Florida Animal Service Director Fired After 20 Animals Were Euthanized in One Day

On October 1, Jacquelyn Johnston was hired as the new animal services’ director of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Division. Then on Friday, October 10, The Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced that she had been terminated, after only nine days on the new job, reports WFTV.

The decision to terminate Johnston came after 20 animals were euthanized in one day under her direction. Sgt. James Vachon, a sheriff’s office spokesman, gave a detailed account of what occurred on Thursday, October 9. According to the Orlando Sentinel, an animal shelter volunteer reported the shocking incident. Vachon specified 18 dogs and two cats were euthanized that day. Although he admitted some of the animals may have been sick or injured, but all of the animals reportedly did not fall into the category.

“To be fair some were indeed sick or injured but certainly not all,” Vachon said.

According to the sheriff’s office guidelines for animal services, euthanasia is permitted only when it is considered a “last resort” when animals are terminally ill or injured and cannot be adopted. Therefore, Johnston violated the agency’s policy on the use of euthanasia. In the past two years, the department has reportedly faced scrutiny from animal lovers who are fighting for changes to promote adoption in order to reduce the use of euthanasia. Back in 2009, 2,037 dogs and 4,404 cats were euthanized by the department. However, the numbers have declined drastically with only 710 dogs and 2,896 cats euthanized in fiscal year 2013.

The Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders released an official statement in regards to Johnsons’ termination.

“This decision was made on our watch and we have taken swift action to ensure it does not happen again,” Borders said in a statement.

What do you think of Johnston’s decision to allow 20 animals to be put down in one day? Share your thoughts.

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