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May 26th, 2004 Dave Fitzpatrick | Rogue of the Week
 

Multnomah County Animal Services

     
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Something stinks at Multnomah County Animal Services, and it's not just the kennels.

On Tuesday, May 18, officials at the Troutdale shelter euthanized Rizzy, Belinda Turner's 6-month-old pit bull. Animal Control had impounded the puppy on Mother's Day for the offense of running loose in a neighbor's yard.

In the midst of starting her own business, Turner says she couldn't afford the hefty fines levied against the problematic pooch and released her to county custody, hoping Rizzy would find a good home. "They made it seem as if it was my money or my dog," she explains, choking back tears.

According to Turner, she gave staff explicit instructions to call either her or her husband in the event there were any problems getting Rizzy adopted.

Turner didn't learn of the dog's demise until last Sunday, when she went to the shelter to inquire as to Rizzy's status. After hearing the news, she says she asked for details about the dog's dispatch and why she hadn't been notified as she'd requested.

At this point, she says, staff informed her that such information could be released only on paper, at a cost of $1 to $1.50 per page, depending on the number of pages. So, she says, she left. In fact, she didn't learn the details of Rizzy's regrettable ruin until Monday afternoon, after WW called shelter officers.

Shelter director John Rowton says the policy is to give owners free information about the demise of their pets and doesn't know why Turner thought there would be a charge. "I don't know who would have told her that," he insists. He also says he doesn't know why Turner wasn't called.

Call it poor adherence to policy, or horrible communication. Either way we adopt MCAS as this week's Rogue.

 
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