DETROIT – Detroit dog owners furious how their pets are being treated by Detroit Animal Control.
Now they are fighting to find out if one of their dogs is dead or alive.
Ian O’Neill admits he’s a dope dealer, but that doesn’t mean he deserves the treatment he’s getting from the city of Detroit regarding his dogs.
Police raided his house earlier this month but he wasn’t charged. After the raid, Ian and his sister found police had shot and killed one of his dogs named Mala. The other three were missing.
“I thought maybe they were captured and taken in by police to the dog pound,” said Jennifer O’Neill.
Instead of giving answers, FOX 2 was forced to leave Detroit Animal Control.
When they got to the Detroit Animal Control Center, they were told the other three dogs were dead. Police say they were shot and killed during the raid.
But when the bodies were returned to them, they say all three had bullet wounds, but only two were theirs.
“I had a picture of Bruno,” Jennifer said. “It definitely wasn’t our dog. Our dog had cropped ears, he was 100 pounds, he was grey. They didn’t even want to take the dog back.”
Jennifer argued with the officer and gave the dog back. The only documentation she was given was a hand written paper saying she had been given three dogs.
The two still had hope for finding Bruno. FOX 2 went to help them find out – but instead of giving us answers, we were asked to leave.
FOX 2 “We want to know if this dog is alive or dead, can you give us an answer?
DAC worker: “No.”
FOX 2: “Why?”
“No,” she said. “I can help these people but you are not allowed to film in here unless you have permission and you know that.”
FOX 2: “This is a public place, taxpayers pay for this place.”
“But you are not supposed to film without permission,” she said.
FOX 2: “You guys are supposed to give us an answer about a dead dog.”
“I’m not supposed to answer to you,” she said.
Still no answers from her, or back in the office from Director Harry Ward. Then the O’Neills called police.
“I just want to know where my third dog is,” Ian said.
FOX 2 was asked to leave by police, but the DAC agreed to allow Jennifer and Ian a rare visit to the back where the animals are kept in often, deplorable conditions.
Bruno wasn’t there but they were overwhelmed by what they saw.
“I had no idea, I had no idea it looked like that in there,” Jennifer said. “There was a dog choking, it sounded like he must have kennel cough, a dog with a broken arm, his paw broken. Another dog laying there nearly dead.”
“It was a dog death camp,” Ian said.
The body mix-up is a mystery to city officials, who admit, there are problems to be fixed at the DAC. New director Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said in a statement:
“We face a number of challenges at Detroit Animal Control which we are working to improve. It’s important in situations like this to remember that these challenges evolved over decades, and that fixing decades old problems takes time. But we are making progress, and in the new year, I am confident that much of our efforts will come to bear. Finally, the issues that we should tackle first and foremost have to with protecting the vulnerable from vicious dogs – and in the circumstances, these animals were shot while attacking DPD officers during a raid. We are sad when any animal dies, but we have to remember that when animals are trained to attack, as they did in this circumstance, their owners put them at great risk. And some responsibility rests with the owner.”
Jennifer and Ian said they may never know what happened to Bruno but they are not going to stop trying.
By: Hannah Saunders
Fred’s Note; Mary Jo’s legacy lives on in Detroit? It is terrible that people that do not appreciate animals find themselves in control of their welfare and well being…