Euthanasia, a Greek term that actually means ‘good death’ is far from what Gallatin, TN vet, Dr, Bill Baber has been giving the dogs and cats he has been employed by Sumner County Animal Shelter to euthanize.
It’s bad enough the incredible number of dogs and cats that are killed every year but until people take responsibilty this sad situation will continue. Is it too much to ask they these poor animal are at least given as merciful a death as possible?
Proper euthanasia methods require that the lethal injection be given intravenously. Baber’s method is to have a jail trustee hold the dog or cat up and he sticks the lethal injection into their hearts.
“He hits them with the needle. They flip. They flop,” said a source who didn’t want his identity disclosed to the public. “They’re just basically going nuts. They’re yelping.”
Not only is this method cruel, it is also violates state and national guidelines. So what’s the advantage? It takes less time and at the $9 per animal killed that Baber makes, that made him about $25K last year alone for killing almost 3,000 dogs and cats.
What’s Baber got to say for himself? Now remember, this is a licensed veterinarian with his own private practice. Baber says that he wasn’t aware of the proper euthanization procedure.
Well he was capture in an undercover video doing the intracardial injections. Tennessee’s Non-livestock Animal Humane Death Act states that “intracardial injection by hypodermic needle [should] only if performed on heavily sedated, anesthetized, or comatose animals.” The video doesn’t show Baber giving the animals a sedative. At some points, he appears to step on some of the animals’ heads to keep them still before he injects them.
Needless to say, animal lovers and advocate are disturbed, to put it mildly. Especially over the fact that trained volunteers have offered to provide the service for free but Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson said he will continue employing Baber.
“We’ve changed the method for now and for the future, we’ve corrected the problem, I feel like,” he said also adding that he will ask Baber to euthanize animals intravenously instead of through injections into their hearts.
Thompson said Baber isn’t to blame for this controversy. He said the problem starts with irresponsible pet owners who don’t spay and neuter their animals and often dump unwanted dogs and cats in rural areas.
Personally it sounds to me like Thompson is doing some CYA (cover your ass) politicking here. Yes, the fact that these animal are in a position that they are having to be killed does ultimately fall on the shoulders of irresponsible owners but the fact that they, for at least the past three years, have been being killed cruelly and inhumanely rests on Baber’s shoulders, a trained and practicing vet who has no excuse for not knowing or practicing humane methods! And with evidence indisputable showing this, Thompson much now shoulder his share of the blame for not getting rid of Baber, especially considering trained volunteers have offered to provide this service and for free yet.
Sumner County resident and animal lover Peg Olea was one of the first to raise questions about Baber’s actions and she doesn’t plan to just let things drop quite so easily. Not only does she, along with some colleagues, plan a protest against Baber, she also hopes to present evidence to the State Veterinarian Board.
Source – News Channel 5