Oopsies, killed another one illegally…sorry ’bout that

Received by email from Pat Claerbout, Stockton Animal Services supervisor, September 19:
I have checked all the dogs that you have placed a rescue hold on during the past several days. Currently we still have in the shelter # 189038, 189046 and 188662. There are not any other rescues that have shown any interest in these dogs so please let me know if you will be able to take these dogs within the next few days. The others dogs on your list PUPS or Perfect Dog have rescued or the dogs were adopted.  You had asked for a hold on 189170 White Pit  but staff did not indicate a hold on the dogs record and unfortunately this dog was euthanized. I am reviewing this incident and will take necessary step to prevent it from occurring in the future.  I am very sorry that this occurred and do appreciate you help in taking so many dogs from the shelter recently.
My response:
Ms. Claerbout:

Regarding the killing of a dog on whom I had placed a rescue hold: I do not believe this was an “unfortunate incident.” I believe it was the predictable outcome of a pattern of practice that includes keeping the door to the stray hold area of the pound locked, preventing access, and that involves routinely killing any adult dog that looks remotely like a pit bull. On every visit to the pound last week, I saw empty kennels and cages, in violation of  Stockton Municipal Code Section 6.04.250(c) which says that the shelter will extend the holding periods of all impounded animals to the extent that kennel space is available and the overall health and safety of impounded animals is not affected, in order to permit the public as much time as possible to retrieve or adopt animals. I also saw a potential volunteer, a man who was coming back for the second time asking to volunteer to work off a speeding ticket, turned away. He was told that Stockton Animal Services has all the volunteers it needs, just as my students were told (by you) last spring.

I have been placing rescue holds in a desperate attempt to buy these animals more time, since you have consistently refused to follow the letter of the law as well as the expressed intent that “no adoptable or treatable animal should be euthanized” by putting in place basic changes to allow access and promote adoption and since every member of Stockton City Government has refused to take action to bring your agency into compliance with relevant laws. 

Not one, but three dogs on whom I had placed rescue holds were killed in violation of state law, which says that the shelter will release any animal to any statutorily authorized rescue group that requests the animal before it is euthanized (Food & Agricultural Code Sections 31108(b) and  31752(b)). The shelter will have no policies or practices that obstruct or restrict the release of such animals and will not euthanize any animal when it is known that rescue is available.. With the first two (A189082 and A189083), I had left voicemail messages and not followed up with email. Voicemail should have been enough but since it wasn’t I was very careful to email as well when placing a hold on A189170. 

I also witnessed several injured dogs who appeared not to have received veterinary care. When I wrote about two of them, I received the following message, unsigned, from the email address animalservices@stocktongov.com:

“Good Morning, I am sorry I was in and out all day yesterday. I checked on all three of these dogs and found that the 2 chiahuahau’s came in directly from the vet so they had care. The large white dog has old wounds.

I was asked by the kennel staff to inquire when you will be able to pull A188662, A189046, and A189038. I will be here all morning so please call or let me know just as soon as you can. 209-9377xxx”
I did not immediately reply and did not receive any further communication, but rather the “large white dog” was killed the next morning. I have been told that at least one of the chihuahuas “came in directly from the vet” not because your agency provided necessary veterinary care but because your agency allowed a veterinarian to illegally abandon him at your pound, in violation of California Civil Code Section 1834.5 and 1834.6, which articulates the responsibilities of depositories of living animals, including veterinarians. Veterinarians are specifically forbidden by Section 1834.6 from turning in abandoned animals to the pound. Once in the pound, A189171, the one with the open neck wound and drain, was apparently placed where water from hosing down the kennels soaked his bedding, adding to the risk of infection. I am told that he was held with no antibiotics or pain medication from 9-13-12 until Eleanor Triboletti picked him up for Pups Rescue on September 18, and that at first, your staff refused to release him saying that his hold period wasn’t up, just like A186033.
You and your staff should know the relevant law and if it is true that he was turned in by a veterinarian, should not have accepted that dog. Since you break state and local law with impunity, even while under investigation, I suppose Stockton’s government does not consider that following the law matters for its employees.
I am asking Chief Jones, Mayor Johnston, and the City Council to declare an immediate moratorium on killing any but irremediably suffering animals, unweaned animals impounded without their mothers, and dogs that have already been documented to be “vicious,” to remove you from your position in which you have willfully violated the law since you began work in Stockton, and to seek emergency assistance from animal welfare foundations to care for Stockton animals and bring the agency into compliance with the law.
Eileen McFall, Ph.D.

Injured chihuahuas A189171 and A189114

A186033, also held without veterinary care

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2 Responses to Oopsies, killed another one illegally…sorry ’bout that

  1. Kendra says:

    My heart aches for the poor defenseless animals in the “care” of these facilities! Why are these people taking jobs that they can not do?! Follow the law and protect these animals or find another job!

  2. teenieteenez says:

    This is totally unacceptable.
    Please see letter below I will continue sending daily to Eric Jones, the Poiice Cheif, and governors office in Sacramento. Hope anything helps!

    Please do something to stop the illegal and immoral killing of animals at Stockton’s Animal Shelter.
    I am appalled at the number of California state laws this entity is continuously allowed to blatantly break.
    All those, including yourself, who for whatever reasons continue to ignore these actions by Pat Clairbout and the Stockton Animal Control, have left me with questions about both your ability to show compassion as a human being, as well as your effectiveness as a Leader in our community.
    When laws are being broken, continuing to allow this to happen is both immoral and illegal as well. I wonder how as an official of our city, one can expect the citizens to be law abiding & productive members of society when we can not look to our Leaders as an example.
    As a Leader, you are intrusted to be an example and do the right thing. You are failing to do so by allowing Stockton Animal Control/Pat Clairbout to continue breaking countless laws while you do nothing. This must stop now. Please help us citizens regain faith in humanity, justice and our chosen leaders by no longer letting this go on.
    I look forward to you reply.

    Best Regards,
    R.E. Martinez
    Stockton, CA

    Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

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