Update: Improper euthanasia practices at Amarillo's Animal Control
April 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM CDT - Updated July 20 at 11:07 PM
UPDATE: Amarillo, TX - The city is responding to allegations that Animal Control is improperly euthanizing dogs, cats and other animals within its walls.
In a written statement they write the Amarillo Police Department is investigating the operations there and quote, "The allegations are serious and city administration supports a full and complete investigation."
A video from inside the Animal Control EU building was obtained by NewsChannel 10 on Wednesday. The video contains graphic images of a euthanization.
State code states animals must be injected in a "quiet location" - that the dose must be appropriate for an animals weight.
An animal control officer told us they do not have scales.
State code also states that all available measures should be taken to minimize fear and anxiety, and that the dogs should be monitored from the time euthanasia procedures start to when death occurs.
Our source says these codes are violated daily.
State law also reads the animals must be unconscious or anesthetized and that is what bothered a local vet we spoke with the most.
"I think the most stressful thing in that situation is you have to have them properly anesthetized before you do an inter-cardial shot. And that dog was clearly not sedated or anesthetized the way protocol is regulated...to be," said Dusty Demere, DVM.
The city has promised to conduct an internal review for possible non-criminal violations of policy one police complete their investigation.
Texas Health Services, the agency that writes state code told NewsChannel 10 that any violation of their codes is a Class B misdemeanor.
Both the director of animal control and assistant director remain on administrative leave.
Amarillo, TX – The Amarillo Police Department is investigating allegations involving the operations of the Amarillo Animal Control Department. The allegations are serious and City administration supports a full and complete investigation.
Immediate steps were taken early in the investigation to ensure both the integrity of the investigation and to continue providing the essential public safety duties required of Animal Control operations. This includes measures to ensure the proper care and handling of animals. Two employees are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Upon the conclusion of the police investigation, the City will conduct an internal review for possible non-criminal violations of policy.
If anyone has information regarding this investigation, please contact Lt. Stan Rickwartz at the Amarillo Police Department at 378-9403.
UPDATE: Amarillo, TX - On Monday we first reported the director and assistant director of animal control were reportedly on paid administrative leave amid improper euthanasia procedures at the shelter.
Video obtained by NewsChannel 10 captures one of those procedures on camera. The video contains graphic images.
According to state code all animals being euthanized must be in a quiet room alone, in the video you see he or she in a room with other dogs laid out already dead or in dying stages.
The animals are also, according to code, to be unconscious or heavily sedated before being euthanized to minimize pain or suffering with the drug they are said to use Xylazine.
According to vets we spoke with it would take at least ten minutes to take effect. The dog in the video receives the kill shot within seconds. Amarillo, TX - There are new developments into allegations of improper euthanasia practices at Amarillo's Animal Control.
Video has been released to us through an unnamed source, showing numerous violations of Texas’ administrative code.
We have also spoken with an anonymous source who shared other gut wrenching euthanasia testimonials.
On Monday we first told you that the Director Mike McGee and Assistant Director Shannon Barlow had reportedly been placed on administrative leave. The city had no comment as it was a personnel issue.
We are also sharing the video with area veterinarians to get their feedback. And will be speaking with and showing the city the video that has been released to us to see if they have any comment at this point in the investigation.