A stray puppy at BARC was placed in the wrong cage and washed down the drain last Thursday night, Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed today.
She would not give the name or position of the person who placed the puppy in the cage, but said the person has been suspended for a week without pay. The incident also prompted the transfer of 68 puppies from BARC to the Houston Humane Society the following day, to allow for reconfiguration of adequate cages for nursing and non-nursing puppies, Barton said.
When asked if the so-called "incident command team" had been aware of caging concerns for puppies, Barton said yes, but that Thursday's incident "expedited it a lot."
A kennel attendant had noticed the improper placing of a mother dog and her three puppies, but by the time the problem was identified, one of the puppies was missing, Barton said. Staff worked hard but were unable to retrieve the puppy.
Hair Balls isn't exactly sure why it took the idiotic death of a puppy to make the cages puppy-safe. It sort of begs the question, "What in God's name has the Incident Command Team been doing for the last ten months, or however long it is they've been commanding incidents?"
But now that the city is planning on throwing $208,000 at the problem, via "change agent" Gerry Fusco, we can only hope that no more puppies have to be sucked down a drain anytime soon.
Maybe he can figure out a way that a city animal shelter doesn't have to, um, depend on another shelter to get its act together. Or maybe the city should just give $208,000 to the Houston Humane Society. But a more realistic option might be to just flush $208,000 down the drain, right after that poor goddamn puppy.