WHERE IS REX?
Hawaiian Humane Society adopts woman’s dog to another family
By PAM DAVIS and SCOTT DAVIS, Animal Advocate Inc., 1/15/12
Imagine flying across the world to raise money for homeless children in Africa, returning home and finding your own “child” is missing.
That’s what happened to Elzbieta Trzeciak of O’ahu, who was told by the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS) that her 8-year-old German shepherd, Rex, had been adopted by another family while she volunteered in Kenya. More than a year later, a series of lies, contradictions and misrepresentations by the HHS have surfaced, and a devastated owner is still not reunited with her dog.
Twisted story twists Rex’s fate
Before departing Hawaii, Ms. Trzeciak arranged for Rex and her other German shepherd, Nel, to remain in the care of a personal friend, Elsayed Magdy Matar. There are conflicting stories about how Rex arrived at the HHS, but he was eventually brought to the shelter as a stray.
What happened next was nothing short of a travesty.
On Dec. 14, 2011, Animal Advocate Inc. was invited by Ms. Trzeciak to accompany she and her husband, Patrick Pettingill, to a meeting called by the HHS. There, HHS Director of Operations Keoni Vaughn attempted to explain how Rex, who is registered with microchip identification from the national AVID/Pettrac database, was unable to be reunited with his lawful owner.
Vaughn presented a convoluted timeline of events leading up to Rex’s adoption “based on all the investigation we’ve done in this case.”
Vaughn stated that the HHS received Rex as a stray on August 17, 2010. The HHS scanned Rex’s microchip, he said, and initially attempted to phone Ms. Trzeciak unsuccessfully about her lost dog.
“So we look in our system under the microchip on our own database — couldn’t find any information — so our standard operating procedure is to call AVID since it’s an AVID chip. So we called AVID; AVID gave us your phone number — your name and phone number — that was not in service,” Vaughn told Ms. Trzeciak.
Vaughn asserted the only alternate contacts listed on AVID/Pettrac’s database were Pettingill and a friend of Ms. Trzeciak’s, Robert Porec.
This assertion proved not only to be false, but an underlying factor behind Rex’s adoption to another family.
An official document obtained by Mr. Carroll Cox (host of The Carroll Cox Show radio program) from AVID/Pettrac, was provided to Animal Advocate Inc. Contrary to Vaughn’s claim, the document revealed that Porec, who is a former HHS employee, was not listed as an alternate contact for Ms. Trzeciak. At the time Rex was brought to the HHS, the only alternate contact person listed was Matar. The document shows that Pettingill was added by Ms. Trzeciak on Nov. 3, 2011, and Matar was listed continuously with AVID/Pettrac since Oct. 3, 2008.
Although Ms. Trzeciak’s e-mail address was listed on the AVID/Pettrac document, Vaughn failed to provide any evidence that he attempted to contact her via e-mail while she volunteered in Africa.
Vaughn said the HHS contacted AVID/Pettrac, and found Matar was “never, ever entered on the AVID paperwork.”
Despite Vaughn claiming that Matar was not a registered contact, the HHS called him regarding Rex on Aug. 17, the day Rex was brought into the shelter.
Vaughn stated: “Somehow E.M. (Elsayed Matar) was — the number came up. We don’t — I can’t figure it out, and I apologize. E.M. was also called as an emergency contact non-owner and told the dog was here.”
[Note: Vaughn referred to people by initials rather than names throughout the Dec. 14 meeting because, he said, he did not want the HHS to be “accused of all this stuff coming out.”]
According to Vaughn, on Aug. 18, 2010, Matar arrived at the HHS to claim Rex on Ms. Trzeciak’s behalf. Met with rejection, he was told by HHS staff that he was ineligible to retrieve the dog.
“He is not the owner, he’s an ex and former emergency contact,” Vaughn said. “So we told E.M. (Elsayed Matar), ‘You’re not the owner, we can not release any information for you.’”
In triple-contradiction, Vaughn first stated Matar was never listed by AVID/Pettrac as a contact person, later reversed himself saying the HHS had called Matar as an emergency contact, and finally said Matar was turned away as a “former” contact.
Vaughn stated that on Aug. 31, Matar returned to the HHS to claim the dog, this time denied because he did not provide proof of “guardianship.”
Unbeknownst to Matar, the HHS had adopted out Rex the day before.
On Dec. 22, 2011, Ms. Trzeciak presented Animal Advocate Inc. with a signed and notarized statement from Matar, summarizing his interactions with the HHS. In part, the document reads:
“I called frequently to check on Rex. In the middle of August I received the phone call from the Humane Society that they had Rex in their custody. That same day I came in to retrieve Rex. At that time I was turned away telling me that I did not have the rights to retrieve Rex … I was also on the AVID Pettrac microchip information database as a secondary contact. I also had the original microchip certificates and paperwork as well as all paperwork pertaining to Rex that Elzbieta kept in a folder and entrusted with me in case of any emergency. I was still denied Rex…”
HHS grants “guardian” status to Porec
According to Vaughn and to summarize Rex’s fate, a major factor why the HHS denied Rex to Matar was because he did not have proof of “guardianship” — a term not defined by Vaughn.
Vaughn stated, “We advised your ex that because the owner has not contacted us, and he does not have proof of guardianship, nor does he have any proof that he has contacted you (Ms. Trzeciak) and you have given him consent to take the dog, we did not release any information.”
However, it appears a double standard was set in place for Porec (the former HHS employee) whose name, unlike Matar, did not appear on the document sent to Mr. Cox by AVID/Pettrac and given to Animal Advocate Inc.
On Aug. 26, the HHS invited Porec to claim the dog, apparently taking his word that he was Rex’s “guardian.”
Vaughn told Ms. Trzeciak: “On Aug. 26, which is nine days from the day the dog came in, we have a note in our system that R.P. (Robert Porec) confirmed that he is the guardian for the dog in your absence.” He later said, “We got R.P.’s information from the microchip, because he was added.”
But, since the microchip document provided by AVID/Pettrac to Mr. Cox reveals Porec was not a registered contact, why did Vaughn take Porec’s word that he was Rex’s “guardian”?
Compounding the disparate treatment by the HHS between Matar and Porec, Vaughn said that Porec told him on Aug. 26, “I have no way of getting in touch with the owner” and that he (Porec) could not pick up Rex.
Vaughn granted “guardian” status to Porec who, according to Vaughn, admitted he had no way of getting in touch with Rex’s owner. For this same reason, Vaughn said he denied Rex to Matar.
Vaughn’s revelations did not stop there.
After the HHS called Porec telling him he needed to pick up Rex, Vaughn said Porec later phoned the HHS saying he had nowhere to house the dog and could not keep Rex. Vaughn responded, “Do you have somebody that can come and get the dog on your behalf?”
Remember, Vaughn refused to let Matar claim Rex on behalf of his rightful owner, Ms. Trzeciak, yet offered to let Porec designate an unidentified person to pick up Rex on Porec’s behalf.
“R.P. (Robert Porec) told us not to release it (Rex) to E.M. (Elsayed Matar),” Vaughn said. “R.P. has the same status as your ex (Matar) according to the microchip, which is ‘emergency contact,’ told us not to release the dog to your ex,” he later added.
Vaughn’s remark shows the HHS largely based its actions and decisions regarding Rex’s fate on statements made by Porec, and conferred a status on Porec superior to that of Matar. Note that Vaughn contradicts himself, this time referring to Matar as an “emergency contact.”
Although Vaughn later assured Ms. Trzeciak that the HHS had tried everything it could to reunite her with Rex, it seems the HHS failed to perform its due diligence in this case.
HHS Director of Community Relations, Jacque LeBlanc, who also attended the Dec. 14 meeting, told Ms. Trzeciak, “The bottom line is that the person listed as your emergency contact, and your ex, and the other people involved in your personal life revolving around the care of this dog, failed you. I do not believe in this case the Humane Society failed you.”
HHS attempts to manipulate media
On Dec. 11, 2011, the story of Rex was initially published online by Washington-based Examiner.com reporter Penny Eims. The article overviewed Rex’s arrival at the HHS and Ms. Trzeciak’s long-fought battle to regain custody, as she explained it to Eims.
LeBlanc e-mailed Examiner.com Pacific Region Director, Matt Sandy: “In the case of this story, reporter Penny Eims has let her personal opinions and persuasions inflame a case and the local community with biased reporting, poor investigation and research.” LeBlanc criticized Eims’ work as “irresponsible reporting at a detriment to this case and our organization.”
LeBlanc asked Sandy to pull Eims’ story from the Internet. Sandy refused, concluding upon review that there was no bias to Eims’ report because she had contacted the HHS for information but received a “non-specific” response.
The HHS attempted to manipulate public opinion through a subsequent Examiner.com story.
LeBlanc requested another Examiner.com reporter, Liz Rizzo, to attend the Dec. 14 meeting by phone and write a separate article. Instead of performing her own research for the story, Rizzo said she published an article under her byline, which had been e-mailed to her by LeBlanc. According to Rizzo, she has worked on or contributed to more than 800 articles for the HHS.
The story published was word-for-word what LeBlanc had provided to Rizzo.
“Use any of this that would be helpful to you,” LeBlanc wrote Rizzo, who received the story in the body of an e-mail.
Rizzo said she relied on the information provided by LeBlanc to be accurate, but later pulled the article off the Internet.
“They used me to get some information out that wasn’t accurate,” said Rizzo.
“I told Jacque, ‘The stories aren’t meshing.’ I pulled it because I finally researched the other side. I believed Jacque; I believed what they said.”
Rizzo elaborated on her conversations with LeBlanc: “I said, ‘I can’t do this. I will write about anything else, but I will not say it’s OK to give someone’s dog away.’ I said, ‘Jacque, it’s never going to be OK,’ getting into her face about it. ‘If you did it to my dog you’d be very upset because I’d really go after you. It’s not you personally, but you guys screwed up; you made a mistake and now you’re trying to backpedal at the expense of the community.’ I said, ‘You need to fix it.’ She said, ‘What, are you threatening us?’ I said, ‘No. You need to fix what you did wrong.’”
The story provided to Rizzo by LeBlanc shows that the HHS tried to manipulate the media, and public opinion, in order to conceal its wrongdoing. The story published under Rizzo’s byline was inaccurate, and demonstrates that nothing the HHS says can be taken at face value in this case.
In researching a story of its own, Animal Advocate Inc. asked the HHS if there was any inaccurate information in Rizzo’s article, and several other questions.
Vaughn e-mailed Animal Advocate Inc. on January 12, 2012: “I am in receipt of your e-mail dated December 30, 2011 wherein you request information from the Hawaiian Humane Society related to a situation involving a third-party. We have been told that she is seeking to retain an attorney to assist in her cause against the Hawaiian Humane Society. Therefore, upon advice of our counsel, we will not further be responding to your inquiry.”
Why was the HHS not equally concerned about providing accurate information to Animal Advocate Inc. for its story, when it was apparently very concerned about the ‘accuracy’ of Ms. Eims’ story?
How are funds/donations used by the HHS?
As noted by Vaughn, attorneys for the HHS have become involved in the case of Rex, because a lawsuit may be filed by Ms. Trzeciak against the HHS. The community’s money is now at stake — which was one of several charges leveled against Eims by LeBlanc.
In e-mails provided to Animal Advocate Inc., LeBlanc claimed the tone of Eims’ story “has resulted in tying up valuable resources of our nonprofit that are better devoted to our work to help animals and people.” She later said Eims’ report could “impact the resources of a nonprofit committed and competent in its work.”
Rizzo echoed LeBlanc’s concerns about spending community resources, but squarely placed blame on the HHS in the case of Rex.
Rizzo said, “This is a situation that’s unusual — you don’t give a dog away. You say, ‘OK, let’s hold everything, foster this dog so we don’t get held liable in whatever we do.’ I said, ‘You could have protected your ass, and now you’re taking money from the community. You can get sued. That’s community money, and you’re giving this woman no choice but to sue you to get her dog, and she’s within her rights.’”
If Eims’ story on Rex resulted in the HHS losing “valuable resources,” as noted by LeBlanc, then how much money will be needed to fight a lawsuit, if filed by Ms. Trzeciak?
HHS advises Trzeciak to file in court
The HHS recently advised Ms. Trzeciak that in order to regain custody of her dog, she should subpoena documents from the HHS pertaining to Rex and take the new adopter to court.
“If you want your dog back, the only thing you’re going to need to do is subpoena the records and take the adopter to court, and let a judge decide who owns the dog,” Vaughn told Ms. Trzeciak.
In Vaughn’s scenario, the HHS is innocent and not the entity that should be sued in court.
Rather than filing in court to subpoena the HHS records, Ms. Trzeciak requested the HHS provide information about Rex under the provisions of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA).
On December 28, 2011, HHS attorney Kevin Sumida wrote to Ms. Trzeciak, stating: “Please be aware that it is the Humane Society’s position that it is not a governmental agency and, therefore, not subject to the UIPA. Notwithstanding this position, however, the Humane Society will consider your request as noted below.”
The Office of Information Practices (OIP) has issued several rulings that clearly state the HHS is subject to the provisions of the UIPA, the most recent of which was Animal Advocate Inc.’s “Cat Lady” case. (Click the link along the top of our website entitled “The Cat Lady Campaign” to view.)
Although the OIP ruled that the HHS must turn over all documents pertaining to the “Cat Lady” to Animal Advocate Inc., the HHS still refuses to comply.
Animal Advocate Inc. finds it absurd that the HHS continues to deny that it is subject to UIPA law. However, the HHS faces no consequences by refusing to provide information under the UIPA, and insists that the UIPA does not apply to them.
An owner still grieving
Growing up in Poland, Ms. Trzeciak had always dreamed of one day owning her own dog.
“Biologically I have no children, so Rex is like my first-born child,” she said. “He was my first dog I ever got. He was my dream dog.”
Ms. Trzeciak said she flew with Rex and her other German shepherd, Nel, to live on O’ahu in 2008. Two years later, her dream dog ended up at the HHS, creating a nightmare to this day.
Ms. Trzeciak remembers vividly the day she found out Rex was missing, while she volunteered in Africa.
“I literally screamed, “What the (expletive!)” she recalled. Ms. Trzeciak’s breath had suddenly become short, her eyes tearing up. Depression soon set in, and she started praying for help.
“I started praying to angels, hoping for a miracle,” she said.
More than a year had passed with no signs of finding Rex in sight, and Ms. Trzeciak thought she might never see her dog again. That’s when she took the story public.
Although Ms. Trzeciak and her husband said they have plans to live on the Big Island and have made payments on a home there, the couple will not relocate until they are reunited with Rex.
“At one point I felt like giving up, but I realized this pain is never going to go away,” she said. “This is something that will torment me my whole life. Even if I wanted to, I could never give up searching for Rex. My heart wouldn’t let me.”
Animal Advocate Inc. calls for an investigation
Based on the facts uncovered by Animal Advocate Inc., we believe the HHS has caused Ms. Trzeciak and her family to suffer greatly, and unnecessarily.
More than a year has passed since Rex was adopted to strangers, and even the HHS’s chosen reporter, Rizzo, told the HHS that it is wrong.
As a City and County of Honolulu contractor receiving millions of dollars of taxpayer money, the HHS should be subject to a comprehensive investigation initiated by the mayor and/or the City Council.
Once again, it seems the HHS has neglected its due diligence in this case. The Humane Society should live up to its name, and ensure that Rex is returned to Ms. Trzeciak immediately.
Jan. 15, 2012: Pam Davis of Animal Advocate Inc. joined Elzbieta Trzeciak and her husband, Patrick Pettingill, on The Carroll Cox Show radio program to discuss the case of Rex. Guest appearances included private investigator Jo Ann Uhler of Ohio and Examiner.com reporter, Liz Rizzo.
Use the following link to listen to the podcast of The Carroll Cox Show: http://carrollcox.com/podcastlist.htm
Here is the link to Elzbieta Trzeciak’s website, “Rex’s Return: Help Me Reunite With My German Shepherd”:
Here is the link to Animal Advocate Inc.’s Facebook page, with information about Elzbieta and Rex:
Read our letters to Councilmember Gabbard. The Councilmember has initiated an inquiry into the activities of the Hawaiian Humane Society in the case of Rex. We have also written to Councilmembers Tom Berg and Ikaika Anderson, and to Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, asking that a full-blown investigation of the HHS be performed.
Join in the fight to reunite Elzbieta and Rex!
This case involving the adoption of a woman’s dog to another family is egregious, but it is not an isolated incident. This type of continued wrongful behavior on the part of the HHS is costing the taxpayers a significant amount of money, money that was designated for the animals but is now going to pay for HHS’s lawyers, it appears. If you are not aware of the Norman Pang case, please read about this case right here on our website (article entitled “The Hawaiian Humane Society’s Conduct in the Norman Pang Case“).
The Norman Pang case involves the loss of a man’s Constitutional rights. This is simply unacceptable and must be stopped. The Hawaiian Humane Society has become a true liability to the City and County of Honolulu.
TV Station KITV did a report on January 20, 2012 called “City Spay and Neuter Program Discontinued Until July — Exhausted Funds Result in Program Suspension Through Fiscal Year”. In other words, the taxpayers are not going to be able to have their animals sterilized for many months because the Hawaiian Humane Society is not careful with spending funds provided by the taxpayers through the City Department of Customer Services.
We wonder: Is the Hawaiian Humane Society spending too much money on lawyers to fight off complaints due to their negligent behavior and their failure to do their due diligence?
How much money is it costing them to get lawyers to defend against Ms. Trzeciak’s upcoming lawsuit?
This money should be provided for the animals, not to provide a criminal or civil defense for the HHS employees. A change of leadership is needed at the HHS. This has got to stop.
Tulsi Gabbard’s “Investigation” nothing but a whitewash!!!
WELL, HERE IT IS, FOLKS:
Animal Advocate Inc. wrote to Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard requesting an investigation of the HHS’s conduct in this case, which looks to us like a lack of due dilligence. Here is the response from Councilmember Gabbard, explaining her “investigation” into the HHS’s actions in this case. It is a whitewash, pure and simple. Please read it for yourselves.
Essentially, Councilmember Gabbard has simply taken all the statements made by the HHS and assumed them to be true, and has chosen to ignore all of the STATEMENTS OF FACT made in our article and complaint as false. Another injustice has occurred at the hands of the HHS. But this is NOT OVER, because Elzbieta states that she will sue the HHS in court.
Take a look at Councilmember Gabbard’s letter, and note there is no date on the letter, the letter is not printed on official Honolulu City Council stationery, and the letter is not even signed by Gabbard! Honestly, did Gabbard even write this letter? Is this an example of her “leadership”?
Councilmember Gabbard is now running for higher office (the legislature). Let’s keep her whitewash of the HHS in mind when we enter the voting booth. With her actions, Councilmember Gabbard has shown herself to be no friend to animals and people who are suffering at the hands of the HHS and its leaders.
Sadly, we should not be surprised, but we are still disappointed that Councilmember Gabbard did not address the FACTS presented in our article. She simply chose to ignore the facts. Here is her letter:
Dear Ms. Davis,
Thank you for your email of January 16, 2012 regarding a request for an audit of the operation of the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS), specifically its actions related to the disposition of a dog known as Rex. Upon receipt of your transmittal and request for an audit, our office initiated an inquiry into the matter to assess if an audit is justified. We have confined our inquiry to the operational actions conducted by the HHS in this matter since that would be the focus of a proposed audit. Our office provided the HHS with a copy of your transmittal and asked them to respond. Their responses and the results of our research formed the basis of the following chronology, points of clarification and responses to the other matters you cited.
On August 17, 2010 the following occurred:
• Rex was brought to the HHS as a stray.
• Rex was reportedly found on Niulii Street in Waipahu.
• Rex was unlicensed and the micro chip was not registered with the HHS database, however it was registered with AVID.
• AVID verbally provided the HHS with Ms. Trzeciak’s phone number and address. The HHS called the phone number, but found that it was disconnected. A letter was sent to the address, but there was no response.
• Robert Porec, an alternative contact provided by AVID, was called and left a message about Rex. Later he said that he would email Ms. Trzeciak and that he would not be able to retrieve the dog because he had no place to keep it.
• AVID verbally said that a third party was also listed on the chip named Maggie. The HHS contacted this individual and were told that he would relay the message to the dog’s owner.
An individual did come in to the HHS to claim Rex on August 18, 2010. He identified himself as Elsayed Matar. Mr. Matar was not on the list of contacts provided by AVID and did not have papers or other verification to show he was authorized to pick up the dog. He was asked to provide some documentation, orhave the owner contact the HHS with her authorization. The HHS would have accepted an email or phone call from the owner authorizing him to claim the dog, veterinary or any identification records or even a photo of the dog showing that Mr. Matar had some established relationship with Rex. He did not return with any paperwork during the time Rex was with the HHS. The HHS notes that under existing law, they are required to keep an unlicensed dog for 48 hours before placing it for adoption. The HHS further notes that Rex was adopted on August 30, 2010, thirteen days after he was brought in as a stray. On November 1, 2010 Ms. Trzeciak reported to the HHS that Rex was lost.
On November 22, 2010 Ms. Trzeciak went to the HHS and demanded the return of her dog. The HHS explained that it had no authority to remove the dog from his new legal owner. Ms. Trzeciak asked the HHS to forward a letter from her to the new owner. The HHS accommodated this request. In January, 2011 Ms. Trzeciak requested that a second letter be forwarded to the new owner. The HHS accommodated this request.
Other matters of concern:
Manipulation of the Media
What you describe as media manipulation is described by the HHS as efforts to have their side of the story brought to public attention.
The HHS noted that there is a distinction between itself and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The two organizations are not affiliated in any way and the HHS does not receive any funding from the HSUS. In the aforementioned case, the HHS reported that it did not enter Mr. Pang’s property as alleged.
The HHS clarified that its feral cat sterilization program is funded entirely by donations and is not part of its contract with the City and County of Honolulu. The HHS further clarified that for a period of time, for reasons entirely unrelated
to “punishment,” Kishimori was ineligible to utilize this program. However, Kishimori currently enjoys a positive working relationship with the HHS and together they are partnering to address the sterilization needs of feral cats. This positive working relationship extends to other organizations that have similar goals.
Waimanalo Puppy Mill Case
The assertion that the HHS, Ms. Burns in particular, are responsible for the charging of the wrong entity in this case is totally erroneous. Every case handled by the Prosecutor’s Office, whether it originates from the HHS or the Honolulu Police Department is thoroughly reviewed by the Prosecutors. The Prosecutors make the decision whether or not to prosecute, who to prosecute and what to prosecute them for. On September 12, 2011, the Court ruled that the puppy mill must forfeit the 153 dogs and 79 puppies. The trial of this case, on 153 counts of animal cruelty, was slated start on November 7, 2011. On December 12, 2011, the defendants pled no contest. The defendants will be sentenced on February 15, 2012.
As a part of our review of the HHS’ operations over the last five years, the followingoperational information has been collected:
• A total of 13,359 animals were reunited with their owners of which 9,457 were dogs;
• A total of 30,589 animals were adopted out of which 17,988 were dogs;
• Approximately 30,000 micro chips were implanted in animals. This is part of a chip data base of about 110,000 animals that the Society maintains. The Society’s total data base consists of about 340,000 animals;
• The Society responded to a total of 81,624 requests for field services; and
• The Society performed a total of 36,413 spay/neutering procedures at their facilities.
Ater reviewing all the information obtained from our inquiry into this matter, some questions remain unanswered, but we believe there is enough information to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. We attribute the outcome of this matter to be primarily the result of a confluence of circumstances beyond any one individual’s control. We fully understand that the loss of her dog Rex is truly tragic for Ms. Trzeciak. However, we have concluded that the Hawaiian Humane Society did operate within reasonable operational parameters and the information does not support the expenditure of City funds for an audit.
NOTE: The letter was NOT signed by Gabbard, NOT dated, and was NOT on official Council letterhead. How unprofessional, at the very least.
HERE IS OUR RESPONSE TO COUNCILMEMBER GABBARD:
February 15, 2012
Dear Mr. Masuno,
We are in receipt of Councilmember Gabbard’s response to our request for an investigation into the actions of the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS) in the case of Elzbieta Trzeciak and her dog Rex. We are extremely disappointed in her response — or, non-response in actuality. We say that because, essentially, the Councilmember has taken all of the FACTS presented in our article and letter, and simply dismissed them. Instead, she has chosen to accept statements of non-fact made by the HHS. For example:
1. Gabbard writes, “Robert Porec, an alternative contact provided by AVID, was called and left a message about Rex. Later he said that he would email Ms. Trzeiak and that he would not be able to retrieve the dog because he had no place to keep it.” Did you not read our article which clearly states that Robert Porec was not listed as an alternate contact person on the AVID microchip documents? Did you confirm this fact with the AVID company? We have a copy of the AVID document, and Robert Porec’s name is not on it. Apparently, Gabbard did not check, she simply took the word of the HHS.
2. Gabbard continues, “AVID verbally said that a third party was also listed on the chip named Maggie. The HHS contacted this individual and were told that he would relay the message to the dog’s owner. An individual did come in to the HHS to claim Rex on August 18, 2010. He identified himself as Elsayed Matar. Mr. Matar was not on the list of contacts provided by AVID and did not have papers or other verification to show he was authorized to pick up the dog.” First of all, there was an alternate contact person listed on the AVID document, named Elsayed Maggie Matar. This is fully explained in our article. Mr. Matar was authorized on the AVID documents to pick up the dog, but was denied. Instead, the HHS tried to give the dog to Porec, who was not listed on the AVID documents.
3. Gabbard says nothing of the HHS’s granting “Guardian status” to Porec. Did she not read our article at all?
4. In regard to our concerns that the HHS tried to strong-arm members of the media and manipulate its coverage of the situation, Gabbard states, “What you describe as media manipulation is described by the HHS as efforts to have their side of the story brought to public attention.” REALLY? So you don’t think that asking a reporter to lie about a situation in order to protect yourself is a bad thing? The HHS contacted reporter Penny Eims’ boss and complained that she was biased and unfair in her reporting, and asked for her article to be pulled off the internet because it was not favorable to the HHS! The publisher refused. Councilmember Gabbard does not see anything wrong with these tactics? Read reporter Eims’ account of the situation and that of reporter Liz Rizzo, who tells the HHS they were wrong to try to use her to disseminate wrong information! Again, all of this is factual informaiton contained in our article, which we are beginning to believe Gabbard did not even bother to read.
5. In regard to the Norman Pang Case, Gabbard states, “The HHS noted that there is a distinction between itself and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The two organizations are not affiliated in any way and the HHS does not receive any funding from the HSUS. In the aforementioned case, the HHS reported that it did not enter Mr. Pang’s property as alleged.” REALLY? Did Gabbard bother to check with Norman Pang? I think not.
6. In her letter, Gabbard states, “Our office provided the HHS with a copy of your transmittal and asked them to respond.” Fine. But, do you not care if the responses are FACTUAL?
7. Gabbard further states, “Their responses and the results of our research formed the basis of the following chronology, points of clarification and responses to the other matters you cited.” The HHS responses contain lies and untrue statements. Gabbard is not a good leader if she simply regurgitates responses from the HHS, while choosing to ignore FACTS presented by the public. We have spoken with AVID — did Gabbard do that? We have obtained a copy of the AVID document — did Gabbard do that? Why did Gabbard feel it is important to check with the HHS for answers, but chose not to contact Ms. Trzeciak to get her statements at all?
8. Gabbard concludes, “After reviewing all the information obtained from our inquiry into this matter, some questions remain unanswered, but we believe there is enough information to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. We attribute the outcome of this matter to be primarily the result of a confluence of circumstances beyond any one individual’s control.” This proves to us that Gabbard’s “investigation” is a fraud. HOW did she reach this conclusion? The HHS did not perform its due diligence in this case, as proven by the above-referenced FACTS.
We will be posting the audio file of the entire meeting held at the HHS on YouTube shortly. Then you can listen to what Keoni Vaughn and Jacque LeBlanc said at the meeting by the HHS, how they lied, and how they misrepresented the facts of this case. Elzbieta will be posting the video of the meeting on YouTube as well.
Take a look at our website now, since we have updated it with Councilmember Gabbard’s response (go to the end of the article): http://www.animaladvocateinc.org/?p=3207
We have also updated Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Animal-Advocate-Inc/171402089632833
We are extremely disappointed at the lack of a true and meaningful investigation of this situation by Councilmember Gabbard. The HHS is a City and County of Honolulu contractor, receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer’s money. We had hoped Gabbard would do the right thing for the taxpayers and for this woman, Elzbieta Trzeciak, who has lost her dog through no fault of her own.
We put our trust and faith in Gabbard to conduct a THOROUGH investigation of this situation, but instead she chose to simply repeat lies from the HHS. In our article, we describe finding Vaughn in TRIPLE CONTRADICTION! Yet Gabbard can see nothing wrong? It is just insulting for you to tell me, “You may be rest assured that we have taken your concerns seriously and dedicated a significant amount of effort in conducting this inquiry.” It is obvious that you have spent a significant amount of time on a whitewash, on a cover-up, but you did not conduct a true investigation of this case. What a disappointment.
Hopefully, Councilmember Gabbard will answer for this when the voters enter the voting booth.
President, Animal Advocate Inc.
Dear Ms. Davis,
Thank you for your email of January 16, 2012 and your patience in allowing us ample time to conduct our inquiry into the matter. You may be rest assured that we have taken your concerns seriously and dedicated a significant amount of effort in conducting this inquiry. Since the Mayor and Council members were also contacted on this matter and with the involvement of the Hawaiian Humane Society in our inquiry, I will be providing all of them with copies of our response We want to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Dean S. Masuno
Senior Advisor for Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard
Here are the links to YOUTUBE, which has Parts 1 and 2 of the audio recording of the meeting held at the HHS with Elzbieta Trzeciak. You will hear the voices of Ms. Trzeciak, her husband Patrick, reporter Liz Rizzo (by phone), Pam Davis of Animal Advocate Inc., Keoni Vaughn (HHS), and Jacque LeBlanc (HHS). Note: Matt Malta (HHS) also attended the meeting.