Animal rights activists in Pasco County, Fla., have made a formal request for an investigation of Pasco County Animal Services Director, John Malley, and his role in alleged animal rights abuses at the shelter.
The request came on Monday, shortly after 25 dogs were killed under questionable circumstances.
Shelter volunteers have made repeated attempts to help improve live outcome rates and conditions at the Pasco animal shelter, but their plea’s have been ignored.
Volunteers claim animals are being kept in unsanitary conditions, and dog and cats are quickly being killed without being given a chance for adoption. Attempts to photograph the alleged abuses have been met with threats and intimidation by Malley and other shelter employees.
Questions surrounding PCAS high-kill rate and alleged animal abuse have been going on for years, according to sources familiar with the situation. But they have been deliberately hidden from the public.
Tampa area animal rights activist Novette Gish, said in an interview on Tuesday, she became aware of serious problems at the Pasco County shelter in April 2012.
“We tried to take pictures of the filthy cages and horrible conditions they put the animals in, but they kept trying to stop us. And you wouldn’t believe what they do to cats there,” Gish said, adding that cats were often killed immediately upon arrival.
In June 2012, Gish made several email requests to county officials, questioning the legality of the photography ban, which according to the ACLU should not be blocked at public locations. Yet Pasco animal control officials continue to try to operate in secrecy, as if they fear being exposed for the alleged animal abuse shelter volunteers say they have witnessed.
Gish and other animal rights advocates believe much of the problem lies with shelter manager John Malley.
Voices from the Cage, an animal rights website that works to help re-home animals from Pasco animal control, claimed on December 9, 2012, that shelter director John Malley, “killed 25 dogs and lied to the Board of Commissioner and the press about it.” The report further claims that Malley violated a new policy approved by the BOCC on November 7, 2012, which forbid mass killings of healthy, adoptable shelter animals.
According to Leigh Clifton, on Voices from the Cage:
Last week, in yet another act of direct defiance of the Pasco County Board of Commissioners directives, PCAS Director John Malley murdered 25 dogs, two of whom were VERY adoptable black lab mix puppies that should have been placed in adoptions…
When asked by Commissioner Pat Mulieri if there were any dogs on the euth list, Malley insisted that there were NO dogs on the ‘euth list…
Then he killed all 25, ALL of who he insisted to Tampa Bay Times Reporter Lee Logan, he had personally evaluated, meaning that ALL 25 would have had to be aggressive or sick. Those two lab puppies were neither, and neither were several others that were killed…
I fear many more dogs who just have a treatable cold will be killed. Could it be that Mr. Malley is trying to justify these acts for other reasons?
Malley began working as the Pasco County Animal Services manager on May 21, 2007, with an annual salary of 55,500 per year.
Pasco County court documents reveal that Malley has a history of domestic violence involving his former wife, and has been cited for various traffic violations.
Malley’s domestic violence history began before he was hired as PCAS director, which raises questions at to whether or not he was properly vetted prior to being added to taxpayers’ payroll.
Malley’s most recent domestic violence court appearance was on 10/19/2011, just days after a 10/12/2011 highway incident, where he was charged with driving with an open container of alcohol in his car.
In an email on Tuesday, Gish said, “We FORMALLY request that Malley be immediately replaced with a qualified Director who does not abuse animals or women and whose work history is without question.”
As of this date, Pasco officials have not responded to my email request for comments regarding Mr. Malley, or allegations of animal abuse and substandard conditions at Pasco County Animal Services.
Pasco County Clerk of the Court
Pasco County Clerk and Comptroller, official court records