After about 4 months at the Spencer County Animal Shelter, Bridget Woodson said she “had to do something.”
In an interview with the Courier & Press, Woodson said she was twice told to put kittens inside a freezer to euthanize them. Both instances involved an injured kitten, she says, and she was asked to dispose of the critters while a veterinarian’s office was still open that could euthanize the animals instead.
She wasn’t the only person at the shelter to come forward with harrowing accounts of kittens being killed in a freezer.
Dorothy Childers, who volunteered at the shelter, told the Tristate Home Page that she got a glimpse inside the freezer.
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She said she found bags of kittens that were frozen to death.
“It’s a large freezer, a third of the way full, and we didn’t go through all the bags, just the ones on top, because we needed to know, and I was sick,” she said in her interview with the Tristate Home Page.
Stacy Jones, another volunteer, said the kittens “were already fixed and everything and had their shots,” according to the Tristate Home Page.
In one case, four kittens were frozen at the same time — and the exact number of kittens killed with this practice is unknown, Spencer County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris King told WISH-TV.
Freezing animals to death is an inhumane form of euthanasia, according to The American Veterinary Medical Association.
A statement from the Spencer County Animal Control Board acknowledged that “actions have occurred that are fundamentally opposed” to its mission of providing “a facility for humane care and treatment of stray and unwanted domesticated animals.”
“In response,” the statement reads, “the Board has carefully reviewed its policies and has adopted new policies and procedures to address these unacceptable actions.”
Woodson alleged that the first time she was asked to put a kitten in the freezer, she instead opted to take it to a vet to be euthanized, according to the Courier & Press. The second time, she says, she also took the critter to a vet and offered to pay the bill out of pocket on July 31.
She shared alleged text messages between herself and the animal control officer asking her to freeze the kittens, according to screengrabs obtained by the Courier & Press. She told an animal control officer that “I will not be putting live animals in the freezer if there’s another option available, please don’t ask me to do that again.”
“That’s fine but so you know, the freezer option is no less humane,” the officer allegedly responded, according to the Courier & Press report. “It’s fine though Bridge. I’m here for my employees. Always.”
Woodson told the Courier & Press that she told the board about what happened, but they brushed off her complaints.
Jones said that she too received pushback after voicing her concerns to Joy Zook, the board president.
“She told me to do my job and let them do theirs,” Jones told Tristate Home Page. “They were always reminding me that it’s a kill shelter, and that it’s their call.”