Posted: Mar. 27, 2014 8:29 am Updated: Apr. 10, 2014 9:14 am
By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Nearly two months after a dog was removed from a home on South Sixth, animal control services in Quincy are still under fire.
Speaking at Wednesday’s Animal Control Commission, Lynn Fischer questioned why it took so long to have the dog removed, even though police officials said the owner was complying with a list of orders to improve conditions.
“I had noticed that dog over three months, at least, physically from the road going steadily downhill in weight and health, confirmation and body scale,” she said. “If he was following someone’s orders from your department, that dog by your own vet said it was 20 pounds underweight? How were they following any kinds of orders?”
Quincy police Sgt. Kathy Schisler, who oversees animal control for the department, said vet records showed that the dog was underweight and ordered that the dog be fed three times a day.
“According to them, they were feeding it three times a day,” she said. “They showed us the vitamins they were giving the dog, and it was continuing to lose weight. They had a vet appointment scheduled to have the dog spayed because they felt that would help it gain weight.”
The dog was removed before the veterinarian appointment after one unnamed Quincy alderman threatened to remove the dog, which would have prompted police to arrest the alderman for theft.
Schisler said when the department was called to the home, the officer found the dog had food, water and shelter.
Fischer said the problem is it takes the department too long to handle problems.
“Nothing was getting better,” she said. “As time went on, it was getting worse, and I think that is the problem with all of this. It takes too long.”
Sally Westerhoff, chairman of the commission and executive director of the Quincy Humane Society, said the dog had intestinal parasites and heartworm disease.
“Depending on the stage of that disease, that also can affect their physical health, which obviously both those things were,” she said.
Schisler said the case still is being reviewed by the Adams County state’s attorney’s office. The dog was turned over to a rescue group.
Westerhoff said she understands that many people are upset over the incident on South Sixth, but she hopes the event increases the vigilance at the home where there are other animals.
“I know the animal control officer is aware of the other animals there and is in contact (with the owners),” she said.
Westerhoff said the commission will look at other recent incidents, including a reported dog bite in the 500 block of Washington and calls about loose dogs.
She said the commission also is looking at stricter ordinances for tethering and providing adequate shelter for animals.