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Conflict & Tragedy

Florida animal shelter kills dog 15 minutes after arrival

BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County, Florida, Animal Services wasted no time in euthanizing a dog that was dropped off in hopes of finding a new home. Zeus, a black and white mixed breed was killed 15 minutes after arriving at the Brooksville shelter on Friday.

An eyewitness account reported in the Tampa Tribune stated that Zeus was dragged by the neck into the euthanasia room, without even being given a chance to walk.

The rules of the shelter do not include killing an animal 15 minutes after it arrives. They are supposed to be held for seven days. However, this is not the first time Hernando County Florida Animal Services has faced criticism for being too willing to kill animals, rather than trying to adopt them out.

On a 2010 visit to Hernando County Animal Services, I witnessed Kennel Worker, Dave Krusko at the shelter complaining about how potential adopters were interfering with his efforts to kill the animals. Krusko said , “They have to stop sending people back here, I’m busy euthanizing.”

Hernando County Florida Animal Services Manager, Liana Teague has come under fire for killing Zeus. Brooksville's PetLuv Clinic Executive Director, Richard Silvani has been critical of Teague's job performance calling her "incompetent" and unable to "control her staff." He also said Teague does not property maintain records at HCAS and has "lax" standards for the evaluation of the animals at the agency.

The Hernando County Animal Services worker that evaluated Zeus claimed that the dog was not adoptable, and sited that as the reason the dog was killed 15 minutes after arriving at the shelter. But if Zeus was given just a little more time, he would have had a new home. Friends of Animal Services volunteer, Laurie Boynton, posted a photo of Zeus on her Facebook page and had found him a new home almost immediately.

Hernando County Director of Public Safety, Mike Nickerson tried to play down the fact that Zeus was dragged by the neck to the euthanasia room. He told the Tampa Tribune that the dog was not "dragged the entire way by its neck."

Whether Zeus was dragged all the way or part of the way to his death does not excuse the blatant disregard for the rules to hold an animal for 7 days before killing it.

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