Does anyone CARE? More on Chesterfield S.C.

DoraToday, marks six weeks since shots rang out in Chesterfield SC, killing as many as 22 dogs, and yet to date no arrests have been made, no criminal charges have been filed and the men accused of these reprehensible acts remain on PAID administrative leave.

Yes.  Paid.  After viciously murdering animals, they can sit home, basically on vacation, and get paid for it.

Sheriff Sam Parker’s office, which oversees the Chesterfield Shelter, initiated the investigation. So here we have the department that is directly connected with running the operation investigating themselves.  Nice, right?

Well,  YOU didn’t think so, and thanks to your calls and outrage, Governor Nikki Haley’s office stepped in and asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to takeover. SLED was asked to lead the investigation and turn over their findings to the Attorney General’s (AG) office.  Great, right?  Welllll, not so fast….read on.

On March 31 when the investigation was “complete” and the findings turned over to the Attorney General for review, it appears almost NONE of the KEY people responsible for calling attention to this were even interviewed!!  That includes the volunteer who first unearthed the bodies of these animals, the 4 animal control officers accused of these crimes,  the eye witnesses who came forward regarding the abuses they witnessed at the shelter, and none of the evidence of dog fighting was ever examined.

SAY WHAT??

How in the world does an investigation go on without any of the KEY players being interviewed?  Look, I’m not a law enforcement person, I don’t even play one on TV, but I do watch cop shows and admittedly that is the extent of my “vast” police knowledge, but it seems to me that watching even the most inept police departments and detectives on TV, they STILL seem to interview people that SAW a crime or KNOW about a crime.  Yet SLED doesn’t appear to have done ANY of that.  Hmmm.

It is becoming increasingly clear that SLED, an organization that Sheriff Parker was member of for over 20 years, is not interested in thoroughly investigating the massacre and abuse of these animals, or  holding anyone accountable for these despicable and horrendous acts.  The “Old Boys Club” back at work?

However, at the request of the AG – at least THEY seem to have some common sense, SLED has been instructed to REOPEN their investigation and conduct official interviews with four animal control officers, asking if they participated or directed anyone to participate in the unlawful shooting of dogs. The agents were also asked to look into reports of dog-fighting-related activities at the shelter.

Well.  That’s a start.

What a shame that SLED has no experience in investigations that they did not realize they should do this!  Or…oh my…no, it couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Sheriff that they are possibly investigating was a member there for 20 years, could it?  Nah.  That would be WRONG, so that can’t be it.

OK, so we talked about how inept the investigation has been so far and how little they actually care at all about this.  I can even imagine them saying “Hey, look, the internet people all got pissy, so let’s pretend to look into this and it’ll all die down”. (That’s what Ed Sayres said about Oreo, remember?  Hey, – how’s that working for YOU Ed?)

But most importantly, what has happened to the animals at the Chesterfield Shelter in the past six weeks?

I can tell you.

NOTHING good.

chesterfield_pups_springfestHere are some of the “nothing good”:

  1. The volunteers of Paws and Claws, the rescue that has worked at the shelter for over 15 years, have been locked out and told that their services are no longer required.
  2. Sheriff’s deputies have been tasked with running the shelter while the ACOs are on leave and animals are now being either given away or sold for a dollar. Yes. Not adopted. SOLD. For a dollar.
  3. The animals are NOT getting vaccinated or fixed. They are going out into the community without vaccines, unaltered and have already begun to pop up on Craigslist for resale.  I’m sure lots and lots of puppies are not too far behind, and lots are likely going to labs or dog fighting rings….as either fighters or bait dogs.
  4. At a recent event in Cheraw, SC, one of the animal control vehicles was parked at the side of the road leading into the event with a box of puppies and a handmade sign “for sale” displayed.

The end of this nightmare is nowhere in sight and it is clear that those in charge would be happy to see this swept under the rug and things to “go back to normal”.

So do we have to sit back and accept this?
OH COME ON!  YOU KNOW ME BETTER THAN THAT BY NOW!

Heck no. We are gonna bombard them with calls again and remind them that THE NATION IS WATCHING AND WE WILL NOT TOLERATE OUR ANIMALS BEING TREATED LIKE THIS!  We will remind them that when an animal winds up in a shelter it is because they need and are asking for HELP. NOT ABUSE AND MURDER.  Remind them that THEY work for US. And that WE care about our nation’s animals!

Now more than ever we must stand together and fight to bring justice for the animals killed and to fight to ensure lasting change for this shelter and the many high kill shelters scattered throughout SC. Without an independent group appointed to oversee these shelters the suffering will never end. The men responsible for these crimes need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and we must demand an end to the lawlessness.

What can you do?

  1. Call the Attorney General Alan Wilson and remind him of his instructions to SLED to interview ALL key witnesses. To date, that hasn’t happened. 803-734-3970 or online http://www.scattorneygeneral.org/ag/contactform.html
  2. Call Governor Nikki Haley (803)734-2100 grassroots@nikkihaley.com and Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard (803) 734-2080 LtGovernor@scstatehouse.gov
  3. Participate in person or online – SC Animal Awareness Day in Memory of the Chesterfield 22 and in Honor of all animals suffering in SC shelters Thursday, April 21, 2011 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM (ET) http://scawareness.eventbrite.com/
  4. Sign this petition at Change.org http://www.change.org/petitions/hold-chesterfield-co-shelter-accountable-for-shooting-dogs-and-other-abuse-charges

Below is a list of the many laws that have been broken or ignored at Chesterfield, visit http://on.fb.me/fjFx56 for more details and news stories.

LAWS BROKEN OR IGNORED AT CHESTERFIELD

(NOTE – PLEASE DO NOT READ BELOW IF YOU ARE EASILY UPSET.  STOP HERE AND JUST PLEASE MAKE THE CALLS ABOVE. Below is not a nice read. If you have doubts though, or want more information, read on…but I am warning you that some of the details are graphic and they are NOT necessary for you to read in order understand and make the calls we need. Please make those calls. Write those letters. The dogs are counting on you to help.  YOU ARE ALL THEY HAVE.)

1. Dogs were shot as a euthanasia solution. State law clearly states that a dog may only be shot in an emergency such as a safety threat (an example would be rabies), to prevent suffering, or to stop an openly aggressive dog.

SECTION 47-3-420. Allowable methods of euthanasia . [SC ST SEC 47-3-420]
(3) Shooting: Shooting may be used as a means of euthanasia only in an emergency situation to prevent extreme suffering or in which the safety of people or other animal life is threatened or where it is considered necessary by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to eliminate or control the population of feral animals.

landfilldogsThe dogs shot at Chesterfield were gentle, and were walked on leashes to the landfill where they were shot. One witness who previously worked at the shelter was practically in tears as he described one dog sitting on its haunches panting and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds as it waited to die. This witness NEVER saw an animal euthanized by injection. The same witness described cats being hit with iron pipes.

2. The shelter manager, Brian Burch, is a convicted felon who served time for drug charges. (Burch was sentenced to 3 years and a $10,000 fine in 1996 for distribution of cocaine. He did receive a pardon in 2000.)

3. The gas chamber at Chesterfield was disabled last year for safety reasons. It did not pass a safety inspection. (Sheriff Sam Parker told FOX news that the shelter adopted a lethal injection policy “about a year ago.”) Shelter workers were then certified to euthanize by injection. The drug supposedly bought for this purpose was Ketamine, a drug which is not approved by the FDA for use in dogs It is NOT a euthanasia drug, but it IS a popular street drug, commonly called “Special K.” What happened to the Ketamine? The shelter provided FOX with records indicating they’ve purchased 3 bottles of Euthasol – which is a euthanasia drug, but veterinary experts have indicated that 3 bottles of Euthasol would not be enough to handle the volume of animals moving through the Chesterfield shelter over a 12 month period.   The Chesterfield Co. Sheriff’s office provided FOX with drug records that show three drug orders in the last 12 months and several drug logs. The drug logs appeared to reflect inconsistencies as to how the drugs were administered, i.e. the same doses for 20 dogs, despite weight differences.

spilledblood4. The landfill where the dead animals were discovered. SC Department of Health and Environmental Control had made it clear that animal bodies could not be dumped there. The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed and FOX reported that the area is an “un-permitted landfill” and that the Sheriff’s office had been made aware long before this case started that animals could not be dumped there. DHEC then “reminded” the shelter again after the dead dogs were discovered.

5. Several witnesses told of pit bulls having signs on their cages saying “Hold for Brian Burch.” The only reasonable assumption is that these dogs were slated for fighting. The one tag FOX has a picture of says “Hold For Brian Burch and Frank Laney (Brian’s predecessor as shelter manager).” One witness also told FOX that when she asked to see “game dogs,” she was led to the pit bulls and an inmate working at the shelter set up an impromptu dog fight to show her how aggressive one of the dogs was and how it would “make her some money.”  The witness says the inmate threw a smaller, mixed breed dog in with the pit and the pit killed the dog in front of her. The witness also says she saw numerous pit bulls with tags on their kennels that said “Hold for Brian Burch.”

Enough?  Yes. Enough. I’m sick. And angry. and my heart is wounded and hurt and I’ve got tears in my eyes as I type this.  I can’t bear it.  Can you?  Let’s put a stop to this.  Are you ready?  Then pick up the phone, make those calls and write those letters.

R.I.P. sweet Dora and all the others.  We’re coming for these vicious people and we’re not going to let them get away with it.  I promise you all. WE promise you.

YOU ARE ALL THEY HAVE.

DO SOMETHING.

(Thank you Jude for pulling all of this together for me)

Filed in Animal Rescue, Legislation by kerry on Apr 16, 2011.  There are 16 Comments

16 Responses to “Does anyone CARE? More on Chesterfield S.C.”

  1. Trisha Dias Says:

    PLEASE CONVICT ALL RESPONSABLE!!!! and may THEY rot in HELL some day…………

  2. Karol Says:

    This is what I sent to the GOV, LT GOV, and the mentally challenged Sheriff:

    What a horrible tribute to the local officials and especially the sadistic sheriff. I will be one of the many blogging every where about the mentality so prevalent in this townand state government. And here I had hopes that SC WAS STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE AND HIRING INTELLIGENT, HUMAN BEINGS. Should have know better then to expect the south to be able to change when they don’t even treat other human beings with compassion and empathy. There are no words I can use that would adequately describe what we think of you, but you probably wouldn’t understand them. Evil would be number one and would probably fit right into your hypocrtical religious beliefs. I am sure this will be covered up just as it was when those redneck ignorant law officals shot all the animals in LA during Katrina.

    And we wonder why the US continues to go downhill.

    Shame on you!

  3. Jeanne Says:

    Thank you for blogging about “Chesterfield” and the atrocities that occurred on March 4, 2011 — the day the shots rang out.

    In writing this blog entry, you are helping those shots to echo in further exposing the Chesterfield case, so other caring people can join in by standing up for justice, too. I applaud you for that!

    Your message is loud and clear and your simple challenge “do something”, sums it up perfectly. I hope and pray your message and challenge touches the hearts and causes positive action from each of your readers. There are many people behind the scenes that have been doing “something” since the moment the news broke on March 4th. People who don’t know each other personally, but have chosen to focus their energies in various ways to ensure that justice is done in this horrific case of multiple atrocities. We’ve gone beyond our region by reaching out to people around the nation and beyond our nation’s borders. But, we need bloggers like you (and others) to continue to help us get the word out and challenge sympathizers to take action by contacting the “official” powers that be that you’ve listed above. This case can’t be overexposed.

    To Karol: Please try not to stereotype “the south” by the acts of these heartless animals that call themselves “men” in a community being run under the thumb of an inept corrupt Sheriff. I’m one of a number of caring, intelligent people who have heart string ties to the Chesterfield County, SC Animal Shelter as rescue workers from various groups (some very small; some national), individual rescuers, adopters, fosters, and animal advocates in the region.

    When the news broke it hit us much like 9/11. It rocked us and broke our hearts into 22 pieces. Since then, even more. We’re changed forever and will never forget the “Chesterfield 22″. We’ve also been doing our best working the majority of our waking hours to ensure that justice is served by creating awareness, soliciting public outcry and scrutiny. Not of the community, or the south, but for “this” case. The tears we’ve shed can’t be measured. The angst and anger we still feel is very wearing, but we’ve done out best to put it to positive use.

    Personally, not a second has gone by that I’m not thinking of Dora and the rest of Chesterfield 22 along with every dog that was shot; wondering if it was clean shot, or not. I think of every cat that was either beaten to death by ACOs wielding pipes, or shot. I think of every kitten or puppy whose life was smothered away from them in plastic garbage bags whimpering in fear until no breaths were left. I think of every Pit Bull and bait dog used for the illegal dog fighting activitie that have died as result, or have been maimed due to that shelter’s existence and management. I also think of every animal that lost their lives gasping for breath in an outdated gas chamber prior to the more humane lethal injection system, which was passed over by ACOs sentenced the animals to a firing squad and target practice. Each one, although we’ll never know how many, are on the hearts and minds of many every waking moment. Each ones’ chance for a foreverhome was stolen away from them, only because they were living. We will never find any peace until justice is served. And, we are fighting so hard because we know unless Governor Nikki Haley, Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard, and Attorney General Alan Wilson “get it”, justice will not be served and these animals will have truly died in vain with no peace ever to be found. I’m one of few that believe the entire legislature of SC should be bombarded, too. We will never know how many dogs and cats needlessly, senselessly and horrifically drew their last breath at the hands of ACOs and a shelter system “gone wild”.

    Judge the “evil doers” as I called them in my blog entry yesterday. But, rather than judge the ones who are trying to achieve justice, please… please… do something…

    Jeanne Holland Newton
    English Springer Rescue America
    NC Volunteer
    Watchdogging for Justice Blog

  4. Delores Ryan Says:

    This was letter to all three persons you said to write too.

    Hello,
    I recently read the story on the Chesterfield Shelter where 22 dogs were viciously killed and now volunteers are no longer needed and animals who are supposed to be helped are being put back on the streets to endure the abuse again. Please remind SLED to investigate this matter and demand that these people pay for what they did. I am sure if you asked for volunteers to run that shelter they would more than likely accept that challenge. All they would need is the resources to make that shelter a great place to adopt an animal not like now where they are being sold on the streets, not cared for, or killed. Please help fight against animal abuse.

    Delores Ryan
    A pet owner in PA

    (Please let me know what happens)

  5. June O'Connor Says:

    Thanks to Facebook this is now known about by people across the world.
    It was an outrage and continues to be;selling animals from a box by the road?? I’ve seen that done in Mississippi and Louisiana by private individuals but for so-called law enforcement to be doing it is disgusting.
    These poor dogs thought they were taken to safety,what a lot of BS that turned out to be.
    I’m in England and if something is not done to bring an end to such suffering caused by those who are supposed to care,and bound by law to do so, then I will take the names of all those involved,plus all those who did nothing and I’ll publish them far and wide.

  6. judith watson Says:

    I continue to get so angry and frustrated @ our seemingly inneffectual “justice” system, but I realize that there is only so much they can do, and they are simply overwhelmed, and only do what they can do. It is just so incomprehensible the disgraces and abuses that these defenseless animals must endure. It seems as though no matter what you do, it’s just never enough. If I had the financial wherewithall, I would just pour all my resources into helping these animals. I do what I can, but wish I could do more. God bless all the animals. <3 jblueyes…

  7. judith watson Says:

    I can’t make a donation at the moment, but soon…in the meantime, I will make phone calls, write lettes, and/ or sign petitions. As soon as I can, I will absolutely make a donation. Any petitions? Send ’em; I’ll sign them!

  8. DIANE FRANCISCO Says:

    pls stop and no kill the dogs ,they are innocent , but they are clever dogs as not stupid ,,it is given by god whocreate allthe animals ,if so send to rescue or children home or nurisng home i beleive it heal peoples in nursing so people will enjoy the animals ,,i have one dachusnd save my husband who is deaf and save his life 8 times and call me to find himand blessing allthe animals ,,send resuce to help or police or fireman to have this dogs ,,, stoppppppppp not to kill, make me sick ,,I am animals ,,,i do taught sign language to my two dogs understand me ,,,pls stoppppp or arrest who shot the dogs ,,,, shame it

  9. Jeremiah Says:

    my god. I can’t even… That’s just wrong.

  10. Jules Says:

    Dog’s prayer: Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends and your entertainment. I only have you. April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month. ?Please share as your status

  11. Pets Alive Blog » Kerry’s Update – April 22, 2011 Says:

    […] Does anyone CARE? More on Chesterfield S.C. […]

  12. MVPR Says:

    Chip-In to Help 22 Chesterfield Dogs get to Rescue!
    http://pawsnclawsfaninstallation.chipin.com/helping-22-dogs-head-to-rescue

    ADOPT ADOPT! FOSTER FOSTER! HELP!

    Theres a lot of talk and NO Action!
    Go Get These Animals People!

    Facebook: Where Hope Lives: Albums: May 10 URGENT SHELTER IS FULL! lives WILL be lost!

    (I would post a link but then everyone would have access to my facebook profile..)
    So check it out for yourself

  13. Jude Says:

    Here we are and it has been over 2 months and still not action taken, to charges made and no changes in place. Sadly the silence is deafening and seems to answer the question – it would seem in SC the answer is that the people that should care, the people who should bring justice – don’t care enought to do their job and hold those accused accountable for their crimes. I am at a loss for what more we can do to raise awareness and demand action. Your help and guidance is welcomed and appreciated.

  14. Alexis E. McKenna Says:

    Thank you for posting this story. Its just another atrocity of many. I have joined 1000’s of other people who are also fighting tooth and nail to get many states to ban gas chambers from all animals shelters in the U.S. These horrific things are barbaric and inhumane.

    At the same time, I hope you will not mind or object that I have posted your story on my Face Book so that it will get passed to my FB friends and in turn they will pass it on to theirs. I promise you this will get attention!!!

    Again, thank you, and we all must stand together on abuse of animals wherever they occur and do whatever it takes to stop the abuse and prosecute those who carry it out!!!

  15. Jude Says:

    Having just seen photos of a SC county shelter that makes Chesterfield look like a palace – http://on.fb.me/m9qssD and knowing that it has been more than 3mths without any charges filed it is clear that we have our answer.

    NO – the Attorney General and the Governor of SC don’t care about the shooting of the animals at Chesterfield or the treatment and care of animals in their state in general. In fact the AG has posted on his blog recently about the fact that “silence is consent” http://www.thestate.com/2011/06/01/1841050/wilson-silence-is-consent.html so I guess we are to believe that he is consenting to this taking place through his silence on the matter.

    I honestly don’t know what more can be done, we have written, called, blogged, posted, reported, publicized, petitioned and still nothing. I welcome any guidance you can offer, I know that things don’t happen overnight but my hope is that these animals will not die in vain.

  16. Camille Crocker Says:

    Today, July 23,2011 I am going to protest at Chesterfield for the implementation of True No Kill. I may be the only one, since my friends in rescue are going to adoption events because as foster homes, we are full and overflowing. I am bring food for the animals and some things for the staff. The implementation of No Kill would allow this shelter to be better for everyone. Yes, corruption is rampant here but eventually if a better way is presented and the staff is made aware of how they are being manipulated they will go against the old way. After an outbreak of feline distemper, the cats and kittens who were not exposed were taken to a vets office. Though cleared as healthy by the vet, the shelter is refusing to take them back. They will be killed in days, for nothing. We have a very long way to go with this place, but it is possible. Don’t forget Chesterfield.

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