Report Critical Of Tulsa Animal Shelter

Thursday, November 29th 2007, 8:33 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Animal Shelter is under fire. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports the Humane Society released a report recommending wide-spread changes. The report is 170 pages and observes problems with everything from paperwork to inhumane treatment of animals. Linda Self and her dog Seven recently took in a stray puppy.

"It was just thin, very, very thin. I have one picture where you can see its spine through its coat," said Linda Self.

Self says she found the owner, but called animal control out to make sure the puppy would be cared for. A couple days later animal control officers took the pup to the Tulsa animal shelter and said the owner didn't want it. When Linda called to start the adoption process that day, it was no longer there and assumed to have been euthanized.

"Oh I was unhappy. I mean I started crying. It was hard to talk on the phone with them over it," said Self.

This is just one of the many problems with the Tulsa Animal Shelter outlined in the lengthy report by the Humane Society; too many animals are being euthanized without any examinations or assessments.

In black and white it says "most of the animals that were surrendered by owners were euthanized without any type of examination by trained staff."

Another problem cited is with disease control and prevention at the shelter. The report says the staff is not trained on how to recognize disease in animals and that the majority of animals that entered the facility did not receive any examination.

That would explain why workers told Linda Self, after picking out another puppy at the shelter, that she couldn't take one home.

"If it's a puppy we're not adopting out any puppies and that it's a 90% chance of euthanization," said Self.

Self says they told her they'd had a couple of diseases breakout and most of the puppies wouldn't make it. A representative of the mayor's office says its stories like Linda Self’s that prompted them to hire the humane society as a consultant in the first place.

"We did invite this kind of examination. It was important to the mayor. She wanted to see this not to be just a mediocre facility. She wants this to be a best practice, progressive facility," said Susan Neal of the Tulsa Mayor’s Office.

Neal says they've already made changes for the better. They're also appointing a task force to plan the future of the animal shelter, based on the Humane Society's recommendations.

Some animal groups say we wouldn't have any of these problems if the city simply enforced its spay and neuter law.

To see Mayor Kathy Taylor’s Animal Welfare Initiatives, click here.

To view the full report made by the Humane Society of the United States, click here.

Watch the video: Animal Shelter Set For Changes