Sheriff’s Office To Investigate Illegal Euthanasia Methods By Tennessee Vet

Tennessee Vet

Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley has requested that the county sheriff’s department investigate claims of illegal euthanasia methods by a Gallatin veterinarian.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating allegations that veterinarian William Baber performed intercardiac euthanasia (sodium pentobarbital is injected directly into an animal’s heart) on animals that were not sedated. The state of Tennessee only allows this method if the animal is heavily sedated or comatose before the injection is given.

Baber was hired by the county to euthanize animals at the county’s animal control facility.

An unedited copy of the video that showed Baber performing euthanizations has been given to the Sheriff’s Office. After the investigation, the department will turn their findings to the district attorney’s office.

Previously, Baber admitted that the animals were not sedated when he euthanized them, but he said that he was not aware that it was illegal.

“Until (Wednesday) I was unaware that we need to change one of the ways we euthanize animals,” he said.

The Tennessee Department of Health and the board is also conducting their own investigation into Baber’s practices.

Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson said that Baber is no longer euthanizing animals for the county.

Earlier in the week, 35 animal rights advocates protested in front of the Sumner County Administration Building and held signs saying Baber was guilty of animal cruelty.

The Sumner County Animal Control shelter was closed on Monday because employees were receiving death threats.

The Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has scheduled a summary suspension hearing of Baber for this afternoon.


(Thanks Emilie)

22 Responses to “Sheriff’s Office To Investigate Illegal Euthanasia Methods By Tennessee Vet”

  1. Connie says:

    YES!! Fantastic! Thank you itchmo! I was so thrilled to hear this on the news last night.

    I need to write Hon. Ray Whitley today.

    Look at what Baber says here:

    “Until (Wednesday) I was unaware that we need to change one of the ways we euthanize animals,” he said.”

    Here’s what I woke up wondering this morning: How many counts of animal cruelty could Dr. Baber be charged with? As many as were on the video, that can be seen and proven? Or, because of statements like above, can we safely assume that every animal he has euthanized over the past three years has been a victim of animal cruelty?

    I’m not sure how that works…? You can be charged with multiple counts of a crime, right? Anyone who can explain?

  2. Nora and Rufus says:

    Although many of us could not be there with the protesters, WE WERE THERE IN SPIRIT. I want to thank profusely the people who could make that so important march against this monster who must have no feelings at all for animals, yet hides behind the fasade of Veterinarian medicine and pulls in disgusting amounts of blood money for it. I hope to God the Rainbow Bridge does exist for those poor animals that suffered so hideously at the hands of this paid executioner and whomever condoned his murderous acts.

  3. Concha Castaneda says:

    Maybe we can get some help here in Ohio (Ohio State University) where cats for the second time are being injected with Crystal Meth for animal experiments. All in the name of research and research grants. They extended the research grant and in spite our protests that this is unnecessary and cruel; the University continues this heinous research. I would like to know what the fine line is for animal cruelty laws here in the Buckeye State. We can be proud of our football team, but we should be ashamed for how low our University will stoop for money.

  4. Jenny Bark says:

    Itchmo, thank you.

    Connie & Kathy please keep telling us what is happening. Prayers still comming your way.

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    Hi Concha, I hope you can draw attention to the un-needed injection of cats with Crystal Meth. There are more than enough human idiots everywhere that do it and that should be more research than any University should ever need! It is simply blatant animal torture and cruelty. Who thinks this stuff up???? Mad Scientists???? Money spent on it is like flushing it down the toilet. How ignorant are those academics???

  6. Connie says:

    Concha, that is horrifying! Why in the WORLD is this research necessary?

  7. Nancy G. says:

    there are federal regulations covering animals used for research, if this is not a scientifically valid research with the cats, or if they are suffering needlessly or are being mistreated, abused or neglected, it could be stopped. Let alone that it SHOULD be stopped. I think a lot of these morons just like to feel they are playing God.

  8. Tanya says:

    On the other hand, nancy, nora and others, while your concerns are shared, we have animals to thank for much of the medication we find to be “safe” now; for research on illness like aids, for studies on how to better manage depression, post traumatic stress disorder, etc.

    In theory, as Nancy says, all research needs to be approved if you use live subjects (human or animal) and you have to state why this research is necessary, important, novel, etc. Then you have to show that there is no better way to do the research. Then you have to show that there is no excessive harm other than what is described (in detail) in the study.

    Consideration is given to favor mammals over fish; within mammals they favor “pet type” animals over rats and mice, and chimps or other ape-like animals are challenged strongly to insure that the tests are things that really need ape like animals. (often, those are tests about intelligence and learning - so they do not harm the animals; but they also have to use chimps for studies on brain damage).

    Science is always a catch-22. Something dies and suffers for research to better understand why an illness happens and how to cure it. I don’t know when or how you say “enough is enough”. I *used* to trust that our government was controlling that. but after watching how “quickly” (puke) they reacted to the food poisoning in our pet’s food supplies, i don’t think they are doing their job anymore.

    Hopefully good people like nancy & nora (et al) are watching where our government is failing.

  9. amy says:

    Don’t use this one awful instance of blatant abuse to protest animal researchers, who work every day to make sure that if you get sick, you get the drugs you need. University institutional review boards are incredibly stringent when it comes to animal research. Long protocols are in place to ensure that animals are treated humanely within the context of experiments. If anything, I would say that an individual university board is much more stringent than “the government” to which you so generically refer, because these boards are always comprised of people from the community, experts in veterinary and human medicine, professors from other departments, etc. As Tanya said, it’s rare for them to approve work with cats, dogs and primates because these animals are more intelligent and beloved, so the work must be important and needed for them not only to get funded, but renewed.

    This vet was killing like this for years without any accountability, and shelters all over the country kill pets for no reason other than there’s no place to put them. I’d protest that a lot more than I’d protest an animal having to die so we can treat addiction or juvenile diabetes or any other host of illnesses treatable only because of animal research.

  10. mittens says:

    i totally volunteer to take crystal meth for science and the good of humanity…. and i’ll test any special k they may have laying around too. i am all about furthering science.

    i wonder what state this vet originally came from( not to support him because i think he’s a scum bag but as a point of discussion) that may not have had such a law requiring sedation before the heart shot. or perhaps what he did is a very common occurance that’s par for the course despite any laws . i say this because of something my vet said when she euthanized ( quite humanely and lovingly i might add) one of my cats-she was explaining why there would be a minimum of 2 shots and why she may have to, after the sedation, put the barbituates directly in the heart because my tiny thin baby’s veins might be impossible to find. she claimed that some vets don’t give the sedation shot. she implied this was completely wrong to her personally but offered no commentary on it’s illegality or legality. it now makes me wonder if she was either aware that vets rountinely either ignore the law and go right for the heart or simply do it because it’s not illegal and they care not to think about how cruel and painful it is. she did say it was the law that she examine the cat before she euthanized it but offered no information of the legalities of how she did it.

  11. catmom5 says:

    Regardless of where this vet is from, he went to Vet School at the U of Tennessee. I spoke with their media person and she ASSURED me that this was not SOP there. This guy is either too dumb to understand (being a vet since the 1980s an he didn’t know HOW to humanely euthanize?) or lacking in compassion for the animals in his care. Either way, I think he needs to lose his license. I just wonder how many clients at his clinic had their own pets euthanized in this barbaric manner IF he didn’t know how else to do it. IMHO, I think this guy was involved in mass killings because he was paid by the animal. It’s gotta be a hard job, but no excuses for not being compassionate and humane. PERIOD!

  12. Jenny Bark says:

    On the other thread (page 2) Gary’s post at 3:o6, Nov. 7 has Barber’s address & phone #. He wants to know if anybody knows the name of his clinic.

    CatMom5, I agree with you. This man is a very very sick killer & should be in jail, period.

    I think Thompson should be in jail too for letting this go on for so long. He is not a leader but imo he is a partner in murder, period.

  13. Carol Johnson says:

    I hope this moral idiot is not allowed to treat a pet rock…regardless of his understanding of the law…he should have known it was painful and cruel.

  14. Lynn says:

    He was paid $9.00 an animal.

    The name of his clinic is:

    South Water Animal Hospital
    301 S Water Ave, Gallatin, TN 37066
    (615) 452-8870

    And to reiterate from a previous posting, I found this legal action against his clinic: “Agreed Order – William E. Baber, D.V.M.

    Dr. William Baber, DVM, was not present and was not represented by counsel. Ms. Nicole Armstrong, Assistant General Counsel, represented the State. Pursuant to a settlement agreement reached previously by the Board’s screening panel, Ms. Armstrongpresented an Agreed Order to the Board for ratification. Dr. Welch recused herself. Dr. Baber operated South Water Animal Hospital without a premise permit from July 2000 to October 2004. Dr. Baber was issued a Letter of Reprimand and assessed total civil penalties in the amount of $2,550.00. Dr. Wilhite made a motion, seconded by Dr. Edmonds, to accept theAgreed Order. The motion carried.”

    This man is just full of surprises.

    I’m not an attorney but it seems to me that there are records of hypodermic syringes and the drug itself. Perhaps some prosecutor can put two and two together and make an estimate as to how many animals were euthanized with this method. [I’m thinking the size of the syringe might be unique for this type of murder.]

    Also, this may sound petty in the grand scheme of things, but I really think we all should copy this blog and make a personal mission to contact the closest vet school to show them what happens when a vet doesn’t pay attention to laws re killing animals. They need to use this as a case study in vet school to prevent any other Nazi Mengeles from finding their way into veterinary practice. So please send a letter to YOUR closest school of veterinary medicine, along with a copy of this blog and the one at

    and ask them to please incorporate this info into their cirriculum. You see, animal guardians care about our furry loved ones and we won’t put up with creeps like this Nazi.

  15. Connie says:

    I can’t find the name of the clinic. :( Address and phone only. I think it might be simply “South Water Animal Hospital.” I saw it on a sign on one of the news broadcasts. If it’s really important, it could probably be found by watching footage on, or

    Baber Bill DVM
    301 S Water Ave
    Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066
    (615) 452-8870

    Regardless, if you’re writing him at this address, better write quickly ;)

    Oh, and re: University of Tennessee Veterinary College. It is one of the most respected universities of veterinary medicine in our region. A teaching hospital, veterinary clients are often referred to UT for treatments (such as radiation, chemotherapy, etc.) that would not be offered at their vet’s clnic.

    When one of my dogs had a mast cell tumor removed this summer, UT was where I was going to take him had he needed radiation. Thank goodness he did not.

    My vet went to University of Tennessee, incidentally, about the same time as Baber. Next time I see him I’m going to ask if he knows him. I’m sure it was a big school, but you never know.

    Anyway. My vet was a cum laude graduate. Maybe Baber passed with a D average. Know what I mean? There are some doctors out there who were brilliant in school, and others who just barely squeaked by. Things don’t change when they become practicing veterinarians. They are not all created equal.

  16. Connie says:

    Tonight’s news:

    The state board of veterinary medical examiners met today. Several vets testified that Baber’s method of euthanasia was illegal and inhumane. They watched the full, unedited version of the tape. They didn’t show the tape on the news, but they did show the tearful, shocked expressions of observers. :*(

    The outcome was: Baber’s license has been temporarily suspended pending a formal hearing in a month, at which time his license may be revoked.

    I have to say I was disappointed. I hoped they would yank his license today. But, due process and all, I guess that was unreasonable and just wishful thinking. As one person interviewed said, “It’s a step in the right direction.” Now let us just hope and pray that the board will make the right decision in a month.

    I’m writing the board tomorrow.

  17. Jenny Bark says:

    Connie, thanks for letting us know what is happening so far. I’ll write them too & I pray a lot of people also write. Did you hear if anything is happening to Thompson yet? Please keep us informed even if you have to post off topic, thanks in advance.

    Lynn, I think your idea is great, I’ll do it too. We can’t let any of this drop untill we see strong action taken. The babies are depending on us all.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Jenny, thanks for your support.

    I just cannot get this off my mind. Since I learned about it, I have thought of little else.

    What I am very worried will happen is, the media will find someting else to talk about, people will forget and go on with their lives, the smoke will clear, and everything will just sort of fizzle out. :( I really hope that doesn’t happen.

  19. Jenny Bark says:

    Anonymous, I agree with you I’m really worried about that too. Please keep telling Itchmo people what they can do to help even if you have to post off topic. Every single person here really loves the animals & they will do everything they can to help. We may disagree on some thing but we are like one person when it comes to protecting & helping the babies. They are really good people on this site. We are all praying in our own way for all of you & the babies. Please keep us informed, some like me are not good on the computers, but believe me we can all write , bitch & call, just let us know what to do.

  20. The Lioness says:

    Concha, contact PETA and Itchmo. See if you can get one of them to run a story on what’s going on in Ohio.

    That’s great news, Connie, that “Barbarian’s” license has been suspended! That makes me happy! Kudos to those in TN who showed up to protest!

    ~The Lioness

  21. Jerome Hooge says:

    I had to take 4 stray dogs to the Gallatin pound in October and was told the animals were rarely put to death.What a crock!I am sickened by what i saw on the news.I hope those dogs can forgive me.That sorry excuse for a vet Barber needs to be put under the jail along with anyone else that can do that to any animal!

  22. Shelter Vet says:

    I am a veterinarian. I also went to the University of Tennessee and I am a shelter veterinarian. Please don’t lump all vets in with this horrible example of the veterinary profession. It is not only cruel to inject intracardiac without sedation, it is illegal. This is common knowledge in the veterinary profession. These animals are brought to shelters for our help, and even if the only way to help is through euthanasia; they deserve the highest level of respect and humanity. This moron obviously skipped any lessons taught on ethics and morality, or thought they didn’t apply to him.

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