Cruel and Unusual Euthanization

November 7, 2007 | By Matt Van Hoven | 619 comments
Tags: euthanization, cruel, vet

A Gallatin, Tennessee vet is under fire for using a method of euthanization that many consider inhumane.

Video from local WSMV 4 shows veterinarian Bill Baber using what is known is a heart shot – where the chemical used to end the animal's life is administered without a sedative – and is injected directly into the heart.

State law mandates any non-farm animal be sedated before euthanization – but that law only applies to veterinary technicians.

That's because hitting the heart with a needle isn't always easy. Baber says his way is faster.

WSMV TV quoted him as saying, “there's a difference between shelter medicine and veterinary medicine. It ain't pretty.”

The Sumner County Animal Shelter gave Baber $9 per animal he euthanized. That total came to $22,000 – meaning he put down over 2400 animals. Some say he's using the heart shot method becasue he can earn more money that way.

Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson, who hired Baber, said he doesn't blame the vet – Thompson says it's a reflection of the irresponsibility of the people who surrendered the animals in the first place. He has asked Baber to change his practices, though.

Others have volunteered to perform the euthanizations free of charge, but the county has decided to stay with Baber.

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Comments (378)

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Chris M.

Chris M.
5 years ago

Take away his creds!

Good Point | Reply ›


6 years ago

I just know I was told eons ago that if the vet does not administer the sedative run, don't walk to another vet. The emergency clinic by me uses 3 total. I think one is for the nauseau.
This is just barbaric and is yet another example of how backward this country is regarding its animals.

Good Point | Reply ›

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