The 57 cruelty charges against 3 current and former Gallia Co dog wardens in Ohio stem from illegal killing protocols at the Gallia Co pound according to Gallipolis city solicitor Adam Salisbury. Specifically at issue is the allegation that the wardens were injecting sodium pentobarbital into a shoulder or hip muscle of shelter pets before injecting it into the heart muscle, causing needless pain and suffering.
The Ohio SPCA however is alleging a different type of cruelty entirely – at least with regard to 11 dog carcasses they obtained and had necropsied at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Teresa Landon with the Ohio SPCA says the intramuscular injections were not evident at the time of necropsy:
“There is no evidence of (the dogs) being injected (with sodium pentobarbital) in the muscles,” Landon said, citing OSU’s necropsy results. “They were injected in the heart and lungs.”
Good, right? Because we were concerned the dog wardens, all trained and certified in proper euthanasia protocols, had possibly gotten lazy or just didn’t care about the animals they were killing. But it looks like we can cross lazy off the list:
[M]any of the [necropsied] dogs suffered “body changes compatible with blunt thoracic and head trauma” before and during the euthanasia process.
“Several dogs were bleeding on the head or had blood coming out of their mouth,” [Landon] said. “They died horrible deaths.”
For anyone not sure of what they just read, Ohio SPCA appears to be alleging that the Gallia Co dog warden beat the dogs about the head and chest and/or strangled them before and while he was jabbing a syringe full of Fatal Plus into their hearts. In addition, the Ohio SPCA’s report includes witness testimony indicating dogs at the Gallia Co pound were trapped using a squeeze gate on the kill room wall. The witness alleges dogs were never sedated prior to heartsticking (as required by law), were often jabbed multiple times in the heart and would sometimes stagger around the kill room for 30 minutes before finally dying. The gruesome torture inflicted on these poor pets put me immediately in mind of the Memphis kill techs, finally brought to justice in 2012 after an undercover police officer witnessed them sadistically killing dogs and cats at the pound.
While the new allegations in the Gallia Co case step the heinous nature of the charges up a notch, Gallia Co sheriff Joe Browning seems more concerned with finding out how the Ohio SPCA got the 11 carcasses they sent for necropsy:
It was not clear Saturday night if whoever took the dog carcasses from Gallia County could face charges. Browning said Saturday night that the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office “will have to look into it.”
Yeah, definitely find and charge that person. That’s the real crime here.
The two current dog wardens are sitting at home being paid by taxpayers. All 3 have entered not guilty pleas.
(Thanks Arlene and Clarice for the links.)