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HomeNewsArchivesDOG DAZE: AGENCIES ARGUE OVER WHOSE JOB IT IS

DOG DAZE: AGENCIES ARGUE OVER WHOSE JOB IT IS

Oct. 31, 2001 – "Dead dog day 4." So read signs posted Wednesday outside Charlotte Amalie High School, where an animal carcass had been rotting for that long, creating a formidable odor on the adjacent campus while government agencies passed the buck on who was to pick it up and when.
The carcass, reported to authorities Tuesday, poses a health hazard and has caused one class to relocate to the school auditorium. Edney Freeman, CAHS Art Department chair, said it was he who called June Archibald on the WVWI Radio "Morning Mix" talk show Tuesday after getting no satisfaction from the usual "chain of command."
He said he had reported the situation to CAHS assistant principal Barbara Callwood on Monday and she had said it would be taken care of, but on Tuesday it was still there.
And, despite calls to five government agencies, on Wednesday afternoon it was still there, by that time covered with lye and in the company of two hand-lettered signs provided by Freeman. Throwing up his hands, the art teacher said, "This is unacceptable — hundreds of kids walk by it every day. It is affecting the students and the teachers."
Freeman continued, "I couldn't conduct classes here yesterday. I had to take the students to the auditorium." The carcass is right outside his classroom.
"What about the passerby?" he asked. "Garbage trucks go by here all the time. Why can't they stop put it in a bag and take it away?" He said he had not gotten a response when he had called the Health Department's Environmental Health Division on Tuesday.
The situation was made more poignant for Freeman by the fact that he had to have his 12-year-old German shepherd put to sleep Tuesday. "I took him for a walk on Vessup Bay, his favorite beach, first," he said, near tears, "and then when I came here, to see that dog still here, it's just too much. It is inhumane."
Ethlyn Joseph, Environmental Health Division director, expressed astonishment Wednesday when informed the carcass was still at the high school. "I went to the school this morning and I sat in the principal's office, and she told me the dog was removed," Joseph said. "She called someone while I was sitting there."
Joseph said she had been in meetings Tuesday and didn't hear about the situation until the afternoon. She also said dealing with the problem is the responsibility of the Public Works Department. On Tuesday, at the suggestion of a staff member of the V.I. Agriculture Department, which picks up only live animals, the Source had called Public Works, to be told that it was not their responsibility.
Joseph said her agency had given Public Works a truck for the purpose of removing dead animals. "We are short staffed, and we don't have anybody to do it, but Public Works does," she said. "Then they told me the truck was in the shop because it overheated. I told them they had to remove the dog. I thought it had been done Tuesday."
Also on Tuesday, Juel Anderson, Education Department public information officer, had said she had called Environmental Health and was told that division would take care of the matter.
Enter Louis Hill, St. Thomas-Water Island administrator, who had been contacted by the Education Department. He, too, said he was astounded to find that the situation hadn't been dealt with.
"This is totally unacceptable," Hill said Wednesday. "I called Wayne Callwood (Public Works commissioner) Tuesday afternoon and spoke with his secretary. There is no reason whatsoever why this animal hasn't been picked up. They've been aware of it since yesterday. How can so many government agencies not get this taken care of?"
A short time later, Hill told the Source, "I have just spoken with Callwood. He said he was already aware of the situation, and he has sent someone to pick it up."
He added, "I am so embarrassed to the public that we [the government] should have allowed this situation to occur. It shouldn't have happened."

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Oct. 31, 2001 – "Dead dog day 4." So read signs posted Wednesday outside Charlotte Amalie High School, where an animal carcass had been rotting for that long, creating a formidable odor on the adjacent campus while government agencies passed the buck on who was to pick it up and when.
The carcass, reported to authorities Tuesday, poses a health hazard and has caused one class to relocate to the school auditorium. Edney Freeman, CAHS Art Department chair, said it was he who called June Archibald on the WVWI Radio "Morning Mix" talk show Tuesday after getting no satisfaction from the usual "chain of command."
He said he had reported the situation to CAHS assistant principal Barbara Callwood on Monday and she had said it would be taken care of, but on Tuesday it was still there.
And, despite calls to five government agencies, on Wednesday afternoon it was still there, by that time covered with lye and in the company of two hand-lettered signs provided by Freeman. Throwing up his hands, the art teacher said, "This is unacceptable -- hundreds of kids walk by it every day. It is affecting the students and the teachers."
Freeman continued, "I couldn't conduct classes here yesterday. I had to take the students to the auditorium." The carcass is right outside his classroom.
"What about the passerby?" he asked. "Garbage trucks go by here all the time. Why can't they stop put it in a bag and take it away?" He said he had not gotten a response when he had called the Health Department's Environmental Health Division on Tuesday.
The situation was made more poignant for Freeman by the fact that he had to have his 12-year-old German shepherd put to sleep Tuesday. "I took him for a walk on Vessup Bay, his favorite beach, first," he said, near tears, "and then when I came here, to see that dog still here, it's just too much. It is inhumane."
Ethlyn Joseph, Environmental Health Division director, expressed astonishment Wednesday when informed the carcass was still at the high school. "I went to the school this morning and I sat in the principal's office, and she told me the dog was removed," Joseph said. "She called someone while I was sitting there."
Joseph said she had been in meetings Tuesday and didn't hear about the situation until the afternoon. She also said dealing with the problem is the responsibility of the Public Works Department. On Tuesday, at the suggestion of a staff member of the V.I. Agriculture Department, which picks up only live animals, the Source had called Public Works, to be told that it was not their responsibility.
Joseph said her agency had given Public Works a truck for the purpose of removing dead animals. "We are short staffed, and we don't have anybody to do it, but Public Works does," she said. "Then they told me the truck was in the shop because it overheated. I told them they had to remove the dog. I thought it had been done Tuesday."
Also on Tuesday, Juel Anderson, Education Department public information officer, had said she had called Environmental Health and was told that division would take care of the matter.
Enter Louis Hill, St. Thomas-Water Island administrator, who had been contacted by the Education Department. He, too, said he was astounded to find that the situation hadn't been dealt with.
"This is totally unacceptable," Hill said Wednesday. "I called Wayne Callwood (Public Works commissioner) Tuesday afternoon and spoke with his secretary. There is no reason whatsoever why this animal hasn't been picked up. They've been aware of it since yesterday. How can so many government agencies not get this taken care of?"
A short time later, Hill told the Source, "I have just spoken with Callwood. He said he was already aware of the situation, and he has sent someone to pick it up."
He added, "I am so embarrassed to the public that we [the government] should have allowed this situation to occur. It shouldn't have happened."