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.
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