Alley Cat Allies files lawsuit against Spencer County shelter

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On Monday, the nonprofit advocacy group Alley Cat Allies filed a lawsuit asking an Indiana judge to order Spencer County not to reopen its animals shelter until changes are made.

Alley Cat Allies said these are the three changes mentioned in the lawsuit:

  1. the county must stop killing animals by using freezing or hypothermia and can only use humane “euthanasia,” 
  2. it must adopt policies that set requirements for how the animals are cared for, and 
  3. it must fully train employees on these humane policies and standards of care.

“Alley Cat Allies has made multiple attempts to help Spencer County embrace best practices and humane standards of care only to be turned away each time, so we were left with no other options but to file this lawsuit,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “This is a necessary step to ensure that not another cat will be treated inhumanely after the shelter reopens. Spencer County must not be allowed to reopen the shelter without making fundamental improvements to ensure widely accepted basic levels of care for animals.”

Spencer County closed the shelter in October of 2018, after a shelter employee said she was instructed by the shelter manager to kill a kitten by putting it in a plastic bag and then placing it in a freezer as a method of euthanasia.

The shelter manager was also terminated.

The investigation into the shelter started in August of 2018.

The sheriff’s office previously confirmed reports from several witnesses that animals were frozen at the shelter. 

Indiana State Police took over the investigation and turned over its findings to the Spencer County Prosecutor’s Office.

No criminal charges were filed.

Spencer County Prosecutor Dan Wilkinson said in September that the Indiana State Police investigation did not show any direct evidence of freezing cats alive at the Spencer County Animal Shelter.

The prosecutor said the way the current law is written, prosecution is barred in this specific case.

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(This story was originally published on February 25, 2019)

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