Animal rescuers are protesting what they call the “malicious murder” of a dog named Noelle. Several days ago, many people saw the Facebook thread about Noelle, a young pit bull. She was brought to the Carson Animal shelter with multiple bite wounds to her body and face. Rescuers wanted to save her. A video was taken of her and posted on Facebook. In the posting, it says “NOELLE was found and saved from under a house and they think she was bit by something because she is very swollen. She is being treated at the VET and hopefully soon we will get to see her adorable face at its normal size. Please SHARE for her life, he needs help now. Thanks!”
But Noelle did not have rescue, and according to those involved, she never went to a vet for treatment. Amanda Copeland and Marie Marcal were at the shelter before it opened on Saturday, November 21 (the day after Noelle arrived). Noelle had been made “rescue only” at that point. The women say they talked to Sergeant Justin Guzman and asked that they be allowed to take Noelle directly to their veterinarian for emergency treatment, which Noelle obviously needed. He told them that the dog was already at the vet’s and being treated.
Guzman told them that there was a rescue who was picking Noelle up on Monday. The women gave him their phone number and told him that if the rescue didn’t show up, they wanted to rescue Noelle. Copeland wrote, “I gave him my number and I stated that no matter what, if the rescue didn’t show or if for any reason there was a snag with this dog to please call me and that I would petition Mayeda to release the dog to us on Monday morning. GUZMAN PROMISED VERBATIM THAT HE WOULD. Nevertheless I asked who the Sgt. in charge was on Sunday and Monday, and he told me Cortes. We were standing outside the shelter when I saw the dog being walked by a shelter employee. We went over to the dog, she was walking fine, she was gentle and sweet and her face and neck were abscessed. I asked why the dog was not at the vet like Guzman had stated. He said he didn’t know. I went back and told Guzman the dog was not at the vet as he had stated, and he said she was being taken offsite to a 24 hour vet that would look after her all weekend until the rescue showed up to get her Monday morning. Again I pressed him – to call me if anything went wrong with the rescue and he stated he would call if anything went wrong. HE PROMISED ME THREE TIMES.”
As a follow-up to their conversation, Copeland “…emailed a lengthy and detailed description of my talk with Guzman and his guarantees and promises to Guzman, Cortes and Mayeda. So this afternoon when I was told this heinous and evil news I spoke to Cortes. He couldn’t answer why he ignored my email. He couldn’t answer why Guzman lied to our faces and never called as promised. He couldn’t answer why the shelter broke the law yet again with a dedicated medical adopter with extensive dominant breed experience waiting to help this dog and take her off the county’s hands – they murdered the dog.
Now the volunteers believe that the shelter told people that Noelle had rescue commitment so that people would stop calling. They also believe that while someone was at the front office asking about rescuing Noelle, they were killing her in the back. They have organized a protest called: Protest the Malicious Murder of Noelle at LA County Animal Care and Control. It is tomorrow, November 30, at 8:00 am, at Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control, 5898 Cherry Ave, Long Beach, CA. Please visit the linked event page on Facebook and RSVP if you can attend. There is more information about what to bring and what to do.
Above all, please remember the sweet and abused dog, Noelle, ID# A4898917. She is gone, but may her prematurely ended life bring about change for all the other dogs who will arrive at the shelter torn and broken. Maybe her legacy is that those animals will be treated with compassion and dignity instead of being hurriedly killed in a back room in spite of rescue offers.
A shelter employee looking at the medical records of Noelle said that on 11/23 notes were written in her file stating that Dr. Villacorta and Dr. Lucero (the shelter vets) sedated her and examined her but said that her “prognosis was very concerning and recommended humane euthanasia.” However it should be noted that this is two days after the rescuers say they wanted to take Noelle to an emergency medical clinic for treatment.
Amanda Copeland also wrote, “This protest is only the start of a committed process the activists say they will fight for until their objective is achieved. That process includes:
Removing the new shelter manager Lisa Eldridge who has only been in charge at Carson since April, yet has killed an unprecedented number of dogs who were healthy, while volunteers say there were an abundance of empty kennels in the shelter. There is a petition with over 15,000 signatures demanding her firing. (Sign petition here.)
Removing Sgt. Justin Guzman from his post at Carson shelter and in the shelter system at all.
Reaching permanent reform with the county concerning kill protocols, having an outside quality control inspection done by an outside advocacy group weekly to ensure the law is being adhered to and rescuers and volunteers are being given the access to rescue dogs before they are killed that the law provides for. Also to have an emergency hotline to supervisors if it suspected that unlawful kills are happening during weekend hours.
Ultimately reducing the kill rate in LA county to a maximum of 20% of all impounded dogs annually.
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