Officials say pig slaughter "condoned"

By: Meredith TerHaar Email
By: Meredith TerHaar Email

Panama City- There are new revelation coming out of the story that we broke last week, about a Bay County Animal Shelter worker who butchered a pig that was in the facility's care. Wednesday, shelter director Jim Crosby resigned over the incident, before county officials could fire him.

County officials released new information Thursday that was uncovered by an investigation launched by Mark Bowen, the Director of Bay County Emergency Services.

"I found that management condoned what occurred at a certain level in the organization. When that happens it does not take the responsibility from the employee that engaged in the act, but obviously it changes the dynamic of what the corrective action needs to be," said Bowen.

That explains, in-part, why the employee who actually slaughtered and ate the pig, Ivan Rogers, still has a job at the shelter. The pig, which shelter workers nicknamed "Fluffy," was turned over to the facility on June 10th. They said it had trouble getting along with their children.

Over the next several days, two people expressed interest in adopting "Fluffy." But on June 17th, Rogers took "Fluffy" home, butchered it, cooked it, and ate it.

Crosby reprimanded Rogers, but allowed him to keep his job. Crosby didn't report the incident to his bosses until August 6th. Bowen called the delay "unacceptable" and launched an investigation. This week he told Crosby he was recommending his termination. Wednesday Crosby resigned, effective Friday.

"When I realized there had been a culture allowed, at least in terms of this incident, that was completely unacceptable. Management has a responsibility, I have a responsibility, to make sure that things like this don't occur. If I don't know about it I can't fix it, so I have fixed it now I can assure you of that."

If Crosby created this culture, as Bowen calls it, did it foster an atmosphere for other incidents like the one? Bowen seems to indicate there were other issues, but isn't giving any details. "The action that was taken was specific to this incident. I don't have evidence that is hard enough to do an investigation about anything that may have happened 2 years ago or 4 years ago, it's hearsay."

Others who worked with Crosby say they're shocked, and that the county and the animals will be hurt by his absence. "It’s pretty surprising actually, Jim is a great ambassador for the animal community and it's a shame to see him go. The numbers speak for themselves. The euthanization rate in the county, I mean it's probably gone down 30% just because Jim uses outside resources to get animals adopted and transferred to rescues. He really does strive to keep animals alive," said Jeremiah McCulley, the general manager of the Humane Society of Bay County.

Crosby has been director of the animal shelter since February of 2008. County officials are launching a search for his successor.

Late Thursday afternoon Crosby sent a statement regarding his resignation. He writes: "In the past two and a half years Bay County Animal Control has cared for over 22,000 animals. Thousands have been adopted, and many more transferred to outside shelters or returned to their homes. This has been possible due to the tremendous support of the people of Bay County, and I thank them truly. I regret that this incident has caused embarrassment and distress. I sincerely hope that the efforts to date will not be sidetracked, and that those who have worked so hard to improve the lot of animals in Bay County will continue with the support of the public and the faith of the County Administration."

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  • by Mike D Location: Atlanta on Aug 23, 2010 at 12:16 PM
    I've tried cooking dog and it just doesn't taste as good as pig.
  • by Lynne Location: New Port Richey on Aug 22, 2010 at 03:15 AM
    I am appalled by this incident. By the way Bill..we are not animal rights people in the since you are saying .We are looking out for the rights of the animal. If this had happened to a dog don't you think more people would have been up in arms ? Of course they would. So, since it is a pig, oh well. It was o k then. Since the pig had behavior problems the first thing to look into would be if the pig was SPAYED OR NEUTERED. This causes more problems than you can imagine. I would rather see the animal humanely euthanized then eaten. Just my two cents but I still say all of you people out there that think this is fine would freak out if it were a dog that this happened to. So, Bill.....go give your brains a rest and think about that poor animal instead of praising this guy .
  • by Elaine Location: Archer, FL on Aug 21, 2010 at 04:44 PM
    This happens more than you think, I found it common at Bay County "humane" societies and A/C when I lived there, that is why I started rescueing the poor pigs. Why don't these people call themselves what they really are? Dog and cat "lovers", they are NOT animal lovers or they would extend the same compassion to all animals, not just dogs and cats. And yes, if you allow this to happen to a pig, why not let people come in and get dogs and cats for dinner too? Lets be consistent and stop with the hypocrisy and double standards. Sick, sorry excuse of humans, all of them. The creep who did such a thing should not be allowed to care for or be around other animals, he is a menace and should be charged with animal cruelty!
  • by BULL Location: FLORIDA on Aug 21, 2010 at 07:24 AM
  • by Mary Location: Colorado on Aug 21, 2010 at 07:10 AM
    This was totally wrong, the pig was taken to a shelter, not to the meat packing plant. It was expected that he would be treated humanely. According to the article there were people interested in adopting the pig. This man had no right to do what he did to the pig in this case. A lot of our "shelters" are being exposed as the hell holes that they really are and here is another example - the public is not getting the service they expect. All over this country shelter workers are killing animals in very inhumane ways, not giving the animals the time they deserve to be adopted, taking animals to the dump and shooting them, not keeping facilities clean, not taking care of veterinary needs, gassing them, using heart sticks to kill them, ad infinitum. There are some great shelters and rescue organizations but one can't assume unless you check it out. SPAY AND NEUTER is one of the answers.
  • by Richard Location: Virginia, USA on Aug 21, 2010 at 03:26 AM
    4-Genesis 1:26 (Direct Quote): And GOD said, Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness: and let him have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. This just says it all. The farm animal was killed and eaten as was its purpose. Personally, I think that too many people try to keep the strangest pets. Domestics are bread to be exactly that. When one tries to domesticate an animal not bread for homes, bad things happen. Remember Ben Franklin: "A bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush." To me, the most tragic thing was for the family to remove the piggy from his natural environment and try to domesticate it in the first place. And when it didn't work out, they dumped it on some shelter to take care of. So, here here and good eatin!!
  • by Wildheart Location: Ohio on Aug 20, 2010 at 06:39 PM
    What the man did was unethical. People put pets into a shelter so they can be adopted by someone else. This pig was a pet and not a farm animal. Humans have brains that are capable of reasoning and morality. What this man did was immoral and he should be fired. He does not deserve the public trust. Does this man also eat cats and dogs? As far as animal rights going too far, next time think about someone eating YOUR pet, someone abusing YOUR pet, or the pain and suffering that goes on from neglect and abuse. People who don't understand the mission of animal advocates aren't using their brains to full potential nor have they read the terrible things that go on in society today. Those abuses don't need to happen and humans are capable of making a difference.
  • by Emma Location: Florida on Aug 20, 2010 at 05:53 PM
    Jim Crosby didn't have the right to fire anyone protected by civil service rules. Too bad for Bay County that Mark Bowen couldn't communicate better with his department heads.
  • by Priscilla Location: Indiana on Aug 20, 2010 at 04:09 PM
    People in China eat dogs. Would those of you who think this is okay have a problem with a shelter employee eating your dog if it had to be taken in for adoption? Pigs are the third smartest of mammals--much smarter than dogs. (and, obviously some humans) Even for those of you who eat pork, eating someone's pet pig is far more serious than just eating pork. So let me ask you again: WOULD IT BE JUST AS ACCEPTABLE IF SOMEONE ATE THE DOG OR CAT THAT YOU BROUGHT TO A SHELTER FOR ADOPTION? If not, then hypocrisy should be your middle name.
  • by Sassy on Aug 20, 2010 at 03:06 PM
    I have had the pleasure of dealing with Mr. Crosby in the past. What a kind and concerned man he is over the animal population. I don't know why he was late reporting this incident down the command chain (notice I said down) but he will be missed greatly buy those who really appreciated him and he is a great asset that now has been lost. Shame on the those who caused this to happen. That shelter worker who did eat the pig, I hope you are ashamed at your actions. Wonder how high you cholesterol is.....
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