Update on puppy abused and killed at Cheyenne shelter with pepper spray

In Cheyenne, Wyoming, a shelter employee contending an eight-month-old shelter puppy was abused with pepper spray in what the Cheyenne Animal Shelter director called a “training exercise,” has alarmed thousands of people. A Change.org  petition, demanding the shelter chief Bob Fecht to be fired, has garnered nearly 8,000 signatures.

“On Tuesday September 11th 2018 the Wyoming Tribune Eagle posted an article that the CEO of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter abused an 8 month pit bull puppy and excused it as a “training exercise”.

According to the Wyoming/Tribune Eagle, 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.

Jay Klapel, the Community Cat Program Coordinator said dogs biting are quite common to shelters, and Fecht’s reaction to Tanner was animal cruelty. Another animal control officer, however stated Tanner had been vicious and defended Fecht’s actions as “safe, brief and a relatively harmless exercise of a ‘vicious dog’ to determine whether pepper spray would deter an aggressive animal…”

Taryn Lackey, a local business person who initiated the petition stating “everyone involved includig the CEO Bob Fecht, should be fired and charged with animal abuse.” As of Wednesday evening, the shelter’s board president Chloe Illoway has been defending Fecht’s actions and what he did was to protect employees. Fecht defended his actions also, stating he wanted his employees to feel they could do their jobs in a safe manner.

The Cheyenne Police Department is conducting an investigation. Meanwhile donations to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter have decreased, but isn’t it just the animals who lose out?

Follow the Facebook page Justice for Tanner to read what people in the community are saying.

Read the previous coverage here.

Follow the latest animal news on the National Pet Rescue Facebook page.

Yesterday in the news: “Crazy Russian” makes millions arranging hunts for endangered animals. More here.

Dog in need: Gentle shepherd longs for someone to love him – more about saving this dog here.

Dog abandoned with broken legs gets a new life:

25 replies
  1. JEANETTE says:

    these people should be fired starting with the ceo on down. of course dogs in shelters are going to bite, they are scared and confused, the animal control is supposed to know this information. the idiots.

    Reply
    • Joan Darnell says:

      First of all, look at pictures of “bite”. They look like scratch marks. Secondly, what is a “dangerous” dog doing in the section of adoptable dogs? Third, why no warning signs on door warning of “dangerous” dog. Fourth, what is an experienced “worker” doing working around, or taking a dangerous dog, for a walk. Fifth, when leashing a dog you are in an upright position~~how did worker end up on the floor? Whole story of Tanner and what happened to him has not been told. CEO and ALL involved with this poor dog’s life should be fired with NO recommendations given to them. Sounds like a group of abusers and should be treated as such.

      Reply
  2. Adrienne says:

    Their investigation better find that this guy is guilty and should be fired and anyone involved in this horrible “training” session needs to work someplace else. No valid reason why he did this to a dog that seems friendly. Being in a shelter is not the norm for any dog, so most of them will act up some way or another.Training like this is not the way to go but more humane and reward based training is what they should be doing. Animal cruelty should never be tolerated for any reason.

    Reply
  3. pennysdachshunds says:

    WYOMING the” EQUALITYSTATE” !!!! SURE IT IS!!! If someone SPEAKS OUT about SOMETHING BEING done that IS NOT ETHICAL THEY are a “DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE” BEEN there Done THAT !! Susan B. Anthony Would be “spinning in Her Grave ” be it Possible over what this State has become… this will be shoved very far under the table… and Jay Klapel will be dismissed … HIDE AND Watch… if there was NO ISSUE with what this Brutal Director DiD “WHY NO VIDEO” in the Good OLE BOY STATE!!! Just for your information Wyoming is ALSO one of 16 States where Beastility ( sexual assault ) to Animals is Legal !!! Wow!!! the Cowboys must love their sheep here!! West Virginia, Wyoming District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky , Nevada, New Mexico , Ohio ,Texas, Vermont are the Other of the 16 States that have not passed a Law making this Illegal … NOW REMEMBER FOLKS READING THIS … WYOMING IS THE EQUALITY STATE. THOUGH NOT APPARENTLY for ANIMAL”S such as the DOG the CHEYENNE ANIMAL SHELTER Director BOB FECHT Decided Needed to DIE.. WHY HAVEN”T the LEGISLATION of this COWBOY STATE VOTED this PREVERTED ACT DOWN DECADES AGO!!!

    Reply
  4. Jan Barnes says:

    Fire and charge the bastard and everyone involved in this tragedy, and donations will increase! In any case, We must not make the animals at the shelter suffer for what the SICK LUNATICS did!

    Reply
  5. Bunny Peters says:

    We have trained many rescue dogs, but NEVER with pepper spray (sometimes used a water sprayer)……..

    I don’t understand why……….

    Poor precious puppy Tanner ……. your life mattered and you deserve justice!!! RIP precious treasure……. Your life was stolen from you….. You didn’t deserve to be tortured with pepper spray and murdered…… You should have grown older (loved and been loved) and been a beloved family member……. please look for MacKitty in Heaven….. you will be welcome to join his group of snuggle buddies…….. so sorry that you were failed so horribly by humans……..

    The POS who murdered this precious treasure will burn in Hell forever for his cruelty…… here’s hoping that he gets there ASAP (after dying a horrible death alone, afraid, in agony & (worst of all) unloved)……

    Reply
  6. Dalma Bugg says:

    So it wasn’t even enough to abuse Tanner with pepper spray? They had to euthanise him too? If I were any one of those involved, I’d be watching my back til I met my Maker because God hates evil. What on earth would they do to s poor dog who was really “acting up” – Lord have mercy on any dog wh crazy ses their time paths again, they should all be banned from ever owning their r works mg with any animal for the rest of their lives plus jail and hefty fines.

    Reply
  7. Jo says:

    I’d like to spray pepper spray til he starts bleeding then hose that prick down with a water pressure so strong it blasts a hole in him!!!

    Reply
  8. Cathleen says:

    Bob Fecht needs to be FIRED immediately. Poor Tanner. He did not deserve this treatment from the folks who are charged with helping him. As it turns out Tanner was owned by a FAMILY who are grieving the loss of Tanner. The particulars I can’t remember but through a turn of events landed at the Cheyenne “shelter.” BTW the VOLUNTEER who was allegedly bit by Tanner tells a whopper of a hysterical tale to the media. She needs to be nominated for an award for acting and then asked to leave as an untrained volunteer with no dog handling skills.

    Reply
    • Adam says:

      Cathleen—
      First of all,she wasn’t “allegedly bit”by Tanner she was viciously mauled and bit not once,not twice,but SEVERAL TIMES AFTER HE KNOCKED HER DOWN AND KEPT COMING AND WAS GOING FOR HER THROAT AND FACE UNTIL HE WAS STOPPED.secondly the girl in question is about the size of a small 12 year old,she’s tiny,about 5’5″—6″and MAYBE 120 Lbs. And Tanner (the “puppy”)weighed nearly EIGHTY lbs—over HALF WHAT SHE DOES. So if she got a little “hysterical” about this MAULING I’d say that’s justified,wouldn’t you?once you have a little PERSPECTIVE???now to be clear that doesn’t make what came after right in any way BUT SHE DIDN’T PARTICIPATE IN THAT —reread the article,it states that very clearly.so let’s maybe reserve our ire for those who have earned it and not those whose only crime is working a thankless job that YOU and I AREN’T DOING

      Reply
      • Cathleen Mason says:

        You’re right we’re not doing a thankless job. However, volunteers no matter what capacity they serve in NEED TO BE TRAINED. You’re going to tell me that she was completely vulnerable (unskilled in dealing with large aggressive dogs)? I don’t work at a shelter nor have I ever but I’ve owned big dogs all of my life and have never been seriously bit and not for lack of trying on their part. It’s a matter of training and sometimes intuition.
        You’re right again when you say I shouldn’t direct my “ire” at her it all belongs squarely in the lap of Bob Frecht who was clearly in the wrong in this instance and abusive to Tanner. The thing that really bothers me about that is that he’ll own up to the act but doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. Ms. Cox refused to spray the dog. Mr. Fecht made sure no one taped or recorded his bullshit “training” session. Hmmm. Because it was abusive and wrong.
        We trust those in these positions at shelters and recurs to make decisions on behalf of the welfare of the animals in their care. I stand by my initial assessment and strongly believe that Bob Frecht needs to be outright terminated from his employment for animal abuse and misuse of his authority. Furthermore, criminal charges for his actions are not beyond the scope and I hope that CPD will find adequate evidence despite the fact that he had Tanner KILLED!

      • Adam says:

        And I agree whole heartedly,fecht DOES need to go,what he ordered done WAS wrong and your right she SHOULD have had more training,unfortunately CAS is understaffed right now and there’s just not enough bodies for the jobs,their doing their best with what they have .my point was simply you shouldn’t talk bad about this girl who’s only crimes are getting attacked
        While giving her time and sweat (and now in this case blood)to help these animals.I never defended fecht or his actions in any way.

      • joseph brian zumbrun says:

        If she was able to go back to work the next day… She wasn’t mauled…I knew Tanner personally and he wasn’t vicious … He was 8 months old and around kids all the time… Never bit any of them…. If a puppy scared her that bad then she’s in the wrong business….

      • Jeremy long says:

        I also new Tanner personally. He was never aggressive around me or anybody . Tanner and my dog Jackson witch also is a pitbull use to play for hours and hours .. I don’t give to shits about what anyone says Tanner was just a baby a 8 month old baby..Tanner has been around children his hole short life. So quit making excuses about how she was scared for her life… You will be missed little buddy. R.i.p Tanner onelove

      • REBECCA HICKS says:

        Adam, the level of viciousness of the attack is a reason for euthanizing the dog…NOT for torturing him first.

        And as others said, not much of a “mauling” if she was back the next day.

        I’m the same size as her. 5’5” is a normal height for an adult woman, as is 120 lbs. And what does it really have to do with anything?

      • Gayle says:

        mauled? did she go back to work the next day? gee wonder if the dog knew this person did not like Tanner? or she feared Tanner? maybe she needs a new profession

  9. VICKI THOMAS says:

    I feel the volunteer was not adequately trained in how to deal with these situations and should have never been allowed near any animals in the shelter. Tanner was in an unfamiliar place and then pepper sprayed way after the infraction. I mourn for his unnecessary death. Where is that petition, I can’t find it anywhere?

    Reply
  10. Cathleen says:

    IT took me forever to find the petition too. It’s on the Justice for Tanner Facebook page. I agree with you completely on your points, however Bob Frecht needs to be fired with no benefits after he committed the criminal act of animal abuse and coerced his employees not to record or video his corruption. I feel horrible for Tanner. RIP baby. RIP.

    Reply
  11. Pat says:

    I am so sick of hearing about animal cruelty. Now it is in shelters. I hope they charge the people who did that and it is crap saying they were untrained since no one should be abusive to any animal. I hope they rot in hell

    Reply
  12. ESTHER TARTAGLIA says:

    BOB FECHT DESERVES TO BE FIRED. TANNER WAS JUST A PUPPY. BOB NEEDS TO BE FIRED WITH NOT BENEFITS AFTER HE ABUSED THE DOG WITH PEPPER SPRAY. WHAT A SNEAK HE WAS TO TELL THEM NOT TO RECORD THE VIDEO OF HIM BEING A ASSHOLE. HOW ABOUT WE PEPPER SPRAY HIS ASS. THAT IS A SICK POS WHO WORKS THERE. NICE WAY TO SHOW EMPLOYEES TO ACT. HE HAD NO PROBLEM KILLING THAT DOG. YOU THINK THIS SHIT IS RIGHT. VOLUNTEER WAS NOTHING BUT A PHONEY JERK. SHE IS A UNTRAINED VOLUNTEER AND SHOULD BE LET GO. AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, SHE IS A IDIOT. YOU HAD TO ABUSE TANNER WITH PEPPER SPRAY AND THEN KILL HIM. SHELTERS BOARD PRESIDENT IS AS STUPID AS BOB. 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. WHAT A ROTTEN PLACE THIS IS. I WOULD HAVE THROWN THAT STUPID VOLUNTEER OUT THE DOOR WITH HER LYING. WHOEVER THE OFFICER WHO KEPT SPRAYING THE DOG SHOULD BE FIRED TOO. WHY DONT YOU PUT HIS NAME. I AM SURPRISED BOB ASSHOLE WASNT THROWN OFF THE PROPERTY. YOU LET THESE JERKS GET AWAY WITH IT. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. HE IS A SICK MAN.

    Reply
  13. Cathleen says:

    I find it very hard to believe that an 8 month old puppy viciously mauled anyone. Viciously? Really? At 8 months old. He was undoubtedly scared in the loud and chaotic shelter. Especially so after all he’d known was a family home up to this point in his life. And NO ONE has ever come forward to say he was even aggressive except the shelter. The family and friends reported him as playing with children very well.
    I don’t think that this “mauling” is justification for killing Tanner either. Poor baby.

    Reply

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