Board Suspends Cruel Tennessee Vet After Video Exposes Euthanasia Practices
This is one story I am thrilled to be able to pass along. I was incensed when I wrote about Dr. Bill Baber and his cruel euthanasia practices and so were many others!
Dr. Baber, hate to even call him a doctor, is the Gallatin vet who was caught on an undercover video euthanizing animals by injecting them right into the heart with a lethal injection, which is both cruel and against the law.
The practice of giving an animal a shot to the heart is also outlawed by the state for veterinary technicians unless the animal is completely sedated or comatose.
According to the video from the Sumner shelter, dogs’ tails are visibly wagging and cats are flailing before they’re given the lethal injection.”It’s just a horrible, horrible way for an animal to die,” said former euthanasia technician June McMahon.You can read the original story here.
See the Newscast/video – HERE
According to the tape, dogs were brought in by trustees from the local jail, pulled up and lethally injected right into the heart with no sedation and were dead within minutes. Cats were also brought in on catch poles, and the video shows doctors stepping on them to help control them, and then administering the shot.
None of the cats or dogs seen on the video was sedated during the procedure. In some cases, the dogs and cats were being euthanized as quickly as once per minute.The heart shot is such a last resort that veterinary technicians are prohibited by state law from administering it unless the animals are heavily sedated or comatose.The Sumner County Animal Shelter’s own guidelines ban the heart shot, also known as intracardiac euthanasia.
Some animal professionals have called the procedure inhumane.But, according to the tape and a trustee working there, it’s happening again and again.“It’s pretty cruel, you know. It’s how they do it,” the trustee said.
One week after his cruel methods were exposed, the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has suspended his license!
Animal advocates wept and turned their heads as the undercover video was shown to the Board.
Experts on animal medicine, state investigators and the jail trustee featured in the I-Team report all testified.
This emergency meeting of the Board was called to determine if Baber proved to be a threat by his practices.
The video shows Baber putting animals to death by injecting them directly into the heart using the heart shot method. The method is not permitted by the Sumner County Animal Shelter’s own guidelines and veterinary technicians are prohibited from using it.
“He said he would feel for the heart and do the shot,” said investigator Ken Jones, who interviewed Baber about the incident.
The Board listened to testimony that the animals were never sedated before the heart shots and that Baber is not seen checking for signs of life after the euthanasias and that other animals witnessed the deaths.
“Thankfully there’s no audio, because the animals were watching,” said expert witness Dr. Mary Ergen.
The board voted unanimously to temporarily suspend Baber’s license.
Animal advocates applauded the Board’s decision.
“I think they did the right thing,” one advocate said.
Baber did not attend the meeting. A date is set for later this month for a formal hearing that could permanently strip him of his license.
According to the I-Team’s Jeremy Finley, Sumner County has terminated its contract with Baber.
After being closed on Monday following death threats, the shelter has since reopened. (WSMV)
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