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Old 05-22-2011
Concern4Dogs Concern4Dogs is offline
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Default Private Shelter? Euthanasia?

I’m confused

I can’t seem to find any information whether or not a facility can be recognized as an animal shelter. Is it possible to be a private Animal Shelter without being governed by the county or municipality? I’m having a bit of trouble finding the definition of an Animal Shelter in my state. In my research the only thing I’ve come up with is our State Animal Laws which seems to be about Government establishing and funding rather than any regulation or establishing of a Shelter outside of the local government:
“The governing body of the county or municipality is authorized to establish an animal shelter for the county or municipality for the purpose of impounding and quarantining dogs and quarantining cats and shall employ such personnel, including enforcement personnel, as may be necessary to administer the provisions of this article. If an animal shelter is established, funds to establish and operate the shelter and employ necessary personnel may be provided in the annual county or municipal appropriations.”
And....

According to my state, a Certified Euthanasia Technician may euthanize. However, those who may possess Euthasol are limited to—“Veterinary clinics; Animal shelter by direct licensing; Governmental animal control agency by direct licensing; Department of Natural Resources by direct licensing.”
  1. Is there a way that a CET in a private facility can acquire Euthasol?
  2. How is the amount of Euthasol regulated or can it be obtained as often as necessary?
  3. Is every euthanasia documented since it's a controlled substance that is being used?
  4. Can Euthasol hurt a human if accidently exposed to it?
  5. Is Euthasol an expensive drug to purchase?
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Old 05-22-2011
acofred acofred is offline
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If you're not under the government or contract with the government, you're more accurately defined as a rescue. They usually employ or retain the services of a licensed veterinarian.

In answer to your questions (and this is for Oklahoma, but I bet it's pretty standard nationwide):

Q1: Is there a way a CET in a private facility can acquire Euthasol?
A: In OK, a Certified Animal Euthanasia Technician must be employed by a recognized and certified facility. The Tech must undergo background checks by both State and Federal drug enforcement agencies BEFORE being allowed to receive the training. The facility must be inspected by the State Veterinary Medical Examiners Board and meet its requirements. The Tech's certification is only valid as long as he/she is employed by the certified facility. Only after jumping through all these hoops may a Tech purchase the drug.

Q2: How is the amount of Euthasol regulated or can it be obtained as often as necessary?
A: I don't know of a limit that can be purchased, but you MUST keep METICULOUS records of its use. EVERY drop must be accounted for. If your records don't match the amount remaining on hand, expect an investigation and possibly loss of your certification, not to mention criminal penalties.

Q3: Is every euthanasia documented since it's a controlled substance that is being used?
A: Easy answer. YES!! See answer to Question 2.

Q4: Can Euthasol hurt a human if accidentally exposed to it?
A: Depends on your definition of "hurt." Probably won't hurt, but it will kill you (depending on the nature of the exposure).

Q5: Is Euthasol an expensive drug to purchase?
A: That one I'll defer to Dr. Negrin; she undoubtedly has more experience with that aspect.

Last edited by acofred; 05-22-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 05-22-2011
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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ACOFred,

I'll add to your quote since your answers are pretty much on the mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
If you're not under the government or contract with the government, you're more accurately defined as a rescue. They usually employ or retain the services of a licensed veterinarian.
Very similar in NJ. Every shelter, pet store and/or rescue group must have a Supervising veterinarian to determine what is appropriate for disease control and to monitor the health of the animals at such a facility.



Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
Q1: Is there a way a CET in a private facility can acquire Euthasol?
A: In OK, a Certified Animal Euthanasia Technician must be employed by a recognized and certified facility. The Tech must undergo background checks by both State and Federal drug enforcement agencies BEFORE being allowed to receive the training. The facility must be inspected by the State Veterinary Medical Examiners Board and meet its requirements. The Tech's certification is only valid as long as he/she is employed by the certified facility. Only after jumping through all these hoops may a Tech purchase the drug.
In the US, only a person having a CDS (controlled dangerous substance) license can purchase controlled drugs, in which Euthasol is one. Shelters can obtain such a license without a veterinarian but this is only to purchase euthanasia solution. Any other controlled substance would be purchased under the supervision of the Supervising veterinarian, i.e. it is under that vet.'s license. The tech. would not have the CDS license; it would be the shelter. I believe the manager or the HO would be listed as the person having the license.

In NJ, a tech. or anyone else wanting to be certified in euthanasia would be trained by a veterinarian, who would then write a letter to the State stating that the vet. trained such person in euthanasia and believes that the person is competent in euthanasia. I have trained only one person at this time; this person, I believed, was background checked before being given the position of ACO. Now, I know that he was not; there is a State investigation occurring right now of that municipality. I can't say anything further than that.

The municipality that I currently work for (as an ACO) does background check. I was asked to train my partners. We have not had a lot of opportunities to perform euthanasias since we hardly get any animals to hold, and when we do, we usually find the owner relatively quick or an adoption agency to help us. I've only euthanized probably about four animals (3 wildlife that were extremely ill and one cat that was ill) in the time frame of 1.5 years that I have worked with this municipality. I hope our numbers remain low.



Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
Q2: How is the amount of Euthasol regulated or can it be obtained as often as necessary?
A: I don't know of a limit that can be purchased, but you MUST keep METICULOUS records of its use. EVERY drop must be accounted for. If your records don't match the amount remaining on hand, expect an investigation and possibly loss of your certification, not to mention criminal penalties.

Q3: Is every euthanasia documented since it's a controlled substance that is being used?
A: Easy answer. YES!! See answer to Question 2.
You must have a controlled dangerous drug log book. You must account for every drop that you use. If the drugs are missing, you must report it to the local police and to the State drug enforcement agencey (DEA). I had a break in where I lost 5 bottles of ketamine six years ago. I had to change the locks on the doors, install cameras, buy new drug lock boxes, etc. It was not fun. I did not lose my license or get penalized in any way since I did everything possible to assure the safety of my drugs. Since the door was not broken into, it was assumed to have been an inside job, more so since after I installed the cameras, etc. one of my staff members quit all of a sudden.

You can buy as much as you want at any time but if you do not use it all or you all of a sudden have a large spike in purchase, then you will be flagged and possibly investigated. When I began working at a different office before I purchased my practice, the practice was flagged because I used a different combination of drugs than the "boss". Once they realized a new doctor was hired, it did not go any further than that.




Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
Q4: Can Euthasol hurt a human if accidentally exposed to it?
A: Depends on your definition of "hurt." Probably won't hurt, but it will kill you (depending on the nature of the exposure).
YES!!!!! I had a syringe come apart while I was euthanizing a dog. The dog died before I got all of the drug in the dog. The needle clotted and as I was trying to force the rest of the drug into the dog, the syringe came off the hub of the needle. I got a face full of euthanasia solution. Some of it went into my eyes. I ran from the room screaming since the eyes can absorb drug fast. I had contacts in my eyes. I was pulling the contacts out as I was running to the nearest sink. In a matter of less than a minute, the contacts had been burned. A permanent ring was left in the nonvisual area of my eyes where the contacts were located. (The euthanasia solution pooled around the edge of the contact and "burned" the outline of the contact onto the non-visual portion of the cornea.) I went to the ophthalmologist when it occurred since I thought I might lose my vision if not die from the exposure. They did not see anything wrong. The next year when I went to have my eyes tested, the ophthalmologist noticed that the non-visual cornea was scarred. He tested my vision; no permanent damage since it seems like the contacts took the burn in the visual region.

Since that day, I use only locking syringes when I perform euthanasia. The price between the locking and non-locking is nothing. I don't know why my boss did not buyt syringes with that safety feature.



Quote:
Originally Posted by acofred View Post
Q5: Is Euthasol an expensive drug to purchase?
A: That one I'll defer to Dr. Negrin; she undoubtedly has more experience with that aspect.
Euthanasia solution is cheap. I don't buy a lot since I do not perform convenience euthanasias. A 100-ml bottle, the last time I purchased it, cost me about $39.
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Old 05-22-2011
Concern4Dogs Concern4Dogs is offline
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Thank you all for your educational advice. I've had a suspicion that something was amiss here.

I desire to help the animals, but if I'm not mistaken it sounds like I'm volunteering in a somewhat shady organization. None of the above mentioned regulations and procedures are observed and adhered to.

It is not my desire to stir up trouble and defame someone's reputation or character. I won't lie, I strongly felt that something was not on the up-and-up, but I'm hoping that in this case their might be an exception that I'm not aware of.

Should I confront the owner of my concerns and new knowledge, or will that be a sure bet I'll no longer be able to volunteer helping the animals?
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Old 05-22-2011
acofred acofred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concern4Dogs View Post
Thank you all for your educational advice. I've had a suspicion that something was amiss here.

I desire to help the animals, but if I'm not mistaken it sounds like I'm volunteering in a somewhat shady organization. None of the above mentioned regulations and procedures are observed and adhered to.

It is not my desire to stir up trouble and defame someone's reputation or character. I won't lie, I strongly felt that something was not on the up-and-up, but I'm hoping that in this case their might be an exception that I'm not aware of.

Should I confront the owner of my concerns and new knowledge, or will that be a sure bet I'll no longer be able to volunteer helping the animals?

Personally, I would leave before I got caught up in an investigation. I'm betting the owner knows they're doing things they're not supposed to, or will become defensive when confronted. Find an organization with a good reputation to volunteer for.
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Old 05-22-2011
Concern4Dogs Concern4Dogs is offline
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Well I'm shocked at what I've discovered. I definitely no longer want to be involved in this particular facility. I won't be going around there again.

My heart aches for the dogs I leave behind. They are being neglected and mistreated in more ways than I've mentioned. I wish I could do something to eliminate their pain and suffering. I have nightmares about what I've witnessed.

Hope I don't experience similar situations when I volunteer somewhere else. Maybe I'm just being too sensitive, but I can't stand to see any living creature being treated inhumanely.

Is there any course of action you can suggest that I might take to improve the conditions for the dogs I leave at this facility?
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Old 05-23-2011
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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I'll tell you what happened to me TWICE. The first shelter I reported for what I saw, attacked me by filing false charges against me to discredit me. It took a long 4 years for me to clear my name and to prove the ACO had a criminal record. I tried reporting what I saw to the State Health Department. They failed to do anything until one of my clients found the criminal record. Now, there is a State investigation going on.

In the second shelter, I stayed out of the place as much as possible. It did not seem like they were following protocols either but I did not know how many animals the State would consider too many. There were too many animals but the staff seemed to be constantly cleaning. I was the on-call ACO so.... I stayed outside in the car until I got a call. The only times I went inside was to get the key for the ACO vehicle, deliver a dead body to the freezer or intake an animal. I tried to stay in the waiting room, if at all possible so as not to "see" what was going on. When the State came in to investigate complaints, I and my partner were questioned as to what we saw. I did not see much but occasionally, I had complained about the controlled substances being left out where the public could get access. Also, occasionally the freezer that held the dead was found unplugged. Soon after my partner and I spoke up about what we saw, we were both let go. I was let go for "financial reasons" although I worked as both the vet. and the ACO for the pay of the ACO. (They paid me there to be on call whether or not I physically went out on the call; I used some of that time to do some of the vet. work since they let their vet. go for "financial reasons". I believe he saw "things" as well.)

Now, I supervise a local pet store, a shelter at some distance away (my HO asked me to help them), and an adoption group. I help any ACOs that need help. Occasionally, I help rescues with TNR work. My old partner that was let go from the second shelter I described, is now the local ACO where my vet. practice is located. I have already helped him on a few cases. It is nice to have an ACO that I trust working in my area again.

If you are not afraid of retaliation, report what you see to the State Department of Health. They might ignore you, but then again, they might not. If that does not work, you can try the media. In my case, the media is bought off by the Township so no one was able to get a word in edge-wise. The local paper is beginnning to print the truth, finally.

Also, take pictures and document what you see. That helped a lot for me to make my case.
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Old 05-23-2011
Concern4Dogs Concern4Dogs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRNEGRIN6
If you are not afraid of retaliation, report what you see to the State Department of Health. They might ignore you, but then again, they might not. If that does not work, you can try the media.
I've spent several days fearing retaliation so much to the point that I've secluded myself. But I don't think I can live with myself if I don't take some sort of action here.

I really don't want to go the media route. One station here is brutal and instead of investigating the whole story they take the first reported side of the story and run with it not giving the other party a chance for explanation.

I'm also torn over this because I've contemplated all the potential fall out onto other people. I know where the euthanasia drug is coming from and it will ruin another person's career and life, not to mention the scandal it will bring to the department said person works for.

My gut is telling me that what is wrong is wrong, and that someone needs to speak up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRNEGRIN6
Also, take pictures and document what you see. That helped a lot for me to make my case.
I hadn't planned on going back there due to the stress and overwhelming heartache that being subjected to the conditions there has put me through. But if video/pictures will help put a stop to this travesty, I'll find the strength to do it.

I really wish I hadn't stepped into this. I honestly wanted to volunteer my time into helping out and making a difference. Now I sound to myself like an evil person choosing dogs over a human.

My hats off to those of you that have to face and handle these kinds of situations on a daily basis. I truly don't see how you can cope and maintain your sanity.
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Old 05-23-2011
halfacop halfacop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concern4Dogs View Post
I really wish I hadn't stepped into this. I honestly wanted to volunteer my time into helping out and making a difference. Now I sound to myself like an evil person choosing dogs over a human.

My hats off to those of you that have to face and handle these kinds of situations on a daily basis. I truly don't see how you can cope and maintain your sanity.
The only thing your choosing over is Right vs Wrong...... So no worries there.

Just remember the defintion of INSANITY is doing the samething over and over again expecting different results.
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Old 05-23-2011
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When I started in Animal Control in 1988 the shelter was operated by a Humane Society under contract to the city. I was green as grass, but very dismayed by the conditions in the shelter: Cats stacked two and three high in cages, in a dog kennel, multiple dogs in each inside run, multiple dogs in outside runs, dogs chained to posts near houses around the perimeter. Euthanasia was done, when it was done, by one person on the floor in the bathroom. The final straw for me was a time I came in to the shelter with a dog mid morning and no one was there. The person who was supposed to be there was sick and the other employee could not get there until later in the day. There were two dead cats in the kennels and a dead dog chained outside. I found out that was not uncommon, but got cleaned up before opening in the past.

I finally talked to my boss and ended up talking to City Council with numbers and pictures. The contract was cancelled and, for my sins, I got to run the shelter. We commissioned a survey by a larger Humane Society in another part of the state to evaluate what we had and what improvements to make.

Long story short, we now have a wonderful, 'newer' shelter (15 years this year!), ample space for dogs, separate space for cats, room for livestock, certified techs with a room for euthanasia and a loyal client base.

This would not have happened if I had kept silent. It is very hard, but the animals depend on us to be their voice.
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