“Have you been victimized by the Animal Control Officers of Killeen, Texas? If so, we want to hear from you!”

While cruizzzing the Internet this morning, an article…then a series of articles…caught my attention-BIG TIME!!!

“Have you been victimized by the Animal Control Officers of Killeen, Texas?  If so, we want to hear from you!”

 What the heck is this now?!?

I read further…There’s a series of questions:


Has the man to your left, or his fellow officers visited your home on multiple occasions?
Have you ever had to pay extremely large court fees or fines for an excessive amount of tickets?
Have you ever been a victim of having to pay to reclaim your pets for a large sum of money from the pound?
Have you ever been forced into having to surrender your pets because you couldn’t afford to get them back?
Has the staff at Killeen Animal Control ever acted unprofessional towards you or someone else?
Have you ever been questioned over barking or fighting dogs on multiple occasions?
Have you been visited an excessive amount of times at your residence due to supposed calls?
Have your animals ever been put to sleep or sent to rescues without your consent?
Have your pets been picked up by the shelter and returned to you ill or injured?
Have you ever witnessed animals in unclean or unsafe environmental conditions within the walls of the Killeen Animal Control Shelter?
Have you ever volunteered and seen any form of mistreatment of the animals by the people who are paid to run KAC?
Have you witnessed animals being handled cruelly by the officers of Killeen?
Have you witnessed animals being kept in the shelter without medical treatment?
Have you ever adopted an animal that was very sick, ill or injured from this facility?
Have you adopted an animal that died shortly after adoption?
Have you been accused of animal abuse?
Has a search warrant been done on your home?
Have you been raided or have your animals been seized?
Were your animals ever seized without you being notified of them being impounded?
Were your animals ever seized without a warrant?

IF SO, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO: helpoifveteransdogs@yahoo.com

[NOTE: Now I’m beginning to wonder what’s this about?!? -I google -Killeen Animal Control and find a series of articles that are alarming!!! The most recent one, just a few days ago; is rather new…Apparently the Killeen Animal Shelter has not been doing things as they should be done and now under the gun to answer for what others have been -Arrested for-and/or-Go to jail for-and/or-Charged with animal abuse/cruelty…And I am left wondering why the operators of this animal control facility haven’t been, after reading all these news articles, considering that the animals are apparently in substandard conditions and DYING from distemper!!!  -A highly contagious disease.]

There is plenty in the news!!! Starts here:

Wednesday, January 18,2012 –Woman Gets Sick Dog from City Shelter

By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald

Last Friday, Chrystal Mullican brought home 10-month-old Rusty, a heeler/border collie mix, from the Killeen Animal Control Shelter.
As of Wednesday, she’s spent nearly $750 at the veterinarian, after Rusty was diagnosed with distemper, a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease for dogs.
Now, Mullican wants other dog owners to be aware of the problem, and she doesn’t feel she’s being taken seriously by the city’s shelter.
“We knew getting into it (Rusty) could have something, but a deadly virus?” she said. “I just want (the shelter) to take the steps to notify others.”
Mullican, a Killeen resident, said she called the shelter to let its workers know about Rusty’s diagnosis. “They made it sound like they weren’t going to do anything,” she said. “I was furious with that.”
However, Stacie Sherva, manager of the city’s shelter, said she wasn’t aware of any problems.
“Honestly, distemper has been very isolated,” she said. “I know of only one verified case and that was years ago.”

Distemper can cause several problems in dogs, including gastrointestinal distress, fever, coughing, seizures and, if left untreated, death. It also can be difficult to diagnose without obvious symptoms.
Compounding the problem is Killeen operates an “open-door” shelter, which means it has to take in any animal left there, and it does not have a veterinarian check animals that come in.
“We have to do the best we can,” said Sherva. “If it looks OK and is friendly, we’ll try to find it a home.”
Sherva said the city shelter isolates new animals for 72 hours, checking for signs of any sickness but doesn’t have the resources to test every animal for the disease.
The shelter’s policy is more or less in line with other nearby shelters, which don’t do a full medical workup on animals before they’re adopted.

Neither municipal shelter in Harker Heights or Copperas Cove test for distemper. Neither shelter has reported a problem with the disease, either.

Aloah Holt, assistant manager of CenTex Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Shelter, said while her facility doesn’t test for distemper either, it does isolate animals for a longer period of time, checking for sickness, before putting them up for adoption.
“Our veterinarian feels (two weeks) is a good incubation period,” she said, adding that shelter workers haven’t seen any distemper outbreaks.
Carroll Smith, spokeswoman for the Killeen Police Department, which oversees the city’s shelter, said it isn’t aware of a problem.
“Nobody else has contacted us about any (animal) health issues,” she said.
Sherva said the average stay of an animal at Killeen’s shelter is six days, while the incubation period for distemper tends to be seven to 14 days.
“If we thought an animal had been exposed to something, we’d notify folks,” she said, adding the animals currently in the shelter appear healthy.
“We’d certainly look at what the situation is,” she said. “Even though we isolate animals, they can still spread germs. It comes with the territory.”

Contact Sean Wardwell at seanw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552.
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 –More People Cite Problems with Killeen Animal Shelter
By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald

Area residents are speaking out about health problems with animals they’ve adopted from the Killeen Animal Control Shelter, as well as disputing the manager’s claim that she wasn’t aware of ongoing issues with the canine distemper virus.

Two veterinarians and one local resident said they tried to contact the shelter multiple times to inform the staff they treated dogs with distemper, only to receive no response.
“I called the shelter Oct. 11, 2011, and told them they had a case that tested positive for distemper,” said Dr. Michael Joyner, a Killeen veterinarian. “According to my staff, they never responded.”

Stacie Sherva, manager of the city’s shelter, said in a Thursday Herald article that she only knew of one verified distemper case and “that was years ago.”
Sherva couldn’t be reached for further comment Thursday.

Joyner said it’s standard practice for his office to notify kennels or shelters to inform them of distemper, due to its highly communicable nature.
Last September, Charles Van Tornhout, a Killeen resident, said he paid $25 to adopt a puppy from the shelter for his daughter, Christine Morris, who lives in Rosenberg.
“As soon as I brought (Lucky) home, he was coughing,” said Morris, adding she started spending nearly every other day at the veterinarian’s office, spending hundreds of dollars.
Eventually, Lucky had to be euthanized due to the illness.
“He was the sweetest dog,” she said. “I was beside myself. I was trying to give him a few good days before he passed.”

Her veterinarian in Rosenberg, Dr. Bill Hester, said his office tried to contact the shelter at least three times, leaving messages alerting it about a possible distemper outbreak. He never received a response.

Van Tornhout went to the shelter after Lucky’s death to complain, inform it of the distemper problem and get a refund for the $25 adoption fee he paid.
“They wouldn’t give us our money back. They offered us another dog,” he said. “They claim they never heard about a distemper problem. That’s rare. They must have known there was a problem (due to Dr. Hester’s messages).”

Last week, Melissa Molles, a Copperas Cove resident, picked up two puppies from Killeen’s shelter. Both have kennel cough, which can mimic the early stages of distemper, said Dr. Pat Davis, a Killeen veterinarian.

She said she believed the animals looked sick when she went to pick the puppies out.
“(Shelter staff) said they can’t test (animals) for every illness,” she said. “If my two had kennel cough, you can bet the others do, too.”

Cornelia Gooden adopted a dog from the shelter on Dec. 29. As soon as she took it home, it started having problems.
“The day we got him, he was coughing really bad,” she said, adding she went back to the veterinarian Wednesday, who confirmed the dog has distemper.
“If he doesn’t get well in a few days, (the veterinarian) is talking about euthanizing him,” she said.

Tough spot

Joyner said he understands the position the shelter is in, having to accept any animal given to it.
“They have a hard job. They have to get animals from all over town and people aren’t always honest about vaccinations,” he said. “Some of it is out of their control. Some of it is the people. They should be telling (those who adopt) to take the animals to the veterinarian.”
He added that distemper cases have been on the rise for the past four years and addressing the problem can be difficult, requiring steps many shelters aren’t willing to take unless they absolutely have to.

“With distemper, sometimes you have to eliminate the entire population (in the shelter) and scrub down the walls and get the virus out of the air,” he said. “That’s a hard thing to do.”

Glenn Morrison, Killeen’s interim city manager, said the city is now aware of the concerns and will look into them.

“The city of Killeen takes the health and safety of animals at our shelter very seriously,” he said. “We are investigating this issue and will take the appropriate actions.”

Contact Sean Wardwell at seanw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552.

Facts about distemper
What are the symptoms of distemper?
High fever
Reddened eyes
Watery discharge from nose and eyes
How is distemper treated?
“Unfortunately, there is no cure for canine distemper. Treatment for the disease, therefore, is heavily focused on alleviating the symptoms. If the animal has become anorexic or has diarrhea, intravenous supportive fluids may be given. Discharge from the eyes and nose must be cleaned away regularly. Antibiotics may be prescribed to control the symptoms caused by a secondary bacterial infection, and phenobarbitals and potassium bromide may be needed to control convulsions and seizures. There are no antiviral drugs that are effective in treating the disease.”
Source: petmd.com
January 21, 2012 -Killeen Must Ensure Animal Shelter is Safe

Most people realize that when they adopt a shelter pet they take their chances. After all, since many of the dogs and cats are abandoned or strays, their medical histories are unknown or incomplete.

But several instances involving sick pets adopted from the Killeen Animal Control shelter raise serious questions about the shelter’s precautions and procedures.

In a recent incident, a Killeen resident adopted a dog that tested positive for distemper a few days later. After spending more than $750 at the veterinarian, the woman claims she called the shelter to ask them to inform other recent pet adopters of the possible health threat. However, she says she wasn’t taken seriously.

Had this been an isolated case, it might have been written off as simply an unfortunate incident.
But after it was reported in Thursday’s Herald, more readers came forward with similar stories about recently adopting shelter dogs with distemper and kennel cough.

The Killeen shelter’s manager told the Herald she wasn’t aware of any problems and claimed that the last verified case of distemper was “years ago.”
But several veterinarians who spoke with the Herald told a different story.

One local doctor said he called the shelter last October to inform animal control workers that a case had tested positive for distemper. He said the shelter never responded. Another veterinarian said he diagnosed a puppy from the shelter with distemper in September and tried three times to contact the shelter, leaving messages about a potential distemper outbreak. He never received a response, either.

The man who adopted the puppy — which later had to be euthanized because of his illness — told the Herald he went back to the shelter to complain and warn them about the distemper diagnosis, but the person he talked to claimed to be unaware of a distemper problem and wouldn’t return his adoption fee.

With the information coming out over the past several days, it is becoming increasingly obvious that there’s a problem at Killeen’s shelter — and a potentially serious one. That said, it would be unfair to put the blame entirely on the shelter’s employees. Most have chosen their line of work because they love animals and care about their welfare. But as with many shelters, Killeen animal control workers are at a disadvantage.

City policy calls for the shelter to take in all animals that are picked up on the streets, abandoned or dropped off. Last year, that number exceeded 6,000. Sadly, more than 2,500 of those animals had to be euthanized. With such a high volume of animals, and a shelter/kennel staff of just five employees — plus five animal control officers — the challenges of identifying health problems are obvious.

Perhaps a larger obstacle is the shelter’s policy of isolating new animals for just 72 hours — not always enough time to recognize symptoms of distemper, which can take seven to 14 days to incubate. The city’s other facility, the Second Chance Animal Shelter, isolates animals up to two weeks.

And with six days being the average stay for an animal at the Killeen shelter, it becomes more likely that an animal can be adopted out before a disease can incubate.

Perhaps the shelter’s biggest problem is that is does not employ the services of a local veterinarian, as does Second Chance. Though Killeen shelter workers reportedly screen for apparent illnesses, the need for a qualified veterinarian cannot be overstated.

Even with all these challenges, however, it is both inexplicable and inexcusable that the shelter would fail to respond to repeated warnings from veterinarians about a potential distemper outbreak.

Sadly, there is no known cure for distemper. It is undoubtedly heartbreaking for a pet owner to watch a dog suffer with the disease, which can cause coughing, vomiting, seizures and paralysis.

But this highly contagious illness also presents a significant health threat to the community.
One local veterinarian noted that distemper cases have been on the rise for the past four years. Addressing the problem effectively means taking drastic steps, such as removing all pets from a facility and scrubbing down walls to eliminate the virus. If that’s what needs to be done at Killeen’s shelter, the city should be prepared to make such a commitment. In addition, the city should consider extending the shelter’s isolation period to give workers a better chance to spot and treat diseased animals.
The city also should commit to contracting with one or more local veterinarians to provide high-quality medical care for the shelter’s inhabitants.

Killeen’s interim city manager, Glenn Morrison, said in a statement that the city takes the health and safety of animals at its shelter very seriously. The city must stand behind that statement and dedicate the resources and personnel needed to give shelter animals and their adoptive owners every chance for a long, happy life together.
[OH YEAH, there’s MORE!!!]
Saturday, January 31, 2012 -Animal Shelter Aims to Fix Concerns

[NOTE: Now I’m expecting to see the shelter manager has been fired and charged with animal abuse/cruelty. There’s NO excuse for this one, this is NOT acceptable!!! They don’t respond to phone calls, so how many animals could there have been placed in a loving home had they answered the phone or returned the call!?! Even more alarming -How many owners searching for their lost animal have tried to contact them!?! The previous reports indicate nothing was done after those inspections. Private Shelters have been shut down for far less!!! -Other people have been arrested for far less!!! Owners -Arrested/Charged/Animals Seized/possible Conviction and possibly lacking proper due process.]

By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen’s animal control center is correcting communication problems at the shelter, after several cases of canine distemper were reported in adopted dogs.

“I have tasked the Killeen Police Department and the animal control division to evaluate the entire program and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the services we provide the animals in our care and citizens of Killeen are the best they can possibly be,” said Glenn Morrison, interim city manager.

Area residents who recently adopted dogs from the shelter reported five cases of distemper and possible distemper both to the shelter and the Herald. One dog was euthanized.
One of the adjustments being made is adding a new tool to the animal shelter’s website for residents to report issues and complaints.

“We are in the process of putting a link on our website for those people who adopt an animal from our shelter,” said Carroll Smith, Killeen police spokesperson. “Should they have questions or concerns about the animal after the adoption, they can send information through this link and we can get back with them in a timely manner.”

State inspections
The Killeen Police Department, which oversees the shelter, said it passed all recent inspections, pointing to ones performed by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The Herald obtained copies of those reports, which largely confirm Smith’s statement, though a Feb. 24, 2011, inspection noted a couple of issues, such as the shelter being short-staffed and not having a sufficient hiring process to find candidates.

Also, the report noted a problem with an incinerator that leaked fluids while being operated. Smith said those issues were addressed.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said the only reason his department inspects the shelter is because of its status as a rabies control facility. While the department does examine the welfare of the animals, it’s a secondary concern to renewing the shelter’s status for rabies control.
Van Deusen said general inspections for animal health and welfare were done by local authorities, rather than the state.

Communication issues
Smith said the police department doesn’t always get notification about sick animals from owners, due in part to the shelter’s lack of a messaging system or answering machine.
“Unfortunately, we are not always notified immediately, but as soon as we receive documentation from a veterinarian or citizen regarding any issues with an animal, we notify the appropriate parties,” she said.
Both local residents and veterinarians told a different story.

Charles Van Tournhout, a Killeen resident, said in a Jan. 19 Herald article that he adopted a dog from the shelter that was diagnosed with distemper and later died.
He attempted to relay the problem to shelter staff in person, seeking a refund. He said he was offered another dog.

Dr. Michael Joyner, a Killeen veterinarian, told the Herald he diagnosed a case of distemper in a dog obtained from the shelter in October. His office staff spoke with shelter staff without receiving any response to his warnings, he said.

Still at work
Dr. Keri Jones of the Killeen Veterinary Clinic said she inspected the facility on Jan. 23 and found no problems with the facility or the animals, specifically with distemper. The facility is still offering animals for adoption.

“I walked through very meticulously,” she said. “I heard one puppy cough twice, but he was a healthy puppy. There are a couple on medication for bite wounds and some on medication for back injuries. But, overall, it’s a healthy population of animals.”

Contact Sean Wardwell at seanw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552.

[NOTE: I’d say the Killeen Animal Control has been poorly operated for sometime…A communication problem can be rather alarming with pets being put down when owners can not be located or is it that owners can not speak to anyone!!! Then there’s those previous inspection reports that have apparently gone by without correction -NOTE: An individual private owner, when cited with problems, is given 24 hour notice for correction and/or the animals are seized and the owner arrested!!! But most alarming is that they have an incinerator which indicates a rather high incidence of animals being euthanized, is not operating properly…ugh…Make me sick!!! ]

Disclaimer in place for this entire blog-notes are of my opinion based on what I have read in these news articles and the reporter seems to have done a lt of research for these articles.
Stay tuned-follow this blog Best -B

~ by topcatsroar on February 5, 2012.

4 Responses to ““Have you been victimized by the Animal Control Officers of Killeen, Texas? If so, we want to hear from you!””

  1. In reguards to Killeen Animal Shelter, “none are so blind as he who won’t see.” It appears that KAC likes monkeys as in “Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.” It’s time they wake up & clean up! They need to lengthen quarantine procedures, let those “beefy” officers (like the one in the photo) get to work disinfecting from top to bottom the entire shelter. Fix that incenarator, get a stupid answering machine — you can usually find one on sell for less than the $25.00 they charge to adopt a dog. Get off your duffs & clean up!

  2. I love reading through an article that will make people think.
    Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

  3. Yesterday Animal Control Choked to death my cousins Rottweiler, he was very friendly ,went to doggy park once a week,I gave him the puppy which came from many generations of Championship show dogs,he was my pick of litter puppy, dad and mom Champions,the father of the pup I imported from Serbia. Animal control committed a State Jail Felony Texas PC 49.092

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