Thursday, September 6, 2012

How Are Things Under the New Interim Director at RCACP? Not so Good.

As the Roanoke Valley SPCA conducts their “internal investigation” and Kandy Elliot, Interim Director, settles in, we have sat back and waited for the promised change.

Here are the facts:

The volunteer program has deteriorated.
At the July advisory board meeting, SPCA board member, Daphne Turner, made the following statements to the RCACP volunteers:

  • We all love animals
  • We all want as many animals as possible to be adopted into loving homes.
  • The animals all need medical care.
  • We love and need volunteers.
  • She acknowledged that none of them probably felt the love right now.
  • We want all citizens to be responsible pet owners.
  • We see that placing an animal is a success for all of us.
  • She states that we won't agree on everything but if we can agree on these statements we have a start.
  • She thinks we need to develop a strong volunteer program to help with cleaning.
  • We need to work together to educate the community on topics that will make them responsible pet owners. If the citizens are empowered with knowledge it will slow down animals coming to the pound.

Ms. Turner was appointed as volunteer liaison, and said she would do her best to have a quick response to questions and welcome interactions. She gathered all of their emails and promised to contact them.

She never did. At the August RCACP advisory board meeting, a volunteer asked her what had happened. Ms. Turner said she had scheduling conflicts.

When asked if she would be contacting the volunteers, Ms. Turner said she would let them know if she would be contacting them. (And yes, we realize how ridiculous that looks in writing. It was even more so in person).

In actuality, Ms. Turner resigned as volunteer liaison, without any of the volunteers being notified.

Fundraising for RCACP animals needing medical care is still non existent.
Area rescue groups are given hours to pull animals needing medical care out of the pound, or they will be killed. This dog was one of them.


After being hit by a car, she was on the channel 7 news, as a local Vet's office searched for her owners. None were found, and she ended up at RCACP. Due to the media exposure, she had multiple adoption requests and offers for help.

The SPCA refused those offers, and refused to allow her to be fostered or adopted under the RCACP. Once she deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, she was given one afternoon to find a rescue, or she was to be killed. Fortunately, but with no help from the SPCA, she was transferred to another agency, and is in foster care today.

The kill rates have increased:
42% of the animals that entered the RCACP in August were killed.
32% of the animals that entered the RCACP in July were killed.

Under the direction of the SPCA Board and Kandy Elliot, there is still no volunteer support, no mechanism to fundraise for RCACP, and the kill rates are higher. According to Barbara Dalhouse, the SPCA board of directors “moved quickly to ensure that we have strong leadership and trusted experience during this critical time in our organization. Kandy is one of the community's most respected leaders and accomplished fund-raisers”

Based on the deterioration of the RCACP last month, it seems like business as usual, and that Ms. Elliot was brought on to help repair the status of the SPCA only.
Unfortunately, our RCACP animals, and the people they touch, are suffering under the SPCA’s direction, or lack thereof.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Last Friday morning, a flier was circulated on social media promoting an 'Open Dog House' at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection; the entity paid for with our tax money.

It was accompanied with the following information: 

OPEN (DOG) HOUSE at RCACP Sat 11:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Come walk thru and meet a new friend to Foster, Adopt or Rescue!
You can adopt through SPCA or Foster, Rescue through your local rescues in town -
Angels of Assisi, Planned Pethood--Franklin County Humane Society, League of Animal Protection -
RCACP 1510 Baldwin Ave. NE, Roanoke, VA 540-344-4922 

All in all, truthful statements. The Pound is open from 11:30 am - 4 pm on Saturdays. The public can walk through, one at a time with an escort. Some animals are allowed to be adopted through the SPCA. Those that are labeled "rescue only" can go through the other agencies listed above.

Later in the day, Kandy Elliot, the Interim Executive Director of the Roanoke Valley SPCA and the RCACP, sent the following email.

I am writing to request the Facebook posting indicating an Open House tomorrow at the RCACP facility from 11:30-4:00 be removed immediately. I have seen the postings on the Angels of Assisi page as well as on the SWVA Bully Breed in Need page. There may be others we are not aware of. As this information is not accurate, I am requesting that you pull that information off of your site and ask others who have posted on their sites to pull that information as well. Tomorrow, signage will be posted at RCACP encouraging those who may come to the RCACP to go next door to the RVSPCA to adopt.

Thank you.
Kandy Elliott

While we did not create the flier, we did share the flier along with many others. It was well received, and many thought it was the beginning of new changes the SPCA board has been promising for the animals in danger of being killed at RCACP.

Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Saturday morning, this sign was outside of the doors of RCACP, directing people away from the RCACP to the SPCA.

The sign fails to mention that there are pets needing loving fur-ever homes at the RCACP as well. Seven of them died over the weekend.

Paisley was one of them. She was killed on Saturday at the RCACP, under the leadership of the Roanoke Valley SPCA.

The responsible public came in and photographed her and tried to give her a chance to be adopted.

The SPCA leadership put a sign up and directed people away. The seven killed at RCACP over the weekend were in addition to 115 who already died this month alone.

Interim Executive Director Kandy Elliot, like the sign outside of the RCACP, seems to be about the SPCA only.  How unfortunate for the homeless animals at RCACP under her leadership.
Rest in peace,  Paisley.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Commonwealth Attorney Trying To Get Pound To Operate Properly

Here is an interesting article in the most recent Fincastle Herald. Thank you to all the officials in Botetourt County who are working hard to resolve the issues at RCACP.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Enough Already- Time To Take Action

April 2011
A group of small dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals arrive at RCACP after their owner died. Here is the story of one of the dogs, Pumpkin.

April 1, 2011 Intake

Housed at RCACP with numerous other small dogs and unable to reach the food and water bowls. Dogs running over her in the kennel.

April 6, 2011
Pumpkin was finally seen by an outside Vet.
Recommendations include:
- Bath
- Antibiotics for skin infection
- Eye medications

None of the recommendations were followed.

April 12, 2012
Pumpkin released from RCACP, very weak and unable to stand on her own.

Here is a photo of her eye upon release:

 Skin and nails:

Total cost to alleviate suffering: $18

April 2012
Pumpkin one year later.

Animal suffering and neglect has gone on for years at RCACP. The most recent documented case was Trinity, who left RCACP on June 9, 2012 needing a complete leg amputation. 

Had enough? Please contact your local elected officials and ask for change. The RCACP is failing our homeless pets under Bill Watson's direction. Please remember to be courteous and respectful as you contact them.

As always we thank you for being the voice for those who cannot speak! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RCACP: Good For Their Money, But Not Their Animals

Nevie is a dog who has been at RCACP for quite a while, and on the "extremely urgent" list for almost a week. This means she she is very close to being killed.

Email requests to Bill Watson and Ruth Pierce asking for her transfer to the Roanoke SPCA have gone unanswered. Both Mr. Watson and Ms. Pierce receive RCACP (your tax money) salaries.

Nevie remains at the Roanoke Pound and is in serious danger of being killed. She is a staff and volunteer favorite. There are also hound puppies at the Roanoke Pound, and they are in danger because the room they are in is full. 

The Roanoke Valley SPCA "wholly owns" the company that runs the pound. Inter-company transactions and balances are "consolidated". The SPCA utilizes RCACP staff and owes over $2000 for this staff time.

Given these facts, isn't it something that Bill Watson has the audacity to transfer a puppy from Montgomery County to the Roanoke SPCA? Is it because she is a collie mix, and "more desirable" than hound puppies?

How about a little consolidation of the "less desirable" animals, Mr. Watson? How about a little consolidation of medical care for these animals? If you don't care enough about the animals to do it, how about a little compassion for your staff and volunteers who are working so hard to save them?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Money Flow

The 2010 audited financial statements for the Roanoke Valley SPCA have been published.

Keep in mind that, per Barbara Dalhouse's Roanoke Times editorial, the Roanoke Valley SPCA and the Roanoke Pound are 2 separate entities.

"To understand that relationship, you have to understand the purposes of the two entities. The Pound fulfills an animal control/law enforcement function that is required by state law. Among other things, the Pound is needed to house stray animals that are picked up by Animal Control and provide a place where citizens can find and reclaim animals that have been picked up. The Pound is funded with tax money and was never designed to provide adoption services"

"The RVSPCA is a charitable organization, funded by donations, whose mission is to “improve the quality of life for animals and the people they touch in the Roanoke Valley.” As part of that mission, the RVSPCA seeks to find homes for as many of the unclaimed animals at the Pound as it can."

"The RVSPCA, because of its experience in running an animal shelter and its passion for preventing animal cruelty, was persuaded to take on the task of managing the Pound for the municipalities...It would do this through a separate entity called Animal Care Services." (ACS)

Take a look at the 2010 RVSPCA audited financial records here.

Points of Interest:
Page 8, Principles of Consolidation
 "because through ACS, RVSCA has operational responsibility for the RCACP, current accounting guidelines encourage consolidation. Intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation"

Interesting- the longer Bill Watson has been in charge of both the charity RVSPCA and the tax funded RCACP, the more "consolidation" practices have been implemented.

Page 17, Related Party Transactions

"As of June 30th 2011 the RVSPCA owed fees in the amount of $2,496 to cover wages of ACS staff for providing janitorial and maintenance support to RVSPCA"
According to reports, ACS staff has been providing services to the Roanoke SPCA for years. Could this little tidbit have been added since the RVSPCA utilizing ACS staff without compensation has come to light?

Come to think of it, who did all the work moving the SPCA's Pet Cemetery a few years back? Click here and here for the story and video. It seems like a pretty big project, taking 60-90 days. Our understanding is that ACS staff did the work. Where are the recorded compensations for your tax money? 

If we don't know about years past, who is to believe
that $2,496 is all that is owed this year? 

And why in the world is the privately funded SPCA  "borrowing" services from the tax funded RCACP?

The SPCA's 990 form for 2010 is also somewhat interesting, click here
Schedule O (near the end of the document)

Compensation Explanation: William Watson, Jr
The following are additional hours worked for related organizations:
Mountain View Humane: 2 hours per week
Animal Care Services, Inc: 15 hours per week

Keep in mind that half of Mr. Watson's $100,000 salary comes from Animal Care Services, your tax money.

Around $50,000 for 15 hours a week. Not a bad salary for someone who fought the volunteer program, refuses to fund raise for the pound, and for someone who refuses to allow fostering and adoptions.

Per these tax documents, it seems that Bill Watson wants the Roanoke Valley SPCA and the Roanoke Pound to be one and the same, financially. If that is indeed the trend and the goal, he will have to take responsibility for the deaths of thousands of animals at the Pound. And that, sir, entails more than going over and personally telling them goodbye and that you are sorry as they are being killed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pound Pup Update

Remember this little pup housed at the Roanoke pound?

She was suffering from severe mange, and could not be transferred to the Roanoke SPCA when her stray hold time was up. You see, the SPCA was already dealing with two hard cases at the time. That's Two. Hard. Cases. Two Hard Cases. Yes, she was uncomfortable and needed out of the stressful pound, but Bill Watson was already dealing with Two Hard Cases at the SPCA.

Keep in mind that the pound side of the building has an annual revenue of around 1 million tax dollars, and the Roanoke SPCA had a total revenue of over 1,400,000. But no room at the Inn for this girl, and no foster options are in place for pound animals.

On the subject of sick pound animals, here is an interesting fact. Did you know that every time the SPCA Vet walks across the hall to see a pound animal, the SPCA charges the pound (you) $25? That does not include meds or treatments.Often these visits are simply to tell the pound staff that the animal needs to be seen by another Vet.

The pound technically "owns" the animals off of stray hold, but by contract the Roanoke Valley SPCA is responsible for them.

Fortunately, a No Kill entity that believes in their mission stepped in to help the mange puppy. The Franklin County Humane Society crossed the line into Roanoke and took this little pup into their care. On that particular day, April 12th, did they have room? Probably not, but they found a way, and today she is thriving in foster care.

Look at her now...

Her name is Jaida, and she is beautiful. She was worth saving. Bill Watson may not think so, but we do, and we know you do as well. Thank you for that.

And a big thank you to the good folks at the Humane Society in Franklin County- you all live up to your name and get the job done, day in and day out. Wishing Miss Jaida all the happiness there is in her new life!