Shelter (noun): Something that affords protection; a refuge, a haven.
The Humane Society of Fremont County (HSFC) is in Canon City Colorado. It is called an animal shelter, but defies the definition in countless ways. The community needs to stand by the caring individuals that are being denied access to the facilities to save lives. In order to save lives, a shelter needs a compassionate director in order to have a chance at meeting the criteria of its definition. The HSFC appears to be missing this core requirement that all other standard management protocols a great shelter depend on.
See the recent articles
Earlier this year, volunteers filed complaints with the state agency that has the job of overseeing shelters and rescues. Two investigations by Colorado Department of Agriculture in June and July have revealed multiple violations by The Humane Society of Fremont County.
The most damning is that “euthanasia is not being conducted in a humane manner and according to AVMA guidelines”. This alone calls for a change in shelter management and the state of Colorado needs to follow through on this investigation and take other actions needed immediately.
You can see in an article written on 8/14/2013, the violation specifically calls out that a certified veterinarian was not present when euthanasia was being performed. More troubling, volunteers claim that euthanasia, performed with a heart stick, was being performed without anesthesia.
A heart stick is an Intracardial injection. This is an inhumane way to kill an animal that is not comatose, sedated, hopefully fully unconscious. Sodium pentobarbital is injected through the chest wall and directly into the heart. Without sedation, it’s not uncommon for the person administering the injection to miss. This can result in the puncture of lungs and causes them to fill up with fluid. Any way you look at it except performed on a sedated, unconscious animal, this is very painful and a horrific way to die.
The second is horrific accusations result from botched spays and neuters.
According to Stop The Humane Society of Fremont County on Facebook :
“A letter submitted to DORA by a Denver-area veterinary center states that after seeing a dog post-neuter by Gangel, the medical director felt the “scrotal approach to a neuter” was “in violation of standard care” and “the approach used was harmful to the patient.”
Look at the photo on the FB page and you will see how definitive this assessment was.
The director, Tom Cameron was arrested for animal cruelty over a decade ago while in and maintaining the same position.
“The Daily Record reported in February 1998 that Tom Cameron (Director of Humane Society of Fremont County) was arrested along with former employee Roy Hockett on allegations of animal cruelty. Cameron pleaded no contest to a single count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. “
So the Fremont board seems to be laying low in most of this. These are the people that should stand up, recognize there is a severe problem with management and make a change immediately. The violations alone are reason for termination. Unless Cameron is going to make a sea change in the practices of the shelter, it is unlikely the shelter will be positioned to save lives.
Do you think he needs to leave? Can’t Fremont find a better candidate?