Keiko, The Injured BARC Dog, Gets A Second Opinion

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We don't know what made them change their minds, but the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care had Keiko, the severely injured dog we wrote about Thursday, checked out by an outside vet and opthamologist. Both agreed with the BARC vets that Keiko's eyes should be removed, according to the city's statement:

Keiko has proven to be quite the resilient pup! Her recovery has exceeded expectations, and her behavior has increasingly normalized. Late this afternoon, BARC's veterinary team determined that she could be moved safely without jeopardizing her medical status.

Our staff was able to arrange for Keiko to be seen by a private vet, who concurred with the medical opinion of our four-member vet team following an examination. This vet has asked not to be identified, but was able to refer Keiko immediately to a private ophthalmologist. The specialist, Dr. Swanson, examined Keiko and absolutely agreed with the BARC medical opinion that Dr. Mendelsohn should proceed with surgery.

We owe great thanks to these two most recent BARC volunteers. They were very eager to help, on very short notice, and extended their services this afternoon at no charge to the City. Dr. Swanson also generously donated two synthetic globes to replace Keiko's eyes during surgery.

Keiko still has a challenging walk to make. Dr. Mendelsohn will begin surgery tomorrow (Friday) morning. We do not have the privilege of knowing Keiko's medical history, so anesthesia will be applied very cautiously. If the surgery goes as planned, Keiko will be transferred to foster care around 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, to recover outside of BARC. The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance is coordinating the transfer from volunteer to our adopter's home. Dr. Mendelsohn says that sutures are typically removed approximately 10-14 days following this procedure. Thank you to all who have kept Keiko in your thoughts today. We will post an update with new details as they develop
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18 comments
Ipl machine
Ipl machine

Great story....I absolutely enjoyed reading and hope you keep updating it frequently!

scantool
scantool

such issues are a must to be discussed, and by the way, I do agree that Craig is not a friend of Barac.Thank you

tester
tester

Looks like some people were sucked into their lies again. At least there are a few people out there who see all of the facts, not just the city's spin.

Watchdog
Watchdog

When did Annise Parker ever promise to help BARC?

Publicity stunt gone very wron
Publicity stunt gone very wron

This was a publicity stunt, plain and simple. BARC staff were overheard talking about it.

Unfortunately, it backfired badly because BARC leaders and vets did not have Keiko's best interests at heart when making decisions for her care. They were too intent on the potential publicity they might get out of her. The ARA Dept has made it worse by not telling the whole truth.

Looks like some people were sucked into their lies again. At least there are a few people out there who see all of the facts, not just the city's spin.

Ken
Ken

BARC should have released the dog to the rescue group who had the funds to "properly" help the poor dog. The city should have stepped in and forced them to release the dog. They wasted tax payer money, they wasted staff/vet time, they blew the chance for Keiko to live.

If 5 vets looked at the dog, then why didn't any of them do an x-ray or bloodwork? The advice from a qualified specialist may have suggested waiting for the brain swelling to subside before operating.

BARC blew it! again! The animal lost, again! The public was lied to, again! Newport lied on TV and can't even keep his story strait.

Malisow...why are you ignoring the facts and printing a deceptive story? We have emailed the facts and inconsistencies from Newport. Print that!!! so the public knows the truth.

City Council meeting tomorrow
City Council meeting tomorrow

Tomorrow, March 23 at 2 p.m., animal rescuers and activists will speak at the Houston City Council meeting regarding the horrific death of Keiko, an injured dog recklessly operated on at BARC. Please ask that Mayor Annise Parker make good on her campaign promises to help BARC by equipping BARC with the tools needed to humanely diagnose and treat the animals it receives and to ask that the city contract with outside veterinary clinics to provide trauma and specialized care for Houston's homeless pets. It is unethical for BARC to continue to intake injured animals if the city is unable to provide humane care. Support fellow pet owners and rescuers and hold BARC accountable for this horrific tragedy by speaking at or attending Tuesday's city council meeting and by sending a letter to Houston's mayor and council. City council chambers are located on the second floor of city hall at 901 Bagby, Houston, Texas 77002.

Contact Houston's mayor and city council:mayor@cityofhouston.net, districta@cityofhouston.net, districtb@cityofhouston.net, districtc@cityofhouston.net, districtd@cityofhouston.net, districte@cityofhouston.net, districtf@cityofhouston.net, districtg@cityofhouston.net, districth@cityofhouston.net, districti@cityofhouston.net, atlarge1@cityofhouston.net, atlarge2@cityofhouston.net, atlarge3@cityofhouston.net, atlarge4@cityofhouston.net, atlarge5@cityofhouston.net

Kendall K
Kendall K

You see a lot of stuff when you volunteer at BARC. It helps to have a group you can "debrief" with...Just wanna know who I can trust. Obviously.....I can't trust Hey Kendall.

Rest in Peace Keiko
Rest in Peace Keiko

Kendall K- A dog died a horrible and preventable death. Why are you trying to dig up dirt on people that are trying to help BARC? How does that "help the critters"?

Kendall K
Kendall K

I am a regular volunteer, I'm just not in the group of malicious backstabbers that you obviously are in. I'm too busy helping the critters for that. But thanks for the dirt in Arouty.....kinda saw that train wreck coming. Got anything on Lance or James or Lydia?

Rest in Peace Keiko
Rest in Peace Keiko

Valerie, I am profoundly sad and sorry for the loss of Keiko. Your family and Keiko have been in my prayers this weekend.

Anne, Stop the Bashing- what tests did the specialist and the five doctors perform on Keiko prior to her surgery? Looking at her and saying she is blind does not seem like comprehensive testing. Since you are tight with BARC, can you post the tests/results on this blog? I would like to see them. I guess that if I were going to have my eyeballs removed, I would want every damn medical test performed first to see if it was going to be a good idea and if I was going to die afterward. I also wouild want the surgery performed by a specialist in a hospital or clinic where they have a broad range of medical equipment. That is NOT the case at BARC.

The fact that this dog was ultimately going to go to a rescue is not being disputed and is appreciated.

HOWEVER, the dog should have been given immediately to rescue because BARC is NOT equipped to handle trauma and emergency medical situations. This is not bashing. This is simply a fact and if you have to bury your head in the sand so that you can volunteer at BARC everyday and pat yourself on the back later, then be my guest.

There is no doubt in my mind that the BIGGEST impediment to change for BARC is not city hall- it is a very small group of volunteers that predictably and compulsively apologize for BARC. I have never in my life encountered a more vicious and vile group of people. I can't stand Robyn Arouty as much as the next person, but her being ripped apart on this blog when she has absolutely nothing to do with Keiko goes to show the lengths that this group of people will go to to try to discredit everyone else involved with BARC.

I've got news for the volunteers- there will not be a hero in this story. Change for BARC is going to take a lot of people- including those that are critical of BARC. You can go to BARC everyday, all damn day, and you still are not going to be the one to solve all the problems and save every animal.

The death of Keiko was preventable and horrific. I am sure that BARC does some good things but that does not mean that MAJOR changes don't need to be made or that there shouldn't be accountability for the numerous errors made with Keiko's care.

On another note, it is NOT acceptable outside of Nazi Germany for citizens to be banned from PUBLIC buildings because they publicly voice criticism of a city department. I can't believe that I have to point this out-but folks, this is not okay. Volunteers at a municipal animal shelter should not have to live in fear of being banned.

And lastly, Craig Malisow is a hell of a journalist whether he is writing about BARC or not. He has a lot of respect from other journalists. He got it wrong with this story though and hopefully he will go back to his sources and write an update. If anyone saw the statements provided to media and city council by BARC's spokesperson, Christopher Newport, it should not be a surprise that the media stories would be innacurate. Like Kathy Barton before him, Newport's statements were a slap in the face to the public relations profession. They were misleading at best.

BARC still has problems that need to be fixed and I hope that people will continue to push for those changes.

RIP Keiko.

No Kill Houston
No Kill Houston

Unfortunately, there is some important information that is missing from this story and missing from the city's press releases.

For instance, there is absolutely no way that BARC vets could properly diagnose this dog because they simply do not have the proper equipment to do so. I don't care how capable the vets are, they simply do not have the equipment. BARC is a clinic of �last resort� i.e. when there are no other options available. BARC vets have only the most basic diagnostic tools at their disposal; they have no x-ray machine and certainly nothing more sophisticated such as an MRI or CT scanner; their microscopes are in need of repair; their surgical equipment is geared towards spays/neuters; they do not have the ability to run complete blood panels; many of the spays/neuters are done in a former closet. In addition, after delicate surgery such as this, Keiko would have required overnight medically monitored care. BARC cannot provide this. Yet, BARC still proceeded with the surgery to remove Keiko�s eyes.

Second, BARC called Blind Dog rescue because they had already made plans to remove her eyes once she "officially became BARC's property" on Friday. When animals come in to BARC with broken legs, they don't automatically schedule surgery to remove a limb and call a "3 legged rescue". They put a call out to rescuers so someone can take the animal to a clinic with the proper equipment to properly diagnose the animal. That's what should have happened here and it should have happened Monday when she first got to BARC.

There is also the issue that BARC management refused to let this dog be released when offers of much better care were repeatedly offered throughout the week. BARC's own policies and procedures say that animals with medical issues as simple as ringworm or upper respiratory infections can be released before the hold expires. Why wasn't this dog released? Why didn't BARC even ask rescuers to take her to a specialist on Monday when she first came in? They do this for animals with broken bones. Why not this dog? Why did BARC themselves take the dog to a specialist when the services were offered for free thru rescue? Why did they proceed with the surgery when surgical services were offered for free and in a more capable environment?

If BARC had been the only option for Keiko, then perhaps BARC might be considered a hero for trying to save her. But that is far from the truth.

BARC should have put Keiko's welfare first; everything else including egos and attempts at publicity stunts should have come second. But Keiko did not come first.

BARC still lacks leaders who care that they are killing 27,000 animals every year and who will work to stop it. Other cities / shelters have this type of leadership and they HAVE stopped the killing and the inhumane treatment. Without this type of leadership, we are doomed to repeat this same scenario over and over and over....

Hey, Kendall
Hey, Kendall

Craig Malisow is NOT a friend of BARC. He does in fact report lies and has said that if BARC doesn't play nice with him he'll make up whatever he wants because his readers won't know the difference anyway. Malisow relies on gossip from third party sources (not active volunteers) for his information. He can't "accurately research" what goes on at BARC because no one at BARC or City Hall trusts him enough to speak to him. He's an unethical, mean-spirited, lying weasel, but every nut with an axe to grind knows they can come to Malisow because he'll post any crazy shit they tell him in his blog. As far as him working with Robyn, she herself is on thin ice at BARC and is not liked or trusted by the staff or other volunteers. Once every couple of weeks or so she comes to BARC and takes some pictures of dogs (not usually cats because she hates cats). She doesn't interact with the dogs at all; She takes their pictures while they're inside the kennels or tied to the wall, or while she's sitting outside smoking and updating her Facebook page (despite being a self-professed "dog whisperer"). She emails the pics to Malisow. He writes up stories he thinks are funny to go along with the pictures, like how the animal shelter is a good place to get animals for your Satanic rituals, and peppers each one liberally with some form of the word "douche bag." Between the two of them, they usually manage to mix up the pictures and the animals' I.D. numbers, so it's negligible how much they actually help the animals at BARC. However, they have done quite a bit to promote Robyn's latest business endeavour(s) so she doesn't have to live in her van any more and beg strangers on the Internet for money. And, believe it or not, there are actually several people in the local media who regularly help BARC animals--Even a few who have actually ADOPTED or fostered BARC animals. I would name them, but they probably don't want to be associated with Malisow or a blog called "Hair Balls." Of course, Kendall K, if you were a regular volunteer you'd know all this.

Kendall K
Kendall K

Craig Malisow does a lot for BARC animals. He works with Robyn Arouty to get the word out. I don't know of any other journalist in Houston working with BARC to get animals adopted. He has accurately researched and wrote about what has happened at BARC. There is a lot that goes on at BARC that regular volunteers know nothing about b/c they've been beaten into submission. Ask too many questions and you get labeled a troublemaker and eventually shwon the door. BARC is a very difficult place to volunteer b/c it doesn't have the resources to operate in a decent manner. You go there thinking you can help change things and you quickly learn that the situation is almost beyond hope. Some will call this BARC bashing, I call it an honest opinion protected be the first amendment. BTW, I'm sure that City Council is glad to here from everyone who says BARC is fantastic as that will just indicate to them that BARC's budget can get cut.

Anne
Anne

Valerie, thank you for coming forward and speaking in favor of BARC. This latest wave of hostility is coming from a small group of disgruntled (mostly former) volunteers who are bent on discrediting the new staff and leadership at BARC. Unfortunately, all this negative publicity does immeasurable harm to all the animals at BARC who are counting on the public for support, and the author of this blog loves nothing better than to sling mud at BARC, be it true or not.

Valerie
Valerie

My Husband Pablo and I were THE BDRA (Blind Dog Rescue Alliance) Volunteers that were supposed to take Keiko into our home. So apparently your facts (LibertySupporter) were grossly WRONG. And it seems, in my opinion that many many facts have been exagerated or just plain fabricated. Pablo and I are very heartbroken about Keiko. But, we are very grateful that she had people who loved and cared for her during her moments of dispare. Godspeed to the Rainbow Bridge baby. You were LOVED!

Stop the bashing!
Stop the bashing!

They were NOT lying about having a home with a BDRA volunteer. Get your facts straight before posting to a public forum. Keiko was, in fact, on her way to a BDRA home.

This bashing is really ridiculous. How many high volume shelters in the South would have done as much for Keiko as the caring staff members of BARC did?? Not many. I can tell you that for a fact. Poor Keiko was seen by 5 different doctors, including two outside doctors (one of whom was an eye specialist!). I don't know what the general situation at BARC is, but they certainly did their very best to do right by this seriously injured dog (including the fact that they made sure that she was treated for her pain). Honestly, I'm starting to believe that some of the BARC bashers simply seem to have some sort of personal axe to grind. The vitriol, in this case, is completely unwarranted. RIP, Keiko, you were loved by many.

LibertySupporter
LibertySupporter

She died today after they performed the surgery at BARC to remove her eyes. She started to crash and they did not have the resources to provide the proper level of care.

No pre-surgery diagnostics were done. They lied about having a home for her ten minutes after posting for help. There are emails to prove it from the Blind Dog Rescue contact stating they were full.

Why did they deny Dr. Cooper's request to provide treatment with the first 24 hours when the resources and money were available? BARC is nothing but a butcher shop.

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