Hernando County Animal Services has been plagued with problems over excessive euthanasia. On Friday it was discovered that yet another dog fell victim to their mistakes and paid for it with his life.
When it was time to euthanize the dog, Animal Services worker Michael Steele, did not verify the identity of the dog, and instead used the cage number, unaware of the fact that the dogs had been switched. Then the wrong dog was killed.
Hernando County Animal Services has a long history of being more eager to kill than to adopt.
In July 2010 on a visit to the shelter I reported that… “Kennel Worker, Dave Krusko appeared angry and frustrated as he walked past me. Then I heard him comment that he had been “euthanizing all day”, and complained that the people in the front office should not be “letting people back here (to the adoption area) when I’m busy euthanizing.”
In March 2012, the county agency was in the spotlight again after an 8-month-old dog, Zeus, was killed just 15 minutes after arriving at the shelter.
Local residents and shelter volunteers have been suggesting staff and policy changes to remedy the problems at HCAS.
While some changes have been made in recent weeks, deadly problems and bad publicity persist.
The solution may only be found in cleaning out the entire agency from the top, down to the last kennel worker, since partial efforts for improvements appear to continue to fail.
Brooksville’s Pet Luv Clinic director Richard Silvani, who donates veterinary services to Hernando County Animal Services, expressed his concerns and frustration in an email in April, calling the situation at HCAS a “crisis… from failure to vaccinate on intake, to poor record-keeping, to euthanizing at will rather than going through a real evaluation procedure.”
Silvani added, “Things are at a breaking point, and we will either have a house-cleaning and a great leap forward or the whole effort will end.”
With yet another wrongful death of an undeserving dog, it appears that the “breaking point” has passed. Hernando County Animal Services is simply not doing the job taxpayers are paying for.