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Franklin shelter changing policies after dog was shot

Posted August 20, 2013
Updated August 21, 2013

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— The director of the Franklin County Animal Shelter used a .22 rifle to dispatch an injured basset hound, a method of euthanasia that is outside the approved guidelines for sick or injured animals.

Taylor Bartholomew reported his action to the state Department of Agriculture's Animal Welfare Section, and he was disciplined. 

Sheriff Jerry Jones said it was a mistake, and that the county is taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

“The animal director decided to shoot the dog at the kennel at the animal shelter instead of waiting for someone to euthanize it medically,” Jones said. "I think we had some human error and we are working to correct that.”

According to the state and a report by the animal shelter, the dog got into a fight with a pit bull when the two shared a kennel at the shelter at 351 T. Kemp Road in Louisburg.

Shelter staff didn't immediately think the dog's injuries were serious. A couple of days later, Bartholomew said, he realized the dog was chewing on his injured paw and appeared to be in severe pain, so he shot him.

At the time, there was no one available who was certified to euthanize the dog.

While state policy allows animals to be shot under extreme circumstances, it prohibits that action on shelter property. 

Jones said the county had plans to improve training for all who work with animals.

Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones Franklin facing changes after dog's death

"Immediately I made that a priority that every officer that works at the animal shelter will be trained to euthanize,” he said.

"Honestly, I think this was a mistake," he continued. "I do not think there was any ill intent or criminal intent – it is just something that the only thing we can do is learn from it."

Jones added that he doesn't want a single incident to overshadow the good work done at the shelter. He pointed out that the facility averaged about 30 adoptions per month last year. 


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  • ConcernedNCarolinian Aug 23, 2013

    Shooting animals to kill them quickly hasn't been around since the "beginning of time" ... it's only been around since guns were invented. And when people did that as the main method, that's because it was the best way at the time, not now. Further, gas chambers were the best way to extinguish animals at one point in time ... it no longer is the best way. If the dog waited days before being euthanized already, it could have waited until the vet came to the shelter to euthanize other animals.

    What this comes down to is poor judgement, and breaking the code/law for this sort of thing.

    BTW, if you read other sources, mainly from the shelter's statement, this was a basset mix and that could mean anything ... the dog probably had shorter legs so they said it was a basset hound. No one at the shelter has the REAL ability to properly identify breeds in dogs, it's a guessing game. So the whole "PIT BULL WITH A BASSET HOUND" argument is pretty irrelevant.

  • Good gift 88 Aug 22, 2013

    Is it possible that working everyday in an environment where you see the consequences of neglect , abuse and human irresponsibility causes one to lose their judgement...... Even lose the sense of compassion for animals which they might have previously felt? Who, pray tell would put a Bassett in with a pit bull? Have you ever been to the shelter? As much as hey they seem to try, the place is usually overcrowded, ad the dogs are so stressed that they bark non-stop. That's enough stress to make them crazy and reduce he chances of becoming a family pet. Maybe more education for the care providers would be a good idea. Maybe more public responsibility to spay, neuter and care for what you've got would make a dent in he problem.

    Love, from all my rescues.

  • zenonx6 Aug 22, 2013

    If you do it right it's just as quick. Been around forever like the guy below said.

  • heard-it-all-before Aug 22, 2013

    very sad story.

    but hey, at least while you libs debate it to death and pass some more laws that require 800 phone calls all the way up to Congress to get approval to engage, the rest of us take solace in knowing the dog is no longer suffering in pain, died quick and is now in a much more peaceful place.

    men shooting suffering animals has been around since the beginning of time. that is, until pharmaceutical companies, pet food giants, animal rights activists and control-freak governments teamed up to build this animal "healthcare" industry we see working so well today...

  • earthmama Aug 22, 2013

    The thing about bites is that they are puncture wounds. Puncture wounds harbor bacteria and need to be kept open, sometimes via a drain sutured in place. If these puncture wounds close over with the bacteria inside, abscesses form and they are VERY painful. They are also very TREATABLE.
    This Bassett may very well have been in pain and crying out in addition to mouthing his injured paw. There are some dogs who get vaccines, cry, whine and hyperfocus on their vaccine site...but an individual with some experience in animal health and welfare certainly would not over-react and shoot the dog.

  • kellypratz Aug 22, 2013

    who the heck puts a pit bull with a bassett hound! that's like putting a mouse in a cat's cage don't you think?

  • bdu4dals2 Aug 22, 2013

    OK, that is outside the guideline for sick or injured animals. What about the off duty cop that shot a German Shephard in the stomach 4 times, yes in the stomach, could not even deliver a humane kill shot, JUST because the dog was on his property. I would have stomped a mudhole in his backside and walked it dry! The dog made it home and the owners had to take it to the Vet to put him down.....no charges will be filed.....are you for real? I have neighbors that have dogs and they occasionally visit my yard, and yes sometimes leave calling cards, but I certainly don't shoot them. Sorry I got off track but I just saw this article on the news.

  • Sherlock Aug 22, 2013

    Sheriffs in NC only worry about money and their party, law enforcement is a second job, when their is time. If Sheriffs were hire and not elected there would be big change.

  • Sherlock Aug 22, 2013

    This is known as "After the barn door" yes?

  • beachbum1 Aug 22, 2013

    WAY TOO many cowboys