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Pets In Need staff won't face trial in puppy-deaths case

Original post made on Aug 10, 2022

Three women who faced misdemeanor charges related to the deaths of seven puppies in a hot van last summer were granted acceptance into a court diversion program and won't face trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 5:08 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by TorreyaMan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 10, 2022 at 11:27 am

TorreyaMan is a registered user.

A wise decision pertaining to good people and an unfortunate but not criminal occurrence.


Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Heckity is a registered user.

What a disappointing outcome. Having attended the hearing virtually, I did not hear "a heartfelt and sympathetic statement," from the judge for the puppies, rather a prepared statement almost making victims of the poor Pets in Need (PIN) employees.

What I heard was that the heat and the circumstances were to blame, and that Pets in Need has saved 8000 animals, and that he received 17 letters of commendation, and that Patty had 20 years of caring for animals, etc., etc. And that the deaths were a result of a lack of transport "policy" at PIN - seriously? Patty had 20 years experience with animals and transport, but couldn't ascertain that you don't place 27 dogs in a van on a very hot day when you KNOW there is no air conditioning in the rear cargo area?

The Daily Post's article today stated (as fact) that the puppies were sick, and so they were being protected by cramming 70 pounds of puppy into a crate intended for a 40-pound maximum. And yet, a video of the puppies in their foster home before transport showed a gaggle of playful pups.

What the judge did NOT take into consideration:

• Former director Al Mollica's anger that Cody McCartney (PA Animal Control Supervisor) called for a police report when the event occurred. Had he not, the public wouldn't have a clue that this even happened.

• The knowledge that the three women took the smaller van because it had seating for three that the larger van (with air conditioning throughout) did not. It was a very hot day - did they really think that transporting 27 dogs in 90-degree heat with no A/C was a good idea?

I'm very disappointed and discouraged by the outcome - especially because it would have gone unreported and unknown to the public if not for the appropriate action taken by PA Animal Control. And yet, the PA council will likely continue their lackadaisical indifference to getting rid of PIN and insisting on finding appropriate animal care for the cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, LAH, and East PA. Sad day for sure.


Posted by Hazel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2022 at 3:01 pm

Hazel is a registered user.

Well Heckity, as someone who was IN the courtroom listening and watching what the judge had to say, he did give a heartfelt and sympathetic statement [portion removed.] How many cases have blown this out of proportion when animals died at a kill shelter? [Portion removed.]

The facts:

- The puppies were with a foster who kept them outside in the heat, drove them to the pickup destination and waited, again in the heat, for an hour for PIN employees (Of course the video would show playful puppies before this)
- Puppies were covered with vomit and diarrhea when PIN arrived
- 5 week old puppies (Not 8 week old) were loaded into an elevated shelf in the van
- Van only had AC in the front, but it's common sense that it circulates, otherwise why would this van have been used for countless other rescues
- Puppies (Not even 10lbs- a lie) were quarantined to prevent spread of sickness
- At a stop, dogs and a guinea pig were checked and seemed fine
- Upon arrival, puppies unfortunately perished
- The necropsy had inconclusive results

The woman with 20+ years never had an incident like this. Why wouldn't 17 letters be sufficient to prove her character when you only need three to get a job? All of the fees used in court could have gone to helping animals. [Portion removed.] This case should have been dismissed last year. People shouldn’t be dissuaded from helping animals and I’m glad that the PIN veteran has stuck through this mess, I think that also speaks to her passion for helping animals. All animals deserve the kind of help PIN offers and my PIN pups agree.


Posted by Jamie Pearson
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2022 at 6:25 pm

Jamie Pearson is a registered user.

I'm glad to see this [portion removed] end and justice prevail. People make mistakes -- get over it. I'm glad we're moving on from this event, which was heartbreaking for everyone -- especially the women involved.


Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2022 at 10:49 am

Heckity is a registered user.

Hazel: I do not agree with your set of "facts."

The live hearing was available to the public through Microsoft Teams - that is how I attended it. I did not experience the judge's speech as heartfelt or sympathetic to the puppies, and I stand by that statement.

[Portion removed.] My judgment of the workers is based on my knowledge of the facts as presented to me [portion removed.] [T]he Animal Control Officer Lead/Supervisor in Palo Alto has been with the city for 20 years. He is a very well respected and an animal advocate of the highest order. And reporting the incident to PAPD was the correct course of action - there was no malice in it, and Al Mollica's anger about it was inappropriate [portion removed.]


Posted by Hazel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Hazel is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] If any of my facts are incorrect then please enlighten me [portion removed.]

Yes, the death of the 7 puppies was unfortunate and heartbreaking. However, kill shelters KILL all the time. Why did this particular incident have to go as far as it did? If I were the director, I would be angered too because not only has this act taken time and money away from animals in need, but PIN was severely judged by the community when it should be supported more than kill shelters. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2022 at 5:11 pm

Heckity is a registered user.

Great, so now PA Online removes things as they like. So much for free speech - and, there was no profanity or ill will. Ridiculous. I've made my last comment here - now remove this.


Posted by Heckity
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2022 at 5:12 pm

Heckity is a registered user.

Hazel, stop comparing kill shelters to this incident. They are unrelated issues.


Posted by Hazel
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2022 at 6:37 pm

Hazel is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] I never said protocol wasn't followed. He very well may be respected but that doesn't mean his actions didn't have a domino effect that negatively impacted a wonderful organization. [Portion removed.]
I was pointing out the fact that this incident amassed a copious amount of public hate when in general incidents like the 7 puppy deaths happen all the time and intentionally by kill shelters. So why did this one incident in years at PIN become this prolonged and taxing on people that were just trying to help animals?

Your comment saying 'PA council will likely continue their lackadaisical indifference to getting rid of PIN' points to your lack of support for an organization that pours everything into helping animals in need. I hope the council ignores those kinds of comments and recognizes the tremendous difference that PIN is making and continues to collaborate with them to help Palo Alto residents and their animals.


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