Caddo Parish Animal Shelter Dogs Abused and Neglected

  • by: Debbie Brattan
  • recipient: Caddo Parish Animal Services - Governing Body of CPAS
This petition is created for the sole purpose of trying to open the eyes of the city government to the atrocities being committed against the animals at Caddo Parish.  Please sign and pass on to all of your friends in rescue to get this horrible situation stopped.

Due to the recent resignation by Raymond Abney from Caddo Parish Animal Shelter the animals there have lost the only voice that stood for them.  Now that Ray is no longer there to stand in the way of the dangers to these animals the governing powers are perfectly content to allow this horrible situation to "die down" and be forgotten.  Please don't let that happen to these animals who deserve so much better than the mistreatment they are receiving.  Please see the entire resignation letter from Mr. Abney below:

Notice of Resignation



To:       Caddo Parish Commission

Attn:     Human Resources

Attn:     Messers. W. Wilson & T. Weaver


From:   Raymond R. Abney Jr.


Date: September 28, 2007


Sirs,


I herewith tender my notice of resignation, effective immediately, for the following reasons:


I have worked for Caddo Parish Animal Services since January, 2006. It has ever been my belief that the animals in our care should be first on our list of priorities. It has become blatantly obvious that my belief is not shared by the whole my co-workers. I will not sit idly by while animals are tortured, neglected, abused, mistreated, and killed.


I have personally witnessed a Kennel Worker purposely beating cats with the rims of the nets on two occasions. I%u2019ve witnessed a dog, scheduled for euthanasia, beaten in the mouth by a catch pole to the point of bleeding, by that same Kennel Worker. I%u2019ve witnessed a puppy being hung by a hose while being dragged from behind by an ACO. I%u2019ve witnessed many ACO%u2019s improperly euthanizing animals. I%u2019ve witnessed a Kennel Worker hang a puppy by a leash and swing it like a pendulum into a cage, at first hitting the rim of the cage, then swinging it again to land it in the cage. I%u2019ve witnessed ACO%u2019s playing loud music in the Euthanasia Room, as if it wasn%u2019t stressful enough for the animals. I%u2019ve witnessed a Kennel Worker dancing in the Euthanasia Room, waiting while a Kennel Worker ahead of her was holding a dog for euthanasia. I%u2019ve witnessed a Kennel Worker habitually spreading diseases, especially Parvovirus, and never being reprimanded save the occasional proverbial slap-on-the-wrist. I%u2019ve seen puppies being transported in dirty garbage cans. I%u2019ve seen the Kennel Manager feed dogs from a food barrel with mice and mice nest in it. I%u2019ve seen Kennel Workers feed dogs from food barrels with mold and mildew, mice (alive and dead), mice nests, and other foreign matter. I%u2019ve seen drains clogged for months before being cleared, all the while, the raw sewage drained freely on the ground. I%u2019ve seen ACO%u2019s place Pit Bulls with other dogs%u2026and even with a whelping mother. I%u2019ve witnessed an ACO using a very small dog house for a whelping black Labrador Retriever and her 9 puppies. I%u2019ve seen whelping boxes go un-cleaned for days while the newborn puppies lay in filth. A local rescuer and I saw a dead dog in a freshly cleaned cage with a live dog. I%u2019ve witnessed cats and kittens poisoned to a slow and painful death by Kennel Workers ignorant of the effects of the chemicals they were using. I was working at the shelter when an ACO left a certain location with a kitten in a cage on her bumper%u2026the cage hit the ground as the ACO sped off without knowing what she had done. This same ACO and a Kennel Worker placed an apparently euthanized dog in the cooler. The next morning the dog was still alive, the ACO having failed both to administer a sufficient amount of sodium pentobarbital and to confirm that the dog was dead before placing it in the cooler. I%u2019ve seen dogs, replete with ticks, placed in a run un-dipped, unsprayed, and neglected. I%u2019ve seen countless animals arrive at the shelter in good health only to sicken and die miserable deaths. I%u2019ve watched a shelter, already in poor condition, fall even further into disrepair under the mismanagement of the Kennel Manager. I have witnessed appalling ignorance in the shelter workers, to the extent that they are unable to pronounce and spell common dog breeds such as Dachshund, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Chihuahua, Catahoula, Pit Bull, Poodle, Schnauzer, and even Pug%u2014just to name a few. I%u2019ve seen the kennel mismanaged, improper equipment purchased, drugs misused, records falsified, paperwork lost constantly, etc. I%u2019ve seen more crimes committed against these innocent animals than I could write here without submitting a book to you. Perhaps the worst crime I%u2019ve witnessed is the Kennel Manager ordering the deaths of animals for which I could find homes%u2026and worse, animals for which I%u2019d already found homes. Then, of course, there was the death of our dear kennel pet, %u201CFat Cat%u201D, a crime for which only one of the two offenders was terminated. The Kennel Manager also gave five American Pit Bull Terrier puppies to two different ACO%u2019s. Three of the puppies were sold for $25.00 each to a known Pit Bull fighter. The ACO who sold the puppies is still working there. I%u2019ve witnessed animals disappearing, no doubt sold for profit or used for bait. I%u2019ve witnessed the Kennel Manager abruptly remove 5-week old puppies from a nursing mother knowing I had a home for the entire family and they were already committed to rescue. The question wasn%u2019t %u201Ccould it be done?%u201D Of course it could. The question was %u201Cis it ethical to do it.%u201D The answer is a resounding %u201CNO!%u201D


I was originally told to register my complaints with the Kennel Manager. That I did, but I was retaliated against. The Kennel Manager has a way of getting rid of her enemies (those Kennel Workers who obviously have a higher Intelligence Quota than she, and who she believes pose a threat to unseat her in her management position), and keeping those Kennel Workers which she believes pose no threat to her rank: those she believes are too ignorant to assume a management position. As a result, those Kennel Workers who remain at the shelter are either friends of the Kennel Manager, or too afraid of losing their job to say anything.


I was then told to register my complaints with the Director. That I did. After the Director was fired, I gave my complaints to the Interim Director. What was done? I was told by Mr. Weaver that I complained about %u201Cevery little thing%u201D. Unfortunately for the animals in the shelter, their lives are considered a %u201Clittle thing%u201D by the Interim Director. I can only hope a real Director who loves animals will be hired soon.


I%u2019ve been promised many things by the managers and directors of Caddo Parish Animal Services, only to receive nothing. I was promised full-time position. After months, I was given %u201Ctemporary full-time%u201D. After months of that, I was finally given full-time. The Kennel Manager promised me the position of %u201CAssistant Kennel Manager%u201D. She and the Director, Dr. Dale, discussed it, and both assured me that would be my position. However, the Kennel Manager lied to me over and again until finally appointing another worker (Diane) to that position. I was promised a permanent position as Adoption & Rescue Coordinator. It was never posted. I was promised a substantial raise. It was never given. I am disgusted with the endless lies and false promises. Furthermore, I know these lies will continue. I have witnessed the Kennel Manager lie to Dr. Dale on countless occasions, as she%u2019s lied to other upper management, rescue groups, employees, her subordinates, and customers. She is a hopeless prevaricator and uses her lies to conceal her intellectual weakness and flawed managerial attempts. She has alienated the local animal welfare groups and many local, out-of-town and out-of-state rescue groups as well. Although she will hide her apathy with a counterfeit outward appearance of an animal-lover, eventually the truth will shine through as it has many times in the past.


Make no mistake; the Kennel Manager is a %u201CBackyard Breeder%u201D who exploits shelter animals for profit. She has a %u201CCatch & Kill%u201D philosophy and was infuriated with Mr. Nathan Winograd because he exposed her for the failure she is. She does not care how the shelter is emptied out, as long as it is emptied out, to make room for more animals. For her, the easiest way to get rid of an animal is euthanasia. There is no doubt in my mind she prefers this method as it relieves her of many of her additional duties if the animal was placed for adoption. She makes little or no effort to eradicate sickness in the shelter because it is her primary excuse for euthanasia. Sickness gives her a blameless option to kill countless animals. Her second method of emptying the shelter is adoption followed distantly by her third method, rescue. Amazingly, this Kennel Manager%u2019s plan is the exact reversal of what logic dictates it should be.


Primarily, the shelter should be attempting to rescue out every rescue-candidate in the shelter. There are many reasons for this, reasons which I have repeated to the management so many times I sound like a broken record. Briefly, however, when we send an animal to a nonprofit rescue group we immediately reduce the pet population in Caddo Parish (since the great majority of the animals are sent out of the parish). The rescue group takes on the burden of all health issues, including heartworms, broken bones, allergic conditions, spay & neuter and all other health problems. Rescues will take many animals which the shelter cannot afford to rehabilitate or socialize. They take on the responsibility of finding a great home for the animal (shelter workers cannot be so meticulous in finding homes as the rescues can). The parish saves a fortune in time and money, and makes space in the shelter for adoptable animals.


Secondly, we should look to adoption. Any animal which cannot be rescued should be spayed or neutered and placed for adoption. This is a more costly proposition than rescue, but still much preferable to (and less expensive than) euthanasia.


Only as a last resort should the shelter consider euthanasia. Euthanasia is costly, time-consuming, and emotionally very taxing on the personnel.


The Kennel Manager is very territorial and any attempt to modify her preferred method of making room for new arrivals is violently fought. Because of my passionate and persistent efforts to save lives, I am viewed as a threat. She has made countless efforts to control and manipulate me. However, I refuse to be a pawn on her chess board.


I was willing to work at the meager wage of under $9.00/hour, as long as I was allowed to rescue as many animals as possible. Under Pat Scott, and Brandon Daniel, I was unfettered and rescued record numbers of dogs, cats, and exotics. However, since I was returned to Annette Lewis%u2019 crew, I was hampered at every turn. My rescue numbers took a nosedive. In some cases, she euthanized animals on purpose, knowing I had rescues for them.


I wrote many complaints, and for all my efforts to better the lives of these animals, I received a letter from the Interim Director which read, in part, %u201CYOU ARE A KENNEL WORKER%u201D. All that I had worked for was gone.


Finally, I wrote a grievance against the Kennel Manager. In that grievance hearing, I was asked, %u201CWhat can YOU do to make it better?%u201D WHAT CAN I DO? I%u2019m the one being threatened. I can stop caring about the animals. I can stop rescuing them. I can stop my programs. I can lose some I.Q. points. In other words, there is nothing I can do%u2026that%u2019s why I was forced to write a grievance.


This is undoubtedly the worst job I%u2019ve ever had. I%u2019ve never in my life worked for so little, under so much duress, with such ignorant management and co-workers.


Now we come to my on-the-job injury. I worked through it, taking injections in the elbow. When the doctor determined that course of action was ineffective, I was sent to a specialist. He, too, attempted injections and learned of their ineffectiveness. Therefore, he placed me on light duty and scheduled an operation.


The Kennel Manager decided there was no %u201Clight duty%u201D for the Kennel Worker position (although all I was doing was office work). Interesting that there was %u201Clight duty%u201D for a pregnant Kennel Worker. Therefore, there is precedence for %u201Clight duty%u201D for a Kennel Worker. It makes no difference %u201Cwhy%u201D light duty is needed. The fact is that it exists. Still, I was told I would be sent home.  It would behoove the parish to consider that, if I chose, I could make an excellent case for a sexual discrimination lawsuit on these grounds.


The following day I had a meeting with Messers. Wilson & Weaver, and was allowed to work on %u201Clight duty%u201D.


Then I had the operation. I took two weeks off. I was then sent back to work (by Dr. Bilderback) on %u201Clight duty%u201D. The second day after I was back, I was sent home (by the Kennel Manager) again. She said, %u201CYou%u2019re really going to hate me now%u201D. She sent me home claiming it was an order of Mr. Weaver and, once again, there is no %u201Clight duty%u201D for the Kennel Worker position.


I contacted Human Resources and was told by Cheryl that she would get back with me. She did not. The following week, she called me and told me Annette (Lewis, Kennel Manager) %u201Chad been trying to contact me%u201D. She told me that I could return to work on %u201Clight duty%u201D. I said I thought there was no light duty for my position. I also informed her that I was out-of-town. I will contact Annette on my return, Monday, Sep. 24th after my doctor%u2019s appointment.


I will not be toyed with like a ping-pong ball. I know well there is a %u201Clight duty%u201D position as I did it%u2026and so did another Kennel Worker before me. You send me home, bring me back, send me home, and try to bring me back again. This is ridiculous and a pathetic way to run any organization. I am certain the mismanagement doesn%u2019t stop at the Kennel Manager position, but am unsure how far up the ladder it goes.


I felt I was a large part of the humane movement begun by Dr. Dale at the shelter. However, with the firing of Dr. Dale, the re-empowering of Annette Lewis, the dismantling of %u201CHumane Services%u201D, and the attenuation of my ability to save animals, I no longer feel a part of a humane movement. In fact, I feel there is no humane movement whatsoever. I stand alone at the shelter, and will not do so for under $9.00/hour, especially since I can no longer save the lives of these dear animals.


I am educated and experienced and able to find employment making many times this salary. I stayed for the animals, which I referred to as %u201Cmy dear ones%u201D. I braved sexism and racism. My love for the animals was used against me. It was also used by other workers as a reason to push their work off on me, knowing I would not allow an animal to be miserable. I will no longer stand for this.


I know you have a large responsibility, Mr. Wilson. But you are in error in your governance of the shelter. It is a shame that the lives my dear ones are so low on your list of priorities. Unless you hire educated, experienced management and caring, animal-loving workers, and train them properly, the shelter at Caddo Parish will ever be %u201Cthe inhumane society%u201D.


For these reasons, and many more, I herewith tender you my notice of resignation.


AND MORE EVIDENCE OF ABUSE
Mr. Wilson, et al,
You and or your cronies allege (on KTBS 3 TV) "The shelter's managers, however, say the incidents happened years ago and things aren't the same now." Oddly enough, I only started working here last year, 2006; and most of my pictures are from this year, 2007. But, let's just take a look at WHEN the incidents happened and IF things aren't really the same now:
· a Kennel Worker purposely beating cats with the rims of the nets on two occasions (once in 2006 & 2007).
· a dog, scheduled for euthanasia, beaten in the mouth by a catch pole to the point of bleeding, by that same Kennel Worker. (2007)
· a puppy being hung by a hose while being dragged from behind by an ACO. (2007)
· ACO's improperly euthanizing animals. (happens all the time! Did you see the disgusting videos which were made just this year?)
· a Kennel Worker hang a puppy by a leash and swing it like a pendulum into a cage, at first hitting the rim of the cage, then swinging it again to land it in the cage. (just a couple of months ago, 2007)
· ACO's playing loud music in the Euthanasia Room, as if it wasn't stressful enough for the animals. (almost every day)
· Kennel Worker dancing in the Euthanasia Room, waiting while a Kennel Worker ahead of her was holding a dog for euthanasia. (a couple of months ago, 2007)
· a Kennel Worker habitually spreading diseases, especially Parvovirus, and never being reprimanded save the occasional proverbial slap-on-the-wrist. (often. Ask you Kennel Manager how many times since she's returned from her hiatus she's euthanized ALL or nearly ALL puppies in the shelter due to Parvovirus being spread from room to room)
· puppies being transported in dirty garbage cans. (weekly)
· Kennel Manager feed dogs from a food barrel with mice and mice nest in it. (2007)
· I've seen Kennel Workers feed dogs from food barrels with mold and mildew, mice (alive and dead), mice nests, and other foreign matter. (Happens often. Go to the shelter and empty the food cans tomorrow!)
· drains clogged for months before being cleared, all the while, the raw sewage drained freely on the ground. (This has happened at least three times since 2006 including 2007 when the Kennel Manager left for her hiatus this year, 2007. The drains were blocked for months. I brought this problem to the attention of Patricia Scott and she had it rectified within days.)
· ACO's place Pit Bulls with other dogs%u20ACand even with a whelping mother. (2007)
· an ACO using a very small dog house for a whelping black Labrador Retriever and her 9 puppies. (June, 2007)
· whelping boxes go un-cleaned for days while the newborn puppies lay in filth. (often%u20ACit still goes on all the time, 2007)
· A local rescuer and I saw a dead dog in a freshly cleaned cage with a live dog. (July, 2007)
· Cats and kittens poisoned to a slow and painful death by Kennel Workers ignorant of the effects of the chemicals they were using. (2006, 2007 %u20AC%u201C one of your kennel workers was cleaning cat food/water bowls with Terminator ® and not rinsing them!)
· ACO left a certain location with a kitten in a cage on her bumper%u20ACthe cage hit the ground as the ACO sped off without knowing what she had done. (2007)
· ACO and a Kennel Worker placed an apparently euthanized dog in the cooler. The next morning the dog was still alive, the ACO having failed both to administer a sufficient amount of sodium pentobarbital and to confirm that the dog was dead before placing it in the cooler. (2007) [it has happened previously with an opossum!]
· dogs, replete with ticks, placed in a run un-dipped, unsprayed, and neglected. (2006, 2007 %u20AC%u201C happens all the time)
· countless animals arrive at the shelter in good health only to sicken and die miserable deaths. (TODAY! Go to the shelter and learn how many are sick)
· I've watched a shelter, already in poor condition, fall even further into disrepair under the mismanagement of the Kennel Manager. (TODAY! Go to the shelter and see how broken down it is)
· I have witnessed appalling ignorance in the shelter workers, to the extent that they are unable to pronounce and spell common dog breeds such as Dachshund, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Chihuahua, Catahoula, Pit Bull, Poodle, Schnauzer, and even Pug%u20AC%u201Djust to name a few. (TODAY! Test your employees to see who can pronounce and spell common breeds [much less identify them] %u20AC%u201C there should be some training)
· I've seen the kennel mismanaged, improper equipment purchased, drugs misused, records falsified, paperwork lost constantly, etc. (ALWAYS! Did you see the stack of cards for which no animal could be found? Did you see all the duplicate cards? Did you see the three "air hoses" she purchased for "water hoses" at a cost of some $500 each. They sat on the back dock for months%u20ACone disappeared, then two were finally installed in awkward positions and modified to work with water. Did you see the 3 ounce water buckets she purchased for the stray section? Did you not read my complaint about Taz & Tiffany (June 26, 2007) being misdiagnosed and medically treated for something they did not have? I have the veterinarian's records from Tampa, Florida. They did NOT have Kennel Cough! Did you notice when the Kennel Manager "relocates" an animal, no paperwork is completed. (Aug, 2007 and many other times)
· I've seen more crimes committed against these innocent animals than I could write here without submitting a book to you. (2006 AND 2007)
· Perhaps the worst crime I've witnessed is the Kennel Manager ordering the deaths of animals for which I could find homes%u20ACand worse, animals for which I'd already found homes. (June 18, 2007; July 5, 2007; and countless others)
· Then, of course, there was the death of our dear kennel pet, "Fat Cat", a crime for which only one of the two offenders was terminated. (July 6, 2007)
· The Kennel Manager also gave five American Pit Bull Terrier puppies to two different ACO's. Three of the puppies were sold for $25.00 each to a known Pit Bull fighter. The ACO who sold the puppies is still working there. (just months ago, 2007)
· animals disappearing, no doubt sold for profit or used for bait. (This happens. Ask your Kennel Manager why certain pure breeds had to be hidden at a local veterinarian's office so they wouldn't be stolen!)
· the Kennel Manager abruptly remove 5-week old puppies from a nursing mother knowing I had a home for the entire family and they were already committed to rescue. The question wasn't "could it be done?" Of course it could. The question was "is it ethical to do it." The answer is a resounding "NO!" (Aug. 17, 2007 %u20AC%u201C remember this one, Mr. Wilson%u20ACwhen your Kennel Manager told a president & founder of a reputable 501(c)3 rescue to "Kiss my [censured] and Raymond Abney can kiss my [censured], too!"

Now Mr. Wilson, do these incidents appear to have happened "years ago"? Do you really believe things "aren't the same now"?
Also, according to the news report: "In a five-page resignation letter, Raymond Abney, details half a dozen times when the shelter's employees either didn't do their jobs properly or were intentionally cruel to animals." Half a dozen? I count 30! And rest assured Mr. Wilson, this list is far from complete. There is much more to come. I've only scratched the surface. Stop covering-up for substandard employees. Stop lying about animal cruelty. Get on board for the humane treatment for animals! There is a paradigm shift, Mr. Wilson, and neither you nor your cronies can stop it.
"Some uneducated persons pretend to know that less intelligent animals don't feel pain the same way we do. In truth we know very little about how specific animals may feel except that they must submit to the universal law that causes every organism dying by unnatural means to suffer greatly before that final release. But it's nonsense to say that animals do not suffer because they have a lower order of intelligence.
"Pain is pain, conveyed by nerves to the brain. And there are other nerves than those of intelligence: Nerves such as sight, smell, touch, and hearing. And in some animals these nerves are much more highly developed than in man."
"And if there's something we can learn from them on the psychological level it's not by means of steel or electricity much less so through psychic violences %u20ACThe systematic torture of sentient beings whatever the pretext and in whatever the form cannot achieve anything other than what it already has%u20ACto show us what is the lowest point of debasement man can reach%u20ACif that's what we want to know."
[Animals] "They are Earthlings. They have the right to be here just as much as humans do."
Earthlings © 2005
Written, Produced, & Directed by Shaun Monson





Raymond R. Abney Jr.

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