CEO for Cheyenne Animal Shelter suspended for using pepper spray on puppy

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Cheyenne Animal Shelter CEO Bob Fecht has been suspended after community outrage when an eight-month-old shelter puppy was abused with pepper spray in what the Cheyenne Animal Shelter director called a “training exercise.”

In an emergency meeting held on Monday night, the Board of Directors suspended Fecht for 60 days without pay. He must also provide, within 30 days, an acceptable plan of action to restore the trust of the shelter with the community.

“The Board of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter unanimously adopted a policy that does not support the use of animals in pepper spray training exercises. The decision to use an animal, aggressive or not, in pepper spray training as a way to simulate a realistic scenario and demonstrate its effectiveness for employee safety is one that the Shelter Board feels was not justified and cannot support. After reviewing all of the facts of both incidents, the Board feels confident that the decision to use an animal for pepper spray training was not made with the intent to cause harm or inflict punishment on the animal. However, it also feels that the decision was rash and made without proper consideration of alternative training methods. Mr. Fecht, as the CAS CEO, is expected to demonstrate and ensure that all decisions he makes with regard to the organization uphold and protect the organization’s mission.”

The statement continued stating the Board of Directors will closely review and monitor the corrective action.

“The Shelter Board, beginning immediately, will be closely involved with reviewing and implementing corrective action. The Shelter Board understands that loss of trust has resulted from these incidents and will work tirelessly to do better by the organization and the community beginning with requesting a best practices audit and improving community input. The Shelter is already working to review and improve measures to ensure employee safety.

The work of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter is never ending. We appreciate your support and comments. Please feel free to contact us at”

Following the Board’s decision, Fecht released a statement apologizing for what happened and the heated controversy surrounding the abuse of the nine-month-old puppy. The shelter volunteer and foster coordinator Marissa Cox had been bitten by the pit bull mix named Tanner. Animal control officers were able to put the dog back into his kennel, and Cox was treated for her injuries.

The following day Fecht ordered officers to bring Tanner, along with another dog meant to agitate Tanner, to the back of the shelter telling all the employees that no one was to video what was to take place.  Fecht ordered Cox to use pepper spray on Tanner once the dog was agitated. Cox refused, however another officer complied. Tanner was sprayed until he coughed up blood, and then the dog was hosed off with water, brought back to his kennel and euthanized 24 hours later.

According  to  Kgwn, Fecht stated he never meant to cause injury or damage to Tanner, nor was there any intent to tarnish the reputation of the shelter adding his primary goal was to protect employees.

“…upon reflection I realize that the decision I made was a personal and emotional reaction on my part and I sincerely regret not having considered alternatives before acting,” Fecht stated.

Rest in peace Tanner. The abuse you had to endure was heartbreaking.

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10 replies
  1. Pamela Garlisch says:

    60 days without pay is nothing! He needs to go through anger management classes and to re-think what he is there for…….to take care of the animals! I hope the Shelter Board does what they say they will do and keep checking on this because as of right now there is no trust! RIP Tanner, you didn’t deserve this.

  2. Jan Barnes says:

    No forgiveness, EVER! Trust, NEVER! He should be fired and ROTTING IN JAIL!

    Place cameras EVERYWHERE! This place must be watched UNDER A MICROSCOPE!

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    I say the POS should have been FIRED! It will be interesting to see what kind of “plan” Bob Fecht will be able to come up with to “restore the trust of the shelter with the community”. He has already probably destroyed any that the community had in the first place.

  4. Mary Ann Clark says:

    This monster should be in jail and NEVER allowed near animals again! This was clearly an act of animal torture and obviously the city of Cheyenne is abetting this horrible abuse!

    • Stephen Phillips says:

      “…upon reflection I realize that the decision I made was a personal and emotional reaction on my part and I sincerely regret not having considered alternatives before acting,” Fecht stated.


      His only “regret” is the fact that his heinous actions were brought to light!

      60-day suspension is pathetically far short of the appropriate sanction: discharge and prosecution!

  5. Sue says:

    This reminds me of when I went to our local humane society for help regarding the police hanging their K9’s to unconsciousness (and kicking, etc.). Not only did I not get any help from them, I found out later that they’ve had their own “training” program, and also hang dogs. They even hanged the dog of the ex-mayor of one of our local cities, and caused injury to that dog. I called that mayor, and although she didn’t deny it, she was very nervous and didn’t want to talk about it. I met with someone else in that city, and she had a file on the “humane society” as thick as the one I have on the PD, but no one in charge does anything about either one. I have other examples from other cities, counties, and the State, too.
    It takes community outrage (which requires media assistance in getting the word out), and that outrage needs to be sustained, or the CEO of this pound will likely be returning to work with back pay.

  6. susispot says:

    It sounds like the shelter board is taking our complaints very seriously. That is a good thing. As for that brute that abused Tanner that got a 60 day suspention, I say, “SEND HIM PACKING! When all is said and done, Tanner is and will always be DEAD! RIP baby.

  7. pennysdachshunds says:

    I DID take the time and wrote a letter to the Board of Director’ in Cheyenne of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and got the address off the net. I informed them that I felt as a Professional RN that there were issues that didn’t make sense and It was my professional opinion that this suspended director NEEDED to HAVE a Complete PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION and MENTAL HEALTH CONSULTATION with a Professional Mental Health Professional Prior to this Shelter even thinking of taking this individual back on staff.
    What he did is not of the Norm! and he single out this particular dog!!! I also feel the President of the Board of directors has issues to as she immediately indicated the staff member.. THAT BROKE THE CODE OF SILENCE WAS CALLED A “DISGUNTLED EMPLOYEE ” Why because she OPENED HER MOUTH & DIDN”T KEEP THE CODE OF SILENCE!!! I say Good for HER>> the President Needs to offer a PUBLIC APOLOGY and ALSO BE GONE!!


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