I sent out an email and the first to reply was Karla Torpy:
Thank you for your email and for your suggestions after the miscommunication involved with Herbie and our shelter. We do take this very seriously. Herbie was never available for adoption. He came in as an owner surrender/confiscation on 11/6/13. He was fearful in the cage. Day after day an evaluation of him was attempted, but it was never completed due to his temperament. An email specifically to qualified rescue groups was sent out on 11/13/13.
Animals with special needs or questionable temperament are only available to rescue groups. If an animal is aggressive we can’t place a citizen or the county at risk by adopting those animals directly, but we attempt to give the animal a chance by contacting rescue partners to see if they are interested. Rescue groups are experienced animal groups that can work with the animal and rehab them if they feel there is potential to save the animal. They, too, are challenged by space demands. There was no response from any rescue group for Herbie.
Our rescue coordinator worked Saturday 11/16/13. The person who tells the story called her after hours on Saturday 11/16/13 and left a message. Although the shelter was open, as usual, to the public on Sunday and Monday, she was off those two days and didn’t listen to the message until she came back to work on Tuesday, 11/19/13. Had she listened to the message she could have called and explained that Herbie wasn’t adoptable and saved that person much grief.
So that callers will know that a staff member they may be attempting to reach is unavailable in the future, they have been instructed to leave detailed recordings on their phones requesting callers contact the shelter for assistance.