Pictures posted on Facebook of a dog in a pen filled with excrement and a dog the poster said was malnourished prompted the Carthage Humane Society Board of Directors to hold a special public meeting Monday to respond to the posts.

Pictures posted on Facebook of a dog in a pen filled with excrement and a dog the poster said was malnourished prompted the Carthage Humane Society Board of Directors to hold a special public meeting Monday to respond to the posts.
More than a dozen concerned residents, including Sierra Henson, the person who put the photos on social media on Friday, were on hand to question the board, Shelter Director Craig Putnam and the shelter's veterinarian, Dr. Shannah Cassatt.

Social Media
In the post, Henson said she had given her sister a puppy, but that puppy had run away after two days and been caught by the Carthage Police Department Animal Control Officer and taken to the Humane Society.
It had been there a month before Henson went to see it.
In the post, Henson said the dog she remembered as a chubby puppy had her ribs and other bones showing and looked as if she hadn't been fed.
She posted a picture of that puppy and two other pictures, including a dog standing on top of the wall of a pen in the shelter and a tan-colored dog in a pen that was covered in what appeared to be excrement.
The pictures were shared hundreds of times with dozens of critical reactions.
“That is not acceptable, that is why I'm here,” Henson told the board on Monday. “I'm here for the dogs, not for the money, not to gripe. I want to fix the problem at hand. I don't care about outside walking thing, I want to know there's food in these dogs and cats bellies every single day.”

Director responds
Putnam said some dogs, especially puppies, lose weight in a shelter because of the stress this new life puts on them.
He said the dog in the kennel covered in excrement had been de-wormed two or three days in a row and sometimes that causes dogs to feel ill.
“To the best of our ability, we try to have the shelter cleaned and ready for visitors at noon,” Putnam said. “The employees had wormed that dog two or three days in a row and between the time they had cleaned and the time the picture got taken it had pooped all over its cage and walked in it and made it look like it had been there for a while. The cages are cleaned every morning, the dogs are fed twice a day, sometimes three times a day. When you have as many animals as we have out there, no matter how much love you put out, how much you give, there's going to be occasions like that.”
Putnam said the dog seen on top of the kennel was “a jumper” with very good balance. It has since been placed in a kennel with a roof.
Board President Don Kittrell pointed out that the kennel below the dog on top of the wall was spotless, a better indication of normal conditions in the shelter.

Discussion
For more than 90 minutes, the board and the people attending the meeting talked over the Humane Society's policies and procedures and how people can help the shelter.
Attendees said the shelter's hours, noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday make it difficult for anyone who works regular business hours to volunteer or even adopt an animal.
They frequently compared the Carthage Humane Society to the Joplin Humane Society as far as social media presence and shelter conditions.
Kittrell and Board member Jonathan Roberts told the group only a year and a half ago, the Carthage Humane Society was in dire straits financially, to the point where they almost had to close the doors.
They said Dr. Cassatt volunteered her services to the shelter for more than two months to help the Society get to the point where they could pay her to visit once a week.
Cassatt said shelter employees have to bring animals in medical distress to her because she doesn't have time on her weekly visits to see every dog or cat.
Putnam said the volunteers from Spare Cat Rescue, a group that works with feral cats in the city of Carthage, help the shelter tremendously by taking adoptable animals to the Pet Smart store in Joplin and trying to adopt them out.
They also take animals to various events around Carthage, such as Food Truck Friday and the Carthage Art Walk.
The Board and Putnam said they would work to increase their presence on social media and work with anyone who would be willing to volunteer at the shelter.