Final Update: I met with Ms. Marcia Atkins, director of the Doc Williams SPCA in Moncks Corner, SC, today. Ms Marcia assured me that they do work with many rescue organizations, showed me a list of whom they work with. Some of the names were crossed out due to various reasons, i.e. not wanting to pay the $25 adoption fee that an organization would have to pay in order to adopt an animal from them. The locic: if you can’t even pay the $25, how will you be able to give the necessary care, considering the amount of money it takes to take care of an animal?
In order for them to work with a rescue, the rescue has to be a registered non-profit organization, has to fill out an application, send various information regarding their organization, and provide at least 3 references with contact information. Ms. Marcia showed me the paperwork from an organization that was faxed to her today.
Many rescue organizations they contact are not able/willing to take in animals that have aggression issues and those who do are already overfilled a lot of times.
They do not hand dogs over to an organization simply because that organization might specialize in a certain breed. If a dog is adoptable, they will keep that dog and adopt it out themselves because that’s where a lot of their funds are coming from. Even though these funds do, many times, not cover the cost it took to take care of an animal, they still rely heavily on these funds to keep their facility running. Therefore, they can not afford to just give animals away. The adoption center is also the one of the big reason why every animal can and will get a fair chance. According to Ms. Marcia, their adoption rate is very high.
Ms. Marcia led me through the facility and pointed out how many animals have been at their facility for how long. I saw all kinds of dogs, including a bunch a Pitbulls. Some of the dogs were owner surrenders, others were strays. One was being treated for heartworm, another for urinary tract infection. There were cats with their litters and a few litters of puppies, almost ready for the adoption center. The puppies were kept in a separate room because they don’t want for them to contract any diseases. The whole facility is kept very clean. I was there 4 or 5 times prior to today’s visit and the facility was always clean. The three times I showed up to do volunteer work, they were surprised to see me, and even then, the facility was always clean. In other words, they didn’t do a special cleaning just for today’s visit.
If a stray comes in that needs to be cleaned up, it’ll get a rabies shot first, then a bath. If the animal is too big of a mess, the groomer will come in or the animal will be taken to a groomer. If the animal needs medical attention, it will get it. An ex-employee at SPCA (colleague’s sister) confirms this.
Last Saturday, they spayed/neutered 128 animals. My husband can confirm this because he went to shelter and then to the adoption center to see if Precious might be there (that was before we knew that she didn’t “pass” the test). However, when he went to the adoption center, he saw a TON of cages inside and outside their Spay & Neuter Clinic, which is located directly beside the adoption center.
Their temperament tests for dogs consists of 5 or 6 different steps.
- They put a dog in a room and introduce him/her to another dog.
- They introduce food while the two dogs are in the same room together.
- Depending on the reactions, they might put the “test dog” back in the cage and introduce food while the dog is in the cage. While the dog is eating, they reach in there to see how the dog reacts. According to Ms. Karen, who also conducts these tests, she uses her own hands because the rubber hands they had, got tore up and they didn’t get around to ordering new ones yet.
- They put the “test dog” on the leash and walk him/her by other dogs and other animals.
I can’t remember the other steps…however, no animal passes or fails. They also take the shelter atmosphere into consideration and make notes of how an animal reacts toward what. Depending on these reactions, it is being determined if an animal can safely be adopted out. I was shown a dog on their website that shouldn’t be with small children, yet he/she will be adopted out because of the way the dog’s overall positive reaction and his/her positive reaction toward “taller” people. Another one she showed me is shy and should be approached gently, yet he/she will be adopted out.
Any owner surrender will be tested regardless of what kind of issues the owner claims the dog might have. Yes, Ms. Karen will look at the report, but she also does take every owner’s claims with a grain of salt as many owners are simply not truthful and will find any reason/excuse to get rid of an animal. Some owners try to make themselves feel better by finding an excuse as to why they can’t keep an animal. Many times she can’t confirm the owner’s claims when she tests the animal.
When she talked to me, she looked straight at me, her eyes didn’t shift, and she struck me as a person with a warm personality. She struck me like someone who really gets into the animals, and she seemed honest.
Even though they do everything possible for the animals at their facility, Ms. Marcia did point out that they do stress on their website, that all other resources and options should be considered first prior to taking an animal to the SPCA. If you can’t keep an animal for whatever reason, re-homing yourself is always the best option, unless it comes to aggression. When it comes to aggression, one has to be honest with themselves, know his/her limits, and sometimes make tough decisions. She also said, if more people would be honest with themselves, instead of thinking they can “handle” it, maybe we wouldn’t have to read headlines such as “2-year old mauled to death”.
I still believe that every dog can be turned around, but there simply aren’t enough Cesars and Jasons out there………..
Everything both ladies told me made sense and from what I can see and what I heard, they ARE doing an EXCELLENT job with the animals.
I do have a problem with one thing though and that is their follow-up policy. As mentioned during my earlier posts/messages, once you sign an animal over, no follow up will be permitted (I guess with all the noise we made (you all and I), our case was an exception).
I asked Ms. Marcia to please consider changing their policy and offered my volunteer services to give people a chance to follow up on their animal. She told me that my services could be utilized better with working with the animals and I somewhat agree with her. However, if you work with animals, sometimes you REALLY have to consider the humans too. Some people drop their animals off w/o even thinking about it twice but then there are those whose hearts are broken by simply having to part from an animal.
My husband and I, taking pet “ownership” very seriously and belong to those who were heart-broken. We were scanning the websites, hoping to find Precious, not knowing that we really were looking for a dead dog….. Not knowing and scanning was torture. Yes, knowing that she couldn’t be adopted out breaks our hearts too, but at least now we know. We will never forget, but now we can move on.
Thanks to Ms. Marcia and Ms. Karen for taking the time to talk/explain and for showing me around, and most of all, for letting me know what happened to Precious.
Thanks to you all my friends for your support. It’s really good to know that there is a great group of people out there than can be counted upon when the need arises. I truly appreciate every one of you.
Now, I need your help clearing the Doc Williams SPCA name. So, go spread the word and tell everyone that my suspicions and accusations were unfounded, unless you think that those two ladies are just really good actors/liars. I have the strong feeling they were honest though, they both seemed sincere.
So, Ms. Marcia, how about that policy change – PLEASE ;-)!UPDATE:
just my opinion.
We realize that a person like Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, or Jason Flatt, founder of the Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, could have maybe turned our girl around, but let's face it, how many of those guys are out there.....Would Precious have been happy with a "regular" person even if she could've been the only dog? Would she have respected that person as a leader or would she have caused serious harm some day? I guess we'll never know; I just wish the whole world was full of Cesars and Jasons.
While we will always have to live with the guilt of having taken her to the SPCA, convinced that she would pass the test, are deeply saddened, and are still wrecking our brains as to what we could have done differently and better, we still can't figure it out. Between my husband and me, we have a life time of dog experience but never ran into a girl like our Precious. We currently have a pack of 4 dogs who listen at the snap of our fingers and are very relaxed and balanced. We never ran into a dog before who had good and bad days. On a good day, she would NOT vibrate the other dogs out of a certain space that she decided to claim. On a bad day (almost daily), she could clean out the whole house, including Brutus whom she loved, with just her vibrations and if vibrations alone didn't to the trick, little snaps would follow. We felt the vibes too and heard the snaps, corrected the situation every time the way we did with every other dog so far, but our previously very successful methods faced Precious only very briefly. She was not like every other dog. Seems she felt like she always needed to be on the guard and watch out for herself and especially me even though none of the other dogs ever challenged her for food or leadership and I tried my very best to display my leadership qualities. Philly is also very attached to me and I’m sure she felt that. Philly, however, while he lets out little growls every so often, never stands his ground to anyone and just leaves the area. Philly doesn't get into anyone's face not does he vibrate anyone out of any areas. He doesn't claim any areas or me; none of the other dogs do. We controlled the food, toys, etc. We don't prepare food unless everyone is relaxed and settled down. Everyone would be relaxed and settled down, except Precious. Food preparation would take a while because every time she got up, we interrupted the food preparation and asked her to sit and settle down again. Again, on a good day, the process would go fairly smooth, on a bad day, she would try to out-stubborn us by not backing off, by not sitting down, etc.. We never let her succeed with her stubborn tactics, always pulled through with our requests, and praised when the wanted behavior was displayed. We claimed the spaces that she tried to claim for herself, wouldn’t let her go on the couch on her own anymore, unless permitted by us, etc. etc. etc. These battles were going on as long as we had her. The only command that she listened to EVERY time was the "spit it out" command. She could be all the way across the yard but every time I used that command, she’d spit out whatever she was chewing on and roll over to let me know that I could have it. I tried to use the same tone of voice and assertiveness with all the other commands – no success. And it’s not that she didn’t get it; she was highly intelligent and proved many times that she got it and that she got it quick. It really seemed like though as if she, a lot of times, didn’t feel like it; testing us. Is this normal behavior for this kind of breed and does this kind of breed really need completely different leadership than any other dog we ever ran across? Does the breed have nothing to do with it? Did she have issues because of her past? Did we instill those issues in her? We really wish we could’ve afforded a specialist and we really wish we didn’t have to work for a living and that we could’ve spent a lot more time with her. Maybe that would’ve done the trick. We would have LOVED to keep that dog and see her succeed, especially since she was very, very human friendly and affectionate. We’ll never forget that wiggly little behind and how happy she looked when she came running toward us. RIP Precious.
To confirm her words, Ms. Atkins invited me to their facility because, so she said, she would love to show me what they do, how they do it, that they have nothing to hide, that they do their very best for every animal, that they do have a professional staff that does not discriminate against Pitbulls or any other breed, and that they are currently holding 15 Pitbulls at their facility. She also told me that she is a Pitbull care taker herself; of a Pitbull she adopted from their facility.
So, after tomorrow’s visit, I will hopefully be able to inform the world that my suspicions and accusations were wrong and that the Doc Williams SPCA in Moncks Corner, SC is doing an EXCELLENT job.
I’ll keep you in the loop.
did to them is reprehensible, AN UNFORGIVABLE BETRAYAL. They deceived my brother and his wife lolling them into a false sense of security, assuring them that Precious would be okay and then they killed her. This is unforgivable.
Doc Williams SPCA
502 Cypress Gardens Rd.
Moncks Corner, SC. 29461
Please Sign The Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/force-the-doc-williams-spca-in-moncks-corner-sc-to-be-honest-with-the-public/