Residents of Chesterfield County demanded improvements yesterday at a South Carolina animal shelter under investigation for, among other things, shooting surplus dogs and “euthanizing” cats by blows to the head with a pipe.
The allegations began surfacing a month ago, and yesterday’s county council meeting was the first opportunity for residents to speak publicly about them.
“Chesterfield County has a black eye, and I’m so ashamed,” Joy Young told members of the Chesterfield County Council.
“Significant changes must be made to ensure that this never happens again,” said Jerri Gaskins, who founded Paws and Claws, a volunteer group that helps run the shelter.
A member of Paws and Claws, Deborah Farhi, blew the whistle a month ago, coming forward to allege that dozens of dogs and cats were being shot rather than euthanized by lethal injection.
The allegations, and subsequent media coverage by WSOC Eyewitness News and others, led to an investigation by the state — the findings of which have yet to be reported.
County Sheriff Sam Parker, after the allegations surfaced, put all four animal control officers on leave and assigned deputies to run the shelter and answer animal-related calls.
Animal welfare activists also say the shelter is failing to properly care for dogs and cats and provides insufficient food and medical care.
Some reports suggest as many as 50 dogs had been shot and dumped in a landfill across the street from the shelter, and quote a former a former shelter worker as saying cats were euthanized by being beaten on the head with a pipe
According to Change.org, the shelter’s director, Brian Burch, is a convicted felon who served time on drug charges and is a breeder of pit bulls. Equipment that could have been used to train dogs to fight was found at the shelter, which doesn’t officially adopt out pit bulls, the Change.org article said.
Council members told Wednesday’s crowd that they are awaiting the results of the state investigation, and wouldn’t take any action until it is complete.
No charges have been filed in the case. Sheriff’s deputies said only about two dozen dogs remain at the shelter. A rescue group recently took all 38 cats from the shelter. More than 100 animals have been adopted out, and none have been euthanized since the allegations first surfaced last month.
Change.org reports that the State Law Enforcement Division wrapped up their investigation late last week and turned its findings over to the attorney general’s office. A petition urging the attorney general to file charges and hold the shelter accountable can be found here.
A rally is scheduled for April 21, at 3 p.m. on the steps of the State House in Columbia.
More information and updates are available on the Paws n Claws Facebook page.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelter, animal welfare, animals, beating, cats, chesterfield county, coverage, cruelty, dogfighting, dogs, euthanasia, guns, investigation, killing, news, pets, pipes, rescue, shelters, shooting, south carolina, WSOC
Baltimore police are searching for three boys — believed to be ages 10 to 12 — who were seen beating a young pit bull to death at Carroll Park golf course Saturday.
And if that’s not a disturbing enough new chapter in Baltimore’s continuing saga of animal abuse, consider this: According to a Baltimore Sun report, Animal Control officers didn’t arrive at the golf course until more than five hours after the incident was reported to police.
A golf course maintenance worker, Rob Whiderman, saw the youths beating the puppy with a tree branch at the municipal golf course in Southwest Baltimore.
Screaming at them to stop, he drove his golf court to where they were, chased them to the railroad tracks and lost them.
He said he called police, who notified animal control, but they didn’t arrive until about 5:30 p.m., five hours after he called.
“It looked like every bone was broken in its body,” Whiderman told WJZ. ”It looks like it broke its back, legs. We tried to pick it up and nothing was attached. It was like he didn’t have bones. Like jelly.”
Whiderman said the youths were between 10 and 12 years old. Police later found a red-and-white-striped polo shirt, a tree branch and a cell phone that might have been dropped by one of the youths.
But between the two agencies, the police department and animal control, there seemed to be little urgency in responding to the call of an animal being tortured, and even less once the dog had died.
Whiderman said he returned to the golf course Sunday morning and found the dead dog still lying in the woods. He called police again, who responded and wrote a report.
The police report confirms that animal control did not remove the dead puppy when they arrived Saturday afternoon, the Sun reported.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 10, 12, abuse, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, beat, beaten, beating, carroll park, crime, golf course, kids, news, ohmidog!, pets, pit bull, police, puppy, rob whiderman, slow response, torture, youngsters, youths
His own dog’s DNA helped convict a reputed gang member in south London of the murder of a 16-year-old.
Oluwaseyi Ogunyemi was killed in a “vicious” attack by a gang of youths who set upon him and his friends with their dogs. One of the dogs, a Staffordshire bull terrier-bull mastiff cross called Tyson, brought Ogunyemi down as he tried to climb over a fence, after which the youth was stabbed six times by its owner Chrisdian Johnson.
Johnson was arrested as he fled the scene of the murder last April, bare-chested and covered in blood.
New DNA technology proved by a billion-to-one probability that some of the blood on Johnson came from his dog Tyson, who had been knifed during the fighting. The rest came from Ogunyemi.
Johnson was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Seyi’s 17-year-old friend Hurui Hiyabum, whom he stabbed nine times.
Scientists used DNA profiling to prove that samples collected during the investigation were a billion times more likely to come from two specific dogs involved in the attack than any other animals, the BBC reported.
Police hailed the dog DNA technology, which had just been developed at the time of the murder, as a “hugely powerful investigative tool”.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal, attack, beating, chrisdian johnson, convicted, courts, crime, dna, dogs, gang, gangs, guilty, investigation, law, london, mauling, member, murder, news, oluwaseyi ogunyemi, pets, pit bulls, stabbing, technology, tyson, verdict
The boyfriend of Broadway actress Ashley Yeater has been charged with whipping and kicking her Yorkshire terrier after the 6-pound dog bit him.
Joseph Graves, 30, admitted to investigators he beat the dog, named Emmit, in January, the New York Daily News reports.
“I flew into a rage. Emmit bit me, so I hit him with a belt buckle and kicked him,” prosecutors quote Graves as saying.
Graves took Emmit to a veterinary hospital two days later, after the 4-year-old terrier was vomiting and had stopped eating. Hospital staff, after determining the dog suffered six broken ribs and bruised kidneys, contacted the ASPCA. The dog also lost his left eye as a result of the Jan. 16 attack in Graves’ midtown apartment.
“The pet was nearly killed because a person couldn’t control his temper,” ASCPA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said. “It’s inexcusable.”
Graves was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, and criminal mischief.
Emmit was treated at the West Chelsea Veterinary Hospital and is staying with relatives of Yeater, who was appearing in a Florida performance of a “A Chorus Line” when the dog was beaten.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, actress, animal cruelty, ashley yeater, aspca, beat, beating, belt, bit, bitten, boyfriend, broadway, buckle, charged, cruelty, emmit, eye, joseph graves, lost, new york, terrier, yorkie, yorkshire
Two boys — aged 10 and 12 — have been charged with fighting, baiting and cruelty to animals after deputies say they discovered the boys were operating a backyard dogfighting operation.
A neighbor called deputies in Orange County after the boys dumped a dead dog on his property. When deputies arrived to ask one of them about the allegations cops say the boy picked up a puppy and started beating it until deputies forced him to stop, according to Fox News in Orlando.
Three dogs were taken from the property after they were found covered with wounds, spray painted and living in unhealthy conditions.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 10, 12, animal cruelty, arrested, baiting, beating, boys, charged, cruelty to animals, deputies, dog fighting, dogfighting, florida, orange county, orlando, spray paint, video