I think it's time to stop the abuse. Recently, Arkie (a ranch dog who killed a rabid mountain lion in April) reached the 150th day in his quarantine, at which time the state mandates a rabies shot. At day 154, I went to visit Arkie, and he had not yet received the shot that Gila County Rabies Control was supposed to get for him. They rectified the problem when I brought it to their attention that same afternoon. This is the latest incident in a long list of neglect. I feel that they have not looked after Arkie's best interests all the time they have had him in the County Shelter. He has been denied a bed the whole time that he's been in Globe, under the supervision of John Castenada. I have spoken to the state veterinarian about the neglect that Arkie has endured, and she said that it was OK for him to have one. She told the supervisor, John Castenada, to allow a bed. I supplied closed cell foam camping pads that had been cut into doghouse-sized pieces. Since Arkie is bored and uncomfortable in his 2-foot wide by 7-foot long torture chamber, he dug on the pads, digging out small pieces of foam. Even though they have charged $1,300 to torture my dog, Castenada cannot hand the kennel cleaner a shovel to scoop up the foam, a task that at the most would take an extra two minutes of the cleaner's time.
Instead, he has denied my dog a bed for the first three months, because the little chunks of foam might clog up the drain as they clean the kennels by spraying them out with water and bleach.
So, I brought a lawn chair cushion -- one that could be easily washed with a squirt of soap and a stream of water. It would air dry in an hour outside. I was washing it myself when I came to visit Arkie, but the only days it was in the kennel were the days I put it there myself.
I feel that Arkie should come home for the last days of his quarantine, since he hasn't come down with rabies in over 150 days of observation. He has now had two shots to prevent rabies. The chance of him coming down with rabies in the last 15 days of his quarantine is nonexistent.
I thought that we are supposed to be a government of the people by the people, but that hasn't been the case in this situation.
Maryann Pratt, LF Ranch
John Castenada responds:
"The rabies shot was not given to Arkie until the 154th day because the veterinarian who gives those shots was not available.
"Arkie is not neglected. The kennel is cleaned daily. The dog is given food that (Pratt) brings especially for him. We don't have a place to launder any type of bedding. We put the bedding she brought in, but the dog would chew on them and choke on them. We ended up taking the mats out. The mats also held ticks.
"Unfortunately, this dog was not up-to-date on his rabies shots. So, per state policy for rabies control, the dog must stay until the 180th day of its quarantine."