Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More than 170 Dogs, Cats Killed at a La. Animal Shelter to Contain Viral Outbreak

WDSU reported on the 10:00 news tonight that the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter in Hammond, La., euthanized more than 170 cats and dogs tonight believing that the animals had all been exposed to an airborne Coronavirus. The deadly virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, is not necessarily fatal to adult dogs and cats, but is usually fatal to puppies and kittens, said one expert.

Protesters, which included former employees of the shelter, accused management of "murdering" the animals for no reason other than they didn't want to care for them any longer. They said the shelter is severely understaffed, which may have led to unsanitary conditions, and they don't believe that the animals had been exposed to the highly contagious virus. The young women said seeing the animal corpses piled on top of each other sickened them.

The tiny band of rescuers saved nine dogs, but the rest of the shelter's animal population was killed. Shelter officials recommend that pet owners who've recently adopted a dog from the Tangipahoa shelter have their pets examined by a vet, but not a vet at the shelter because the facility will be closed for decontamination and cleaning the rest of the week.

Shelter officials said the mass euthanasia was necessary. However, a vet who examined one of the saved animals, according to a protester, said the rescued animal had illnesses normal for a shelter environment, nothing more. WWL, another TV station, reports that government officials promise an investigation of the incident.

A veterinarian interviewed by WDSU said that household pets are unlikely to be in danger from the Coronavirus outbreak, that the virus is usually only a threat to groups of animals in an institutional setting.

See video at this link. WWL TV also reports on the story here.

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Tangi Adopt A Rescue said...

Thank you for writing and posting this article on this animal issue. I am with the rescue group that has the nine dogs and puppies that were saved.

We are shocked that the media is not asking the parish the hard questions that need to be addressed. We even had one reporter tell us that they talked with the shelter and don't need to talk with anyone else. What kind of reporter is that? We need answers and proof that this killing was really needed.

You can see photos of the dogs saved on our wordpress.com blog and more info on this matter.

The Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter in Hammond, Louisiana is in the news…

News Reports and Video posted on the Internet August 5, 2008…


People need to call the parish president, Gordon Burgess, and demand that he answer these questions:

1. What was the disease diagnosis and who did it?

2. Was a test run for this disease and who did the test?

3. Who was the two experts Burgess consulted before making his design to kill all the animals?

4. What was two attending veterinarians diagnosis of these animals? Who are these veterinarians?

5. If this was such a deadly disease why was 10 animals allow to leave the facility that day?

5. Why did the media report this: 'According to Parish President Gordon Burgess, there was an outbreak of a dangerous viral airborne infection inside the kennel.'? Was a diagnosis made, when, by whom, and what was the diagnosis?

6. Why did the newspaper report that the killings were because of the Corona virus (which is NOT airborne) when...

Canine Corona Virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare, self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell & Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Pet's Health - http://www.petshealth.com/dr_library/fip.html

indy said...

I agree that something must be done about this issue. The shelter in Hammond is known for their "I could care less" attitude. This a major case of animal neglet and cruelty! The killing of the animals in the shelter that day were both unethical and inhumane!!