Archived Story

‘Shame on the Suffolk dog pound’

Published 9:38pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To the editor

On Jan. 22, I adopted a little white and fawn Pekingese from the Suffolk pound (Suffolk Animal Care). She was 10 years old, and I am a senior citizen who wanted an older dog, since I had lost my previous dog, which I had had for 15 years.

I knew that Daphne (her dog pound name — I named her Dekota) had a skin problem when I adopted her, and I felt sorry for the little dog, as some of her hair was missing, and she was scratching a lot.

But I wanted to help her, so I waited a week, because they said she had to be spayed. When I went to get her, I learned that she already had been spayed, so the dog was there in bad shape for an extra week for no reason.

I was told she had allergies, but when you held the dog, you had to change your clothes, because the odor was so bad. I took her to the vet, who put Dekota on three types of medicine, plus eardrops.

The medicine did not work, though. The dog had chronic allergies, plus two infections. The vet said there was some chance Dekota could be helped by a dermatologist.

As it turned out, I had to take her back to the pound, as the vet could not help her. When I did so, they promised me Dekota would go to a shelter where they might have more options to help her.

On Feb. 9, I looked on the Suffolk Animal Care website for dogs to be adopted, and there was Dekota’s picture again. I was very concerned about the dog. The situation is unfair to another person who might adopt her and very cruel to the dog to have been kept at the pound when she needed help.

She looked a little better when she went back, as she had been groomed several times, but she still had a skin problem. I paid $95 for her, plus $5 for her tag, plus $80 for the vet, plus the food and clothes I bought for her.

I am very upset that the people at the pound didn’t do what they were supposed to have done. I thought these people cared about animals, and I thought I was doing a good thing by helping a dog from the pound, instead of buying one from a breeder.

I even bought one of their sweatshirts, because I believe in supporting the care of dogs. All I was left with were an empty wallet, a broken heart and no dog.

Shame on the Suffolk dog pound.

Claudette Hedgepeth
Suffolk

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  • Burden

    Three people bash the shelter and I’m the one hendering help for the animals? Kudos Chief for saving lifes for 40 years. I put in a few years too working within two of the city depts, then I helped people; 12 yrs boyscouts, 12 yrs girlscouts and 15 for a charity. I’m passionate about people too. And if my posts have hendered a senior citizen from adopting an animal that they KNOW has health issues, that they can’t afford, I have done well. Although you don’t agree with me, I still respect your opinion but I don’t think your post offered her any defense. Explain to me how you think the shelter could have (that means follow the rules) and helped this lady. How were they the bad guys, do tell?

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  • RBurden

    Animals pull on our heart strings profoundly. But by your letter you openly admit they informed you of the dogs health problems, so you were clearly aware of the costs you might incur if you adopted the animal. I cannot see how you blame the Shelter for your choice. Suffolk Animal Shelter is staffed with the most caring employees and the attending vet is one of the best this city has to offer. ALL animals are treated medically and very well I might add. Maybe you should have paid attention to your wallet more. We all want to help but if we can’t afford the necessary care that is needed we shouldn’t adopt. Now with that said, I also want to say that your letter is definitely not going to inspire anyone to help other animals that are in need of a home and that saddens me. For someone that claims to want to help, you’ve only hurt more animals with your negative statements.
    Isn’t it funny how people will walk a mile to complain but they want budge an inch to say what a great job someone is doing. So to end this on a good note, I want to say thanks to all of the officers and care takers at Suffolk Animal Shelter, you do a wonderful job. Pay no mind to people that through insults your way. I know it takes a heart of gold to do what you do.

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    • chief601

      Is what she said true? I took it as she was hoping for some improvement. But I guess nothing in Suffolk needs improvement – like the IT department and the Assessors office. I understand you want to stand up for someone you think is doing a good job but maybe a little improvement might help.

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      • RBurden

        A 1.1 mil dollar redesigned shelter is not an improvement? And as far as the rest of the city officials, for what they get paid they should be standing behind the counter helping you Chief.

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    • cedarboy1

      The Suffolk Animal shelter should NOT put sick dogs up for adoption,EVER!. This is a bad start for everyone involved. The animal’s best chance to get well is at the shelter where they have the facilities and the people on site to make the animal well for adoption or put the animal down.There is no sense for the people or the shelter to spend a high amount of money on a lost cause.

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    • Ted Underhill

      RBurden, with all due respect, Suffolk Animal Control leaves much to be desired as a department. This person airing legitimate complaints with the department is not hurting animals; the lackadaisical, underhanded, condescending and generally unprofessional ways of those employed there are. Of course, I should point out that I have repeatedly worked with some very good officers in that department, as well. But a general house cleaning and attitude adjustment over there would do the department, and the citizenry, much good.

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      • RBurden

        I stand by my original comment. I’m not sure of the knowledge the general public is aware of, but our city only has so many options maintaining the shelter. Nor do they have but so many options at caring for the animals. When the shelter is full its full, something has to go. Now your staring at a puppy that has an eye cold that was treated when it arrived by the shelter, but the poor little thing still has weepy eyes. Time is up…do you practice euthanization or do you try to find a home informing the people the puppy has an eye cold? Its a brand new shelter, sparkling I might add. Lets take a quick trip back in time. Not so long ago the shelter was merely a tiny building, harldy insulated. It had a holding box outside, throw the animals in rain, sleet or swelter and the officer would take it in when they got there. They held it for X days and then hooked up the hose to the exhaust pipe on the truck. Where were your outcrys then? As this economy worsens and funds are cut, the shelter sure could use your voluteer time or donations. I have a legit complaint too. We are a spoiled society, always wanting but never willing to contribute. And it is us that have the attitudes. We give no attention to others and what they endure. We don’t deal with the abusers, we don’t have to dirty our hands and hold that little puppy and take away his life. No all we have to do is complain..”they didn’t treat me like a queen when I walked in” or “they told me the dog had health problems but I wanted it anyway and couldn’t afford it”. Shame on us.

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      • chief601

        To Mr Burden – It seems obvious to me this discussion means much to you. I’ve spent over 40 years in various fire departments dealing with humans treated as you complain that animals are treated. I notice the other people spoke about the attitudes of the people there and you want to mention the new shelter. Both are valid but different points. There is a time the animal must be put down and I am not making an outcry about that. I’m also not going to volunteer with animals as my concern is with humans. If you wish to volunteer for animals that’s fine with me. I’m not spoiled and expressing an opinion different from yours dosen’t make anyone spoiled. Your point is well taken that some are spoiled though I didn’t get that from either responder to your points. I’ve dealt with plenty of abusers and seen them take not only the childhood but the life of children. I don’t think she wanted to be treated like a queen and have no idea how you get that from her letter. I take it that she was trying to help the dog and got in over her head. I think your letter gave more people pause of helping animals than hers did. Maybe lighten up a bit.

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