Stressed Dogs, Frequent Fights
Being deprived of exercise, companionship, and stimulation caused these dogs tremendous mental distress, which led some to turn in frantic circles, paw desperately at their cage doors, and try to jump up even while inside the small crates. The frustrated dogs barked and howled ceaselessly, leaving them all with no escape from the noise, which added to their chronic stress. Hemopet staff only made matters worse by yelling, “Shut up!” or “Quiet!” at the agitated dogs. The dogs’ stress was so chronic that many of them suffered from diarrhea and loose stools.
Employees said that stressed dogs sometimes fought at night, resulting in torn ears, neck wounds, and bloody cages. Some dogs were caged together even after fighting. One staffer said that she’d seen “some pretty gnarly neck injuries” at Hemopet, and another employee said that her hands were “covered with blood” when an agitated dog bit off part of another dog’s ear.
One dog, Glory, was bitten on the back by her stressed kennelmate. After her wound healed, the kennel supervisor put her back in the pen with the dog who had bitten her—despite a warning by another staff member that they were not a good match—with instructions to keep the two dogs muzzled and deny them toys. Another dog, Pidgeon, was apparently attacked by her kennelmate, resulting in gashes on her neck that required stitches. And still another dog, Melyn, required sutures on her chin after her kennelmate bit her, but staff reportedly went home for the night, leaving the open wound untreated until the next day.
Sick Dogs Deprived of Adequate Care
One dog, Gibbs, reportedly had a neurological disorder that often originates with tumors in the chest. He quickly became lethargic and barely responded to his own name. His eyes appeared sunken, cloudy, and unfocused. A much-needed veterinary appointment was never made for him, according to Hemopet staff. He was left crated for weeks until a worker found blood in his water bowl. According to workers, an X-ray finally revealed that he had a large mass on or near his lungs so his suffering was finally brought to an end.
Staff housed two dogs who were prone to seizures in small, unpadded metal crates amid loud noises, and left them unattended overnight, even though one of the dogs, Puppet, had evidently injured himself during a seizure. A staffer said that the other dog, Val—who was reportedly returned to the facility by his adopter because of his seizures—needed a brain scan but that Hemopet founder Dr. Jean Dodds “doesn’t believe in neurology and brain scans.” The staffer said that Val “could be in a lot of pain and no one would know.”
One dog, WendyLu, had red, peeling skin on her nose. Staff speculated that she had lupus but said that no tests had ever been run to diagnose her. Dogs with lupus can have a low platelet count, but her blood was taken for sale anyway, even though it may not have contained all the components that dogs who are given blood transfusions urgently need. Workers said that another dog, Lennon, who had similar symptoms as well as an apparent rash all over his body, also had lupus. They took his blood, too, even though a staffer said that “lupus is an autoimmune disease … they probably shouldn’t donate.”
Another dog, Bunny, had a cough that had apparently persisted for over a year. Her blood was taken for sale anyway. Workers also drew blood from Varnish, who was reportedly blind in one eye, even though a staffer said that the eye caused him pain. Other dogs reportedly had hookworm—a parasite that can cause bloody stools, weight loss, and anemia—which a staffer said the dogs got infected with by stepping in the piles of feces left in pens outside that kennel workers failed to pick up.
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