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.