Tennessee Veterinarian Uses Cruel And Illegal Euthanasia Method

Dog shelterWarning: This story may disturb some readers.

Veterinarian Bill Baber euthanizes animals for the Sumner County Animal Shelter in Gallatin, Tennessee, but the method of how he euthanizes cats and dogs is illegal and cruel and has even been documented on videotape.

Normally, the euthanasia method is made to be as painless as possible. A shot is given to sedate the animal, and then a lethal injection is administered to a vein which leads to the animal’s quiet death.

In the tape, dogs were brought in and Baber lethally injected the animals right into the heart with no sedation. Veterinarians call this method a heart shot, and this method is prohibited by state law from administering it unless the animal is heavily sedated or comatose.

The Sumner County Animal Shelter bans the heart shot which is also known as intracardiac euthansia.

The tape also shows doctors stepping on animals to help control them and then administering the shot. Animals were brought in sometimes as often as once a minute, and in one case, 60 animals were put down in one day.

“It’s so quick-paced. It’s just pop, pop, pop. It’s all about the money,” a trustee for the Sumner County Animal Shelter said.

Baber is paid $9 by the county for each animal he euthanizes. Last year, he was paid more than $22,000 for euthanizing animals.

In response to what he did on the video, Baber didn’t deny what he is doing and said he isn’t doing anything wrong. Although there are euthanasia guidelines set by law for veterinary technicians to follow, it’s unclear if that also applies to veterinarians.

Baber added, “There’s a difference between shelter medicine and veterinary medicine. It ain’t pretty. I do a difficult job to the best of my ability.”

Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson, who hired Baber, said that the county has received previous complaints about Baber and told him to stop.

But he also said Baber isn’t to blame for this controversy. He said the problem starts with irresponsible pet owners who don’t spay and neuter their animals and dump dogs and cats in rural areas.

Thompson said he will continue to employ Baber to euthanize animals for the county.

A Gallatin resident hopes to organize a protest against Baber and wants to present evidence against him to the state veterinary board.

Source: WSMV, WTVF

(Thanks Stefani)

68 Responses to “Tennessee Veterinarian Uses Cruel And Illegal Euthanasia Method”

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  1. Klondike says:

    Have a look at this Connie. I am not so sure that we can make assumptions about what people know or don’t know yet. I took the trouble to write the tourism bureau and hope others do, too.
    (It looks like there are even links to some of the stars web sites if you want to contact them directly.)

    Sumner County Music Connections

    Many stars, performers and songwriters have called Sumner County home. Greats like Bill Monroe, Johnny & June Cash, Mae Axton, Roy Orbison, Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Trisha Yearwood & Robert Reynolds, Conway Twitty, Clint Black and others are former residents. Many others still call Sumner County home: The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart & Connie Smith, John Conlee, Eddy Raven, Ricky Skaggs and more. See links to some of their websites on our links page.

  2. Connie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all!

    More news from 10:00 on Channel 2. Dr. Baber realized he had been relieved of his duties at Sumner Co. animal control, but was surprised when they told him he was also under investigation by the Sheriff’s department and the District Attorney.

    he he he he

    Klondike, believe me, I don’t think there is anyone in Nashville who watches the news, or knows someone who watches the news, who isn’t aware of this. It’s the lead story on every channel.

    I’m sure Emmy Lou is seeing many shades of red right now.


  3. Klondike says:

    That is good to know that this story is getting that much local publicity. It is hard to figure out how a situation like this could have happened in the first place, but it looks like there is hope given all the hard work being done to bring this to the light.

    (I am really impressed by the work Emmylou is doing. Another reason to like her.)

    Thanks for the good news on this!

  4. Gary says:

    It is my understanding William (Bill) Baber has an active vet practice in Gallatin, TN. Someone with so little compassion towards animals should have gone into a different line of work. Maybe at a slaughter house or something. Somewhere he can get his kicks and it would be legal. I also called Hank Thompson’s office to remind him the Sumner County shelter does very little to get their dogs and cats adopted out. I was told for the second time today that he was “out”. Most shelters in TN at least have a Petfinder account. My account got over 2400 views last week. Sumner County shelter hasn’t even invested the time into setting up one. Apparently it is less labor intensive to Heart Stick these animals.

  5. Gary says:

    This is public information so I’m posting it here.

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

    Does anyone know the name of his Vet Clinic?

  6. Jenny Bark says:

    Gary, thanks.

  7. Debby M says:

    Dr. Baber’s license was temporarily suspended today.


  8. D says:

    I have taken my dogs to Baber several times over the last few years. The last time I boarded them with him because he promised to keep them all in one room instead of cages. I returned to find them covered in pee and obviously had not been walked or fed the food I left for them. His office is about 1/2 a mile from me and I just moved to TN a few years ago, so I knew nothing about his past. I do know that when he comes back from his “lunch” breaks he is always drunk. He is a disgrace but not much will come of this, this is a small town and he knows the right people it seems.

    Also he has a dog of his own that he lets roam all over the streets and into other peoples yards, he usually has no clue where his own dog is.

  9. Joe Edore says:

    This DIRTBAG I’m certain would have done exceedingly well under
    Hitler and his gang. After all, the idea was to kill more effeciently. It is
    very obvious to me that his primary goal was to make more money and
    so all he had to do was speed up the production line without any regard
    for the anamils comfort in it’s last minutes of life.

    People like Baber are always around unfortunately. After all,how
    much trouble do you suppose Hitler had in assembling his murderous
    gang. If this piece of human debris is in fact guilty of these crimes, there
    should one and only one punishment and that is, a “HEARTSHOT”.

  10. Gary says:

    Oh, he is in fact guilty. I didn’t think there was any question about that??

    November 7, 2007, the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medicine was presented with evidence about the acts and conduct of the Respondent, William E. Baber violated the Board’s applicable laws and rules. In or around 2005 to 2007, the Respondent engaged in unprofessional, unethical, and incompetent conduct in the course of practicing veterinary medicine that reflects unfavorably on the profession of veterinary medicine by failing to euthanize animals in accordance with the methods prescribed by the Non-Livestock Humane Animal Death Act in Tenn. Code Ann. § 44-17-303.
    The Respondent used sodium pentobarbital to euthanize non-livestock animals, including cats and dogs without performing an intravenous, intraperitoneal, or intercardial injection in accordance with the law. Instead, the Respondent injected the non-livestock animals with sodium pentobarbital in the chest (not an intercardial injection) while they were not heavily sedated, anaesthetized or comatose. After the Respondent injected these non-livestock animals with sodium pentobarbital, Respondent then left the animals unattended until their deaths and did not ensure that a qualified person ensured the death of each animal before the animals were incinerated.
    The Respondent also engaged in gross malpractice or a pattern of a continued or repeated malpractice, ignorance, negligence, incompetence, and dishonesty in the course of practicing
    veterinary medicine by using sodium pentobarbital on non-livestock animals without weighing each animal to ensure that each animal received the correct dosage amount because underestimated or overestimated dosages could result in a prolonged or otherwise inhumane death. The Respondent also maintained false records about each non-livestock animal that was euthanized by indicating a specific weight for each animal, indicating that each animal had been weighed, when in fact each animal had not been weighed.
    The Respondent’s acts and conduct are so severe that they pose such a threat to the health and welfare of the public that the mere filing of formal disciplinary charges will not deter the Respondent from continuing to engage in the aforementioned conduct, warranting the summary suspension of the Respondent’s license to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine (license number: 2123).
    WHEREFORE, in consideration of the foregoing and pursuant to the authority granted under Tenn. Code Ann. §§4-5-320(c) and 63-12-124, the Board hereby finds that the aforesaid conduct and activity of the Respondent requires imperative action in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare by summarily suspending the Respondent’s license to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine, (License Number: 2123).
    The Board for Veterinary Medical Examiners hereby ORDERS the SUMMARY SUSPENSION of the Respondent’s license to engage in veterinary medicine (License Number: 2123). Upon receipt of this order, the Respondent shall cease and desist from engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine immediately.

  11. Gary says:

    By the way, his suspension was lifted today (Wednesday). Wow, a whole week. So he’s back on the job!!

  12. Mary says:

    Name of clinic is South Water Animal Hospital

  13. Ellen says:

    I just learned today of this B!@#$%^ that I will not call a human, and his hideous behavior. Two weeks ago we had to put our 14 year old doberman, Copper, to sleep because arthritis would not let him walk or eat. I sat on the ground with Coppers’ head in my lap. Our vet gave him the sedation shot, then waited 10 minutes because he wanted to make sure Copper was totally asleep. Then he gave him another vein shot. Waited 10 more minutes to be sure his heart had stopped. He had tears in his eyes, a very compassionate man. He did this all on his lunch break!
    I nominate my vet as vet of the year.
    As for this other thing that calls himself a vet, HE SHOULD BE EUTHANIZED AS HE EUTHANIZED ALL THOSE POOR HELPLESS ANIMALS!!!
    GALLATIN TN 37066

  14. Barbara A. Albright says:

    I am hopeful that this well publicized story will bring to light how barbaric and cruel a handful of veterinarians are. In my 30 years of canine & feline companionship, I too have personally witnessed cruel euthanasia here in New Hampshire with one of my own beloved dogs. My dog was injected with potassium chloride as the sole agent to end her life, at a clinic not possessing needed license for humane schedule 11 pentobarbital. It is against the law in this state, but apparently condoned for years. Visit my web site, public since 5/07

  15. TN Veterinarian and the Cruel Killing Method | HolisticDogOnline.com says:

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  16. katherine says:

    Hi guys. So I am very close to Dr.Baber. I see him all the time,but because of the harrassment and teasing,the death threats he has received,my visitation of him is rare. Who am I? His daughter. I am really disgusted with my father’s actions. If I didn’t know him,I would react just like the rest of you. You might think that I would say ‘lay off’ or whatever,but really,I don’t like my father and his actions. He yells at my dog,and then gets very aggressive. But may I ask that you consider the feelings of those who are related to those on your television screen? And I would appreciate your prayers for ME,not him,ME. I someday want to be a vetenarian or something with taking care of animals. But I know with my name,it would be hard. So keep on speaking your minds,but think of who you are ALL effecting.

  17. Dee says:

    Well Katherine Im truley sorry for what your father has caused you to go through.The sins of the father are not supposed to be put onto his children…Im not from your county I live in a few counties away. Im very fortunate to have a godd caring Vet that took me years to find him. Obviously most of the people here care and have concern for the well being of Gods creatures .But you are one of them as well and I hope that what you said hits home and people will take into consideration his family affected by this . I think your posting a statement took great courage and I will pray for you and your family .I will also pray for as change of heart in your father to respect the gift of these animals we share this planet with.My life has ben blessed with the companionship of my dogs .I have a disability that keeps me in bed many days and my life would be much less happy if they were not in it .That being said I think human concerns take priority and yours is a human concern. I wish you well in your wish to be a vet .Dont let what your father has done ruin what you could offer to the pet world .Everyone is good for something even if its as a bad example.He is a prime example of what we do not want in the vet world and hopefully we can learn something from his grave mistakes .I wish you all the best and from your post I have learned to be carefull of myn. Thank you for reminding me to look at all the sides of the box..Take care God be with you ,your family ,your father and the people who’s lives were effected by his actions. Sincerely,Dee

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