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Fort Madison, Landfill Vow Review After Disturbing Photo Surfaces Online

Jason Parrott
The chairman of the Great River Regional Waste Authority says it is legal to dispose of dead animals at the landfill, but not in the public manner it was done this week.

The city of Fort Madison said Thursday it will work with a local landfill to make sure proper policies are in place following the posting of a disturbing photo on social media.

The photo, which can be seen at the bottom of this post, shows about a dozen small dogs piled up in a dumpster at the Great River Regional Waste Authority’s Fort Madison location. The dogs, which were dead, were visible to the public.

Brad Randolph, Mayor of Fort Madison and Chairman of the GRRWA Board of Directors, said landfill staff acted quickly in response. 

“The general manager took immediate steps to remove the animals and they were subsequently buried in the landfill,” said Randolph. “Disposing of deceased animals at the landfill is an acceptable practice. The method in which this was done is not acceptable.”

Randolph said steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.

“The landfill and the city are not responsible for the disposing of animals in the picture in this manner,” said Randolph. “The landfill and the city are directly reviewing and reinforcing our current policies and contract arrangements to ensure that this does not happen again. The landfill and the city will take any and all steps to insist on the humane treatment of deceased animals.”

The Fort Madison Police Department issued a statement Thursday afternoon following its investigation into the photo, though it did not identify who was responsible for the dumping.

The department said the dogs were euthanized in the most humane way possible, adding that they were brought to the landfill from an unidentified location in the county by an unidentified veterinarian whose office is outside city limits.  

Credit Facebook
This image from the Great River Regional Waste Authority's Fort Madison landfill continues to be shared on social media.

There was speculation on social media that the dogs were strays picked up by the FMPD, which the department dismissed in its statement.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.