4 Investigates: Former animal shelter employee speaks out on deplorable conditions – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico 2021-09-20 00:31:55 –

During the summer, past and former employees and volunteers contacted 4 Investigates and told the KOB 4 team the situation in the city’s animal shelter, turning normally non-aggressive dogs into dangerous dogs. I asked you to investigate.

“My level of concern is very high. I quit my job so I can talk about animals in Albuquerque,” ​​said Deana Case, a former Animal Welfare employee.

Deana Case was once an animal behavior specialist in the city of Albuquerque. After she quit, she agreed to talk to KOB 4 on behalf of many other people who reached out, but they felt they couldn’t go to the camera for fear of losing their jobs. .. She worked with a dog that became more and more stressed while in the shelter.

“While they were staying in shelters, they had little contact with humans, and often because the chemistry of their bodies was so elevated that it made a real permanent change in the brain. Causes. Physiological changes occur in humans and animals from stress and trauma, “says Case.

Case believes the dog beat an employee of this shelter because he had lived in an intolerable situation for a long time.

“She went to the kennel and scooped this very young herding dog that had been there for months without sufficient exercise and contact with enriched levels of humans. He hit her. “

According to the case, the employee had nearly three dozen punctures, the dog injured a vein, and the employee was taken to an ambulance. The fate of the dog — euthanasia.

Deana Case, along with some other dogs, said KOB 4 dogs are more stressed due to two major problems.

“So this is how full the shelter is now. These dogs live outside because there are no rooms inside the physical shelter,” Case said.

4 Mobile phone videos and photos provided to Investigates show that they are in an area intended for short-term use, such as an ingestion area where animals should be for a few minutes, but there are a few dogs there. I live for a day.

“I’m worried that all animals have digestive problems due to overcrowding problems. They have hyperkinesis, which is stereotyped, such as drawing with fingers using poop. It develops. Cats tend to hide behind the bed and never come out and socialize. The noise levels are overwhelming and increase the aggressive and anxious behavior of animals, “says Case. I did.

Currently, the recruitment rate of the Animal Welfare Department is 30%. There are simply no people to work with the dog, which has led the dog to stay in their cage for 23-24 hours a day for weeks or months.

“They aren’t in contact with humans, they aren’t taking a walk, and again, it escalate aggressive behavior, and also depression. Some of them just give up,” Case said.

KOB 4 communicated the case’s concerns to Carolyn Ortega, the city’s director of animal welfare, and she admits. She became creative about where to keep animals.

“We are a public shelter and we do not close the doors when we reach capacity. We knew we would be overcapacity so we created a temporary living space for them,” Ortega said. Says.

Ortega said at the beginning of the pandemic he was ordered to stop contraceptive castration and contraceptive castration.

“To maintain the hospital’s PPE,” she said.

And she believes the directive has had a devastating spillover effect on the city’s pet overpopulation problem, which, coupled with a national labor shortage, acknowledges the problem.

“Some of these positions are really hard to fill,” Ortega said.

However, she said she offers interviews and jobs in positions where she comes into direct contact with animals.

More videos and photos show that the shelter violates the city’s own animal law.

The Heart Ordinance requires shelters to keep animals at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius.

However, last winter’s thermostat photos show that the temperature inside the kennel is well below that.

“That is, it’s 7:30. The wind chill has dropped to 16 degrees. The dog is still outside and the water is frozen in the guillotine. So now it’s snowing and the dog is out. increase.”

Wetland coolers broke last summer — staff were forced to bring in these noisy industrial fans.

“We invited some developers to inspect our air conditioners and find the best approach to ensure they were within 60-80 according to the HEART Ordinance,” Ortega said.

And there was a rodent problem in the shelter, and staff expressed concern that the animals were eating poisoned rats.

The email received by 4Investigates says:

“I suspect cash got sick and ingested a poisonous rat. He eats so much that he’s worried that this might be a problem. B01 Garty dies a rat in a kennel tonight. Was. “

With all these issues, the staff wondered if Mayor Tim Keller had chosen the right person to lead the department from this turmoil. Ortega has never worked in an animal shelter. KOB 4 asked Mayor Tim Keller about it.

4 Investigator Chris Ramirez : You have been accused of hiring a director who is not eligible to become a director of animal welfare and has no experience in shelter. For real?

Keller: “Well, we did this intentionally. Often, the city departments they have had long-standing problems with need outsiders. I want our animal welfare director. All you have to do is get the experts to run the department, and I want them to manage all these high levels that were happening that weren’t happening before. “

“You can’t stack them in cages like cordwood. They’re living social beings,” Case said.

And the others she talked to said it was time to prioritize animal welfare.

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