Florida Pound Accused of Inhumane Treatment and Cruel Killings

Last week, the former medical director of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County in FL, Dr. Sara Mathews, went to the media with allegations that pets at the facility were being killed for treatable conditions and were not sedated prior to killing:

“The dogs, they’re pulling them into the euthanasia room. The dogs know where they’re going. It was just awful.”

Dr. Mathews said she spoke up about the cruel and needless killings and was fired in September as a result.  Annette Miller, chairman of the HS board denies the allegations:

“Our employees are angry that are here,” Miller said. “Because they feel like it’s a reflection on them. We just had a meeting with them, and they’re very disturbed. Because they know that the allegations are false.”

But 3 days later, one of those employees also spoke out to the media:

Cindy Wade, who still works for the organization, said dogs were euthanized without anesthesia.

Wade claims that one injured dog was quiet until it was given the fatal shot without sedation.

Ms. Wade describes witnessing that dog receiving a heartstick without sedation.  She says “the dog screamed until it was dead”.

The HS has an animal control contract with the county with its facility serving as the county’s official pound.  The contract is up for renewal:

As it negotiates a new contract with the Humane Society, St. Lucie County commissioners have heard from Mathews and representatives from other animal care groups. The commission is now considering putting some standard-of-care expectations in that contract.

Ya think?

23 thoughts on “Florida Pound Accused of Inhumane Treatment and Cruel Killings

  1. Why does this have to go on? Why do the people who “run” these shelters get away with what is happening? If there are witnesses giving statements then it is an official thing where the police should be involved or other animal welfare charities. These shelters are not helping animals they are just a slaughterhouse where cuts are made to make things easier for the people “running” them. This is a disgrace.

    1. Not only is it allowed to continue but according to one of the articles linked above, someone recently bequeathed $2 million to the place and they are planning to open up another facility. Double the cruelty.


  3. Well, according to Florida state law:


    Heartsick is perfectly legal. It also says “A dog or cat may be tranquilized with an approved and humane substance before euthanasia is performed.”

    MAY. Which implies a choice not to tranquilize. So the cruel way they “euthanize” animals is actually perfectly legal under Florida state law.

    Get the law changed.

    1. By the same logic you apply here, using a heart stick and no anaesthetic to kill animals is a CRUEL AND EVIL SADISTIC CHOICE made by this so-called animal shelter whose Board should be sacked. How would Annette Miller like to have her grandchildren euthanised by a heart stick with no anaesthetic? I am not advocating this but want her to understand these animals were someone’s innocent pets; they do not deserve to be cruelly tortured to death – which is exactly what she is condoning. SHAME ON THE BOARD AND MANAGEMENT OF THIS POUND! It is morally wrong to do this to animals, and also a breach of workplace laws to force staff to participate in animal abuse! Please refer this to Animal Welfare Defence League

  4. Why is denial always, always the first move for the people in control of these shelters?

    Just once I would love to see someone act like a freaking grownup and say, “You’re right – things are happening here that suck and since I’m in charge, I’m responsible. I should have stopped it before, but I didn’t for whatever reason. In any case, it stops today because I am taking full responsibility for what goes on here.”

    1. In your dreams! The CYA mentality is a trickle-down habit. It starts with HSUS and the rest of the big liars and they network the policy all the way down to the lowly janitor. We have local Animal Control employees who are union experts! They know exactly how much they can get away with, and for how long.

  5. These groups that call themselves “Humane Society” of whatever, are they affiliated with the HSUSA? Does the HSUSA think that heart sticking without a tranquilizer is “humane”?

    I can’t believe it’s cheaper to kill animals than it is to try to foster and adopt them out. This country and the treatment of its poor, elderly, children and animals is disgusting and getting even worse. God help us.

    1. I agree with Mikken. When are we as a society and in general, going to start taking responsibility for our actions!!! The poor animals have already been dealt a crummy hand in life–having owners who didn’t care for them. Then, they are housed in crummy conditions, where they are lonely, sad and betrayed. They smell the death all around them which frightens them immensely. Then they are euthanized inhumanely and painfully too!!! NOT!! Laws need to change and FAST!! The scourge of mankind is NO empathy…and it is in full force here in the US! Horrendous, and not acceptable! Shame on this HS pound. How can you sleep at night!!

    2. I’m with you, too, Crystal. Even though the Humane Society of the United States is not connected with any local humane society, HSUS is still hugely wealthy and influential and SHOULD speak out about these atrocities. It shouldn’t matter that they are a separate organization and not a parent group. They should be the first ones to express outrage and demand change, but instead, it’s the opposite — HSUS is deliberately silent when these disgusting practices come to light, and their silence helps perpetuate those very practices. Same with the ASPCA and PETA.

    3. Crystal- to clarify on your question, the HSUS is not affiliated with ANY humane societies in the US. HSUS is a lobby organization and their job is to try to change laws in regards to animals. They don’t actually have any shelters, and don’t actually directly care for any animals

      This is a common misperception for most people in the US

  6. Miami Redux.
    This is just a remake of an old horror story that is nearing completion. You can read the book and find out how this one will end.
    As a critic I really like the plot twist in this one. The Medical Director, a DMV is the public whistle blower. That means she was stonewalled and had to run an end play to get results.
    A second DMV has posted in the comments backing up the first.

    I would reccomend the St. Lucie County commissioners
    read the Miami tale for what is in store for them at the polls. Contracts and laws don’t stop bad people and poor administrators. They have to demand a complete change in leadership at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County and not just accept the normal whitewashing that is probably in progress now.

    I really love the heart the people of Florida show in these cases.

  7. I volunteer on a regular basis at the shelter iunder investigation. I am outraged,sickened and disgusted.We are to be the voice for these creatures that turn to us for love and compassion and empathy.i will be protesting loudly and with great conviction .

  8. I’ve forwarded this on to the HSUS, since they have an office in Florida, and might be able to shed some media attention on this situation. Unbelievably cruel. I don’t know how a technician could do this, and still sleep at night.

  9. all shelters should be no kill, period. healthy animals are being killed for no real reason and it sickens me. i doubt these 2 women are lying,and i think the HS is now trying to cover they’re asses.

  10. Just like pedophiles place themselves in jobs (teachers, coaches etc) around children I am beginning to believe the same goes for people who get a sick kick out of abusing animals. More and more cruel acts are being uncovered in places where animals should feel safe not tortured.

  11. The State of Florida and Federal Governments must step in and dismiss Annette Miller and her dysfunctional Board who have overseen this horrific cruelty, and management of this shelter must be urgently replaced with genuine animal welfare managers. Thank you so much, from the animals and from animal advocates, to the hero staff like Cindy Wade and Dr Sara Matthews who should be promoted for their courage, compassion and sound ethics in “outing” this cruelty to the media and the public. Dog owners around the world are absolutely appalled by this and many will boycott tourism to Florida until this shelter is overhauled to a LOW-KILL facility run by COMPASSIONATE management and staff – NOT cold-hearted callous corporate psychopathics with no conscience who don’t care that they are inflicting horrific cruelly on God’s creatures who just want to be able to live and give human’s unconditional love. Mr President, Mayor, the world is disgusted by this – MAKE IT ILLEGAL NOW FOR SHELTERS TO DO THIS and to shoot or gas animals as some also do. STOP THE PET HOLOCAUST!!
    Dog owners and animal lovers, I urge you to comment here and to also ALERT MEDIA to get this story on front pages of newspapers and in news bulletins around the country until politicians DO SOMETHING ASAP to STOP THE PET HOLOCAUST! There is no excuse for this – these people are behaving like state-condoned sadistic Nazi torturers! Is that how the USA treats its pets?

  12. Someone please contact the family of whomever just bequeathed $2M to this shelter and explain to them what’s been happening and ask them to purchase the shelter with this money and turn it into a No-Kill shelter (guide them as to how to do this etc). Thanks

  13. I agree. This shelter needs to undergo a total change and stop hiring money hungry sociopaths! I can’t believe anyone could do this/ They have to be crazy and sadistic and put in a psychiatric hospital for a long long timke!

  14. This shelter should be closed down, and reopen with new staff. What is wrong with these people, they are evil.

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