Bloody Tangipahoa

continuing a long tradition of petty grudges and self-destructive vendettas

Posts Tagged ‘Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter’

little hope for reform of the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter

Posted by badger on August 15, 2008

Again, this blog’s main purpose is tracking what the local newspaper does not report, not specifically this animal shelter story. Some of the coverage is wearing on my patience. I wasn’t able to attend the parish council meeting on Monday.

The Daily Star manages to avoid naming the veterinarians involved (although they did finally name the Animal Control Director Donald Doty,) even though WDSU has now named at least one of them. A commenter on the story actually requests the information. Quite a few people know the name at this point, but no one answers, possibly because it is suppressed by moderators.

The investigation by the U.S. Humane Society is a step in the right direction. It’s unclear what steps Burgess is going to take if it is found that the shelter violated parish ordinances.

The Advocate using equivocating language as, “a practice considered inhumane by some,” when “some” includes actual veterinarian licensing boards, and not merely private citizens, is silly.

On the other hand, silly is also showing up at the meeting to read aloud a list of the names of the animals euthanized. If the issue of cruelty to animals is to be addressed rationally in a public forum, few actions could undermine credibility more quickly. (Perhaps someone dousing himself in a bucket of blood?) I cringed when i saw the video on television, as the antics of bleeding-heart animal lovers eclipsed TPAC’s incompetent, inhumane, and possibly corrupt management. Pulling stunts like that marginalizes the story of a public institution being mismanaged. Appealing to raw emotion in bureacracy-entangled legal matters is a horrible mistake.


Posted in Daily Star, Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

standard use of heartstick and following paper trail of TPAC

Posted by badger on August 9, 2008

The message boards usually creep me out to no end, but in poking about looking for something to post, I ran across some interesting stuff… and yeah, this is also on the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter.  (Animal Chat is not even remotely the cesspool of ignorance in some of the other corners of those boards.) I’d prefer to leave this subject alone for a few days at least, as this blog is not intended to be solely on that subject but eh… it’s still new relevant information.

Using a heartstick without sedation might actually be illegal, not just merely against TPAC’s standard procedures. According to Mary Ann Newcomb, it seems that Dr. Hulsey was doing exactly that. In Tennessee, a veterinarian plead guilty to twelve misdemeanor counts related to animal cruelty because of using a heartstick without sedation. (He plead guilty and was fined $5,000 and sentenced to serve 200 hours of community service. Even worse for a practicing veterinarian, “The board suspended Baber’s license because his actions were by law considered fraudulent, deceptive, dishonest and illegal in connection with the practice of veterinary medicine.” Ouch.) Louisiana possibly has different laws, but it’s worth investigating.

It seems that one commenter named fqdave has already found a way to pursue this path logically:

I cannot stress how important the following information is regarding the Tangipahoa Shelter disaster:

The Municipal Code of Tangipahoa Parish states, in Article IV, Section 7-87, Subsection (k) …

“(k) The animal control department shall keep complete and accurate records of the care, feeding, veterinary treatment and disposition of all animals impounded.”

Thus, there must exist written records as to the condition, medical treatment, and disposition of EACH animal killed.

If there are no records the Parish is in violation of its own Municipal Code and the “Shelter Director” can and must be immediately terminated and the Parish President will be in no position to argue any case, whatsoever.

If the records show a cat was infected with a virus that only affects dogs there is evidence of gross mismanagement and negligence which sets forth a case for cruelty to animals which may be criminally prosecuted.

Demand a thid-party independent investigation, demand the written records the “shelter” was required to maintain be released to the Public (threaten a Public Records Request) and you’ll find a goldmine. If no records exist you have found the “motherlode.”

This battle can be won, conditions at the shelter can be vastly improved, those who acted improperly can be released from employment, and the animals will not have died in vain IF the Parish Municipal Code is used against the “shelter.”

A calm, non-emotional, professional presentation of the facts of the Municipal Code is the prudent course of action on Monday evening.

Parish officials can insist TPAC is, “a population control and abuse investigation agency, not a rescue organization,” all that they like. Demand the paperwork. Regardless of the parish officials’ evasion of specifics of what constitutes animal cruelty in Louisiana, if they skimped on the paperwork, the people responsible must be removed.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

comments on WDSU story on TPAC

Posted by badger on August 9, 2008

WDSU names one of the vetrinarians called in as Dr. Thomas “Tiger” Hulsey of Amite. He apparently didn’t follow the shelter’s policy by not sedating the animals before euthanasia. As ugly as i find that, it seems that he didn’t normally work with the facility, so the fault would fall on whoever called him and the other vetrinarian in. Besides:

Newcomb said parish leaders made it clear that day that they simply wanted to clear the shelter out and start over.

That is the allegation that should be pursued. It reeks of heavy-handed cost-cutting and hardheaded redneck machismo. Placing the blame on the veterinarians makes this seem like an external problem, a freakish one-time incident. It’s extremely unlikely that when they diagnosed the problem, that the mass euthanasia was recommended. The problem truly lies with officials in the parish who repeatedly obstruct the shelter coordinating its work with eager humane and rescue organizations.

Note that once again, the director of the shelter was not named, let alone interviewed.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Tangipahoa officials circling the wagons in defending their buddies

Posted by badger on August 8, 2008

The latest article in the Advocate goes through a step by step process of how the decision to to euthanize almost all of the animals in the shelter was made. It reeks of bullshit.

  • Neither of the two veterinarians who advised euthanasia have yet been named. Only one of them is to have inspected the animal.
  • Burgess called Mike Strain and the state Department of Health and Hospitals’ staff veterinarian, who both advised euthanasia was the best course of action. This is pure speculation on my part, but since neither man inspected the animals to verify the call of the first unidentified veterinarian, this sounds more like calls to check into the public relations of the action rather than looking for real solutions. “If some of those pesky animals lovers raises a stink, get my back on this, buddy.”
  • Dr. Gary Balsamo says that he did not recommend the mass euthanasia, but if two veterinarians already recommended this, then it must be the best course of action, as they would have more facts readily available. (He was out of state.) Again, note that it seems only one of the unidentified veterinarians had inspected the animals. It doesn’t sound like whoever was making these calls wanted an independent opinion. The caller seems to have seeking to bolster the argument, finding people to get on board with the decision to prepare for fallout.
  • Donald Doty still is not named anywhere in this article. That’s a peculiar thing, in him being the director.

None of this matters all this much, as Tangipahoa Parish plays that it believes is its the trump card:

“While the parish is certainly disappointed that this course of action had to be carried out resulting in the euthanasia of over 170 animals, it also must be clearly pointed out that Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control is primarily a population control and abuse investigation agency, not a rescue organization,” the statement says.

Ah, so that’s how they’re going to play it, eh? (The emphasis in the last statement in the quote is mine.) No matter what the public thinks of the mass euthanasia of the animals, there can be no real outrage, because the facility is only fulfilling its mission. That’s lame. Sorry, that doesn’t work with an agency that relies on as much volunteer work as it appears to. Apparently animal rescue and humane socities have been trying to work with this institution for awhile, only to be brushed aside. The solution of a public agency is not to tell people to get over the noncooperation, but to change the agency.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Tangi Adopt a Rescue Blog

Posted by badger on August 7, 2008

The Tangi Adopt a Rescue Blog has been covering the story of the most recent incident of apparent mismanagement of the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter. They’ve been collecting links to most of the stories in local and national media, as well as contact information to officials.

It’s notable that few or no articles have named the director of Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter, Donald Doty, the man who should be held culpable for this decision. The Humane Society of Louisiana has been aware of him for awhile, as documented by an open letter by its director Jeff Dorson back in January. A relevant sentence:

The Interim Director, Mr. Donald Doty, has no prior experience with shelter management nor he has taken any courses on shelter operations, and he is implementing policies that often run counter to industry standards.

It’s now August. Why was Doty still director? Why was Burgess convinced this was the right man for the job?

The Tangipahoa Parish Council Meeting will be 5:30 PM Mon Aug 11, 2008 at the Parish Annex on Mulberry Street in Amite.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

gross mismanagement of Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter

Posted by badger on August 6, 2008

The Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter overzealously euthanized over 170 animals in their care on Monday, with Gordon Burgess stating that there was a highly infectious airborne virus in the population. The Advocate (story has much greater detail) reports that Burgess states that it was a coronavirus, which clearly shows that most strains are spread through contact with feces of infected animals. The canine variety isn’t even fatal.

Yep. Those animals were killed for no good reason. If there was indeed a viral outbreak, it probably wouldn’t have taken place if hours hadn’t already been cut to clean the facility.

The management needs to be fired, because an objective investigation is bound to reveal that the animals were killed out of sheer convenience in cutting corners with the budget. Burgess shuffling around saying that everything is under control is an embarrassment.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 7 Comments »