SUGAR LAND, Texas – A spokesman for the City of Sugar Land says it’s hard to tell what would’ve become of the dozens of animals put to sleep had proper protocol been carried out, and says they now have to work to regain the public’s trust.
Meanwhile, two women who were fired as part of the investigation are giving us their sides.
”We determined that at least 38 dogs and cats had been euthanized at that facility since April,” said Sugar Land Spokesman, Doug Adolph.
He says that about a week ago, an employee told them animals were being euthanized without having undergone veterinary and behaviorist evaluations, which goes against the city’s protocol.
”We immediately contacted the shelter manager and confirmed that that information was accurate,” Adolph said.
Adolph says the shelter manager, who is certified to perform euthanasias in Texas, just not at that facility, resigned before an investigation could begin.
”Whether or not he thought it’s right or it’s wrong, it was not acceptable,” he said.
Five other employees said to have been involved were terminated today.
KPRC 2′s Deven Clarke sat down with two women who were among those fired.
They asked not to be identified but said they worked at the facility for years and were just following orders of the service manager who came on the job about nine months ago.
”It was never our decision,” one of the women said. “I trusted my higher-ups in believing everything that they told me.”
The women say they were charged with cleaning up after the procedures but never participated in them or ordered the euthanasia.
”At most, we would say, ‘Hey, this dog growled at me, and we just kind of made note of it,’” one of the women said.
They were terminated for not reporting what was going on.
”We didn’t know it was against the policy,” one said.
But Adolph says all city employees undergo training that focuses on policy and procedures.
”Whether or not they prepped the animal, whether or not they cleaned up afterward, they’re required to report activity that is not consistent with policy and procedure and they didn’t do that,” Adolph said.
Because of the resignation and terminations, we’re told the shelter is now down to five employees, and city employees from other departments have been temporarily reassigned there to help.
Adolph says an investigation is underway in conjunction with the state to determine whether any legal action will be taken.