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Friday, March 11, 2011

Exposing the Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter... and further exposing the killing field


The Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter execution of 22+ dogs has been a great deal to digest and absorb since the story first broke last Friday, March 4th.  Personally, time has flown by because I've been working behind the scenes to network every avenue at my disposal to bring awareness to this case.  However, I have felt every single second of it, as my heart continues to break over and over again.

I am only one little voice among many many others who are supporting the Paws and Claws volunteers at the shelter.  Our hearts are all entwined together made up of rescue workers like me, who have pulled dogs and/or cats from this shelter, along with others who have adopted pets from this shelter.  We also count among us various animal advocate entities, and animal lovers whose love and concern has no boundaries, nor borders.  

Our hearts have been assaulted over and over again each time more news breaks.  But, our common bond is helping us push the through the hurt -- just knowing we're a community working from our various communities.  In the midst of what has become our status quo angst, we are very focused and are doing our best to allow our anger to drive us positively  forward.  We are choosing to take the high road in our actions and words.  Why?  It's quite simple.  We need to be taken seriously collectively.  And not be seen as yahoos, or part of a good ole boy network like the Chesterfield County, SC Sheriff's Department and Animal Control Officers have appeared to be.  It's important that although our angst is driving us, that we keep it tempered and not be seen or judged as barbaric like they have.  It's key that we not make a difficult uphill battle, more difficult by behaving like the animals that pulled the triggers.

Our method is working because other animal lovers and advocates from across our nation have taken up this cause and are joining in our outcry.  Additionally, voices from across the oceans to the east and west beyond the borders of the U.S. are adding theirs to ours, and standing firm with us.  

The news media is truly doing a fine job reporting this story and updating it daily.  The most revealing update by far was on Fox News 14 - Charlotte at 10:00 p.m. last night by Morgan Fogarty.  She is digging in deep with her investigative reporting.  She had an exclusive which exposed what too many of us had already suspected.  The sad fact is that the execution style "euthanasias" have been going on for God only knows how long.  Watch via the link below to see for yourself.  There are no graphic images as side from the paw prints in the mud again.  What you will read and hear will be tough to digest.  But, it is essential that you watch as it contains critical information that needs to be exposed and circulated immediately.  My commentary will appear in italics below the link:

Former Chesterfield County Animal Shelter Worker Speaks Out 

Again, Sheriff Parker is playing the victim, in my opinion.  Again, Sheriff Parker is trying to cover numerous tracks about the animal remains in the Chesterfield County, SC Sheriff's Department Firing Range aka landfill by calling it a "PET CEMETERY"?  You have got to be kidding, Sheriff!  But, you aren't!  Please keep opening your mouth wide to the press and putting your foot into as you try to manipulate the story.  Do you not see that you are hanging yourself, your department and everyone attached to your department from your Deputies to your Animal Control Officers?  Do you not see that your behavior is reflecting upon the citizens who put you in office?  Or, you don't.  You're above law and being brutalized by public opinion. 

Plus, you keep saying that your Deputies found only 6 dogs in that landfill.  Have you deemed 6 dogs to be the acceptable limit?  There is NO acceptable limit.  6 is NOT okay.  1 is NOT okay.  And certainly, what I've called a killing field since the story broke with countless remains is NOT okay! 

But, please continue to down play it!  Because it will bite you in the butt and in your career as a sworn to protect and serve with a code of conduct, law enforcement officer.

My question to you, Mr. Sheriff is how much spent ammo will be found in that landfill "pet cemetery" killing field?  Will you tell us that's where the spent rounds are tossed after your Deputies practice or perform their annual qualifications?  My guess, that very well could be another line of defense you'll say on camera at some point. 

I do have to thank you and those who pulled the triggers for not covering up those paw prints in the mud.  They are like shrines to me, much like the Imperial Foods fire in Hamlet, NC on September 3, 1991.  One of the doors which was locked is now in the Smiththonian because it bears the footprints of trapped employees who tried in vain to escape by kicking the padlocked emergency fire door down. It's an example of man's inhumanity to humans.  Those paw prints in the Chesterfield County owned mud, are right up as an example of man's inhumanity to animals.  Not just animals, domestic animals.  Animals who needed a second chance to be loved and adopted.

I was so elated to see that the Department of Health and Environmental Control designated the landfill where the shelter animals were buried, dumped, and bull dozed as an un-permitted site.  And will not be allowed.  The Sheriff indicated by April, or May that should change?  What?

Readers, while you're at it, you should take a moment to learn a bit about the Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter Director, Brian Burch.  As you watch and read, ask yourself, how in the heck did he get the job as the Director, much less, an Animal Control Officer with his criminal background?  To me, that's a crime!  Again my commentary will appear in italics below the link.

Again from Fox News 14:

Learning More About Chesterfield Co. Animal Shelter Employees

Either Chesterfield County, SC as a government entity doesn't have any strict employment standards regarding hiring folks with a felony record.  Or, someone just conveniently chose to look the other way.  Did politics play a role in his hiring and being given the Director's title?  It surely smacks of it.  Because of his past, is he someone in a good ole boy network that could be easily trusted to keep his mouth shut?  The truth of the matter is, in such networks, it's always beneficial to have something on someone.  It helps keep the little dirty secrets, secret.  Could he be trusted to lead by example discreetly in carrying out inhumane acts against the animals in his care, such as herding them across the street to the Chesterfield County, SC Sheriff's Department Firing Range for execution, rather than more humanely by injection?  It's appearing as if he was.  Were these heinous acts carried out for budgetary reasons?  Or, target practice for hunting season?   Everything rises and falls on leadership, regardless of the level, the ones in charge always are responsible.  And you are one, sir, that never should have been in charge, much less carry a weapon!

I could add more links, but the two above are enough for now.  As much as I want not a single detail to be lost, I'm sensitive in the breaking hearts and grief this ongoing story causing those you who are following this case via Project Rewire.

Where am I with all of this?  I'm still floating between heart sick and righteous anger, but I'm trying my best to channel it through positive methods.  The image in my mind that will not go away as I shared before, are the paw prints in the mud, that have forever left paw prints on my heart.  The thought of 88 paws was difficult enough, but now the numbers are too numerous to even guess the totals.  My heart feels stampeded upon inside out by the images and muddy paw imprints of those poor precious animals while trying to dodge the bullets being aimed straight at them.  

I'm also remembering sweet sweet Molly the day pulled her and it's tearing me up.   

As I shared in my initial post about this massacre, she could not get out of there fast enough.  She literally drug my husband to our car, and as I mentioned before, she barked her head off for the next 50 miles on our way to get her vetted.  Now, I know what she was trying to tell us.  She knew what they did there.  Dogs do have keen senses and her nose had already told her the story of the killing of field across the street from the shelter.  I'm so thankful to ESRA for requesting that my husband and I pull her.  She was old and had been described as difficult, which means very likely she would have been written off as a senior too difficult to place in a forever home.  Were her days numbered?  My heart tells me they were and now I know why the inmate was so relieved that we'd come to her rescue.  I'm also beyond grateful that she was given a loving foster home to live out her final days.  God bless you, Molly... my heart still isn't over the loss of you.  But, I'm beyond grateful that you were able to enjoy your life before your trip to rainbow bridge.  More than ever.

Now, how can you help to ensure that justice is done for all of the animals remains in the killing field of the Chesterfield County, SC Firing Range -- landfill, or as the Sheriff calls it, "pet cemetery".  Which I knew, was an illegal way to dump animals.  

The most effective way to help is by contacting:

South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley 

South Carolina Lieutenant Governor, Ken Ard

South Carolina State Attorney General, Alan Wilson

South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division - Greenville Region

Although this case is getting exposure, we need more to ensure that these slain animals get their day in court.  We live in a day where such barbaric acts should be a thing of the past, and not be dismissed, or poo pooed as Sheriff Parker has repeatedly try to do.  Again, I say this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Not only in Chesterfield County, SC, but by making THIS case an example, it gives ground to more cases that are happening across the USA, that need to be exposed.  We need all eyes on this case.  Those of us who are acting as "watchdogs for justice" will help you stay updated.  All we ask is that you help us by adding your voices to ours, or by echoing our voices on behalf of the precious ones who have no voice, nor had a chance to be adopted into forever homes.   

If you don't know where to start, or feel comfortable composing an email, and are concerned about the unaccounted for animals, feel free to either copy and paste my emails to both Governor, Haley and Lieutenant Governor, Ard below.  Or, use it as guide to help your thoughts and words flow.  To me it's important to be direct, polite, and temper the anger, yet demand justice.  Also, it's helpful to personalize causes and issues when dealing with politicians.  Trust me, I know this from experience in trying to bring awareness to Epilepsy and my husband and I have rubbed shoulders with many politicians from the local, state and even the federal level.  So, I chose to include a link to my initial blog entry, to put the faces of three dogs in theirs that represent the ones who were spared.  Yet, could be in the landfill -- killing field, or as the Sheriff calls it, a "pet cemetery".  I want accountability for the 80 or more dogs and cats who are showing as euthanized by the Animal Shelter's own records.  However, only two vials of Phenobarbitol were purchased since last September to be used for euthanasia.  That's enough to put down about 14 animals depending on weight.  I don't want them to slip through the cracks of the investigation.  So much ground time was given during the Sheriff's Department investigation which could lead to evidence tampering and/or cover up.  Thus, I chose to lead with it in my emails to them.   

Governor Haley and Lt. Governor Ard:

Please ensure that the investigations by SLED and the State Attorney General's office dig deep into the deaths of what may be 66 or more animals between the period of last September and last week.  According to news media reports only two vials of Phenobarbital were purchased since the shelter went from a gas chamber to lethal injection euthanasias.  Two vials will put down approximately 14 dogs.  However, 80 or more animals were euthanized over this same period.  This information was given by Whitney Knowlton in an interview with The Cheraw Chronicle.  So, by the Animal Control Officers' own accounting there are many animals that were killed by some other means.  I hope to God each death was humane.

Also, attached is a link to my blog entry.  I'm a rescue worker for English Springer Spaniel Rescue America, and have pulled dogs from that shelter over the past almost two years.  Two of which, have found forever homes with my husband and I and our family of rescues.  I can't look at their faces and not see the faces of the dogs who were executed at the Sheriff's Department Firing Range, and buried there.  I can't get past the paw prints in the dirt that have been shown over and over again via the news media.  The only way we can find peace, is for the truth with accompanying evidence (all of it) to be revealed -- brought into the light, so that justice can served.  Hopefully, since the eyes of the nation are upon SC because this horrific incidents.  Or, better said, these horrific incidents other places across the country where the inhumane killing of animals by Animal Control Officers will be exposed, and stopped.
 
You have the ability to break ground that needs badly to be broken, so other states can follow suit.  You have ability rather than to be example of horrible acts upon animals, to lead by example.

Please do click in to see the faces of my dogs, which forever in my heart and mind will represent the faces of the dogs executed and inhumanely killed while in the care of the Chesterfield Animal Shelter and Animal Control Officers.  Those dogs had their chance to be adopted taken away from them heartlessly. 
Sincerely,
Jeanne Holland Newton 

Thanks to all who have been circulating and sharing this on the internet, via email and on Facebook!  God bless you all in helping put the word and for doing your part to stop the insanity not just in this case, but for animals who are inhumanely treated and killed.  Please continue to share my updates.

That's all for now... if you've not read my initial entry and the first update, regarding this horrific story, please click into the link below: 

Exposing the Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter... and the killing field... 


2 comments:

♥ Viviαŋє ♥ said...

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Jeanne said...

Viviane, I've just added my follow to Cute Things For You. Also, I've included a translator on the right hand panel of Project Rewire. If you or any of your friends, followers, or customers are animal lovers, please share this blog entry with them. We need all of the help can get internationally to ensure that justice is served for the animals that were executed while in the care of the Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter. Outcries have been heard from the UK to Australia, but numbers speak volumes. God bless...