Denver Humane Society Admits To Dumping Dead Animals

Warning: This story may disturb some readers.

During the past month, a Denver investigative news team found more than a dozen dead animals discarded in a dumpster outside the Colorado Humane Society.

The investigators first found dead animals, including dogs, cats, raccoons, and a fox, inside black trash bags on July 24. Throughout the next month, they would discover more animals dumped behind the Colorado Humane Society.

The news team hired a lab to test liver and fluid samples from two of the animals.

“The results we found would be consistent with what you would expect if an animal had been euthanized,” said Petra Hartmann with Industrial Laboratories.

One of the dogs that was found in the dumpster belonged to Jerry Mason. His dog, Sinbad, had become aggressive with one of his children, and he agreed that his dog should be put down. He brought his dog to to the Colorado Humane Society to be euthanized. But he never expected to found his dog’s body in a dumpster.

When presented with the investigation, the executive director of the Colorado Humane Society, Mary Warren, claimed she had no knowledge of any dead animals found in the dumpster outside the shelter. She said that all of the animals the shelter euthanizes are cremated and not put in a dumpster.

But two former employees of the Colorado Humane Society disagreed. They both said that Warren had told them to discard the animals in the dumpster. They said when an animal is euthanized and there is no room for it, Warren instructs them to throw it in the dumpster.

Warren responded to these allegations and said the former employees were lying, and that she had never instructed employees to discard the animals in the dumpster.

After the investigation, the shelter’s director of development, Bob Warren, admitted in an e-mail that “euthanized animals might have been mistakenly tossed into the dumpster.”

Also the new Colorado Humane Society president Madeline Duncan said: “A member of our staff made the decision to place the bodies of these two animals in our commercial trash bin. This was a mistake in judgment. We accept responsibility for the mistake. It will not be repeated.”

Mary and Bob Warren and the Colorado Humane Society have threatened to file a lawsuit pertaining to the local news investigation.

Source: The Denver Channel

(Thanks polarityjane)

38 Responses to “Denver Humane Society Admits To Dumping Dead Animals”

  1. Sharon says:

    The Colorado Humane Society needs to be sued and the staff member responsible fired. There is no excuse for this kind of criminal behavior.

  2. Amanda says:

    How can they sue the media for investigating this? No judge will allow such a suit to happen as the media just reported what was really going on behind the curtains!

  3. Jenny Bark says:

    Please read all the articles in the Denver Channel & watch the videos above. They are not talking about a law suit against the media but against the employees who turned on them.

    This are some of the reasons I never give anymore to the kill shelters. Imo most wonderful people who give their time & work for free to a kill shelter do not know what is really going on. Imo it should be against the law to call thenselves the Humane Societly. One can only wonder what else has gone on their & at other shelters.

    They couldn’t be their or take money if the local municipalites & county said no. It comes down to all of our faults & who we vote in office, especially some one like me who use to give money to kill shelters & votes. As always it’s the little hard working person who has to face the probems, I hope the tv station keeps standing by the 6 ex-employees & still employees.

    Imo they will get away with everything & just put different people in. Too much $$ for any thing else to happen.

  4. 2CatMom says:

    A man brings his dog in to be put down. The dog is put down. That fact that it ends up in a dumpster is not the tragedy.

    The tragedy is that it doesn’t appear (and of course we don’t this for sure) if the man tried to figure out why the dog turned agressive with one of his children. Was the child hurting or teasing the animal? Did he invest in any behavioral training for his dog? And, did the Denver shelter tempermant test the animal? Did they look for a home with only adults for the dog?

    Frankly, once the dog is dead, except from a landfill contamination issue, it doesn’t really matter whether the dog was cremated. Its not like the man wanted the ashes as reminder of his pet. No, a dead dog shouldn’t be put in a dumpster, but that’s not where people’s outrage should be directed.

  5. Don Earl says:

    Somewhere along the line a little dose of reality has to set in.

    There are way, way, way too many unwanted pets in this country and not enough homes to adopt them.

    There are way, way, way too many people who won’t spay or neuter their pets, but the second legislation hits the table to address the problem, pet owners are up in arms to stomp it flat.

    I’m not trying to make anyone mad at me, but when I open the paper to the pets section, the majority of the ads are by breeders. If you point this out to breeders, you get a tirade about puppy mills vs. “responsible” breeders. I’m afraid the finer points are lost on me as they both produce pets they don’t want to keep and for which homes must be found. Every pet they place takes a home off the market for a perfectly good shelter animal.

    I think it goes without saying most folks don’t want euthanized pets loaded with phenobarb going into pet food.

    At the end of the day, what’s the difference between taking a pet that has been euthanized after being abandoned, then either setting it on fire to reduce it to ashes or sending it to a landfill to rot? Dead is dead. It seems to me priorities are way out of wack.

    No one wants to do anything to keep pet populations in line with available homes. No one wanted to take the pet into their own home after it was abandoned by it’s owner. There isn’t space available at the shelters to save them all, and the conditions they are kept in at the best of shelters would cause civil rights suits if a murderer on death row was kept in similar state.

    If the only social issue folks are willing to consider is, “How best to dispose of the body?”, it seems to me their time would be better spent watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to paint shelters without spay and neuter policies in a bad light, or withhold their funding? Or place an upper limit on the number pets any given breeder may produce per year? Or put more policies in place which would limit adopting pets into unsuitable homes?

    Pets in dumpsters aren’t the problem, they’re the result of the problem. If folks don’t like the results, they should focus on the problem.

  6. Rachel says:

    For more information on shelter processes and no-kill movements read Nathan J. Winograd’s new book Redemption; The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution.

    He is doing book signings and presentations all over the country and will be in Madison, WI this Thursday, Oct. 4.

  7. Lynne says:

    “That fact that it ends up in a dumpster is not the tragedy…No, a dead dog shouldn’t be put in a dumpster, but that’s not where people’s outrage should be directed.”

    2Catmom, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  8. Don Earl says:


    The sad fact is anyone who thinks pet over population is a myth, is so hopelessly ignorant of the reality of the situation as to be laughable.

    The population of feral cats in the US is roughly equal to the number of owned cats.

    No kill shelters are ALWAYS limited on space. In terms of the big picture, when they run out of space, they operate the same as kill shelters by turning animals away. The only real difference is they operate on a last in last out basis where kill shelters operate on a first in first out basis.

    On the little bit of rescue work I’ve done, I always worked with no kill shelters. It usually meant driving 40 miles to find one with space available. While I agree with the concept for sentimental reasons, the reality of the situation is no kill shelters are not a viable solution to the over all problem.

    It isn’t possible to take in twice as many pets as there are homes every year. Worse yet, people often simply abandon their pets rather than take them to a shelter, so the above numbers are skewed as a result. To accomodate a 4 million pets per year surplus, assuming a 10 year lifespan, you would need facilities to house at least 40 million pets. Most of them would live out their lives in a space the size of the box your TV came in.

    I’m not immune to the emotional aspects of the situation. The idea of cats and dogs raised to think they are people being abandoned and killed breaks my heart into a million little pieces.

    That doesn’t change the hard, cold reality of the situation, though. There are two, and only two, solutions available. You either have to kill them or stop them from being born. For myself, I believe controlling the birth rate is the kinder, more humane solution.

  9. 8tiggers says:

    Don Earl,
    I just wanted to comment that I agree with you in general, but I’d like to stress a few facts that I’ve picked up about truly *responsible* breeders:

    They’re not in it for the money. They only breed to improve or continue a specific breed of animal.

    They generally only produce one litter or so per year and they generally retire the mothers after 2 or 3 births.

    They only keep intact animals for breeding or show purposes after which they are neutered and sold or adopted out. Any non-show quality animals are neutered before being sold/adopted out.

    They require contracts from the new owners that stipulate veterinary care, living conditions, etc., and also inspect the premises of potential buyers to make sure they are up to standard. The contracts also stipulate that pet ownership cannot be transferred to a third party nor surrendered to a shelter — the animal must be returned to the breeder.

  10. catmom5 says:

    I agree that, while these poor animals should have been treated with more respect at the end of their lives, the real problem is that they ended up in a shelter in the first place. I have heard about responsible breeders and their position that folks who adopt their dogs wouldn’t take a shelter animal anyway. I’m not sure I totally agree with that. However, I know that many of the pups and kittens in our local paper are from backyard breeders/puppymills who are only using their animals as money making machines. Someone said if they advertise that both parents are on site BEWARE!!
    Nathan Winograd has some great ideas about more animals making it out of shelters alive into good homes. I have found, even in my quest to get neighborhood cats spayed/neutered that it’s most often the attitudes of the people that get in the way. I will pay for the spay/neuter and vet check, but still some folks never quite “get around to it” ~ I have even offered to take the animal in myself! So frustrating!!!
    TNR for ferals will help control that population. It’s my understanding that a managed colony will eventually die out. Of course there are always many more colonies . . .
    The problem seems overwhelming to me, but I know there are a lot of folks out there who are doing what they can with the animals who enter their lives. I hope to see an end to pet overpopulation in my lifetime or at least a huge decrease in the number of adoptable animals who are euthanized just because they had the bad luck of not having a forever home.

  11. KarlaSanDiego says:

    DonEarl you have said it so well once again! I’m sorry but ALL BREEDERS should be thrown in jail. Our Gov’t should not allow it. Because of them people don’t adopt from shelters. Breeders are selfish and only do it for the money. Give me a break!
    Rachel: What is wrong with you?

  12. highnote says:

    This has nothing to do with these poor animals but I just read on Today that they are recalling more ground beef and I tried to find it on the FDA sight and seen nothing about it . This was upsetting! There have been several people reporting illness. The only place I could find any information about this ground beef that was frozen into beef patties was on the owners sight: Topps Meat Co. This is under different names too. Like Sams and others they are recalling 22,000,000 more lbs of this stuff. I think it is also J & B Meats which is another name it is under.
    So if anyone is has frozen meat patties be sure to get on their sight and check it out.

  13. 2CatMom says:

    Don Earl - I think the achievable goal lies half way between what you say about no kill and what Winogrod says.

    You are right, for the forseeable future there will be animals euthanized because their aren’t enough homes for them or spaces in shelters.

    And Winogrod is right - shelters have to change the way they operate - make sure people understand the responsibility of adopting an animal, help people like the the guy in this article to keep his dog, increase spaying/neutering, increase demand like the web site mentioned in the previous thread or the dogmobile where little dogs are taken to the NY financial district so folk can see them.

    One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time is to PAY people to have their pets neutered. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But when you think about what it costs to shelter an animal, or have the dog-catcher round up strays, or even to euthanize, you will quickly figure out that its a good deal all the way around. If you can get an animal neutered by giving the owner a $25 gift card, I say do it.

    Don, I respect you a lot - but please be careful about quoting anything from the HSUS. They are a wonderful animal rights organization and excel at drawing national attention to issues such as horse slaughter, livestock abuse and the like.

    However, they are much like PETA in that they believe that animals cannot be happy as companions. This leads to a euthanize first, ask questions later mentality. Check out what they did concerning the Vick dogs - raised money saying it was for the care of the dogs (it wasn’t), and advocating the destruction of the dogs without any evaluation. Remember, they are NOT a shelter, they care for no animals themselves, so I wouldn’t give much credence to what they say about the pet overpopulation issue.

  14. mr_ed says:

    Getting back to the actual topic of the news story, itchmo picked up part two of the KMGH series on the Colorado Humane Society - here’s part one:

    Misused funds, bounced payroll checks, expired vaccinations. Expired status as a charity. I know a couple of people who can add to the list. It’s a sorry situation.

    Please don’t hijack a news story to go around and around on the politics of animal rescue. There are other places to do that.

  15. mittens says:

    the amount of genetic recessive trait associated diseases and physical deformaties( now sometimes viewed as par for the breed like animals with smashed in looking faces-clearly a defect enforced by breeding related animals-that causes chronic breathing and eye problems) in pure breed animals is astounding. some breeds, like the burmese cat in america, have a lethal genetic deformity causing animals to either die at birth or have to be euthanized(” burmese head fault” ). this trait is carried by all” contemporary” burmese cats here and can be traced actually to one specific’s a crap shoot whether a cat will merely carry the trait with no symptoms and pass it on or succumb to it. when you enforce feline or doggie eugenics ,which is another way of saying youre a breeder, you are carrying on recessive deformaties through genration after generation out of VANITY- the very idea that people want to manipulate how something should look and how it should conform to certain human enforced cute-ness and desirability codes that have nothing to do with the health and well being of the actual animal but indeed often run completely contrary to the notion of a healthy pet. a highly similar gene pool( and more exotic breeds that were brought to the usa are often traced back to one pair of imported cats thus all the animals considered pure breed of their bred are descended from this one pair or one cross bred individual and carry all their genetic baggage) is an endangered gene pool fraught with potential for waves of unending hereditary disease problems. a diverese gene pool is always the most beneficial to any species.have you ever noticed how the longer lived cats, for instance, are mongrel moggies who stolled unwanted into someone’s yard and were taken in? that’s because humans can’t control cat breeding in the ‘ wild’ and thus nature creates on it’s own superior genetically diverse optimal gene pool.

    anyone actually breeding pit bulls is criminally ill and needs to be stopped.i really disapprove of pure bred breeding as eugenics for pets. if one suggested it for humans a la nazi germany everyone would have no problem being outraged. the poor deformed pups with no legs of backyard breeders are the victims of animal dr. mengeles only motivated by greed ,not creed. breed specific gene pools are of their nature limited. we have laws against marrying your sister but no qualms about being professional manufacturers of gentically weakend stunted and disease prone pets as long as theyre cute enough to fetch top dollar. persians are prone to chronic heart disease, himilayans are prone to kidney disease-all the result of close breeding. a complete disrespect for life and a complete ignorance of genetics.

    there is absolutely NO DOUBT that there is a pet overpopulation problem in the country- vis a vis more pets then homes for them. there is no doubt people do not spay their animals and thus cause the bulk of the unwanted pet problem. anyone who denies it is so is unstable, probably outitted with a tin foil chapeau, and is ducking for cover while the black helicopter circles their Unibomber lair . i have adopted in my life nothing but other irresponsible people’s cast offs. i contribute to no kill shelters and feral cat rescues. for every cat ive taken in there are 10 that i wanted to take as well.i look at my girls and am driven to fierce anger that anyone abused, abandoned such sweet loving creatures.

    why we should have more respect for the dead body then we did for the actual living being is a symptom of our society’s misplaced ,now jaded values. now that you’ve killed the ‘thing’ that was a problem you think it only now has the feelings that can be hurt, the heart that can be broken, the trust that can be lost? it’s freakin’ DEAD. the real issue that it reveals is not that it’s wrong that it’s carcass was tossed unceremoniously in a dumpster but that you feel guilty about your decision. it’s called transference.the irresponsibilty of the shelter workers is being used as a prop for your own misgivings to shift the emotional burden for them onto someone other than yourself. grow up.

    as you can’t leave your pet alone in a shelter, as has been pointed out many times on this site, you also can’t really leave your pet’s remains after euthanization at the vets. i ALWAYS take the body with me and bring it personally to the crematory and get a private cremation . recently 2 of my elderly cats were euthanized in my home and the vet offered to take them but i drove them their myself. i cared deeply about them in life. because of this i care deeply about what happens to their mortal remains and stringently tend to it’s just a dead body-it’s not going to bite you. but out of sight, out of mind, right? if you don’t take responsibility for your responsibilities i don’t think you have a right to biatch when others dump off your left behinds in such a careless manner.

  16. Jenny Bark says:

    2 CatMom, I agree with you.

    Mr-ed, I agree with you too. I was just getting ready to write the same thing. I asked everybody to read the Denver Channel & watch the videos in my above post. I think these employees did a wonderful job of trying to protect the animals & the public. Imo there is NO check & balance on the shelters of where the money goes & how many animals are killed or saved. Imo nothing can ever be solved with out the public checking the facts & following the money.

    I know my girlfriend’s daughter does not make very much money working in a kill shelter, she will not have any part of killing the animals but does everything else (I don’t think she is going to stay). The employees talking is a great thing especially when it is heard now a days keeping a roof over your head. The tv station has only been looking into this for 6 weeks, I bet it has been going on a lot longer.

  17. Don Earl says:


    Yes, that seems to be the standard pitch for “responsible” breeders. A lot of those arguments came up over the controversies related to the California proposal to spay and neuter all pets. IMO, a good compromise on that proposal would have been to set a strict limit on the number of pets marketed each year by breeders.

    With that said, the rest of their arguments fail as far as I’m concerned. Good adoption practices don’t have anything to do with good breeding practices. At the end of the day, the bottom line is they are producing pets that are by definition “unwanted” by those producing them. They set absurd, artificial standards on what is a “show” animal and what is “pet quality”. They breed to that standard and throw away any pet that doesn’t make the grade on the turn of the dice. The turn of the genetic dice often includes horrible defects that have been preserved in the breed for hundreds of years.

    In many cases, the “breed” they’re trying to “improve” never existed except as the result of genetic defects or cross breeding programs.

    The fact that it isn’t possible to produce a litter of all show quality animals, litter after litter, bred true to type according to the standards, puts the lie to the whole “responsible” thing.

    Additionally, if the goal is to “improve” and expand the breed, you won’t get that by producing only one litter a year for a couple of years. From a strictly genetic perspective, based on science, the practice would be to breed the best animals as often as possible, and euthanize those that are not to standard. You eliminate dangerous recessive genes by inbreeding and culling, not by out breeding to reduce the chances of recessives being reinforced. It would be a cold blooded and heartless program that I think most folks, including myself, would find objectionable, but if breeders are going to play god and say which animal is fit and which is not, the tail goes with the hide.

    IMO, a truly “responsible” breeder would only introduce whole, show quality animals into the market. They would not sell pets. Period. Society shouldn’t have to pick up the slack on their culls. Of all the claims I’ve seen made by “responsible” breeders, the one I almost never see is that they’ve made any effort to study the science of genetics.

    I’m not trying to make anyone mad at me, in spite of the fact I know this view is likely to receive poor acceptance in some circles, circles which include folks I know, like, and am in full alignment with on other matters. Let’s just say that I think there is room for improvement on how “responsible” is defined, and that some of the arguments strike me as being more rationalized than rational.

    What other options are available? Could they require that each perspective buyer adopt a shelter pet with each purchase? I don’t know. I do know that anyone who has even casually engaged in rescue work is immediately confronted with the magnitude and hopelessness of the situation as it currently stands. In the time it takes for one rescue worker to find a good for a few strays, 20 “responsible” breeders have pumped out several hundred more puppies and kittens they themselves don’t want to keep.

  18. Unknown says:

    I am an employee at that shelter. It is not, has not, and will never be part of the sheters policy to throw an animal in the dumpster. Mistakes were made, but the media’s spin on the shelter has compleatly gone overboard. I work hard daily to care for the hundreds of unwanted animals here in Colorado. I wouldn’t trade my job in for anything.

    Its a heartbreaking environment. All that news report did is hurt the animals. As a non profit organization, we rely on donated food, blankets, toys, litter, etc. The animals that are in our care shouldn’t be punished because of pissed off ex employees.

    The truth is we are a hard working, tiny shelter, doing our best to protect, care for, and love our animals. That is what the media forgot to include, people like me who stand by and love the amazing things our shelter works to do

  19. Anonymous says:

    Once again the animal rights mentality has missed the point entirely and taken the opportunity to bash breeders and push their no birth agenda quoting HSUS “estimated” statistics. Calling well bred spayed/neutered family pets “culls” is a radical view held by the most extreme animal rights activists. These activists are killing adoptable puppies and kittens daily and illegally dumping them for “the greater good”.
    The issue is illegal dumping! Something that keeps surfacing in the so called “humane” and “ethical” groups of do-gooders. It’s not the breeders that are doing this.
    We have no idea what lead up to the man’s decision to bring his dog to the shelter. We have no idea from the news reports weather the dog was adoptable or not. His age health and most importantly, bite history would have to be considered, none of which has been reported. If the story was about another mimed child by the family dog I’m sure there would be outrage that this owner for allowed the dog to remain in the home, so let’s not be so quick to paint everyone with the same brush.
    The fact of the matter is that this humane society performed euthanasia. They had a responsibility to dispose of the body according to the package directions of the drug they used and in accordance with the laws. They did not. They were required to bury the body at least 2 feet or cremate. This protects wildlife from feeding on it. In recent years, U.S. Fish and Wildlife has investigated the deaths of more than 140 bald and golden eagles as a result of secondary poisoning.;psp=news
    IMO euthanasia should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian. This would eliminate the secondary poisoning issues we are becoming aware of in both wildlife and food supplies.

  20. Mike S. says:

    This story reminds me of the the only veterinarian that my entire city has. One of his former employees was in couple of my high school classes and told me something rather disturbing. He said that after a pet is euthanized and the owners leave, the veterinarian will laugh at how upset the owners were and just throw the dead body in the dumpster (which is illegal). I have no idea if that’s really true but it certainly doesn’t surprise me. I know the guy lies to people about their pet’s health. I just don’t understand how a veterinarian could laugh at grieving people and laugh at the death of an animal. Why become a veterinarian in the first place? I just don’t get it.

  21. Jenny Bark says:

    Unknown or should I call you Mary or Bob Warren? You said mistakes where made, You are right about that. Your license was suspended in April 2004 and taking any money from people was breaking the law, you should have been closed. The Dever Channel said 6 current & former employees turned you in. The man said he paid you to euthanize & cremate his dog. The family who donated the car for the animals is I guess suppose to be lying too. You said they where lying about you using expired meds & vaccines. You now say, after 2 weeks, that 2 animals where put in the trash what about the other 11 they have found in the trash? Only 6 have tested positive for the euthanise drug, how did the rest die, it wouldn’t have anything to do with expired meds, would it?

    I think if you are so right you have a lot of people to sue including the Colorado Secretary of State. I think you better get started because it looks like you might be facing federal charges for tossing the animals where other animals, birds & Eagles can get to them. From what I hear 140 Eagles have died from eating animals.

    Imo you should be closed down. I hope the taxpayers in the 2 municipalities who have a contract with you just replace you all and do a better job of checking the moneyfrom now on.

    If I wrong about you being Mary or Bob then I sorry but thats all I am sorry about. You words sound so much like the videos.

  22. Jenny Bark says:

    Anonymous I agree with you only a licensed vet should be able to euthanize an animal. Their is always meds they can give to keep an animal out of pain. The law should be changed.

  23. Don Earl says:

    “Calling well bred spayed/neutered family pets “culls” is a radical view held by the most extreme animal rights activists.”

    According to my dictionary:

    “cull — Something picked or sorted out, especially something rejected as inferior.”

    Sorry pal, the term isn’t used by radicals, it’s used by those who are literate.

    Breeders advertise “show quality” and “pet quality”. They make the call by “picking or sorting out”. “Pet quality” is “rejected as inferior”.

    Culling they do, and culling it is - by definition.

  24. Unknown says:

    I’m not Bob or Mary, just an employee there.

  25. Donna says:

    To the person who say breeders are only in it for the money.You are wrong.Many breeders, sign a code of ethics.They assist in education of their breed and produce dogs that have been tested free for genetic problems. Their pups ar highly socialized and are welcomed any where. Many go on to top honors in the nation or therapy dogs or mentally sound family members. The costs to produce and test dogs free of genetic defects is prohibited for backyard breeders. Professionals with a “vision” and vast understanding of genetics are the dedicated unselfish breeders that are the back bone of purebred , quality dogs. I am not a mixed dog person. I love the look of a top quality purebred. The “designer” dogs are sickening. they are mutts being mass produced for $750 and up.They are mutts taking the available space for dogs looking for homes by people that prefer mixed breed dogs. Wait lists for breeders of strict policy is often a year. Unless you are of pure intent,……… have no place in breeding. As far quality. good planned litter may produce one or two pups of this class.The rest of the litter, a flaw as minor as eye color shade or shape. Denotes a quality pet.I do not condone breeding. Years of research is needed to plan a litter.Then a contact of waiting homes.This part only happens if you have a rock solid reputation as a breeder. And produce dogs of correct temperment.It is not about money,not to a breeder of ethics.

  26. Sharon says:

    If breeders weren’t in it for the money they wouldn’t charge exorbinant prices for the animals they sell. Unfortunately vets and shelters and pet food companies are also in it for the money. Don’t kid yourself. This website wouldn’t exist if people did not use animals to make money and kill them in the process.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Rejected as inferior in the context of breeding, not living.
    The context you are trying to portray is the Merriam-Webster definition: CULL-to reduce or control the size of (as a herd) by removal (as by hunting) of especially weaker animals; also : to hunt or kill (animals) as a means of population control
    To suggest that breeders are culling (killing) by placing spayed/neutered non-show/non-breeding animals in homes other than their own is disgusting.

  28. mr_ed says:

    I feel bad for Colorado Humane Society’s volunteers and the powerless employees. (Not the decision-making honchos who get listed as employees, just the peons.) The worse that a shelter gets, the more that the people who actually work with the animals feel that they have to stay … for the animals.

    They work past their burn-out point because there’s such great need. But they do burn out and have to move on, feeling like they’ve failed the animals.

    Unknown> Mistakes were made

    That’s what people said about Michael Vick, too. The thing is, when something goes on for years it’s more than just a mistake. It’s an ongoing wrong.

    Unknown> the media’s spin on the shelter has compleatly gone overboard.

    That’s impossible for someone on the inside to judge impartially.

    Unknown> I work hard daily to care for the hundreds of unwanted animals here in Colorado.

    There are tens of thousands every year, just in the Denver area alone. It’s more than all of us in animal rescue can handle, and you’re probably not the one that the story is blaming.

    Unknown> Its a heartbreaking environment.

    No argument. You work hard, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s your choice.

    Unknown> All that news report did is hurt the animals.

    You have it backwards - bad practices hurt the animals.

    Okay, reporting that brings bad practices to light may well result in reduced donations. But suppose there were no blatant bad practices. Then reporting wouldn’t expose them, and donations wouldn’t go down as a result of bad practices.

    If reporting gets the bad practices fixed, then it helps the animals. If that’s what it takes for the people at the top to do the right things, well, the exposure and examination will make it easier for people at the bottom to take care of the animals.

    Unknown> As a non profit organization, we rely on donated food, blankets, toys, litter, etc.

    (”Etc.” being the most important part - money.) And yet the shelter’s “license to collect charitable donations was suspended in April 2004.” Three delinquency notices and one suspension letter later, CHS still hadn’t fixed this but was still collecting money, food, blankets … all that stuff. Illegally.

    This is fundamental. Basic. It’s like paying the water bill, only it’s fraud if you don’t take care of it. It’s okay for CHS to operate outside the law for years until a reporter stumbles over it? And then it’s the reporter’s fault?

    The shelter where I volunteer relies heavily on donations from foundations set up by big companies like pet-store chains and food manufacturers. Maybe CHS does too.

    But these donors definitely want to make sure that you’re operating correctly. So, assuming a charity is actually collecting donations legally, one of the things they look at is the Charity Navigator rating. Some donations are only available to charities given the top rating, four stars.

    So what does CHS tell donors? The website says CHS has a four-star rating, but that hasn’t been true for more than two years. Anyone can verify this, it doesn’t have to be a case of “He’s lying,” “No, she’s lying.”

    (Free registration is required to see previous years’ information.)

    When a person can’t get the very basic steps right, or can’t get someone else to do it for them, then everything they touch is suspect. And when the person messing up is at the top - regardless whether the problem is carelessness, ignorance, incompetence, deceit - the message goes through the whole organization that doing things right just isn’t important.

    Unknown> The animals that are in our care shouldn’t be punished because of pissed off ex employees.

    The sources include current employees, too. But leaving CHS doesn’t make them liars. As to whether they’re angry … you don’t know that.

    I know a couple of former insiders who have talked about problems that weren’t even mentioned here. One of them told me months ago, before this investigation was even planned. The other spoke up when the story broke.

    There are just too many people saying that things are wrong. It can’t be a conspiracy. There must be things that are wrong. If you haven’t seen them, so be it. But that doesn’t make them impossible.

    Unknown> The truth is we are a hard working, tiny shelter, doing our best to protect, care for, and love our animals.

    That’s your truth. That’s okay. But it may not be true that everyone at the Colorado Humane Society is doing their best.

    I think the likely truth is that there are things that have been wrong for a while, they’re spread through different parts of the operation, and they’ll be hard to fix without changes at the top.

    Unknown> That is what the media forgot to include, people like me who stand by and love the amazing things our shelter works to do

    And Madeline Duncan says right on CHS’ main page, the story “fails to note the immeasurable amount of good our organization has done.”

    Please. Don’t whine. If you can’t take criticism straight up, then just read what they said:

    “Those who volunteer their time to help homeless animals are deserving of immense praise and admiration and the mission of the Colorado Humane Society is one to be applauded, however….”

    And, “Those who use their time, whether volunteer or paid employees, to help homeless animals are worthy of deep praise and admiration. Their job is not an easy one and on many days, heartbreaking.

    “The mission of the Colorado Humane Society is also deserving of praise and admiration, however, current and former employees tell 7NEWS that they believe the management at Colorado Humane has lost sight of that mission.”

  29. Don Earl says:


    About all I can say is you should spend some time studying the science of genetics. “Culling” is the correct term, whether you lop off the head, or lop off the testicles as part of a breeding program. Anyone who doesn’t know that isn’t a breeder, but a backyard hobbiest who likes to play with puppies and kittens.

    Donna above describes a truly scientific breeding program where it may take years of pouring over genetic histories to identify those parts of the gene pool with clean charts.

    Most of those who call themselves “responsible breeders” are like those who call themselves good drivers. 10 minutes on the highway will convince anyone that they can’t all be as good as they think they are. Most breeders will accept poor gene charts, with known lethal or debilitating defects, in order to play a crap shoot that some of the offspring will be free of bad dominants genes or not reinforce dangerous recessives.

    There’s a Catch 22 involved though. If you don’t breed often enough, the numbers eventually decline to the point where it’s no longer possible to sustain the species. If you breed too often with poor stock, genetic defects become endemic to the point where there are no clean gene charts to pick from, and the species is no longer viable.

    As a quick acid test, I’d say anyone who balks at the term “cull” is not a “responsible” breeder. A firm grounding in the science of genetics should be a prerequisite to engaging in a breeding program. Anyone who flips out at the term “cull” is quite obviously deficient in that area. Go to your local library and pick up a few books on the topic. You’ll find the term cull is used throughout any credible treatment of the subject.

  30. Nikki says:


    Where do you get your information regarding the HSUS being against animals as pets? (”However, they are much like PETA in that they believe that animals cannot be happy as companions.”) I see nothing on their website stating such a philosophy, nor have I ever heard of any kind of communication from them which argues against people keeping pets as companion animals or that pets “cannot be happy as companions.” In fact, if one takes the time to peruse the website you will find a grea deal of website real estate devoted to pets, their care and well-being, and a myriad of supportive and helpful information geared toward guardians of pets. If you are going to attack the reputation of an organization, then please be responsible enough to cite credible references which support your allegations.

    “Remember, they are NOT a shelter, they care for no animals themselves, so I wouldn’t give much credence to what they say about the pet overpopulation issue.”

    You’re right, 2catmom — the HSUS is not a shelter; they are an animal advocacy and protection organization which serves the interest of animals through “legislation, litigation, investigation, education, advocacy and field work.” That said, regarding your statement above (”they care for no animals themselves…”), the HSUS “operates its own network of sanctuaries, providing care and homes to more animals than any other national animal protection organization in the United States.” (quotes taken directly from

    Criticize them if you will regarding the Vick dogs - they deserve it, but do not spread innuendo and falsehoods about an organization who has done more, legislatively and educationally, than perhaps any other animal advocacy group. Were it not for the HSUS, the Vick case would never have reached the heights of social consciousness that it has. It was the HSUS, in sending email blasts to its 7 million members and maintaining constant media pressure, that has made the Vick case what it is. PETA and the ASPCA jumped on the bandwagon well after the HSUS launched its push against Vick. Moreover, it is due to the HSUS’ legislative successes that any anti-dogfighting laws have been enacted at all, at both the state and federal levels. In fact, were it not for the HSUS, there would have been NO anti-dogfighting laws on the federal books for which to use against Vick, and the federal case which finally brought Vick down would never have materialized. (The local authorities — VA Atty. Gen. Poindexter and the local Surry County, VA sheriff — were too cozy with Vick to do the jobs they were hired and/or elected to do.)

  31. Teresa says:

    I don’t post alot, and was going to write alot about breeding, but Don Earl has said it for me. Just one last comment: If you breed even one litter, you are not apart of the solution, you are apart of the problem!!No exceptions, no matter how responsible you have made yourself think you are!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Nikki says:Where do you get your information regarding the HSUS being against animals as pets?

    Wayne Pacelle, President, Humane Society of the United States
    “One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.”
    — Animal People News, May 1993

  33. Lynn says:

    You hit the nail on the head, 2CatMom, Mr. Don Earl, and Teresa. Thanks for saying it best.

  34. trucorgi says:

    DonEarl- If driving 40 miles is an imposition for you and you believe strongly that “There are two, and only two, solutions available. You either have to kill them or stop them from being born.”, please do us all a favor and step away from rescue. If your friends at HSUS and Peta really do want birth control, go after puppy mills not responsible breeders. Leave rescue efforts to those that are interested in finding homes, not dumpsters. Truly responsible breeders (COE signers) should be embraced. No kill should be given a chance. God knows the animal rights movement has had ample opportunity and an endless supply of cash to end the “overpopulation” problem if they wanted to. They point the finger at reputable breeders, who in reality only produce about 5% of the overall population and close to 0% of the shelter population. Peta has demonstrated to this and other shelters that it is perfectly fine to kill and illegally dump (as long as you don’t get caught). They have been doing it for years. These are the people we have allowed to influence the way our shelter are run. Why are we surprised when the shelter follows their lead. Animals rights is a miserable failure on many levels. Perhaps because rescue really is not their mission and never was. It’s a cash cow. You and mittens may be very well schooled in genetics, but you lack common sense. Pick any breed of dog and you’ll find at the heart of the mission statement it talks about preserving, protecting and improving the breed. Look at Peta’s. It talks about how animals, even our household pets, are NOT “ours” to own.

    Karla-The very people you want to be “be thrown in jail” are the ones that care deeply for dogs, fostering and finding homes for adoptable rescues, educating the public and being ambassadors for the various breeds. Stop pretending that any of this is the mission of animal rights. It is not. Now breed club members have to spend valuable resources fighting extinction legislation targeted at the wrong people. If you think this doesn’t take away from rescue efforts you are living in a dream world. No one with real ethics ever killed an animal, stuck it in a plastic bag and threw it in a dumpster. Peta and those influenced by them did. That is a fact!

  35. Teresa says:

    Breeding more dogs and cats is a real sore subject for me, but for those tahe are RESPONSIBLE breeders, I have always wanted an explaination: What does it mean to “better the breed”? I just don’t get that statement! I don’t agree with most kill or no kill shelters. Kill shelters have many faults, Too many to list and my biggest problem with no kill is that animals stay in them for years, now really what kind of life is that! If they’re in foster homes, OK, but to live month after month in cages is not a life! I can say all this because I have worked in both. And I think {my opinion} that these temperment test are done to justify putting dogs down, because I watched Sue Sternberg in action and let me tell you, she was wrong on every dog she tested. I know I am way off on these subjects, but just some things on my mind. Shelter work was something I always wanted to do but I got burned out really fast, and the people did that to me not the animals. And to trucorgi,
    “No one with real ethics ever killed an animal, stuck it in a plastic bag and threw it in a dumpster” just know this, for every animal killed in a shelter someone outside those doors are responsible for it’s death.

  36. 2Koolferyou says:

    U guys suk….animals shudnt die at all.
    especially be thrown away…how wud u lyk it if
    dey threw u away?
    U wudnt!

  37. JDK says:

    Those of you saying that you won’t volunteer your time to these shelters anymore need to open your eyes to the real world. I agree that dumping the body in the dumpster was a poor decision, but the fact of the matter is that these places are a god-sent. You really think that this place should be shut down? How would that solve anything? It would only make things worse. Yes, some of the animals end up being euthanized, but that doesn’t mean that these places don’t do good as well! They save thousands of animals every year that would otherwise be euthanized on the spot if caught roaming free by the city animal control. They at least give the animals a chance!

  38. jamie says:

    I volunteered at a local shelter that is run by the government and they kill so many animals that don’t ever get a day on the adoption list, its all up to the vet tech thats an evil lady and will kill for any reason she can come up with, I saved one of her victims cinny my ferret by going to the highest authority in that place, but I could’nt save them all from her and stopped volunteering there because of her.
    Now if they don’t care about there lives to think they care about there bodies? It just makes me sick to think about it.

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