Hello fans,
think about this the next time you take a dog to
the local "shelter"
Stu Bykofsky > Sheea didn't have a chance
Dog was destroyed soon after she arrived at 'shelter'

By Stu Bykofsky
NINE SHORT minutes.
That was Sheea's lifespan from the time she arrived at Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association until they put her down.

The rush to execute the innocent 2-year-old Shetland sheepdog brought grief to the Troy family and heartbreak to 7-year-old Kayla, who had named the puppy after getting it as a gift from her uncle Steve two years ago.
In addition to suffering the cruel loss of their "friendly, playful" pet, the Troys were subjected to stonewalling, lies and verbal abuse from workers at PACCA, according to Steve Troy, who said the family is still waiting for a truthful explanation, not to mention an apology.

"We're challenged now with as many as 200 animals a day coming into PACCA. A lot of them are strays. A lot of them are owners that don't like the fact that the dog doesn't match the new rug, or for whatever reason," PACCA President Joseph Cronauer told me. "Think about what 200 animals a day adds up to."
It adds up to a lot of unwanted pets, but that wasn't the case with the Troys' little Sheea.
Sheea ran away
For the Troy family, the misery began Sunday, Aug. 8, when Sheea, who looked like a miniature collie, ran out of the yard of the family home in Wissinoming. The Troys used to remove Sheea's collar at night and replace it in the morning, but on this day Sheea ran off before they got it on her.
The family searched everywhere. They plastered the neighborhood with "lost dog" posters. They contacted PACCA and the SPCA to ask if a dog matching Sheea's description had been turned in, said Ed Troy, Steve Troy's brother. They did everything they could think of doing.

Late on Saturday, Aug. 14, the Troys got a call from Carol Kinback. She told the Troys she had found their dog and had brought her to the PACCA shelter on Hunting Park Avenue near Front Street on Wednesday, Aug. 11 - before seeing the "lost dog" poster.
Kinback never dreamed she was dooming the gentle pet.

Two years ago, PACCA took over from the SPCA responsibility for animal control, plus sheltering, taking in and adopting out animals in Philadelphia.
The sad truth is there are more animals than there are homes. Last year, PACCA received 32,723 animals and destroyed 22,558 of them.

Nine minutes to doom
Kayla's mom, Susan, raced to PACCA to rescue their beloved Sheea, only to learn she had been put down nine minutes after her arrival.

How could this happen, Susan demanded to know.
"Their story changed many times as my Mom tried to get some answers and see some paperwork," said Ed Troy. "They refused and told her to leave."

Susan and two sons, Mike and Steve, returned the next day, loudly demanding answers.
"Again (secretaries) were rude, but finally showed us some paperwork" indicating the dog had been put down nine minutes after she arrived, said Steve, who admits he and Mike shouted and that Mike dropped the F bomb.

PACCA refused to let the Troys "talk to the vet or see the cremation papers," said Ed. "Did they even kill the dog or are they selling these dogs and not telling us?" he asked. The Troys harbor suspicions because their pedigree dog was worth $600.
Overseeing PACCA is the city Health Department. Two weeks ago Deputy Health Commissioner Carmen Paris told me the dog was surrendered by the owner.
Yesterday afternoon, Paris said she was mistaken. An investigation found that a PACCA staffer erroneously recorded the woman bringing in the dog as the owner.
That Good Samaritan, Carol Kinback, told me she has turned in other strays to PACCA. But this time she had a "sense" something was different. Usually she's handed a receipt for the dog.

"This time the guy who took the dog took the paper," she said, adding that Sheea was a "gentle, gentle dog."
In a cruel irony, Mike Troy had put up a "lost dog" poster in the PACCA lobby just hours before Kinback turned in Sheea.
Was Sheea unpredictable?
As to why Sheea was so quickly put to death, Paris said the shelter told her the dog was "unpredictable" and became "aggressive."

"She was fine, just scared" at PACCA, Kinback told me.

Family members said the dog was always friendly and playful, never aggressive. Roseanne McGuire, a dog groomer who worked on Sheea, called her "a sweetheart" who never nipped, never growled, never bit.

The bottom line is that Sheea apparently died at the hands of those who should have been her protectors, whether through stupidity, error or indifference.
The Troys - who went from heartbreak to suspicion and fury - are fuming at getting neither answers nor apology. They say last August, PACCA Executive Director George Stem promised them he'd order an investigation and give them a report.
It's October and they've received nothing.
Paris says the Troys must have misunderstood Stem because PACCA is unionized and Stem couldn't give the Troys a report that named individuals.

We didn't need names, Steve Troy said. Just an honest answer.

Paris also said one of the Troys had taken a swing at Stem and flipped over some tables as they stormed out.
Steve Troy admitted he flipped over a table in anger and frustration after being stonewalled on how and why Kayla's dog died. He denies threatening Stem. "I'd be in jail now if I did that."

His frustration is understandable. Something smells bad at PACCA, and I don't mean dog poop.
E-mail Stu Bykofsky at (Email Removed) or call 215-854-5977.
"michael 3.0" (Email Removed) brought me to tears with this news story in

His frustration is understandable. Something smells bad at PACCA, and I

How sad that these things go on! That poor family! The poor dog! I am stunned by the huge numbers of unwanted pets as well. What is wrong with people?
I feel ashamed to be human sometimes...
Hello fans, think about this the next time you take a dog to the local "shelter"

While this story is unfortunate, it won't in the slightest change my mind about taking dogs to my local shelters - especially since the two owned dogs I've turned in - both of them with NO ID, one of them an intact male Pit Bull Terrier - were reunited with their owners within 48 hours.