Three animal control officers have been accused of improperly euthanizing dogs, causing them unnecessary pain and suffering during the final moments of their lives. According to another staff member at Baytown Animal Control & Adoption Center, Tod Brooks, Veronica Jimenez and Christopher Nightingale were all performing euthanasia without following the proper protocol back in May 2015.
Procedure requires that animals are sedated prior to administering the euthanasia drug, pentobarbital. This sedation eliminates the pain experienced by the pentobarbital injection. Human accounts have proven that in people, pentobarbital is an extremely painful and torturous death and its use in the death penalty is as widely controversial as the death penalty itself. Further, disturbing footage from surveillance videos showed the three workers placing the dogs into plastic bags without checking their vitals first to make sure they were deceased.
Texas law requires that animals are sedated prior to euthanasia and each defendant faces up to 180 days behind bars and a fine of up to $2,000.
“When people think of their local animal shelter, most are realistic and recognize that animals are being euthanized every day,” Assistant District Attorney and Animal Cruelty Section Chief Jessica Milligan stated in a press release, according to KHOU, “but they don’t want the animals to suffer.”
She added, “The job of an animal control officer is not an easy job, but it requires compassion and empathy […] It’s unfortunate that these particular officers didn’t exhibit the compassion towards animals that we as a community expect and Texas laws require.” It’s extremely unfortunate that the people we trust to take care of homeless animals in their final days were acting so cruelly and we hope they get the punishment they deserve.