Volunteers at San Jose’s Animal Care Center are accusing the shelter of not providing proper medical care to dogs and cats with major health issues.
Volunteer Jennifer Flick shared the example of one kitten, Linguine, who was brought to the shelter as a stray. Days later, according to Flick, another volunteer brought Linguine to her home, extremely dehydrated and lifeless.
“I have rescued cats from there with broken bones,” said Flick. “They did not notice. I saw cats on the adoption floor that couldn’t walk. They did not notice.”
As of Tuesday, the shelter has 715 animals and is at-capacity for dogs. On the same day, a sign was posted on its door, which read that the shelter was so full that it was not accepting healthy strays or owner surrenders.
San Jose Public Works Director Matt Lesh, who oversees the shelter, said animals are often coming into the shelter already in bad shape.
“So the animal comes in and we make an observation on whether or not it’s healthy,” said Lesh. “And if it’s flagged for team services, it may be there for a bit before we can get to them.”
Lesh added the shelter is trying to euthanize fewer animals.
“We are pushing to make sure we get every animal a chance for a live outcome. And so, sometimes, those little animals that come in that are in dire straights, they weren’t gonna make it. We maybe could have euthanized them. But we gave them that chance and they just didn’t make it.”
Lesh also addressed Linguine specifically, saying the shelter did provide some medical care.
But Flick told NBC Bay Area that volunteer alerts about animals in medical distress are not always investigated. She doesn’t believe the shelter is doing enough to reach out to rescue agencies for help. She also said she was glad that she was able to get Linguine the medical care he needed.
Volunteers like Flick are now asking the city to audit the shelter and work to improve medical care for the animals there.
Source: NBC Bay Area