Shelters have long been thought of as a safe place for unclaimed and unwanted pets until they can find a home. A small place to receive food, shelter (hence the term), water and some social activity. You think of dogs in small cages wagging their tails, licking you through the ate, whining to come home with you. Maybe a couple of accidents, but an otherwise clean, healthy place for someone’s new rescue pet.
So why is it that Metro animal services is in such poor condition? The kennels are littered with feces and water bowls were empty. One worker stated that “sometimes it’s three days before they are cleaned out”. The build-up of feces in the kennels can lead to potentially fatal diseases for animals in the so-called shelter.
Six kennels were infected with parvo, a disease commonly found in puppies. Parvo is spread through feces and can be deadly. According to fox41 news, workers were told to “bleach all the kennels for ten days straight from 1/18/11 to 1/28/11”. The kennels should have been cleaned daily and had they done so, this may have been avoided. Parvovirus (parvo) can come in two forms; intestinal and the less common cardiac. Intestinal parvovirus leads to vomiting, and diarrhea, turning bloody. Dogs will stop eating and drinking and become lethargic. The danger is in the dehydration and malnutrition from the diarrhea and vomiting. Other symptoms include lack of appetite, diarrhea with no change in appetite, and a stronger feces odor.
Typically shelters do not keep just one dog in a kennel. Sometimes, with smaller breeds, up to three are kept in a kennel together. So if six kennels are affected, this means the shelter allowed up to 18 dogs contract this virus. This “shelter” endangered the lives of several animals. On top of allowing conditions for parvo, workers have been coming forward lately saying that the shelter is needlessly euthanizing animals and neglecting others.
Mayor Fischer has appointed two teams of civic leaders to examine Metro animal services’ practices while searching the nation for a new director. The animals and prospective owners will undoubtedly thank him for this.
It is a shelter, a safe place for these animals. These conditions would not fly in someone’s personal home. It should not have been allowed or even a thought for a place meant to care for these homeless animals awaiting families. It is appalling that this happened and the director should be brought up on animal cruelty charges for allowing this to happen and continue.