Oct 142012

From: “gocbwatchdog@aol.com”
To: mult.chair@co.multnomah.or.us; district1@multco.us; district2@multco.us; district3@multco.us; district4@multco.us; david.austin@multco.us
Cc: meghan.s.romney@multco.us; thunderidgegermanshepherds@tds.net; rbabcock@hwb-law.com; JRBerkey@aol.com; toni@happytailsrescue.com; bluedovepdx@yahoo.com; john.m.rowton@multco.us; chibob44@aol.com; petreporter1@gmail.com; maite@hughes.net; dharmax7@aol.com; billyssilvertone@comcast.net; amanda@portlandoregon.gov; nick@portlandoregon.gov; mayorsam@portlandoregon.gov; dsaltzman@portlandoregon.gov; randy@portlandoregon.gov; sduin@oregonian.com
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2012 7:26 PM
Subject: Fwd: Physical Inventory with Invoice..Stephanie and John Rowton.. I am asking that you not kill the female terrified pit bull, 541404, tomorrow, because she is shut down and afraid.. Please no PTS while options are sought.
Are these the county’s values too about homeless animals? “Thank you for your interest” about killing a terrified homeless dog who hurt no one: Robo speech? Is it “humane” to kill a scared dog when no options were sought and clearly they are out there ? How many times more does this have to happen? The lack of interest and cooperation from MCAS with rescues and the public is notable and shocking; the indifference palpable. And tax payer dollars fund cynical non-caring.

Gail O’Connell- Babcock

—–Original Message—–
From: gocbwatchdog
To: michael.l.oswald
Sent: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 7:05 pm
Subject: Re: Physical Inventory with Invoice..Stephanie and John Rowton.. I am asking that you not kill the female terrified pit bull, 541404, tomorrow, because she is shut down and afraid.. Please no PTS while options are sought.

Mr. Oswald:

There was nothing humane involved in killing a terrified dog for whom you sought no options. Were you conscientious you would be asking yourself why a staff person ordered this scared dog who hurt no one and posed no risk, killed without review,The record alone tells you that. Read it. I will be responding extensively in the morning.

“Thank you for your interest” is what you say about a bad can of lima beans, not a frightened homeless dog.You ask no questions and process animals like recyled refuse, Most of all you disrespect rescue offers and this community’s values.

—–Original Message—–
From: Michael OSWALD
To: gocbwatchdog
Sent: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 5:23 pm
Subject: Re: Physical Inventory with Invoice..Stephanie and John Rowton.. I am asking that you not kill the female terrified pit bull, 541404, tomorrow, because she is shut down and afraid.. Please no PTS while options are sought.

Hi Gail,
I checked with staff.
Our records show that this dog was humanely euthanized on Oct 10th.
Thanks for your interest.
On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM, gocbwatchdog@aol.com wrote:


Is this little dog still alive? I would appreciate a response.

Gail O’Connell-Babcock
Continue reading »

May 222012

From: gocbwatchdog

To: Jeff Cogen, County Chair
CC: Michael Oswald, MCAS Director

CC: Robert Babcock

An alarming number of cases reported have been reported by homeless parties (and low income persons as well) of MCAS excessive aggressive enforcement practices targeting this population by impounding, demanding extraordinary fines and fees (hundreds of dollars in fines) and often compelling or forcing surrender of their companion animals when humane options exist. The penalties are disproportionate and public safety needs can assured through other common sense practices. Other communities have owner education diversion programs such as “Street smarts for the street dog”. Seizing, impounding and killing the dogs of the homeless is not the answer.

Also the tandem MCAS/Portland Police licensing sweeps of the homeless often deteriorate into harassment and not uncommonly create incidents with “Stop, and check” checkpoints. How many middle class families do you target? Licensing fees secured from the homeless are not going to be this county’s main revenue source. As a humane gesture, if you want all animals to be simply registered, then provide licenses free to homeless parties, whose animals are often critical to their comfort, well being and health. That, not harassment and extortion. are compatible with this community’s values.

I am asking that an outside independent investigation be conducted regarding this county’s enforcement conduct. It benefits no one. By any other name it is government sanctioned bullying.

Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
16004 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, #508
Sherwood, OR 97140
Telephone: 503.625.4563

May 202012

file 1, file 2

To: Assistant County Counsel Morf:
To: County Chair Jeff Cogen

I learned by calling the MCAS message center on Friday that John Rowton and Legal Aide Officer Michelle Luckey are both gone from the agency until May 29 on business likely involving their second career as companion dog breeders and dog show fanciers,the most usual reason. I called because I couldn’t understand why the records had gone missing. There was no notice to me about why records were not forthcoming as requested, a notice sought in every public records order. I had no idea why the routine records ordered were just ignored: the reason was vacation. This has became a significant problem (under Mr. Oswald’s regime). No coverage during staff absence was planned even though the concern has been addressed many times before. When records are sent too late to help those in need, our offers of assistance are rendered futile. MCAS does not offer resources or help. A senior management administrative staff person put it this way: “When we give them deadlines, they (the public) hustle their bottoms.” No, the poor and low income parties don’t. When they have nothing, giving them “deadlines” causes stress, anxiety, helplessness and when their companion dogs are killed: anguish. They don’t have resources. We offer this out of pocket. Many, if not most, of the hapless animals at MCAS belong to persons down on their luck, who are homeless, poor, or lost their homes to foreclosure. The effects of that continue in a poor economy and are borne by helpless animals. We try to assist them because their animals shouldn’t become sacrifices to misfortune. Why do you stand in the way?
Continue reading »

Feb 062012

note: message received by the web guy 2/2/12

MCAS has no interest in “:assessing an animal’s personality” and considerable interest in co-opting and adding one more “cover” to what amounts to government sponsored cruelty. They have been to and sponsored multiple progressive conferences. The day after “learning” new information, they still drag a helpless terrified animal down the hall or kill one for “biting” a fake pink plastic disembodied assess-a-hand as a public safety risk. It is no different a trick or tactic than a pirate’s ship flying the Union Jack. Just read the public records, and see your tax dollars at work. That exercise separates fact from fiction. The fees won’t be covered. And when was the last time a shelter worker was challenged by “Coyotes in Our Neighborhoods”? Is that about animals or immigrants? They treat both badly. What challenges them is honesty.
Murmurs, February 01.2012 Willamette Week: “Want to know what goes on between your dog’s floppy ears? Multnomah County has answers. The county’s animal shelter is sponsoring the “Masters in Behavior” conference dedicated to animal psychology and behavior. The conference, Feb. 4-6 at the Sheraton Portland Airport, is intended to train shelter workers, but is open to the public and will include “assessing an animal’s personality” to help in “preventing house soiling and separation anxiety.” Sessions include “Coyotes in Our Neighborhoods” and “Learning From Cats in Science.” The county says it expects registration fees will cover the conference’s $7,000 cost.”
Multnomah County Animal Services: His own “unhealthy and untreatable” agency
Killing without reason or responsible leadership.
Once again, Multnomah County Animal Services (a decided misnomer) is about to claim another false metamorphosis, a Phoenix rising from decades of crematorium ashes. In three years, with a failed leader at the helm and an indifferent county chair, MCAS brightly promises what it has never accomplished in 12 years when a citizens’ county task force sought change: a humane shelter.

Continue reading »

Jan 292012

dog in need of home #1dog in need of home #1

Follow up: Late Thursday afternoon, January 26, we received a call from Multnomah County Animal Services stating that the two dogs of immediate concern: the senior Lhasa apso mix, and the neglected injured pit bull, scheduled to be killed Friday, January 27, were instead going to be placed on “shelter review” to allow a limited time to seek humane options. Their pictures and brief medical histories are attached. For more information call me at 503.625.4563. I know that the reprieve was the direct result of those persons who wrote or called the county commission on very short notice after our own appeals were ignored. Thank you for taking the time to place a call or write a note that gave them a chance at life. MCAS kills many animals deemed “imperfect” when they are not, and humane options can be found. Notes about the two dogs follow.

Prince: (MCAS 532822) is a fuzzy cream and tan senior neutered male Lhasa Apso mix. He clearly was someone’s loved dog once. He looks a little like a Star Wars Wookie from his picture. Loves to snuggle. He is estimated to be about 18 years old but then no one really knows. He has poor vision because he has dry eye which can be treated palliatively with eye drops; his gait is wobbly but he is able to walk and doesn’t seem painful; dental disease like many old dogs; heart and lungs normal. He still has a life to live even in his sunset years. He sees clearly with his heart and old age isn’t really a disease anyway. He is seeking a retirement home and a good lap and is ready as soon as one can be found. Cats not likely an issue: he is smaller than most cats and can’t see them well anyway.

The young neutered brown and white pit bull mix (MCAS 532858) was taken to Dove Lewis on January 22, found as a stray off NE 118th and Sandy with a lame non weight bearing back right leg. All of his vital signs are normal. He is eating well. The problem is that the head of the right femur is dislocated. Although mildly dehydrated at first and quite thin, he is now eating and drinking well and he is expected to bounce back. His injury was the primary reason given for killing him (and breed always deemed negative even if unspoken). Described as an absolute gentleman where people are concerned; wary of other dogs near him possibly because of his injury. He carries the plight and fate of so many little pit bulls killed en masse across our country for no fault of their own. They bear the burden of society’s carelessness.
Continue reading »

Jan 272012

Note: this message was received yesterday.

The emaciated injured little pit bull described below is scheduled to be killed tomorrow. No one at MCAS or at the Multnomah County Commission has acknowledged offers of help. Killing and decision making at MCAS routinely exclude citizens in the community and deny its values. It occurs always behind closed doors. The public is deliberately kept out. His records are among those in the attached set of animal status reports for January 23, 2012.

I know time is very short. Please ask the county to permit outside review in this and future cases, a promise no longer kept ot honored. County Chair Jeff Cogen’s primary role appears to be protection of colleagues at the sacrifice of public service and humane values. He has no interest in animal welfare. Correspondence follows.

Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
Sherwood OR 97140
Telephone: 503.625.4563

Jan 272012

Note: this message was received yesterday.

—–Original Message—–
From: gocbwatchdog
To: mult.chair ; district1 ; district2 ; district3 ; district4 ; michael.l.oswald
Cc: rbabcock ; amanda ; nick ; mayorsam ; randy ; dan ; mult.auditor ; pbhatia Sent: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 12:33 pm
Subject: Urgent time sensitive appeal to County Chair Jeff Cogen: please act

Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
16004 SW Tualatin Sherwood Road # 508
Sherwood OR 97140
Telephone 503.625.4563; Fax: 503.925.8299
E-mail: gocbwatchdog@aol.com

January 26, 2012

To: County Chair Jeff Cogen
CC: MCAS Director Michael Oswald

CC: Deborah Kafoury, District 1
Loretta Smith, District 2
Judy Shiprack, District 3
Diane McKeel, District 4

CC: Robert Babcock

Regarding: the injured neglected pit bull (MCAS 532858) scheduled to be killed tomorrow, January 27, despite offers of payment for outside specialist evaluation and community contributions to pay for an evaluation and the cost of any indicated surgery

Chair Cogen:

I am asking that you defer killing and grant permission for the captioned injured neglected pit bull (MCAS 504285) to be evaluated by a specialist so that humane treatment options can be thoughtfully reviewed. The costs of this expert review will be covered by public contributions. No costs will be borne by the county.

Mr. Oswald has said in previous correspondence that you are ultimately in charge of MCAS policy and therefore I assume that you must approve this request. MCAS policy permits outside professional review and second opinions. I am asking that that policy be honored. Perhaps you are unaware or ignorant of this request and that is why no one at the agency, including Mr. Oswald, has acknowledged any of the correspondence sent to them repeatedly about this case beginning Tuesday, January 24, after we received public records. In fact, there is no mention of the offers made or correspondence sent in the most recent public records production, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 after 4:00 PM.

The practice of simply ignoring the public (the forgotten 99%) when one doesn’t want what is offered is shocking and unethical especially when a stray animal’s life is involved. Yet this happens over and over again at MCAS. MCAS acts as if it is accountable to no one. Multiple historical examples in which MCAS ignores public offers and kills anyway denying humane options (despite public protest) suggest the implicit permission of your leadership at the county. It is unethical and unworthy of the humane values you claim. You were elected for your professed humane values. We need to see those values in action.

The information I have received from a highly respected local diplomate in veterinary medicine makes it clear that this case merits exploration of options.

· Regarding MCAS note that “It is unclear why the dog is so painful in that area,” the response was that pain is expected, disuse, and atrophy are the expected result of injury; the question is what qualifies as so painful?

· The MCAS statement that this dog was likely dog aggressive really cannot even be assessed when a dog is injured. Dogs are defensive and self protective when injured.

· Possible medical interventions include surgery (about $1500 to $2000) or amputation (if evidence of nerve injury or just to have finite cost and recovery time).

· There is no description or qualification of the dog’s pain reaction or location (specific response or provocation) to decide upon the most viable and humane treatment options.
Continue reading »

Jan 272012

To: Wayne Pacelle
Andrew Rowan

As a professional courtesy, I am writing first to confirm a report that HSUS has ranked Multnomah County Animal Services second out of ten nationally as a “model” agency.

Is that correct? If so what attributes did you value?

If the report is correct, as I send out the letter below, and write other essays, I will make sure to note that HSUS approves of and endorses MCAS’s behaviors, considers them worthy of emulation: temperament testing abuses; agency refusals of publicly paid humane care for injured animals, covert breed bans, racial profiling in enforcement ( preliminary pilot research); falsifying statistics and other “model” animal control behaviors.

I am sure that an organization of your reputation and size has thoroughly researched every aspect of MCAS conduct, behavior, and policies. before your approve. What is your data base if indeed the above ranking report is true?

I am looking forward to your response.

Thank you.

Gail O’Connell-Babcock,PhD

Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog
Sherwood, Oregon

Aug 052011

To: County Chair Jeff Cogen:

Where was MCAS? Multnomah County elected a No Kill shelter agenda in 2000 that was to have been reached by 2005. It was a decision made by a broad assembly of citizens appointed by then County Chair Bev Stein. The lack of leadership in Multnomah County is the singular cause.. Instead of honoring the county tax payers’ will, you have sacrificed this for your own and Michael Oswald’s comfort. It is easier to dispose of tax payers and homeless animals than upset the status quo or a fellow employee.

As a result, increasing taxpayers’ monies are squandered on an unsupportable archaic punitive animal control system. While declaring No Kill unachievable (and rejecting outside independent review that would design a program achieving this), you take monies from Maddie’s Fund whose agenda is No Kill, and Open Paw, whose humane philosophy and practices are routinely violated.

To take money from No Kill sponsors, then reject the premises underlying the acceptance of these gifts is simply dishonest. Without study or outside review, you apparently believe, as a matter of personal convenience, that No Kill is impossible. It isn’t, You should for ethical reasons return the monies given by these organizations..

It is notable that after declaring that you would not accept dishonesty in a government employee, you have, and do exactly that. MCAS has a long documented history of deception, promoting false statistics and making highly misleading claims intended to misdirect. Mr. Oswald recently quoted live release rates that are false. He altered the accepted formula, allowing double counting, the equivalent of stuffing the ballot box, and discounts/does not include or account for hundreds of animals annually that just go missing. If these were “real ” property, county supplies, books and pencils, chairs, you would account for them.

Modeling accountability and honesty begin at the top. What is accepted at the top becomes the county ethic.

Gail O’Connell-Babcock, Ph.D.
Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation

Apr 042011
Forwarded message….
About Max, the young Springer Spaniel currently at MCAS…follow up note
Jill was told that Max has to be out by Tuesday( or the usual, they will kill him). The foster she had lined up, a vet tech, fell through after suffering a back injury, so scarce resources have just now vanished. We are having to fly now as we always do, on a wing and a prayer by the seat of our pants as Jill;’s rehab is short on funds and she lost the place she had for Max to go afterwards. The first step though is the vet’s to get him on meds and regulated.
Max is out at MCAS where they have done absolutely nothing to help him. He has a seizure disorder during which he has no awareness as he moves from sleep to wake cycles and no one identified his problems ahead of time. It needs to be regulated. His previous owners got him as a puppy ( most likely I am guessing from a puppy mill) and saw him snap at invisible flies etc. They did nothing about it either, no vet , no effort. He bit their child, minor, no doctor visit required while Max was in a trance state..They surrendered Max to MCAS ( as a broken toy I guess) where he became so understandably stressed he had a grand mal seizure. MCAS subsequently has done nothing to help with his stress but throw cookies at him in his cage although they know he has a seizure variant, no effort to medicate or do trial medications ( not Springer rage but a sleep disorder/seizure problem), one that can be corrected with medication. He is 1 and a half years old and has never really had a chance at life. By coincidence I just read in the Weekly Telegraph about a Springer who along with his handler lost his life in Iraq. His handler was killed and the Springer became so distressed witnessing his handler’s death to whom he was close he died of a grand mal seizure just hours later. Both have been flown back to the little town in England from where they came for a military honors funeral.
Jill has a Springer just like him, Beau, I send support money to every month and have for years. His life had been traumatic with multiple missed diagnoses as it was always confused with behavior when it was a medical concern/problem. He is fine and on meds now.
Thank you for helping in any way you can: identfying resources, ideas, and donations. All are welcome. It will go towards saving his life.


From: Jill Cameron [mailto:thunderidgegermanshepherds@tds.net]
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 10:59 PM
To: gocbwatchdog@aol.com; others
Subject: A plea
I don’t do this very often but I am a real jam. I have a springer spaniel named Max at MCAS who is being neutered today. I have a place for him temporarily. He has a sleep disorder that is treatable. The issue now is vet care and meds until we can get him regulated. I have a dog here with the same disorder that is on meds. The meds are not spendy about 30 bucks a month. The issue is money for the vet care (office calls, tests and regulation of meds which means more vet trips) this took about 3 mos with my dog. Now he is just fine.
I am not good at asking for financial help but in this case I am. Any amount would help OR if you have any idea where I could go to find funding for a 3-4 mos period while we get this guy regulated.
Jill Cameron
Special Projects Administrator
ABC College