Note: this message was received yesterday.
Subject: Urgent time sensitive appeal to County Chair Jeff Cogen: please act
Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
16004 SW Tualatin Sherwood Road # 508
Sherwood OR 97140
Telephone 503.625.4563; Fax: 503.925.8299
January 26, 2012
To: County Chair Jeff Cogen
CC: MCAS Director Michael Oswald
CC: Deborah Kafoury, District 1
Loretta Smith, District 2
Judy Shiprack, District 3
Diane McKeel, District 4
CC: Robert Babcock
Regarding: the injured neglected pit bull (MCAS 532858) scheduled to be killed tomorrow, January 27, despite offers of payment for outside specialist evaluation and community contributions to pay for an evaluation and the cost of any indicated surgery
I am asking that you defer killing and grant permission for the captioned injured neglected pit bull (MCAS 504285) to be evaluated by a specialist so that humane treatment options can be thoughtfully reviewed. The costs of this expert review will be covered by public contributions. No costs will be borne by the county.
Mr. Oswald has said in previous correspondence that you are ultimately in charge of MCAS policy and therefore I assume that you must approve this request. MCAS policy permits outside professional review and second opinions. I am asking that that policy be honored. Perhaps you are unaware or ignorant of this request and that is why no one at the agency, including Mr. Oswald, has acknowledged any of the correspondence sent to them repeatedly about this case beginning Tuesday, January 24, after we received public records. In fact, there is no mention of the offers made or correspondence sent in the most recent public records production, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 after 4:00 PM.
The practice of simply ignoring the public (the forgotten 99%) when one doesn’t want what is offered is shocking and unethical especially when a stray animal’s life is involved. Yet this happens over and over again at MCAS. MCAS acts as if it is accountable to no one. Multiple historical examples in which MCAS ignores public offers and kills anyway denying humane options (despite public protest) suggest the implicit permission of your leadership at the county. It is unethical and unworthy of the humane values you claim. You were elected for your professed humane values. We need to see those values in action.
The information I have received from a highly respected local diplomate in veterinary medicine makes it clear that this case merits exploration of options.
· Regarding MCAS note that “It is unclear why the dog is so painful in that area,” the response was that pain is expected, disuse, and atrophy are the expected result of injury; the question is what qualifies as so painful?
· The MCAS statement that this dog was likely dog aggressive really cannot even be assessed when a dog is injured. Dogs are defensive and self protective when injured.
· Possible medical interventions include surgery (about $1500 to $2000) or amputation (if evidence of nerve injury or just to have finite cost and recovery time).
· There is no description or qualification of the dog’s pain reaction or location (specific response or provocation) to decide upon the most viable and humane treatment options.
Homeless and abandoned animals deserve our best efforts. The MCAS practice of routinely assessing dogs while they are suffering severe physical injuries (i.e. broken back, broken jaw, nearly severed leg, broken leg etc.) is wrong and leads to false labeling. What is being assessed then is pain, a stressor, not “temperament.
I am asking again that the little pit bull’s kill date (ER), January 27, 2012, be deferred to allow conscientious study and to seek whatever options might apply. This is an urgent time sensitive request. The costs are donated.
Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD.