Friday, August 13, 2010

More About the Story City Massacre. Finally! An Answer of Sorts

Since the tragic event in Story City occurred answers have been sought from the participants as to what actually happened - How many cats were there, how many were saved, how many were killed, and who was responsible.

On August 11, the ARL finally broke their silence and released the following statement on facebook.

As stated in a previous post: This is clearly an attempt to criticize those who assisted this day. We don't intend to get into a discussion about this over Facebook because there is no merit to these accusations, but we would like to provide some of the facts that are clearly missing from these posts: 

1) the ARL was asked to assist in the rescue of dozens of cats in a hoarding situation. We did not lead the efforts, we were simply there to assist. 

2). The 1 ISU vet and 1 private vet from Story City on location were not ARL vets, but are very knowledgeable veterinarians and we had full trust in their assessment of the situation. 

3). The ARL took 12 cats back to be put up for adoption.

If you have any questions on how this operation was handled, we would encourage you to contact the Story City Police Department since they led the operation and it was in their animal control oversight, not the ARL’s. AGAIN, the ARL was simply there by the request of Story City PD to assist in removing the animals from the house – not to make medical assessments, not to make euthanasia decisions, and not to send these animals to rescue groups. Story City PD does have a local vet who is the person they turn to when help is needed with neglect or abuse cases. This is the first time they had to deal with a hoarding situation, and were unprepared. ARL was asked by Story County to assist with the proper removal of the cats from the home. Dr. Deppe left well before midway through our time there, and made a lot of assumptions about what went on after she left. 

We do not even know why the ARL was brought into mud-slinging of how this event was handled. It appears that this is rooting from a small group of individuals with a vendetta against the ARL, or other non no-kill shelters in general. 

This conversation is not productive to adopting animals, so we’re not going to engage further in this argument. It’s easy to post a comment based on someone’s opinion. To throw stones at ANYONE that was there to help this crisis situation is both unfair and short-sighted. We further echo the earlier statement that the real issues in this situation is animal hording and pet overpopulation. The end.

Warning: Those who commented about this subject on the ARL's facebook page had their comments deleted and subsequently banned from their site.

At first glance it is apparent that there statement is in conflict with the news report issued on August 5 regarding the alleged rescue of dozens of cats. Their facebook statement fails to provide any definitive information as to how many cats were there, how many were saved, and how many were killed.

Are we to believe that only twelve cats out of the reported "dozens" were actually rescued and the rest were killed under the supervision of the ARL? If so, then this raises an even greater concern regarding the message this action sends to every community in Iowa...That a "rescue" really means removal and disposal.

This unconscionable behavior needs to change. Obviously, we need a new era...a new way of thinking and new solutions to address these problems.

Change is coming.


  1. Penny WilliamsAugust 13, 2010

    This story is in conflict with other accounts on several points.

    The Story City Police Department categorically denies having been in charge of the operation. The officer Christine spoke with on the phone says that to the best of his recollection, the ARL was in charge of it.

    Also, Dr. Deppe's account clearly states that it was the ARL who contacted her and asked her to assist in finding placements for the cats.

    And finally, I was banned from the ARL's Facebook page for asking them to identify the photos of the cats taken from the Story City hoarding situation in their listings because I would like to adopt one of them. They subsequently posted a link to their general listing, which does not provide the information I requested. Dr. Deppe's adoption listings do note the cats that were taken from "a hoarding situation" at the time in question.

    So since all parties deny having been in charge, should we assume that no one was in charge? That no one called in Dr. Bright and Dr. Deppe? That in fact everyone just happened to be standing there at the time? Some may believe this, but logic leads me to believe that someone is lying here, and it's likely the ARL.

  2. Yes because they deleted the comments they also delted the assurance that there was no intention to "throw stones, mud slinging" or what ever other spin they put on the questions being asked.

    I notice one of the key statements apparently being disputed was the statement from the original story that it was the ARL who was asked to, agreed to and put together the team who went to this event. THIS included everyone including DR bright was THEIR choice to lead the opinion/decision making, NOT the PD.

    so now I ask, who got paid for killing those cats by the PD, if it wasnt ARL, then it was Dr Bright. So my next question was how much was she paid for killing those cats?

    Was it a retail fee? Unless the Stony city PD provided the bullets (or the euthanizing drug and needle, then either the ARL provided it or Dr Bright. If so, then did she charge them a cost recovery, say something like a $1.50 or realtively close charge or did she charge $50 each, $75, $100 each more?
    Now you can see how she would stand to make money on her decisions brought in as a ARL volunteer, there fore making ARL liable for her actions and choices, please speak to any lawyer, I was with the Red Cross for 20 years, I KNOW non-profit volunteer liability from the best.

    All these questions for me remain to be answered. Maybe the next step is to talk and ask the police their policy and expenses?

  3. Why was a vet called in to help remove cats from a hoarding situation. I've never know a vet to be on sight for a rescue. If they were there to examine the cats, take a blood sample for FIV/FELV testing and tag them with numbered collars as...... they went through the triage process then determine which ones needed to go straight to the vet's office for treatment, which ones needed to go to the rescue groups with antibiotics and which ones were well enough to vaccinate at that moment and do it....THEN I can understand the vets being there. THAT woud have been a success. EXTERMINATING these cats was NOT the proper way to handle it.

    In one breath they are putting full responsibility on the SCPD and in the same breath they say the SCPD did not know how to handle a hoarding situation which is why they CALLED IN THE ARL FOR ASSISTANCE. huh?
    All I want to know is...where are all these cats???? If nobody can account for how many cats were even touched then that's a story in itself in my opinion. If a licensed vet AND Iowa's Largest Animal Welfare Organization can't tell you how many cats were there....THAT'S a problem!!

  4. CJ,

    We can assure there was no profit made here by any parties involved. Your point is valid and it is true that money is often the factor on whether animals live or die.

    The "traditional" mindset that shelters and vets have regarding euthanasia is about what is "savable" and what is "treatable" which ultimately comes down to "how much will it cost". If the investment isn't worth the return, then it won't happen.

    We KNOW vets run businesses.

    We know the ARL runs a business.

    So no doubt that money was in fact, a factor in the decisions that were made. But not ON the day of the removal, but prior.

    They knew going in there would not be much money to support the rescue, that's why they went there with the mindset to dispose!

  5. Penny,

    Thank you for your post.

    It is the unanswered questions and the inconsistencies of what IS being said that has prompted this whole thing.

    We believe they are viewing this investigation as "small potatoes" and trying to sweep it under the rug so to speak. It's how they have always done it. But this time, and we know, people are listening. They are at LEAST asking questions on their own.

    We have done nothing more than bring what facts we DO know to the forefront and are asking the public to decide.

    If the ARL refuses to come up with numbers, then the chips will fall where they fall.