Shannon Holt-Grieves either deleted all her posts from Facebook or set them to private. The videos of Don are also gone.
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Last week's Frankenmauler Roundup concluded with the outrageous case of DON, the adopted pit bull who attacked his new family two days after they took him home from Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT). Don's final victims (WE HOPE) were mother Nicole Keppol, her 11 year old son, and her 10 year old daughter. According to news reports, all three suffered puncture wounds and torn skin on their arms. The son's injuries require reconstructive surgery.
Last week we learned that Don was a graduate of the Pen Pals program, a program whose mission is to prioritize the adoption of dogs who, for one reason or another, have been passed over for adoption in the past and are languishing in the shelter. Like Don, almost all of the dogs enrolled in Pen Pals are pit bulls or pit mixes. It is not a coincidence that ACCT Philly received a $10k grant (in addition to significant publicity and promotion) from Best Friends Animal Society. Readers of Craven Desires will be familiar with Best Friend's role in pit bull advocacy. Best Friend's motto, "Save The All," is appropriate for this blog post: ACCT workers who promoted and facilitated Don's adoption have a "Save Them All" mindset towards the animals in their charge. Only "Save Them All" dogma can explain why they chose to release a dog like Dan out onto an unsuspecting public instead of humanely euthanizing him.
The questions are: besides the entire Pen Pals program, who was handling Don's adoption effort? What did they know about Don? In other words, who dropped the fucking ball?
In a recent interview with the press, the executive director of ACCT, Susan Cosby, said that Don had passed behavior screenings and was thought to be safe. She said, "We do a behavior evaluation (but) it is a snapshot in time...no behavior evaluation can guarantee safety so it is never perfect, but we do our best."
Well, people at ACCT knew a lot more about Don and his behavior than what was captured in a "snapshot in time." Some people at ACCT knew all about Don. Don was not some pit bull sleeper agent, successfully blending in as an optimal family pet and whiling away the time until he was activated to fulfill his nefarious purpose.
Presumably Don had passed a behavior evaluation when he was placed in a foster home where he lasted less than two days before attacking the household's resident pit bull, causing $700 worth of severe rips and tears to the other dog's face. Selena Trailes, the foster, called ACCT to take Don back and was understandably shocked to learn that ACCT still intended to place Don in a home. Trailes is worth quoting:
"I said to her, 'That dog attacked my dog, what if it attacks a kid' She said, 'Don't worry about it, he won't do that."
"I couldn't believe it. That poor family, the kids--it could have been my kids. How can someone sleep at night knowing that they adopted that dog out knowing that it viciously attacked my dog."
EXCELLENT QUESTION, Ms. Trailes!
I wish we could ask Shannon Holt-Grieves, Don's pen pal. (I'd give anything to know the name of the ACCT staff member who told Trailes "not to worry" about the possibility of Don attacking a child. My money's on Holt-Grieves.)
|Shannon Holt-Grieves, Don's Pen Pal (not pictured)|
|Shannon Holt-Grieves w/random pit bull|
|Shannon shows the love|
First, we have this rather underwhelming adoption ad. Looks to me like she was really scraping for something positive to say about ole Don. As Dawn pointed out, "loves toys" and "housebroken" are not exactly glowing recommendations of a dog's dazzling personality and pet qualities (btw, another bio said that Don wasn't completely housebroken).
|Well, at least he loves toys!|
|Another of Don's Glamour Shots|
|Shannon thinks Don is "awesome"|
Dawn noted that Don has testicles in these vids. This one was published Feb 17, 2015
Don jumps in her face a few times in this one:
Don, hyper as hell, published March 6 2015
Don hasn't been neutered at the time these videos were taken. What I want to know is, did ACCT Pen Pals and Shannon get him fixed when he was adopted, before he was sent home with his new family?
I truly hope these are isolated incidences and that ACCT routinely sterilizes its animals. How the hell does any animal, much less a pit bull, leave the shelter system without being sterilized? ACCT can afford the Pen Pals program, but they can't afford to have their animals fixed? They are drowning in pit bulls, and they release pit bulls capable of perpetuating the humane crisis and overpopulation problem? Are you kidding me?
I found this on Shannon's timeline: she promotes the rehab of a known biter named Bruno. I think Shannon wrote that story about Bruno there above his picture. I don't see anything like that story on Bruno's GoFundMe page (they ended the GoFundMe, but you can still read the updates on the site. A vet treating Bruno refused to complete the examination when Bruno made the feel unsafe. Shannon seems to think that a dog like BRUNO is still adoptable material).
The evidence shows that ACCT Pen Pals expended substantial time, effort, and resources to adopt out DON, a pit bull so devoid of lovable personality traits that staff resorted to using his housebreaking as a selling point in his marketing. ACCT Pen Pals continued trying to place Don after Don attacked and severely injured a pet in Foster home and despite the fact that his foster home expressed concern that could hurt a child. Don was not an oversight or an accident. People at ACCT Pen Pals, include Shannon Holt-Grieves, knew that Don was violent and did their best to put him in a home--with children!!!--anyway.
Here is another example of the "Save Them All" mindset, taken, again, from Shannon's Facebook. My interpretation of the dialogue is that this white pit bull, Danger, is paired with another dog (presumably a pit bull) named "Sunny." Sunny's "evals," which I take to mean her behavior evaluation, are "unfortunately, not great." These ACCT people are still hoping to place these dogs for adoption and are very concerned about Sunny being "killed." Click to enlarge:
It is unconscionable that ACCT allowed Don and other dogs like him to be adopted. I would go so far as to say that it is a violation of public trust and ACCT's obligation of responsibility towards the greater community.
I regret to report that nothing I found or read while researching this blog post leads me to believe ACCT will do its best to prevent placing another Don. Quite the contrary, in fact.