Zeus the euthanized dog investigation discussed at commissioners meeting

4:35 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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"Zeus" was euthanized less than an hour after he was dropped off at Hernando County Animal Services. The incident has sparked outrage and even death threats against employees of Hernando County Animal Services.


Brooksville, Florida -- An investigation is about to begin to figure out why Zeus, an eight-month-old dog, was put down not even an hour after entering a local shelter.

Previous Story: Why was dog euthanized less than an hour after arrival?

About 50 people packed a meeting of Hernando County Commissioners on Tuesday, wanting to hear answers and express their concerns about the Hernando County Animal Shelter.

"We want the inhumane treatment and the neglect and the cruelty at the animal shelter to stop," said shelter volunteer Laurie Boynton.

She and other volunteers called for staff to be fired, the hiring of a veterinarian to care for the animals in the shelter, for commissioners to consider a no-kill policy, and for an agency outside of Hernando County to investigate the shelter's operations and the conduct of animal services.

The office of the Hernando County Clerk has agreed to take on the investigation. County Commissioners voiced their agreement with the Interim County Administrator's recommendations to focus the investigation in part on how and when the shelter chooses to euthanize animals, what the rules are after an owner gives up a dog, and how staff is qualified and volunteers are trained.

While the investigation continues, shelter staff involved in the euthanization of Zeus will not make decisions about putting other animals to sleep. Instead, those decisions will be left to the county's fire chief, Mike Nickerson, who also oversees animal services.

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