A no-kill shelter in Richmond, Indiana, is under fire after several healthy dogs were euthanized. Reportedly, officials with H.E.L.P. The Animals allegedly lied to employees about the status of at least seven dogs that were put down over the weekend.
Now both the shelter employees and the public are demanding answers as well as action. So far, the director of the no-kill shelter, Jamie Glandon, has been fired. Earlier this week, the board of directors for H.E.L.P. voted unanimously to remove her from the position. Two board members, Michele Curry and Kimm Ladd, have also resigned from the board. Curry and Ladd purportedly took part in the decision to euthanize the dogs.
At the beginning of November, staff at the Indiana no-kill shelter noticed several dogs were missing. When questioned about their whereabouts, Glandon supposedly told workers the dogs were taken to another shelter. Later, after finding out the dogs had been killed, staff members were asked to lie about it.
“The board didn’t want to admit they’d done that so they told all the employees to lie to people and tell them that no they were transferred,” said one worker, as reported by local station ABC 6.
As word spread in the community and on social media, multiple petitions demanding an investigation into H.E.L.P. and its staff started to circulate. Many people who had given money to fund the no-kill shelter over the years have since decided to stop donating.
The no-kill shelter does not receive public money but instead is funded through private donations and grants. Started in 1991, H.E.L.P. only euthanizes dogs deemed to have aggression issues or suffering from a terminal illness. In the past five years, the shelter has only put down 33 dogs related to disease and 19 for bite risk.
Per a report from USA Today, a dog in the no-kill shelter cannot be put down until a euthanasia committee reviews the case and makes the decision. According to a statement from Curry on Tuesday, the cases of these seven dogs were evaluated, and proper procedures were followed.
“We followed protocol. I’m just deeply saddened and upset; it’s unfortunate and I’m just extremely upset right now.”
With seven dogs being euthanized all at once, the no-kill shelter has decided to reexamine its policy. Board member Nancy Rhoades promises the public that changes will be made, including adding more members to the euthanasia committee. Recognizing the emotions that can be stirred up when deciding to put down an animal, having more people involved will increase transparency.
H.E.L.P. is currently in the process of replacing the shelter’s director and the departing board members. For now, the no-kill shelter is hoping to win back the community’s support by changing procedures and asking for forgiveness.
[Featured Image by Sergio Foto/Shutterstock]