||| Nikolai Sorokin | Dreamstime |||
Animal rights advocates and dog lovers alike are up in arms after a dog was shot with pepper spray before being euthanized in a shelter in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The move has caused a huge uproar leading for calls to have the shelter president removed from his position.
The Cheyenne Animal Center claimed that the dog, Tanner, an 8-month-old 70-pound pit bull, had to be euthanized because it attacked an employee earlier this month. It added that the dog had to be pepper-sprayed for “employee safety.”
A concerned employee at the shelter refuted the claims, however, and said the dog was made to suffer unnecessarily before it was euthanized.
The shelter came to the decision to put Tanner down after employee Marissa Cox said the animal bit her several times on September 4.
Cox said: “He got a bite on the lower right shin, and then up to my thigh. Once he got to my thigh, the next place was going to be my face.”
Cox admitted that she didn’t need extensive medical attention but claimed, however, that she feared for her life after the multiple bites.
It is not clear from the shelter’s narrative if anything could have triggered the dog to be more aggressive than usual.
The order to use pepper spray on the dog came from the shelter president and CEO Robert Fecht. He issued the instruction the following day after the biting incident, even telling employees to bring Tanner outside for the pepper-spraying.
Former employee Kevin Brueck who opposed the pepper spraying move from the start also accused Fecht of instructing the employees not to have their phones out while they pepper spray Tanner.
Brueck also described what happened next: “The next thing you see is Tanner coming around the corner, just looking like, messed up and confused. He’s got some red dripping out of his mouth.”
In his defense, Fecht said he ordered Tanner sprayed as “part of a controlled demonstration using the animal that everybody in this building was the most afraid of.”
The shelter president said he was afraid if they didn’t do what they did, the biting incident could have happened again and somebody might get killed as a result.
Animal welfare advocates and dog lovers are questioning the necessity of the method, claiming that it is not a humane tactic to resort to. As a result of what was done to Tanner, a petition has been started calling for Fecht’s head to roll, so to speak.