It saddens and angers me, but doesn’t surprise me at all, that the Washington Humane Society’s misdeeds were flagrant enough to constitute a Washington City Paper cover story (“Heel Thyself,” 3/26). I’ve found the organization to be appallingly neglectful out in the community, as well.
I called the Humane Society twice in one month to report the same instance of animal neglect in my Northeast neighborhood: Three grown, unfixed male dogs are left in all manner of freezing and sweltering temperatures on a 14-foot-by-25-foot patch of asphalt (with a small plywood shelter), where they defecate and urinate and spend days around their dried-up waste until the owners get around to sweeping it up or hosing it down.
Last summer, one of the dogs developed mange that went untreated. The stench from their “patio,” located across the alleyway from my house, makes me dread having to go back there even for 90 seconds just to take out the garbage. These animals don’t get petted, played with, or taken for walks, and are never allowed inside the owners’ home. As a result, they desperately bark at anyone who walks past the property, though the most attention they get is occasional taunting from bored kids in the neighborhood or the doggie treats that my roommate, her boyfriend, and I have started leaving for them.
Both times that Humane Society inspectors came to investigate the situation, they conducted a 30-second drive-by viewing from an unmarked white van. Had the drivers bothered to get out of the vehicle, they would have clearly noticed smelly, unsanitary living conditions and three helpless animals in dire need of medical and emotional care.
After reading Annys Shin’s investigation, I couldn’t help but (darkly) marvel at the fact that none of these three dogs has yet died, either from a parvovirus infection or some other illness.