Vet Charged for Cruel Euth. Methods
TENNESSEE – We first reported on the Gallatin, Tenn. vet who used the 'heart shot' method a few months ago.
Since then an investigation by District Attorney Ray Whitley has found Dr. William Baber guilty on 12 misdemeanor counts, most of which were for animal cruelty.
Baber was arrested just after the new year, after WSMV Channel 4 aired video of the doctor euthanizing animals. The video shows him using the heart shot method, during which the animal is injected with Phenobarbital directly into the heart.
Law requires that under normal circumstances an animal must be sedated first, then injected. After the fluid has been administered intravenously, the animal's vital signs must be checked.
Baber didn't do any of that, and instead injected the animals directly into their hearts.
His defense was that he didn't know an ordinance banning such methods had passed.
The charges include four animal cruelty counts, four counts of violating the humane death act, two violations of state euthanasia law and two more counts of falsifying government documents.
Each of those charges are directly related to the WSMV investigation by reporter Jeremy Finley.
Soon after this story first aired, Baber was ordered to stop performing euthanizations. Following his court appearance, the vet had been forced to close his practice until April. He also cannot perform euthanasia for five years in any shelter.
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