rom Ryan Olshan:
Below are photos that were taken last week at the Lancaster shelter of an aborted fetus on one of the kennel floors and a dog licking the fetus. A picture is worth a thousand words and the below photos speak to the level of care, or lack of, that animals receive in County shelters.
Last Saturday, Cathy Nguyen, Rebecca Arvizu and I visited the Lancaster shelter. Overall, the shelter was OK with cleanliness, but was horrid with customer service and how the animals are treated.
Cathy witnessed Animal Shelter Aide K. Williams step on the back of a small dog with great force while breaking up a dog fight causing the dog to limp afterwords. Instead of removing the dog from the cage so another fight didn't break out, the employee removed the dogs kennel card. Dog fights would be less likely to happen if they didn't house so many dogs in one cage. The cage this dog was in had at least 9 other small dogs. Another person who was a member of the public and witnessed this abuse told Cathy that they'll do it again as soon as she leaves.
Cathy was staring into the distance while talking on the phone and an employee approached her and said, "You got a problem with me?" This is no way to treat a member of the public.
After Cathy and I left, Rebecca heard the sound of a dog being slammed against a door. This was followed by the screams of children who witnessed an employee manhandling the dog (a Pit Bull with stitches). After the children were instructed to take photos, the coward employee ran away.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I received the below email.
My name is Carol. I have been involved in rescue for about 9 years. I have to share this haunting experience of an hour at Lancaster Shelter on Friday February 20th. I am not sure where to start. I go everyday to visit with 2 pits that are waiting to be evaluated for placement. One is pregnant, they were going to put her down this morning but i begged them to re-evaluate her so she is for now safe. There are 3 kennel buildings at Lancaster, bldg 3 being the newest built. they also house the small and old in "the grooming trailer" and then there is the isolation room and the 900's which house the animals that are in quarantine. for some reason the only building that really gets any attention is the new building, that's the only section that is somewhat "sane". Building 1 which half of it is unassable to the public, housing mainly pits and "unadoptable" dogs.
in the remaining half of building 1 and in building 2 are hundreds of dogs. there were uncountable fights while i was there. the sounds of that i will never forget, the cries, howling, growls, barking were non stop. the kennel workers could not keep up with it, they would separate one and another fight was going on. it was crazy. it was horrific! the community service workers were trying separate dog fights, the kennel attendants couldn't keep up. the dogs in buildings 1 & 2 are so crowded, even for me it was so overwhelming to look at these dogs that were so crowded in a run, seriously, 5-6 in a run, big dogs, in one case 3 shepards and 2 rotties,when they close the doors at night these dogs couldn't turn around. the heat was on and the dogs spilled their water as no room to move, the heat is good as it is so cold up here, but it only fed the irritablitiy of these poor dogs, they are so starved for attention that when you stop in front of the runs they start fighting to be the closest to the front. therefore the few people that were there looking to adopt are so shocked or whatever they just walk away. how these poor dogs are able to eat out of one bowl amongst the cage partners is a mystery.so these 2 runs are really just housing until they are drug to the back to be euthanized as there is not much hope for them.too overwhelming for any hope. when one fight broke out it frayed on the other dogs nerves and if they werent hiding in a corner shivering and terrified ( mainly the small ones) there was full blown fights, nasty fights! in one particular run, # 206, there were five brindle shep mixes standing over a long haired shepard mix, she was so paralyzed with fear she lay on the floor shaking as every move she made these 4-5 other dogs pounced on her. several passerbyers walked away in tears. we notified the k/a's but as was obvious there was no place else to put her. in just the hour i was there this time we counted 12 dogs being brought in by the public, dozens others brought in by field officers. i was talking to a lady and we heard terrible cries by what appeared to be a small dog. we turned to see a very large animal control officer dragging by a comealong, a tiny, 7-10 lb terrified dog into this hell. she was not vicious, too small to hurt anyone, but yet this 300 lb man( i use that term loosely) found it appropriate to drag her as she tried to hold on to the ground she was being drug on. other than that one field officer i have to say that the other shelter employees appeared to be doing what they could to break up the fights and keep the water bowls full, etc. in the grooming trailer 2 volunteers were trying to bottle feed 7 new born puppies that came in w/no mom. while another worker drug in pit bull moms that had obvious milk sacks, no puppies though. saw 3 of those brought in in an hour.I know all of the shelters are full with the economy as it is, but Lancaster has always been the dumping grounds for dogs, because of the vast amount of land where hoarders thrive, the dog fighters on rural parts of town, the area is a popular spot to drive out to nowhere and dump your dog. we have numerous reasons that our shelter is always so overpopulated. i would just ask someone that is not as grief stricken as i am right now, seriously can not even talk about all that i saw and heard, there has to be something more we as animal lovers can do to educate people, help the shelters, something. i checked on several tiny maltese/poodle mixes, they were owner surrenders, reason: cant afford to feed" whats that about! Please forward to everyone you can, i am not sure what i am asking for but just distraught and desperate to stop this madness @lancaster.