RICHMOND, Ind. – A supposed “no-kill” shelter in Richmond is under fire after admitting it euthanized at least seven healthy dogs—and admitted to putting down more than 50 animals since 2012.
H.E.L.P. the Animals billed itself as a not-for-profit, no-kill facility where animals wouldn’t be euthanized, even when the facility was full.
Employees and volunteers said they were told by the group’s leaders to lie about what happened to the seven dogs, who disappeared from the H.E.L.P. Center earlier this month, according to Richmond’s Kicks 96. The admissions came to light during a special meeting Monday called by the shelter’s board of directors.
The board said the dogs were put down because they represented a “bite risk.” The group said it doesn’t kill healthy or treatable animals, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those “considered dangerous to public safety.”
Of the seven dogs that were put down, some had bitten individuals in their adoptive families and had been returned; some had also bitten staff members, the board said in a statement.
“We felt that we could not trust these animals and we would not, in good conscience, put an adoptive family at risk,” the board wrote.
Over the past 5 years, the group said it had made the “extremely difficult” decision to euthanize a total of 52 dogs—19 that were bite risks and 33 that were “critically sick.”
HELP said it had helped find homes for more than 5,600 dogs and cats since 2012.
Jamie Glandon, the group’s executive director, has been placed on administrative leave—a move the board described as temporary.
Several petitions circulated online over the past few days calling for Glandon and other members of the board of directors to step down. The petitions alleged that they tried to cover up the fact that the shelter was having animals put down—saying instead that the dogs had been moved to a different area so they could be adopted.
Volunteers said they hadn’t been told what happened to the dogs, but were told to answer that the dogs had been “relocated” if anyone asked.