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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Co-Knucklehead of the Day award Part Two

Our second winner is Miami-Dade County Animal Services. They get the award for the following.

The Navarro family's beloved terrier is dead, and Miami-Dade County bureaucracy is partially to blame.

A week after Tropelaje went missing, Carmen Navarro found his picture on the county's Animal Services website. She called the shelter to confirm her dog was there and said she would come by that day to pick him up.

But when Navarro arrived, she learned Tropelaje had been euthanized hours earlier.

''I couldn't believe what they were saying,'' said Navarro, a paralegal. ``How could he be dead if I saw him on the website an hour ago and I told the people I was coming to get him right away?''

The mix-up occurred because calls to the animal shelter are routed to the county's 311 call center. With the center receiving about 150,000 animal-related calls a year, in addition to other queries, sometimes, like in Navarro's case, important information falls through the cracks.

Six-year-old Tropelaje wandered away from Navarro's Miami home on Nov. 7. Navarro and her two young daughters enlisted friends to help look for the pooch and put up signs around the neighborhood.

That same day, animal-control officers picked up Tropelaje. He didn't have an ID tag, registration microchip or a valid rabies medallion.

Over the next seven days, workers at the Medley shelter updated Tropelaje's vaccinations and dewormed him. Meanwhile, they waited for his owners to find him or for someone to adopt him.

Tropelaje had already been at the shelter an extra two days; most stray dogs are held at the shelter for five days before being euthanized if they are not reclaimed or adopted.

It wasn't until Nov. 14 that Navarro checked the county's online database of lost and found animals. She called the Animal Services telephone number -- but it was one of the county's 311 operators who answered her call.

The 311 operator, one of several dozen who work in a county building in Doral and answer questions about many topics told her the dog would be fine and would be waiting for her to pick up at the shelter.

But the information was not relayed to an Animal Services employee, who could have put a note in Tropelaje's file, giving him a stay of execution so Navarro could get him.
What a rotten thing to have happen, and all because parts of our government bureaucracy doesn't talk to one another. For a case of stupid incompetence leading to a pet's death, Miami-Dade County Animal Services is our second Co-Knucklehead of the Day.

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