Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Exasperating Nonsense from Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the state which, as Poodle Bitch recalls, wanted to increase its animal companion licensing fees by $3.00. At the time, Poodle Bitch wondered about the soundness of demanding more money from responsible animal companions during what is being called an economic downturn-- but now, Poodle Bitch has the disturbing answer as to what it is that animal control authorities in that great state do with their money.

In one case, they steal animal companions and present them as gifts to police officers' girlfriends.

It was not until [Janet] Torren threatened to call police last month that she learned the Stoughton official in charge of finding stray dogs had given away her “little princess,’’ a 4-year-old Yorkshire terrier that Torren calls Shai.

The story is almost too exasperating for Poodle Bitch to relate. Apparently, young Shai slipped out through a back gate at the home of Ms. Torren's son. Shai was then taken to "the pound," where she was then presented to a police officer's girlfriend by the head of animal control, a reprehensible creature called Kristin Bousquet.

But Torren did not learn for 12 days that the dog had been brought to the pound and she spent nearly every one of those days knocking on doors and making phone calls in search of her beloved pet. She called the Stoughton pound many times, but was told they did not have her dog.

“I was frantic,’’ she said. “Our children are grown, and Shai is a baby to us; we treat her as our little princess. She’s a family member. She’s absolutely loving.’’

Shai had an identifying microchip implanted behind one of her ears, and Torren called one microchip company, thinking they would know if it had been scanned by a pound or a veterinarian. They had not received any reports. On Oct. 1, Torren called another company and learned the microchip had been scanned, by the town pound in Stoughton, on the day the dog was lost.

So, once again, Torren called Kristin Bousquet, the town’s animal control officer. There was no answer. After Torren left a message threatening to call police, Bousquet called back and tried to suggest someone else at the pound or the local rescue league may have scanned Shai’s microchip, even though Torren said the company told her that Bousquet had registered Shai.

Finally, Ms. Torren contacted the chief of police, who was able to locate the dog. Shai and Ms. Torren were reunited-- a happy ending to a story that Poodle Bitch finds very disturbing. Except. There is something within the article that causes Poodle Bitch to be still unsettled.

After Bousquet said the dog was about to be taken to Florida, Torren gave her a half hour to return her dog. Then Torren met with Chief Thomas Murphy of the Stoughton Police Department. They chatted in his office for a few minutes, and he walked out and came back carrying Shai.

“It was a huge relief,’’ she said. “It was like this whole, horrible story was over.’’

After a brief investigation, Murphy found that Bousquet had given the dog to a police officer’s girlfriend, who was planning to move to Florida with Shai. He found that the dog was well fed and in good condition. The officer and his girlfriend, neither of whom Murphy identified, did not know that the dog had been missing, Murphy said.

Perhaps it's just that the article is inartfully written, but Poodle Bitch wonders what the police chief did while he was out of the office? Did he know which of his officers' girlfriends had been given the dog? Where did he get the dog he was carrying when he returned to his office? And, perhaps most important, Poodle Bitch wonders why Ms. Torren, who was likely so overcome with relief that she was not thinking straight, should trust anything that any city officials tell her regarding her animal companion?

Poodle Bitch has been very lucky. She has, for the most part, encountered humans who have treated her with respect and decency. She has always felt relatively safe with her humans, and is of a sufficiently contrary nature that very few humans would want to spirit her away from her regular human companions. But she understands that this is a constant source of anxiety for many dogs; they worry over their treatment by humans, for they are essentially at the mercy of humans.

Poodle Bitch suspects that Shai will be a long time recovering from this sense of abandonment she felt when she was taken from Ms. Torren. And for that, Ms. Torren should do something.


Torren has decided not to press charges against Bousquet.

Again, Poodle Bitch believes Ms. Torren is allowing her relief to cloud her judgment. The reprehensible Kristin Bousquet scanned Shai's chip at the pound, gave Shai to someone else, and then repeatedly and over the course of 12 days lied about the fact, knowingly preventing Ms. Torren and Shai being reunited. Poodle Bitch believes there's a fine line between being polite and being a sap. It doesn't matter that the town manager fired the reprehensible Kristin Bousquet from her job in animal control. Of course she should have lost her job. But this human exhibited a pattern of deviousness that merited punishment beyond that.

The reprehensible Kristin Bousquet was drawing a salary that was paid for with taxpayer money. If Poodle Bitch were a resident of Massachusetts, she would compose a harshly-worded letter to Ms. Torren, telling her to press charges, if only for the other taxpayers.


shampoo said...

it's very off what this k.b. person did. maybe she was on the lookout for a yorkie. maybe she got paid for "giving" shai to "a police officer's girlfriend". it's possible not everyone involved realized that shai had essentially been stolen.
but I don't know anyone who has gone to the pound for a dog and come back with a pure bred yorkie. the animals might be very cute and smart and excellent companions, but they're not expensive. granted, there are exceptions.

but, k.b. knew someone would come and get shai. if she'd notified the lady probably within the hour. she's probably done this many times.

Melissa said...

Hee! Miranda Jane is a little too contrary for anyone other than her regular companions.