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1145 Pets at GA Shelter Killed with Drug Dosage Based on a Guess

One of the Floyd Co AC shelter’s stated goals is:

To provide unwanted, sick or injured animals with humane euthanasia, according them dignity and respect during that act.

The GA shelter recently expelled their volunteers who had been helping to save lives.  Even though the volunteers helped reduce the number of pets killed at the shelter, there have been 1145 pets killed in 2010 (stats through September 30).  The report details the total number of animals taken in YTD (year-to-date) as 4627  (with 116 of these classified as “others”) and breaks down their disposition as follows:

Those numbers add up to 4237 – a difference of 390 animals.  I’m guessing some of those can be accounted for by the “others” category and the shelter may have hundreds of animals on hand.

This week, a woman sent a list of questions about the shelter’s practices to the local newspaper.  She comments beneath the article that she received an e-mail from shelter director Jason Broome answering her questions and that she has posted the information here.  In his response, Mr. Broome states that all current shelter staff were trained in euthanasia techniques by two local vets in 2007.  Those vets were Drs. Goldberg and Todd.  That sounds appropriate, which is why I was surprised to read this bit:

6. Did FCAC ever guess about the weight of an animal when using medication for euthanizing?
Yes.  Until 10-26-2010 we were inspected annually by the DOA and never instructed to obtain a scale for the purpose of euthanasia.  However on the 10-26-2010 DOA visit, FCAC staff was instructed and did obtain two scales (one for small animals, one for large animals) for use in the facility on 10-27-2010.

Did Drs. Goldberg and Todd fail to include weighing the animal as part of their instruction to the shelter staff in 2007?  (If so, I wonder what else they left out.)  No one in the shelter thought that guessing the pet’s weight was inappropriate?  Doesn’t it say on the bottle that the dosage is based upon the animal’s weight?  Surely it doesn’t say “Use the dosage that you guess might be closest to the actual weight of the animal”.

Perhaps this accounts for why some animals at Floyd Co AC had to be re-injected with the euthanasia drug after the initial dose failed to kill them.  Mr. Broome’s answer to question 5 refers to “seemingly normal animals” sometimes requiring “more than the recommended dosage”.  Since that dosage at Floyd Co was calculated based upon a guess of the animal’s weight, I have no doubt that could happen.

In summary, from January 1 through September 30 of this year, 1145 animals had been killed at Floyd Co AC using a dosage of euthanasia solution based upon a guess of the animal’s weight.  Some unknown number of animals had to be re-injected with more of the drug because they were left alive after the initial injection.  No one at the shelter, including the director, thought this was inappropriate.  As of October 27, the staff now weighs the animals before killing them.

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