When Joe, Elise Jerozal’s Parson Terrier, went missing, her mom Katie Jerozal knew all of the steps to follow to bring home a lost pet. She put up flyers, canvassed the neighbourhood, posted messages on Facebook, and even posted a video to Youtube featuring Elise asking for help in bringing Joe home.
It’s no surprise Katie knew what to do – after all, she’s got an awful lot of experience with dogs. Katie’s mother showed dogs, and Katie herself competed in Junior Handling, taking her Pug to Westminster one year to as one of the top Junior handlers in the country. Part of the reason Katie bought Joe for Elise was so that Elise could show him in Juniors, and possibly train him for the obedience ring. Getting Elise into showing would make show dogs a third generation family tradition – Katie didn’t stop her involvement with show dogs when she outgrew Juniors. She’s now a small scale, ethical breeder of French Bulldogs, owning a handful of top winning Frenchies, including a Best in Show and Best in Specialty show winning boy she still proudly talks about on her Lucida French Bulldogs website.
It’s Katie’s website that caused problems when she got in touch with Greenville Animal Control to report Joe as a missing pet.
Katie sent Greenville Animal Control a precise, well detailed email regarding Joe, via their website –
Joe is a 1 year old Russell Terrier. he was bought for my daughters 7th birthday to do obedience with. He was last seen in our yard where, we think, he was taken.
He was mostly white with brown markings
He went missing last night around 8 pm from (address redacted) ln Taylors SC
Katie got back an email asking her to clarify that Joe was missing from Greenville, to which she responded in the affirmative. The next response she got was this –
I noticed that you breed Frenchies. Have you ever thought of discontinuing that? There are cancers associated with breeding (mammary tumors, testicular cancer, etc.) that result from not spaying and neutering. Also, Frenchies, like any other breed, end up in shelters.
I would imagine that if you love your Frenchies, you would not want them or their offspring to be in harms way.
No suggestions on how to find Joe. No confirmation that someone would check the shelter to make sure Joe hadn’t been turned in. Instead, all Katie got was a lecture on how her insistence on having intact dogs (intact dogs she was BREEDING!) was the reason that dogs die of cancer and end up in animal shelters.
Did this idiotic and heartless response come from some well meaning but poorly trained shelter volunteer?
Nope. It came from –
Community Relations Coordinator
328 Furman Hall Rd.
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 467-3294 Fax
Community Relations Coordinator! Holy crap! Talk about a lack of essential job skills. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d think that a large part of the job description of a Community Relations Coordinator for Animal Control involves actual public relations skills, the kind that support community members, instead of alienating them.
Of course, this is all on top of the fact that Susan is spouting the same tired and inaccurate myths about how keeping dogs intact is some sort of automatic cancerous death sentence (by this reasoning, I’m a little bit surprised that Susan didn’t also suggest Katie should look into getting Elise a hysterectomy before it’s too late, since ‘intact’ women could also grow up to get reproductive cancers). Her insinuation seems to be that Katie is some sort of irresponsible jerk who lets her dogs run around Greenville willy-nilly, clogging up the Animal Control shelters and generally forcing well meaning people like Susan to kill them against her will.
Look, I get the impression that Greenville AC is one of the better run municipal shelters. They have a vigorous volunteer program, they offer Animal Care Summer Camps for kids, and they offer low cost veterinary services, microchipping and spay neuter clinics. I understand that Susan’s intentions might have been good, but she’s letting her own personal agenda (her personal Facebook page talks a lot about animal rights and her veganism) get in the way of servicing her community – the very job her title conveys she is meant to be filling.
Greenville AC’s webpage features this on the very first page –
If you want to be the ‘first place’ people go when their pet is lost and missing, please start doing a better job of being supportive, instead of misguidedly judgmental. Greenville AC made an already traumatic time for Katie’s family even worse, by failing to support her in any way that could help to bring Joe home.
Joe is home! As Katie tells us via Facebook:
‘we were out handing out flyer to everyone in our neighborhood. I was cutting through a yard and I heard him bark. Elise ran into the yard and he was on an enclosed deck. How she didn’t see our flyers is odd. They weren’t home so we took him and left a thank you note’
Good news, and good job, Katie!