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Dogs put to death in Marion County "shelter"

Is something amiss in the Marion County animal shelter?
I just learned that the Marion County animal shelter has euthanized 43 dogs because they were exposed to parvovirus. Forty three dogs! They were all ready to be adopted, and because one infected puppy was brought to the shelter, they and the puppy were put down. Since parvovirus is very common in shelters, I did a little research and found that most shelters isolate puppies until they are found to be healthy and are vaccinated. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing", so I am not claiming any expert credentials, but it seems to me that the Marion County shelter has over reacted to this situation. What I am finding is that parvovirus is highly contagious and should be dealt with aggressively, but killing animals who might or might not be made ill is not a good solution. Bill Worcester, the acting supervisor of the shelter said, "We've had to euthanize all of the dogs that were potentially affected, so we could get rid of the virus." Apparently a stray puppy was put into a 'common area' and the other dogs had direct contact with it. What a shame. Weren't the other adult dogs already vaccinated against the virus? How many of them would have remained healthy? Why was the puppy not isolated?

What worries me is that twenty other dogs are "being watched for signs of illness". So perhaps the killing is not over. According to an article in the Statesman's Journal, Bill Worcester said, "The shelter has changed its protocol to vaccinate dogs when they arrive and again in two weeks. Other changes include how the shelter is cleaned and how dogs are arranged in the facility. Other practices will be examined to try to contain the next potential outbreak." One would hope.

jeez 11.Feb.2007 23:25


It seems to me that a lot of times, they find it easier to put an animal to sleep than to test and work on vaccinating it again. I read once about an incident where a child at a zoo was bitten by an animal and rather than make the girl endure a minor test to see if she was infected, they put all the animals who lived in that enclosure to sleep. Ridiculous how often human inconvenience is put above animal life.

contact info for the shelter 13.Feb.2007 18:02

I left this out

Try this 14.Feb.2007 03:02

Madam Hatter

How nice that you've appointed yourself the IndyMedia critic and censor. ACTUALLY, Indy's "Genres" are: Announcements, Commentary, Creative, Reporting, Reposts and... QUESTIONS. Perhaps you should do a little investigative work about this site before deprecating others.

And, gosh, it's a shame this post was such a waste of your time, especially since you seem to have enough precious time to keep track of the thread and offer your condescending views and justifications for being such a pill. And in the end, after all your bitching, you provided the information Olwen asked about. Wouldn't it just have been easier (and less disagreeable) to do that in the first place? But no, demonstrating your (self-professed) superiority was more the point wasn't it?

Furthermore, your hasty generalization that no one has the right to question anything unless they're actively participating in it, is just crap. Everyone - not just you - "stays quite busy" with THEIR OWN "causes," but that does not preclude the right to ask what's going on. I happen to know that Olwen is a passionate, caring and dedicated person and activist for many issues - including animal rights - and your comments are way out of line.

Here's the things that seem odd to me, and which your investigative work didn't address:

If twenty other dogs are "being watched for signs of illness," why weren't the original 40 dogs (not the puppy who exhibited symptoms) also just watched for signs of ilness? Apparently these 20 were exposed just as the others were, right? And, if these 20 are being watched, that would mean they are being isolated, no? So it seems there is more than just "a few" of these areas, as you report.

And if Bill Worcester said "minor changes have been made in response to the experience, to hopefully minimize the impact in the future," we can safely assume that they COULD have done something else, but didn't. What "minor changes" will be made? Your in-depth report didn't get into that, did it?

Finally, I think it's absolutely hilarious that you believe that what the people in charge tell you is the God's own truth. If they did screw up, do you think they'd tell you? Give me a break. Your report was as about as good as we get out of the local news channels. Stenography. Press releases. They say it, and they (and you) report it. Therefore it must be true. Hah! What a joke.

No, "try this," IndyMedia is for people who question the status quo, the MSM sound bytes, the one-sided "cover-your-ass" excuses that substitute for journalism these days. You are sadly mistaken if you think your little PR piece for the shelter constitutes better reporting.

Oh, and BTW...
While parvo is a very serious and often deadly virus (especially for pups, and any dog with a weakened immmune system), by no means is it 100% fatal. Our dog got it when he was a year old (the people we got him from said he was vaccinated, but he wasn't - I won't make that mistake again) and he survived. We were dead broke and just heartbroken when the vet told us how much it would cost for them to treat him. So, they sent us home with IV bags of saline solution and we nursed him back to health ourselves. The virus itself is untreatable, it just has to run its course. The problem is with dehydration. The poor things can't keep anything in their system - they vomit and have such bad diarrhea that they die from dehydration.

Great Job, Hatter! 14.Feb.2007 09:07


After all the senseless drivel from the journalism cop, it was really great to see you sum the whole thing up, and at the same time provide the answers that Olwen appeared to be seeking, without all the self serving and distracting crap. Again, Thanks for sharing your mind. It is great to share the internet with folks like you.