volunteer program.

4 feline house
06-12-2001, 05:33 PM
Sudilar - since they were so quick responding to my email, we can probably wait to see what happens after PJ's Mom contacts them with more details.

PJ's Mom
06-12-2001, 10:30 PM
I am sending a letter to Mike Bass, the animal services supervisor, as we speak. He would like to know everything I witnessed. I'll probably tell him some things he doesn't want to know. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif He seems very concerned, and I think he wants to do what is best for the animals.

I was at the shelter yesterday and today, and I saw no sign of the employee in question either day. I don't know if I missed him, or if perhaps, he's been off. If I did see him, I wouldn't hesitate to point him out to everyone.

I'll keep you all informed. Thanks for the help and concern. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

06-13-2001, 01:51 PM
This is only sort of related to shelters; has more to do with a city's Animal Control services...

This morning I was walking to work downtown and I came across this young couple standing near a pigeon that was obviously injured in some way. The pigeon was shaking and jerking around. It didn't seem to be able to stand on its feet (possibly its legs were broken?). At one point it tried to fly away (probably because it was frightened by us standing there), but it quickly fell back down to the ground again. The young man happened to have a cell phone so he was able to get a hold of Chicago's Animal Control services and told them about the pigeon. He gave them the location of the pigeon and it sounded like Animal Control was going to come right away.

I didn't stay and wait for Animal Control (I'm not sure if the couple did, either), but I was curious about what Animal Control would do with the pigeon once they picked it up. Would it most likely be euthanized? The pigeon seemed to be in pretty bad shape.

Anyone have any experience like this? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif


06-13-2001, 02:17 PM
Yeah, Chuck, that's what I was thinking would happen. The woman mentioned that she thought maybe Animal Control would actually go so far as to put splints on the pigeon's legs. I started to tell her that I thought they would probably euthanize, but my voice trailed off because she didn't seem to appreciate that comment! Poor little pigeon. I hope it wasn't in serious pain, but maybe now he's at a "Pigeon" Rainbow Bridge... I thought it was nice of that couple to care enough to get help for the pigeon, and a good thing they had a cell phone.


Daisy's Mom
06-13-2001, 04:27 PM
On vacation two years ago in New Hampshire, we saw two animals in need of help within a week of each other. The first was a sea gull who had gotten tangled in fishing line. We called Animal Control and they captured the bird and took it in. They called a few months later to inform us that her injuries were gone and she'd been set free. She had been malnourished since the line had been wrapped around her beak, and her wing and foot were broken. They fixed her right up! The second animal was a seal pup. It was laying on the beach, and was obviously very sick. Animal Control came again but it was too late for the poor little guy. I was impressed at Animal Control's speed getting to the scene, and by their compassion to the animals. Who knows, maybe they did try to help that pigeon? I didn't think they'd care about one little sea gull but they did.

4 feline house
06-13-2001, 07:39 PM
I'm sure it just depends on what city you live in and how much tax money they have to spend. I know around here animal control does just that - control animals. They do not have the resources to rescue. Unless the animal is a danger or a threat to public health or safety they usually suggest you call a vet or one of the wildlife rescue organizations such as Phoenix. Even then, those arganizations sometimes require you to deliver the bird/animal to them. I don't have any experience with private shelters and injured wildlife, so I don't know what would happen if one of them had been called.

06-14-2001, 09:09 AM
I am from Arlington and have been there many times. Please let me know what you have heard.


4 feline house
06-14-2001, 08:04 PM
Gee, the metroplex is becoming well represented on Pet Talk! But where are the Dallas County people?

PJ's Mom
06-14-2001, 11:05 PM
I heard from Mike Bass, director of animal control here in Arlington. I was glad he took the time to call me, and he sounded genuinely concerned.

He told me that he had a talk with the employee in question, and the employee admitted to not treating the dogs very well. He said this guy is going through some life-threatening medical procedures, and also stated very bluntly that this was no excuse for his behavior. Further action will be taken as they continue to look into this matter, but I kind of got the feeling that nothing else would be done at this time. Personally, I think that making the employee aware that someone knows about his behavior may be enough to make him stop doing it, or at least think twice before being mean to the animals. I hope, for their sake, I'm right.
He also gave me a little hope by saying that he is working hard to get a volunteer program implemented, and also fighting to get a vet on staff.

He didn't really address the problems of the lack of food, or the water buckets that were too high, except to say that the dogs are only fed once a day, with the exception of young puppies, and the mothers nursing their puppies. It was the answer I expected.

Overall, the conversation went very well. I could tell not only by what he said, but by the way he said it, that he cares very much for all the animals in his shelter, and I truly believe that with time, he will make things change. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

06-15-2001, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the update and most of all thanks for getting involved. They need to watch this employee like a hawk. Hopefully he won't be working when there are not others around to supervise him. Like animals, humans can be rehabilitated but there are certain situations that are just not suited for certain individuals.

06-15-2001, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the info.. I will keep my eye out when I am there.