Lawsuit filed against Spencer Co. Animal Control, board, former director

Lawsuit filed against Spencer Co. Animal Control, board, former director

SPENCER CO., IN (WFIE) - An advocacy group for cats files a lawsuit against the county animal control and board after a former employee claims she was told to put a cat in the freezer.

Alley Cat Allies, a Maryland based advocacy group for cats, issued a news release on Monday announcing a lawsuit against Spencer County Animal Control, Spencer County Animal Control Board, Spencer County Board of Commissioners, and former shelter director Christina Payne.

According to their news release, Alley Cat Allies asks a judge to not allow Spencer County to reopen the animal shelter until three steps have been made:

  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 animals are cared for
  3. It must fully train employees on these humane policies and standards of care

In 2018, an employee at the shelter claimed she was told by Payne to put a living cat in a freezer as a form of euthanasia. Indiana State Police investigated the claims made by the former employee, but charges were not filed.

“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.”

[First Report: Spencer Co. Animal Shelter closing]

In January, Spencer County Commissioners placed a new ordinance, which expands the animal control board from seven to nine members.

We will update this story with more information when it is available.

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