Friday, October 31, 2008
Atlanta, GA - Randy Travis, of Fox 5 News, reports on the management at the Fulton County animal shelter. Director, Jere Alexander, is making questionable decisions with shelter pit bulls and her own. Back in August, a pit bull attacked five school children waiting for a bus. A police officer shot and killed the animal to stop it. All five kids went to the hospital.
On the day of the attack, Fulton County Animal Services issued subpoenas to the parents of the five injured children and asked the victims and the dog owner to appear in court for a vicious dog case. The next month, the father of one of the victims, Patrick Cotton, said his wife went downtown but couldn't find the case. "She called me and she stated we're not even on the docket. I just wasted a whole day of work for nothing," said Cotton.
The vicious dog charges against the dog owner disappeared.The I-Team could find no record of the vicious dog tickets either, but an email from Alexander, was discovered that was written to her staff the day after the attacks. The email said, "I've had a chance to think about a situation from yesterday and get some more information; and I'm not OK with the vicious tickets written by David. I don't remember the women's name offhand, but please find them and make them go away."
One day after the I-Team questioned the county, a new vicious dog ticket was issued to the dog's owner with a new court date. Alexander said the timing is coincidental. The issue of the dog attack is just one of many curious moves the I-Team discovered connected to the new director of the shelter. Alexander took control of the shelter in March, after the management contract was awarded to the Barking Hound Village Foundation.
Prior to running the shelter, Alexander wrote extensively about pit bulls and dogfighting. "I know a great deal about this breed and I think that knowledge only betters my ability to manage this particular shelter with such a highly dense pit bull demographic," said Alexander. Internet Archives show that her website, pitarchive.org, listed 3 "advisors" last year, one is a convicted pet abuser and the other is facing dogfighting charges.
The I-Team also looked into the Fulton County Animal Shelter, which on some days is 75% filled with pit bulls. Former employees said Alexander intentionally looked the other way when her favorite breed went on the attack. Myles Swain (who was fired by Alexander) had the task of compiling a list of dogs to euthanize in order to reduce crowding. Swain said Alexander routinely scratched one breed from the list: pit bulls.
"The ones that showed the most aggression were the ones they were more diligent of wanting to keep," said Swain. "A lot of them stayed there for several months in their pen, just day in and day out cause there's really nothing you can do with them."The investigation also found that Alexander was chaining her pit bulls. In DeKalb County, where Alexander lives, chaining dogs is illegal. On two different days, Fox 5 cameras saw the chained pit bulls. An amateur video shot on a third day showed more chained pit bulls on the property. Alexander said, "Well, there are times that a dog can be on a tether for exercise purposes while a kennel is being cleaned out or something along those lines."
Special request: DogsBite.org asks that you leave comments at Randy Travis's blog. His team has done an excellent job in reporting this story. Your comments will add to these efforts.
10/31/08: Coverage of the Fulton County Animal Shelter - DogsBite.org
Labels: Jere Alexander
| 10/31/2008 4:49 AM |
This is what we've known for a while...The "dogmen" have infiltrated Animal Control agencies and now control animal control policies and budgets in many places, and they have near zero accountability!
Fulton county really screwed the pooch by hiring a "Dogman" for this position. Are dogs of safer breeds being put down so this nutter can proliferate Pit Bulls?
Is she surpressing dangerous dog citations so the stats look better for her precious pit bulls?
Gotta wonder if the dog that attacked the kids was adopted out by the shelter?
| 10/31/2008 11:43 AM |
Sounds like the agency is saving money on euthanasia by housing non-pit bulls with pits! Jere Alexander doesn't need to have her staff use the purple needle anymore. She just puts that mangy cur of a lesser dog in a cage with Chinaman's great great great grandson. Saves money for the county and provides entertainment for this sick bitch all in one fell swoop.
| 10/31/2008 12:31 PM |
Yes, this person and her husband PROFIT FROM the breeding, selling, promotion and perhaps more of pit bulls.
That is their business, and she is using her position as a public servant to help her business interests.
Another thing these pit bull business people do is collect "degrees" to lend an air of authenticity and allow them to promote themselves as "experts."
Of course, college degrees are a dime a dozen these days, but some people do get tricked when someone trots out their degrees.
I found this too
Pit Archive - The Online Pit Bull Museum
This online pit bull museum thoroughly explores the history of the "Pit Bull" breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and others.
The site was created by Ph.D. candidate Jere Alexander and her husband, Rocky Alexander, a long time pit bull historian, handler, and behaviorist.
| 10/31/2008 12:33 PM |
Here is what this case reminds me of
POSTED ON APRIL 11, 2007:
Member of Orange County's chained-dog study panel has ties to dog-fighting
Public debate on pets includes private questions on motives
When Alane Koki applied to become a member of an Orange County citizens' committee studying whether the county should limit the practice of tethering dogs on chains or ropes, she submitted a 13-page résumé citing numerous accomplishments as a scientist and medical researcher: a doctorate in zoology, a dozen patents, and publication in more than 50 journals.
With those credentials and a Hillsborough address, Koki seemed a reasonable appointee for the seat designated for an "animal wellness/health expert," and county commissioners put her on the panel on Feb. 6.
What Koki didn't list in her application, however, was her long history of breeding pit bulls in other states and her association with local kennel owner Tom Garner, a nationally known breeder of pit bulls and a convicted dog fighter whom commissioners declined to appoint to the committee the same night they approved Koki.
As details emerge about Koki's background, local and national officials worry that her membership on the committee is an attempt to scuttle any potential limitations on tethering, a common practice used by breeders and trainers of fighting dogs—along with some family pet owners—which is increasingly recognized as inhumane.
"There's so much money in dogfighting, now that I look back with 20/20 hindsight, I shouldn't be surprised that the dog-fighting lobby would go to lengths like this—they have a lot to lose," says committee member and Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson.
there is more
Again, notice the college degrees and "credentials" getting trotted out to deceive
| 10/31/2008 1:13 PM |
Look on page 4 of the Comments
It is julzp our friend the one that supposedly lost her face to a chained coonhound on the discussion boards
Now she is claiming that she is a veterinarian
| 10/31/2008 1:48 PM |
The pit bull advocates truly are psycho. This obsession with this dangerous breed is mind-boggling. I hope Fox 5 stays on this story and is able to reveal the truth to the public about Alexander.
| 10/31/2008 3:08 PM |
Whoa. I am reeling as well. It is so obvious that this pit-lover sought a position in animal control. The I-team deserves much kudos for uncovering the horrendous injustice done to those 5 children and their families.
| 10/31/2008 3:29 PM |
Who bothered to investigate this woman's background before she got hired?
And where have those extra-vicious pits that she is "putting aside" been going? Are they being monitored, or are they going out the back door to a breeding operation or?
| 10/31/2008 3:58 PM |
Will we see the no kill fanatics come out to defend Jere Alexander and tell us how much she loves pit bulls, and how overcrowded shelters with dogs killing each other in cages is so much better than euthanizing?
Or shipping these dogs off to who knows what, disappeared, so they aren't euthanized?
That's what Best Friends and no kill people like Ed Boks and Nathan Winograd have stooped to.
| 10/31/2008 5:42 PM |
Why on earth does Alexander have pit bulls chained up on her property? Are they too dangerous to have as household pets? The dogs can't be unchained and near each other because they might attack and kill each other? Is there some "honor" to these attributes that I am unaware of? Alexander calls herself a pit bull expert. It's tough to believe that a pit bull expert believes that "life on the end of the chain" is the best method of caring for her dogs. The only area that Alexander appears to be an expert in is the area of dogfighting and the glorification of past fighting dogs.
The I-Team ought to investigate if there are dead dogs or dead bait animals buried on her property.
| 10/31/2008 8:16 PM |
I hope it's a career ender. We need to pressure the Fulton County Commission to end the contract with that private group that they handed the shelter over too. Either that or force them to dump Jere Alexander.
| 10/31/2008 11:08 PM |
The only problem I have with the story is how "apologetic" the Fox 5 Team is about pit bulls. Have they never heard of genetics? Pit bulls were selectively bred to kill dogs and other animals. This goes back thousands of years if you include the "bulldog" history of bull baiting in Greek times. Many aggressive pit bulls are aggressive by their genes, not by a "bad owner." I expect a news team to inform readers of the truth about this breed. The video makes a point of saying that "5 dogs are dead" due to pit bull attacks at the shelter since Alexander took over. Was this because the dogs had bad previous owners? Or do YOU THINK it has something to do with selective breeding to create the "ultimate canine warrior" so that it could efficiently destroy other dogs?
| 11/01/2008 4:29 AM |
I feel sorry for that poor black dog being cornered by the Pit in the cage...This woman is responsible for five dog deaths...ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES please!!!!!
This whole contracting out law enforcement responsibilities doesn't seem to be working. We've seen outright refusal to enforce the law in other places too. How are these contractors held accountable?
| 11/01/2008 10:40 AM |
Sometimes these news agencies are so bombarded by the pit bull advocates they feel they must make some mention, "that it's how the dog is treated." It's important how all dogs are treated but did you ever hear of a labrador retriever being mistreated and he no longer loved water or retrieving a stick from the water? This is purely genetics. Pit bulls love to kill. I too feel sorry for the dog being pushed into the corner by the pit bull. What kind of nut is this woman?
| 11/01/2008 11:42 AM |
Barking Hound Village (Atlanta, Ga)
David York and John Hogg own the for-profit Barking Hound Village luxury daycare company. There are at least 5 locations in Atlanta. As the Fox 5 investigation shows, one day the daycare's website read "No pit bulls or pit bull-mixes." After the investigation began, the language changed to: "no aggressive breeds." By making such a policy shift, one would think their liability insurance greatly increased. Most for-profit businesses like to keep these costs low.
Barking Hound Village also has a facility in Austin and Dallas, Texas. In fact, there is an article about the company in what appears to be the current issue of "Urban Dog."
Barking Hound Village has expanded to five locations in the Atlanta area, including the 17,000-square-foot flagship store, and one each in Austin and Dallas...York says the business has increased revenue 10 to 15 percent annually. Among its Atlanta locations, about 300 dogs come to daycare every day and up to 600 dogs stay at Barking Hound Village locations during major holidays.
Austin - Barking Hound Facility does not allow pit bulls
Due to the communal nature of our playgroups/boarding we cannot accept pitbulls or any mixed pitbull breeds.
Dallas - Barking Hound Facility does not allow pit bulls
Due to the communal nature of our playgroups/boarding we cannot accept pitbulls or any mixed pitbull breeds.
The application contract spells it out even more clearly:
Barking Hound does not allow any dog whose breed is pit bull or is mixed with pit bull. Other dogs not allowed include “bully" breeds (examples are American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier.).
Barking Hound Village Foundation (BHVF)
Barking Hound Village Foundation (BHVF), Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. The foundation grew out of the luxury daycare business. The foundation only began operating in March 2008. Why would such a newly founded organization (which had only prior been in the business of "luxury daycare") be awarded a contract to run a county animal services department? These contracts are typically awarded to Humane Society and SPCA organizations that have extensive history in a community. Secondly, why would a "dog-loving" organization hire a woman that publicly fought against the Georgia Dog-Fighting Act and chains up her pit bulls as the director of this foundation?
| 11/01/2008 1:19 PM |
Lawsuit against Barking Hound Village
Judge Grady dismissed plaintiff's complaint with prejudice for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff alleged that defendants, several Georgia and Texas entities and individuals, worked together or at each other's direction to steal plaintiff's pet-care business management software and to infringe plaintiff's copyrights for the software.
| 11/01/2008 2:12 PM |
"I feel sorry for that poor black dog being cornered by the Pit in the cage...This woman is responsible for five dog deaths...ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES please!!!!!"
Exactly! What leverage or moral high ground do authorities have to charge dog fighters with a crime when the very same thing is common practice at a shelter?
+1 for charges, please!
| 11/02/2008 2:04 AM |
I'm no longer comfortable with contracting out what is essentially a Law Enforcement and public safety function..Too many conflicts on interest and we've seen outright insurbordination and refusal to enforce the law from these dog people.
| 11/02/2008 7:42 PM |
Quote from comment section:
"When I told my girlfriend I was adopting a pit bull, she "reserached" on the internet and told me not to adopt. She read they are dangerous and unpredictable."
And he got the dog anyway. What kind of a person not only gets a dog aggressive animal, but does so against the wishes of their girlfriend?
There is something wrong with people who act like this with no regard to anyone else and who have zero respect for anyone else's feelings.
| 11/02/2008 11:35 PM |
There are a total of 265 dogs available for adoption at Alexander's shelter. I just counted 91 pit bulls in the shelter and there was about another dozen that were being called something else but looked like pit mixes.
Thirty four percent of their kennel population.
| 11/03/2008 12:02 PM |
He seems to look at both sides of the picture. The pit bull side and the pit bull side. Places like Georgia, I guess, don't have children and senior citizens ripped up by pit bulls. People like Larry Pullen, Tina Merritt, the little girl in Dekalb county, the 400 stitcher in Forsyth county -- the list goes on and on -- don't really exist. Even if they did exist, they don't matter. The sad truth is, given the backwards, early century dog laws in the state, in addition to high popularity of dogfighting, Georgia is likely in the top 5-10 of all states when it comes to serious pit bull maulings (at least in a per capita sense)
Check out Georgia Dog Bite Law
Georgia's dog bite statute currently favors dog owners over victims. To make a dog bite claim, the statute demands that a victim prove the existence of more than one ground for liability. This is in stark contrast with other states, which require proof of only a single ground.
Additionally, there is judge-made law that protects negligent dog owners from having to compensate their victims. Longstanding precedents hold that a victim cannot make a claim for negligent, irresponsible and injurious actions which cause a dog to injure a person. The protection of irresponsible dog owners is completely at odds with the expectations of society and the needs of modern Georgians.
If you like to own dangerous dogs, Georgia is a darn good place to live.
The Fox 5 Team seems to be in stark contrast to the WALB team in South Georgia, a team that spent real time with victim Larry Pullen and subsequently came out with an editorial that supported victims:
WALB News Editorial Supports Pit Bull Regulations
Ordinances to ban pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics have been introduced in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and other states. Denver, Kansas City, and Miami are some of the largest cities with pit bull bans. With over 100 breeds of dogs to choose from for a pet, we do not see this as a major inconvenience...If not an out-right ban, we call for the owners of pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics, to meet stringent restraint requirements, including posting a substantial bond.
| 11/04/2008 12:10 AM |
". A kennel worker dismissed the act calling it an "initiation.""
So the question is, has she been running some kind of dogfighting facility at taxpayer expense?
Have innocent non-pit bulls been getting used as bait dogs?
Have the very aggressive pits been getting removed to her home?
| 11/04/2008 1:07 AM |
Yes... what was really happening here?
Special treatment for the most aggressive Pit Bulls, then placing them back into the community unspayed or neutured...A canine Aryan race type of project.
Now the question is how many other Nutter sleeper cells control A/C Departments and are placing Canine IEDs into communities?
| 11/04/2008 8:02 AM |
"Special treatment for the most aggressive Pit Bulls, then placing them back into the community unspayed or neutured...A canine Aryan race type of project.
Now the question is how many other Nutter sleeper cells control A/C Departments and are placing Canine IEDs into communities?"
WHAT AN AWESOME COMMENT!
| 11/04/2008 2:15 PM |
You couldn't be more dead on with "nutter sleeper cells."
One could look at the last several months and be abhorred by the number. Kathy Jenks, the director of the Ventura County Animal Services, "delayed" releasing the terrible mauling of a child by a pit bull that lead to death for 6 days. Jenks then said on camera that the child must have brought on the act (by picking up a cell phone?), which tore OFF most of 5-year old Katya's face and KILLED her.
Just after this, the Maui Humane Society forcibly had the major newspaper of the main island change their report of a mauling from "pit bull-mix" to "mix-breed." No photos were allowed of the dog...simultaneously on their website, they were trying to adopt out an "Australian shepherd, Golden Retriever Cattle-dog mix" (or something like this, but I recall that it was a mix of THREE breeds!) Unconscionable!
| 11/04/2008 2:29 PM |
Well, well, well, it seems that the little southern belle lacks the traits that she so admires in the breed.
But then again, that is true of most of these pathetic cowardly "dogmen".
She doesn't deserve pit bulls.
| 11/06/2008 12:43 AM |
interesting story and it continues to grow.
here is a comment that i found particularly disturbing:
Nov 3, 2008 | 8:48 PM
I must speak out as someone who witnessed Fulton County Animal Control practices under the direction of Mrs. Jere Alexander personally. I was the initial and interim veterinarian that served at Fulton County Animal control when Barking Hound Village took over as the vendor. This story is very unfortunate because the owner of Barking Hound Village is one of the greatest philanthropist and advocate for rescued dogs that I have met and his decision for a director may cause him some undeserved negative press.
I have been practicing for 11 years starting out at the Atlanta Humane Society as a staff veterinarian. My experience ranges from county facilities to private practice, practice director to now reaching out as a mobile veterinarian helping the elderly, private residential pets, the Atlanta bomb squad and even a kennel of pit bull terriers. I worked diligently sometimes 12 hours a day at Fulton County Animal control trying to create a healthy and clean environment for this overcrowded facility. This is essential to give every animal a fair chance to be adopted. The main obstacle I encountered was with Mrs. Alexander who adamantly refused to euthanize ANY pit bull. I recall on several occasions we would come in to find a pit bull had mauled to death by a pit bull cage mate and Mrs. Alexander would insist against euthanizing this animal. I explained to her that this would not be an adoptable animal, that it was a liability, the shelter was not a rehab. She still insisted on spending the money to medically treat this animal and surviving it to put some unassuming adopter in harms way. The facility was so severely overcrowded that there were as many as 6-7 dogs per run all sneezing and spreading infection while the pit bulls had a run all to themselves due to their aggression. Many of these sneezing dogs were euthanized due to the overcrowded conditions they were put in because the pit bulls had to be housed solo. Any decision I made as a veterinarian to euthanize an aggressive pit bull was overturned by Mrs. Alexander and the staff member was warned that if he or she followed my direction, they would be fired. This set up a very hostile condition so I pulled my license from this facility foreseeing an inevitable demise. I wanted to stay for the pets, and the kennel staff begged me to stay but due to the constant disregard for the welfare of others I had to leave.
Mrs. Alexander own husband even got severely mauled by a pit bull at the facility and had to seek medical attention, and this dog remained at the facility jeopardizing the next unsuspecting victim.
I have several pit bull clients and I have respect for the breed. Just like with any dog, they reciprocate what they have been given. This breed has been targeted as a tough an aggressive breed, they are taught to act that way, and dont know any better. It is unfortunate but we are all a product of our environment. That's why you have some who are loving and sweet and others who are the exact opposite. The problem is that the pit bulls ability and potential to create significant harm is far greater than many other breeds. Fulton County Animal control under the direction of Mrs. Jere Alexander has turned out to be a product of lack of experience, ignorance, and total disregard for our respected veterinary and animal community. Speaking directly @ the case of the 5 children who were attacked, this is total disregard for the welfare of people begot for the welfare of the pit bull. I volunteered for a community outreach project as a veterinarian facilitating vaccinations for community need. A gentleman there was bit by a dog and Jere stood there and did nothing as the director of Fulton co animal control I would have at least expected the legal required report to be made, but I guess because this guy was there for free shots, he didn't deserve that respect.
Mrs. Alexander explained to me that she was doing graduate studies on pit bull fighting and would often go undercover to experience these fights. I dont know about you but I would never be able to stomach something like that without screaming to stop the vicious act. I guess her witness of pit bull fights makes her an expert??? Mrs. Alexander has very limited experience in the animal or shelter community and should stop imposing her personal opinions about pit bulls on her staff, other rescued dogs or on our community.
Tethered pets and Pit bull terriers are outlawed in Dekalb County.
I commend the work of the I team for uncovering this story and propigating animal welfare.
| 11/06/2008 2:39 AM |
Jessica Corbitt, public affairs manager for Fulton County, said county officials started looking at the facility’s operations about three weeks ago. The investigation was triggered by reporting for a series by Atlanta FOX 5 TV on animal abuse and “complaints from the community.”
Corbitt said if the review finds anything was done “intentionally” in violation of policy or to hurt the animals at the facility, the investigation will be broadened, raising the specter of criminal charges. She said no charges have been brought, and she is not aware of any being pursued by the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.
Oliver Delk, animal-control contract administrator for Fulton County, said he visited the shelter Tuesday morning and found it “very busy, but running smoothly —- my concern was that, with the transfer, there would be problems, but I didn’t see any.”
| 11/06/2008 3:51 AM |
Found on a forum board:
From: Myles Swain
Date: Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 3:04 PM
Subject: my story
I am the kennel manager interviewed in the Randy Travis Investigation
of Barking Hound Village Foundation's management of the Fulton animal
shelter. For those of you who haven't seen the first two parts of the
report, the links are below. Just fyi, Randy Travis is planning more
stories which will air after the election and which will uncover even
more serious, possibly criminal situations that I won't mention at
Part one of video:
Part two of video:
When I first heard that Barking Hound was taking over the shelter, I
was initially very supportive even though I didn't quite understand
how they qualified to bid since neither David Yorke (who bid as the
Executive Director) nor Jere Alexander met the minimum bid
requirements of having three years senior management experience at an
animal control shelter or humane society and since neither of them had
ever even worked at any animal shelter in any capacity. And since
Barking Hound Village Foundation wasn't even in existence prior to the
bid and they weren't even incorporated yet on the day the bids were
due. However, I had met David a few times and he seemed so very nice
and talked about improvements he was going to make and so I was
Unfortunately, I could tell something was wrong by my second day of
work under Barking Hound management. First, I found out that the
Executive Director wasn't going to run the shelter and would just
"pop in" from time to time. And on my second day of work the Director
Jere Alexander called me into her office and started crying, saying
that she was overwhelmed and that the shelter was so stressful that
she didn't know if she could take it. In addition, even though I had
provided David with a list of all of our vendors weeks in advance, he
hadn't made any arrangements to get supplies or to set up accounts
with any of those vendors and he seemed absolutely clueless that a
shelter would need supplies such as pet food after the week+ worth
that the previous shelter's management left ran out.
Also, almost immediately I became very concerned because Jere would
not allow us to euthanize pitbulls, even the ones that were most
aggressive, and she even placed them in cages with other dogs. She
explained that dogs fighting was ok, that it was "pack mentality" and
"establishing pecking order." Under the previous humane society's
management, adult pitbulls were put into individual cages and only
those that had a good temperament were moved to the "public" areas and
put up for adoption. In addition, though the previous humane society
management normally kept the shelter pop. under 400 animals (on the
day they left there were 330 animals in the shelter) almost
immediately under Barking Hound management the shelter population
soared and we eventually kept between 450-525 animals in the tiny
shelter. Combining so many pitbulls and so many animals into a tiny
shelter proved to be a recipe for disaster and we went from having
almost no dog fights under the previous management to having serious
dog fights every day, sometimes 10-12 a day.
The very first dog killed by a pitbull occurred within the first two
weeks of Barking Hound taking over. A sweet shepherd mix was killed
overnight by a pitbull and we found it dead in the cage the next
morning. I was absolutely horrified and the veterinarian and I wanted
to euthanize the pitbull, but Jere made all kinds of excuses defending
the pitbull and then had a kennel attendant hide the dog in the barn
rather than euthanize it.
Very soon afterwards, David "popped in" and asked me how things are
going and so I took David on a tour of the shelter and told him how
the shelter was overcrowded, how the pitbulls were attacking the other
dogs, how a dog had just been killed and that Jere would not allow us
to euthanize aggressive pitbulls. He acted all nice like he always
does and agreed that it was a problem BUT HE DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.
But he did say that he had learned a tremendous amount from Jere. And
I didn't see David for the next couple of weeks and when I finally ran
into him I asked him why we hadn't seen him in the kennel and he said
he was "trying to avoid problem areas."
And so the horrors continued. The second dog murder occurred exactly
one month and two days after Barking Hound took over management.
Glitter, a small sheltie mix that was picked up lost from home on
April 9th and because there were pitbulls in every kennel that we
weren't allowed to euthanize, was put in a cage with a female pitbull.
When we found sweet Glitter the next morning, on April 10th, she was
literally unrecognizable as a dog and just looked like a blob of
shredded flesh. The two kennel attendants and I who found her were
sick to our stomachs at seeing what was left of poor Glitter. And yet
Jere scratched Glitter's murderer off of the euthanasia list time
after time, kept her in the cage with other dogs and kept her
available for adoption. Many more dog murders occurred including a
dog from a felony cruelty case and "Tracey" a sweet rat terrier who
was taken to numerous dog adoption days and was a kennel favorite.
In my estimation, pitbulls attacked AT LEAST 30 dogs a month and
killed about one a month. The vet tech told me she was very
frustrated because she said that almost all she did all day long was
patch up dogs attacked by pitbulls. And David Yorke knew we were
having problems and did nothing to stop it.
I was seriously injured by a pitbull who attacked a 4-5 month old
puppy by biting it on the head and not letting go. It took me and
four other kennel attendants 20 minutes to get this pitbull to let go
of this puppy. And as soon as it let go of the puppy, it took a huge
chunk out of my hand. But afterwards a hold was put on the dog for
adoption instead of euthanasia and a rabies specimen. And David Yorke
knew I had been seriously attacked and still did nothing to stop it.
So the deaths and maulings continued.
In addition to the pitbulls mauling and murdering the other dogs,
numerous other negative things were happening under Barking Hound
management. The adoption policies were changed almost immediately so
that anyone could get any animal, even aggressive ones, with basically
no questions asked which in my opinion is a danger to the community.
Barking Hound also started handing out unfixed animals to people who
came in from off the street by calling them "foster homes" even though
no foster home paperwork was done and no foster homecheck was done as
required by the Dept of Agriculture. I remember one situation where a
pregnant dog was given to a so-called "foster home" who then handed
out the puppies unfixed to who knows who. The adoption counselor (who
later quit because she couldn't take it anymore) and I tried to start
our own paperwork trail so we could attempt to follow up. The amount
of disease in the kennel skyrocketed and we had outbreak after
outbreak of parvo. The animal control officers were told they were
not allowed to use catch poles unless their lives were in danger and
they also were not allowed to write tickets, except dog at large,
without Jere's permission. Barking Hound also started firing good
employees, promoted a couple of bad employees and hired employees that
had been let go by the previous management for a good reason. In
addition, even more SERIOUS bad things went on which Randy Travis is
going to go into in future parts of his investigation.
I did go to the county contract administrator and ask if I could make
a complaint without using my name but he said that I had to use my
name. But information about some of the problems at the shelter had
gotten to the county and Jere and David were calling people into their
office and telling them they would be fired if they were leaking
information so I knew that I would have been fired within the first
five minutes of David and Jere finding out I had made a complaint to
the county and so I didn't do it. But while I was still employed I
also contacted a county law enforcement official and the largest
national animal welfare organization asking for help and letting them
know about some of the problems.
I could go on and on and on but in my opinion Fulton County Animal
Services has been a nightmare under Barking Hound management and both
David Yorke and Jere Alexander were totally clueless about how to run
an animal control shelter, only made negative changes and besides
purchasing a Starbuck's coffee machine didn't make one single solitary
improvement at the shelter during the entire time they've been there.
They have, however, recently been covering things up now that Randy
is investigating and the weekend before he interviewed them they just
euthanized a bunch of pitbulls, just started doing homechecks on
foster homes, etc. In my opinion, Fulton county should get rid of
Barking Hound Village Foundation as soon as possible because even if
they get rid of Jere, they will still be stuck with David who acts all
nice but is clueless, incompetent, incapable and worse.
I have been asked how I feel after being fired for something that I
didn't do after working at the shelter for twenty seven years and the
best way to describe it is that I feel lost and don't know how to get
home. And unfortunately, under Barking Hound's mismanagement, I
wouldn't recognize it as the home that I once knew anyway..
Myles Swain, former Kennel Manager
| 11/06/2008 12:45 PM |
"Mrs. Alexander explained to me that she was doing graduate studies on pit bull fighting and would often go undercover to experience these fights."
Randy, I hope you are paying attention to this!!
| 11/06/2008 1:41 PM |
another employee speaks out
From: Judy Simon
Date: Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 11:01 PM
Subject: my experiences under Barking Hound Village Foundation
My name is Judy Simon and I was an adoption counselor at Fulton County Animal Services both before and after Barking Hound Village Foundation took over management. I am not the sort of person who likes to bring attention to myself, but I decided to write this email in honor of one sweet little dog whose life ended brutally at the shelter and who is stuck forever in my memory. While I was working at the shelter under BHVF management, a little dog somehow got stuck in a sewer. When someone finally heard its cries the Fire Department was called and they spent hours getting the dog out. Cold and weak, the sweet little dog ended up at the Fulton shelter. That sweet little dog who had already suffered in the sewer, that sweet little dog who was cold and weak when it arrived at the shelter … that sweet little dog was torn to shreds by an aggressive pitbull that first night after it arrived at the Fulton shelter under BHVF management. And if you read the email from our kennel manager, Myles Swain, you will know that dogs being mauled and killed at the shelter after BHVF took over management was not at all unusual. And by the way, I can't recall that type of brutal attack ever happening, even one time when I was working under the previous management of the shelter.
I am an optimist and somewhat naïve at times, and I initially believed that David York was nice and that things were going to be ok. However, within the first few days of BHVF taking over the shelter I knew that things were not going as I had hoped. One of the first things that they did was to completely change the adoption policies. Many of the restrictions [or safeguards as I called them] put in place by the previous management were removed. I was no longer supposed to ask any questions at all about whether a dog was going to be chained up, about whether a potential adopter had a fenced yard, about whether they lived in an apartment, about the past pet history, etc., no matter what dog they were interested in adopting. What did it matter? The adopter knew best; they didn't need to be counseled. I was taught to be thorough by my mentor, Christie, but -- not any more. New management said that was no longer necessary. The potential adopters didn't have to be counseled about high energy dogs in apartments or that certain dogs may bark more than others, or whether the apartment even accepted certain size dogs. Instead I was told that most of my questions were now inappropriate and that it was basically "buyer beware" [my term]. The most important thing was to get the animals adopted. I was reprimanded at least weekly for doing things like making sure that people interacted with dogs, making sure that if they had children or other animals that they interacted also and were ok with the pet they wanted to adopt. I was told repeatedly that it wasn't my job to go into those things. So, under BHVF we basically adopted any animal to any person, even if I was uncomfortable because of demeanor or suspicious acting people who seemed
irresponsible. One example was an man who brought in his chihuahua. The little dog was old and in very bad health. He had been housed in the man's garage. IN A GARAGE--a chihuahua IN A GARAGE. Anyway, he wanted to "trade up" for a bigger dog. I was SURE that we would not adopt to him, but guess what. WE DID. The man adopted a younger and bigger dog. Jere took the chihuahua home with her, and it died shortly after. If I chose to deny an adopter for any reason, I had to have Jere's permission first. My position turned out to be just a cashier and not a counselor. That was a first for me!
In addition, under Barking Hound management, aggressive dogs were kept for months and months while sweet, adoptable dogs were euthanized.
Whenever I tried to discuss my concerns with David York, he told me in every single conversation that I had with him that he had the utmost respect for Jere, that she had taught him so much about dogs, that Jere knew best, and that he backed her up in all her decisions. I was beyond disappointed in David York since he seemed so sincere and nice at first but I have come to discern the difference between hope and reality. I wouldn't feel so strongly, but watching him so vehemently support Jere, I no longer have any faith in him or his decisions and see that he is incapable and incompetent.
One day at work, a woman brought in her 14 year old dalmatian that was in pain with severe arthritis. She explained that she had never been separated from the dog but that she could no longer keep him since he couldn't walk up/down stairs and basically had collapsed. She was crying and said she had tried medications but they no longer worked, that she had called numerous rescue groups and none of them could help her, and she needed to turn the dog in to our shelter as a last resort. She had no where else to turn. He had not been socialized and definitely didn't get along with other dogs. I explained to her that we would take in the dog if that is what she wanted, but advised her that if it was my dog, I would not turn it in. I told her that her dog would be put into a dog run with other dogs because of the "space" issue and that I was unsure how he would do since some of them might be aggressive. I told her that he would sleep on the hard concrete floor, without even a blanket, and that he might have to defend his food. I told her that if it was my dog, that I felt the more humane thing to do would be to take the dog to the vet, hold the dog in her arms, tell him how much she loved him and let the vet humanely euthanize the dog. I explained that the dog's last memory would then be of his Mom loving and holding him. That same afternoon, Jere and David called me into the office. Both David and Jere told me they were angry at me for how I handled the dalmatian situation and that I had badmouthed the shelter. They called me a "loose cannon." David told me that I had portrayed the shelter in a bad light and it was unacceptable. David and Jere didn't seem at all concerned about what was best for the dog, just how the shelter had looked. I knew that they were probably about to fire me so I told them that I felt I had done the right thing, that I would do it again and that I quit. David then told me that he agreed that we should part our ways.
By the way, the dalmation's Mom called me the next day and told me that she felt blessed that someone had told her the truth. She also indicated that her vet told her the same thing, that she made the right decision, and that she felt at peace with her decision. You see, I have to live with myself, and I could not live with myself had I told her that leaving the beloved pet of 14 years at the Fulton shelter would be the best thing for her pet.
I am an emotional person, love animals and I wanted to work somewhere that I could help the most animals. However, I wanted to work where "the rubber met the road" not "where the dogs were on their own road to hell" and in my opinion, under Barking Hound Village Foundation and David York, that's just where they were.
Judy Simon, former adoption counselor
| 11/07/2008 6:24 PM |
Jere Alexander needs to be arrested for animal cruelty
And her business needs to be investigated, including by tax authorities
She brought a chihuahua home and it died? Was it thrown to her fighting dogs?
| 11/07/2008 6:27 PM |
" Many of the restrictions [or safeguards as I called them] put in place by the previous management were removed. I was no longer supposed to ask any questions at all about whether a dog was going to be chained up, about whether a potential adopter had a fenced yard, about whether they lived in an apartment, about the past pet history, etc., no matter what dog they were interested in adopting. What did it matter? The adopter knew best; they didn't need to be counseled. I was taught to be thorough by my mentor, Christie, but -- not any more. New management said that was no longer necessary. The potential adopters didn't have to be counseled about high energy dogs in apartments or that certain dogs may bark more than others, or whether the apartment even accepted certain size dogs. Instead I was told that most of my questions were now inappropriate and that it was basically "buyer beware" [my term] The most important thing was to get the animal adopted"
This is just the sort of thing that No Kill/Nathan Winograd?Best FRiends pushes for too!
Dropping adoption standards and just handle dogs out to anyone so that "euthanasia numbers" stay low
| 11/09/2008 12:39 PM |
"Mrs. Alexander explained to me that she was doing graduate studies on pit bull fighting and would often go undercover to experience these fights.""
She's only valid undercover if she is an official law enforcement officer going "undercover" in the course of a criminal investigation, or enlisted by law enforcement.
If not, she is watching crimes being committed and colluding with those crimes, and not reporting them
I wonder if she was not, in fact, blowing the undercover status of law enforcement to the dog fighters
Watch for arrested dog fighters claiming they were working "undercover."
| 11/11/2008 3:05 PM |
(From Randy's Blog Comments)
Fulton County Government Website
Scary thing, Jere was in charge of the board that handled claims on animals that were reported to be vicious. Wonder what a dog has to do for her to actually consider it vicious.
ANIMAL CONTROL HEARING BOARD
Contact: Jere Alexander, Executive Director
Fulton County Animal Services
860 Marietta Blvd, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30318
404-794-0358 404-792-3970 (Fax)
| 11/14/2008 8:21 PM |
I am so sickened by this I can't even begin to understand the mentality of a woman like this or a county that tolerates such treatment of its animals. How do we know those cats weren't used for bait for her pitbulls and her husband's dogfighting ring? The county commissioners should void their contract and cruelty and neglect charges should be filed. If this was a rescue that did this they would be all over them so why does the Dpt of Ag continually ignore the welfare of the animals in GA and why do the Fulton Cty commissioners allow such abuse? Barking Hounds did not qualify to bid in the first place so whose palms got greased to get him in? Where are statements from the county commissioners voicing their concerns for what has happened here and for the animals? Barking Hounds needs to go--this has set this shelter and the animals back to the AHS days and now it was allegedly reported they are killing after three days instead of 7. Southern Hope turned this shelter around and in less then a year Barking Hounds and their employees have destroyed all that was good. You all should be outraged and they should pay for what happened to these animals.
| 11/15/2008 7:28 PM |
"Burbank cops find starving pit bulls in dog-fighting bust
July 26, 2007
By Stephanie Gehring Staff writer
An anonymous tip led Burbank police to a van full of caged, lethargic dogs stacked atop one another and headed to dog fights across the country, Burbank police said.
The four pit bull terrier puppies near death's door and eight emaciated and thirsty adult pit bulls were taken Sunday to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, police said.
The two men in the panel van, accused of transporting the dogs, were taken to jail where they remained Wednesday, unable to post $150,000 bail each, authorities said.
Ford said some of the dogs suffered burns on their paws from standing in their own urine, and some of the dogs were nearly blind.
"The puppies they had to give IVs to right away, or they would have been dead in a few hours," Ford said.
The dogs never were let out of their cages during transport and were left standing in their own waste, he said.
Brian James Bailey, 48, of Marion, Texas, and Tony Self, 35, of Stone Mountain, Ga., were charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and dog fighting, police said.
"According to their logs, they travel throughout the country, mostly the east, picking up and dropping off the dogs for fighting," Ford said. "There's no way he's getting them back."
The men had made a stop at a Chicago location prior to stopping to refuel at a Burbank gas station about 8:30 p.m., Ford said. It was unclear if the men were going to make other stops in the area, he said."
TONY SELF HUSBAND OF SHERRI SELF, THE VET TECH HIRED BY JERE ALEXANDER. SHERRI SELF IS ALSO THE PRESIDENT OF THE GEORGIA APBT ASSOC.
hmmm....guess who else is on that board?
PRESIDENT: Sherri Self
VICE-PRESIDENT: JERRE ALEXANDER
E.B.A. REPRESENTATIVE: MARTY DENNISON