Text of Euthanasia Complaint Alleges a Prolonged Demise for Some Shelter Animals

Updated 5 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Shelter File Photo Nov. 27, 2012
Shelter File Photo Nov. 27, 2012

Beverly O'Dell , the former volunteer coordinator at the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Control Shelter filed a complaint Friday . The complaint is available via PDF download. It alleges , among other charges, that insufficient euthanasia protocols were utilized, allowing injected animals to remain alive for lengthy time periods.

At a November news conference, officials stood behind the director. All stressed the improved shelter conditions and decline in putting animals to sleep. See, http://www.huntingtonnews.net/50333

EDITOR'S NOTE: The photos in the complaint provided may be extremely upsetting to some individuals. Viewer discretion is advised.

According to the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website, euthanasia means "good death." The web site explains that "true euthanasia—delivered by an intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital—is painless, quick, and dignified. Because of the high number of unwanted companion animals and the lack of good homes, sometimes the most humane thing that a shelter worker can do is give an animal a peaceful release from a world in which dogs and cats are often considered "surplus."

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States agree that an intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital administered by a trained professional is the kindest, most compassionate method of euthanizing animals. the website states.

Pet MD describes the euthanasia process and proper administration of the chemicals:

The Euthanasia Solution

"Most euthanasia solutions are a combination of chemicals whose intent is to effect a quick and painless termination of nerve transmission and to effect complete muscle relaxation. When nerve impulses are not conducted there is no thought, no sensation, no movement. The solution is available only to licensed veterinarians and your veterinarian must possess a special certificate in order to purchase the solution."


Pet MD describes the injection process and how an animal's behavior may effect the process:

In order to administer the euthanasia solution your veterinarian must gain entry into a vein. The euthanasia solution is specially made to act quickly and painlessly but it must be administered intravenously. This requires that your pet be calm and confident. If the veterinarian requests your permission to sedate your pet, please understand that the request is made in order to humanely and peacefully accomplish the task at hand.



Sec. 3. Procedures for Euthanasia 

(a) A warm-blooded animal may be euthanized only by administering sodium pentobarbital, a sodium pentobarbital derivative, or a substance or procedure, which acts on the central nervous system and is clinically proven to be humane.  When euthanasia is accomplished by adding a lethal solution to water or food, adequate installations shall be provided for feeding and watering which are sufficiently enclosed in order to provide for protection from contamination by feces, uric acid, feathers, and any other debris. 

(b) A lethal solution must be administered in the following order of preference:

    1. By intravenous injection by hypodermic needle;

    2. By intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle;

    3. By intracardial injection by hypodermic needle (only if the animal is already unconscious or insensitive to pain); or

    4. By solution or powder added to food. 

(c) The animal shall be tranquilized with an approved, humane substance before euthanasia is performed. 

(d) Euthanasia must be performed by a licensed veterinarian or a licensed or registered veterinary technician under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. 

(e) At least two people must be present for administration of an injection, one to hold the animal and one to perform the procedure. 

(f) An animal may not be left unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are commenced and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.


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