State of NC Revokes Certifications from Two ACOs

The NC Department of Agriculture received a complaint from a citizen in June regarding improper pet killings at the Stokes Co pound.  On July 2, the department revoked the euthanasia technician certifications from two ACOs at the facility. An investigation conducted by a state inspector found that Phillip Handy, then director of the Stokes Co pound:

  • killed animals before the required 72 hour holding period expired
  • improperly killed at least one animal in May 2015 “which involved the cruel and inhumane treatment of the animal”
  • “performed, participated in and/or witnessed” the inhumane killing of multiple animals
  • treated multiple animals cruelly and inhumanely causing them pain and suffering
  • shot an animal as “euthanasia” and failed to report it
  • failed to cooperate with the state during the investigation

The state further found that ACO Darryl Sheppard:

  • killed animals before the required 72 hour holding period expired
  • witnessed at least one inhumane pet killing incident in May 2015 and failed to report it
  • “performed, participated in and/or witnessed” the inhumane killing of multiple animals
  • shot or had knowledge of the shooting of an animal as “euthanasia” and failed to report it
  • failed to cooperate with the state during the investigation

Neither Sheppard nor Handy has been charged with any crime in connection with the department’s findings but the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating both men.  They no longer work for Stokes Co.  The facility failed its most recent inspection in late August.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

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  1. Robert Berke

     /  September 14, 2015

    All I can say, from the bottom of my heart, is that Especially people in this kind of position MUST have compassion for animals. These pos idiots are abusers and I wish painful deaths to ALL. abusers! So you two can just drop dead!

    • I remember speaking to someone who was brought in to turn around a high kill shelter and he said one of the most difficult problems with being a high kill shelter was the turnover. Animal lovers who wanted to get the animals out alive, would take positions, but couldn’t handle high amount of killing. They would soon quit rather than stay around to help turn things around, for their own mental health. The people that took and stayed in these positions were people that you really wouldn’t want around animals.

      • This is exactly why organizations like TZI, who claim it’s ridiculous to require shelters to stop killing simultaneously with an appeal to the public for volunteers/fosters/new staff are so wrong. Many, in fact I would guess most, compassionate people dedicated to saving animals are simply not going to stay on board with pet killing protocols in place. This is the primary reason I do not volunteer at my own local shelter which functions primarily as a pet killing facility.

      • Robert Berke

         /  September 15, 2015

        Our shelter destroyed its gas chamber and went no kill over 12 years ago. When the Director came on local tv crying that politics had left her alone to run the place, my wife and I immediately signed on and the rest is history! IT CAN BE DONE!

  2. Oh great. Idiot yahoos with precious little oversight and apparently no accountability (fired? How about criminal charges, guys? If a regular joe did that, you’d lock him up. Why is it different for an ACO? It should be worse for an ACO!).

    I guess the good news is that now at least we hear about these things. Many places that were allowed a free hand in the dark (for DECADES) are being brought to light. Sure, accountability would be nice, but maybe that’s to follow.

    • Susan

       /  September 15, 2015

      Mikken I live in NC and, in response to my question why shelters get away with things that would result in animal cruelty charges for me, an employee of the Dept of Agriculture (which oversees state shelters) said, “I don’t know, ma’am; I’m not the police.” Which, of course, did not answer the question. Someone else later told me that government agencies will not require humane treatment of companion animals because of the influence in this state of factory farming interests. God forbid that those torture facilities should be expected to end their cruel practices.



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