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Franklin shelter fined for shooting dog

Posted September 30, 2013

Franklin County Animal Shelter

— The director of the Franklin County Animal Shelter faces a $5,000 fine and the facility could see its license suspended for six months 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.

Bartholomew and the county have the option to appeal the penalty.

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.


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  • sandlfarm Oct 4, 2013

    Those defending Bartholomew's actions are wrong. He should be fired and control of the animal shelter removed from the sheriff's jurisdiction. I am county resident and know of 2 vets who would have seen this dog pro bono. In addition private rescue organizations would have also provided money for the dogs care. No one was ever asked. There is much more wrong here than the animal welfare law violation. Having police run an animal shelter is equivalent to calling 911 for a robbery and having the county clerk's office respond. Our animal shelter should be staffed by qualified people (vet techs, dog trainers, rescue volunteers)and be an independent branch of the county just like the BOH or the public library.

  • liswki Oct 3, 2013

    So, who here actually knows all the details? Who here has ever been the victim of malicious rumor?
    What if you were told the person that put the dogs together had been fired? That the person that was supposed to check on the dog had been fired. That the dogs injuries were way worse than have been reported and the only humane thing to do for the dog was to put it out of it's misery? Does anyone on here know the laws for euthanizing an animal in a shelter? Does anyone know how far away the properly trained vet was? Would all of you without this information-all of you calling for the one person that was actually thinking about the injured dog to be fired-would all of you have rathered that the injured dog be left to suffer for the hour it would have taken for the vet to arrive? Just curious. You don't know the details. Stop being so quick to judge. Perhaps some of you would be judged pretty harshly if only part of your story were known. Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

  • sthiggs Oct 1, 2013

    Unless you have been in a situation an animal needs their pain ended immediately, you can't begin to understand. Last summer a teenage girl hit a dog on 96 in Franklin Co. I stopped to check on the situation. This young girl felt horrible. The owner...not so much. The dog was in so much pain, blown pupils, paralyzed rear legs, skin ripped down to the bone. The old man had money for cigarettes and no money to care for his dog. A blanket was brought out, as he was going to try to put it across the street and put in on his back porch. This was a Saturday night, animal control was dispatched. The dog bit the mans pants leg and I asked if the dog had it's rabies shot. The man said no...I was so angry that he had not taken care of his dog, no shots, running loose and damaging someone's car and he didn't care. If I had had a gun, I would have shot the dog myself. I have never used a gun. Animal control came and took the dog away. Walk in this man's shoes before you judge.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Oct 1, 2013

    You can what if all day, however, he was the director. "IF" this was the case, his staff should have been trained better.


    What if they were trained not to put those breeds together and did so anyway. What if he trained and tested them and they passed with flying colors and then broke a rule? His fault still? Like you said, we can what if all day. Everybody can always armchair QB on Monday and be right as rain. Unless he put the dog there he shouldn't be fined for dispatching it. He remedied someone else's mistake.

  • cn38of50 Oct 1, 2013

    There are not enough shelters or money to operate them and their "Answer" is to fine the shelter and maybe close it down?!

    Punish the PEOPLE involved,the person with the gun should be terminated, the person who put the two animals together should be terminated, the people who didn't bother to check the basset for injuries should be terminated!

  • Obamacare for everyone Oct 1, 2013

    This story is disgusting and this man should have been fired for this.

  • puglove Oct 1, 2013

    "What if SOMEONE ELSE put the basset in with the pit while Bartholomew wasn't there? What if he was out of the office on business and the dog was attacked 20 minutes after being put there and Bartholomew shot the dog?"

    You can what if all day, however, he was the director. "IF" this was the case, his staff should have been trained better.

  • goappstate Oct 1, 2013

    Come on people wake up! A dog knows no difference between a bullet and a needle.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Oct 1, 2013

    Not the dog's fault it was injured but the fault of the person that put a smaller, less aggressive animal in a cage with a larger more aggressive dog to start with! Lots to be corrected here.


    What if SOMEONE ELSE put the basset in with the pit while Bartholomew wasn't there? What if he was out of the office on business and the dog was attacked 20 minutes after being put there and Bartholomew shot the dog?

    And to all those asking why the vet wasn't called....vets don't do much, if any pro bono work. I'd imagine the ratio of stray dogs to vets willing to treat them free of charge is out of this world. Everybody wanted a scapegoat, someone to take the heat, and they got it. It's not like he has a reputation of mistreating animals. If you don't like shelter life for animals, go get yourself a shelter dog or pay for their care. If not, put a cork in it

  • puglove Oct 1, 2013

    I think better judgment should have been used here. I understand if he was trying to keep the animal from suffering, but was there not a vet anywhere around? I don't understand why shooting the animal was the best option. I'm not sure that he should lose his job, but maybe everyone in the facility should go through some simple training courses to ensure that everyone understands proper protocol. I am not happy about the dog being placed in a kennel with another dog, I understand space constraints but if a dog is aggressive, it should have been isolated. It says in the article that after a couple days they noticed the animal was in pain, I understand this was a shelter but when something like this goes on, the animal should have been checked out by a vet. Obviously this man was not aware that he had done something terribly bad because he reported it himself. This just sounds like a series of bad events that was just not turning around.