Vet's license suspended after accusations of inhumane killings - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Vet's license suspended after accusations of inhumane killings

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) - State officials have suspended the license of a veterinarian who was accused of euthanizing animals without sedation at Sumner County's animal control building.

County authorities have also started a criminal investigation into William Baber, a private vet hired to euthanize animals at the shelter.

The Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners on Wednesday viewed video footage of Baber's practices, which was aired on Nashville television stations.

The video showed Baber injecting sodium pentobarbital directly into the animals' hearts, a procedure known as intracardial euthanasia. The procedure is legal in the state only if the animal is sedated.

Department of Health investigator Ken Jones said during an interview, Baber told him that he sedated animals only "occasionally" before giving them shots in the heart.

Baber, who did not attend the board meeting, is also accused of failing to make sure the animals were dead before their bodies were incinerated, leaving the animals unattended after the injections and not weighing them to verify he gave them the correct dosage.

"We have seen not only a violation but a pattern of violations," said Maven Thompson, president of the state board.

Some people who were at the hearing were upset by the footage, which showed that some of the animals were still alive directly after the injection. One dog was shown walking away from Baber and lying next to a wheelbarrow containing the bodies of animals already euthanized.

"I almost broke down," Hendersonville resident Ben Tomlin told The Tennessean. "I can't believe any human being could be that cruel to animals."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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