A Reprieve for Elon [Now RIP Elon] | Love That Pup | Cathy Kirkman | Palo Alto Online |


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By Cathy Kirkman

A Reprieve for Elon [Now RIP Elon]

Uploaded: Aug 28, 2014

Good news to report today about Elon, the stray dog at our shelter who needed to be rescued by today 8/28 to avoid being put down. See my prior blog post for details. The animal shelter now says they are going to keep him while they see if a rescue can be arranged.

I sent an email to Claudia Keith, the city's Chief Communications Officer this morning, 8/28, asking for an update on Elon's status. I never heard from her (so much for communications), but I did thereafter receive email from Connie Urbanski, director of the shelter, who stated:

"Elon is still waiting to see if there is a 501 c (3) rescue that can help with him. He is not, nor was he ever being euthanized today."


"We are trying to give this dog every opportunity to have a rescue come for him. He truly has questionable temperament and is very unpredictable I asked for a plan so that we could move forward with having arrangements made to ready him to be taken by a 501c (3) organization. There is no date at this point, as I am hoping some group will be coming forward. It is my understanding that a wide range of rescue groups have been contacted through social media. Every effort is being made that he will not be euthanized."

This is really wonderful to hear! But what about the 8/28 deadline that caused this concern in the first place? The closest thing to a response on that was:

"We cannot leave everything open ended. I needed to have a timeframe to complete his processing if he was to be picked up by a rescue group."

Ok, so that means an arbitrary false deadline of 2 days.

I asked for details on the steps they take in their process for a dog that gets put down. The closest I got to a response on that was:

"Maybe this will help, everything we are doing is in accordance with State law regarding disposition of animals."

Ok, hopefully that's a given, but not really an answer.

So not much in terms of accountability and transparency here, but hopefully this leads to a good outcome for Elon, and possibly further consideration about how we are doing things for other dogs.

I hope we can aspire to being a leader in best practices at our shelter, so when someone asks me to put a lawn sign out for their city council campaign, I hope they care about this type of thing.

Update 9/9/14: Today from Ms. Urbanski, director of the animal shelter:

"Elon was re-evaluated by the Animal Behavior Manager, and one of her staff from HSSV; and Marthina the Director of Our Pack, and he failed the evaluation. Elon was euthanized."

At least from Elon's story we have some sense of the process that occurs or should occur before a dog is put down. RIP Elon.