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Audit highlights problems within Hernando Animal Services

11:27 PM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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"Zeus" was euthanized less than an hour after he was dropped off at Hernando County Animal Services. The incident has sparked outrage and even death threats against employees of Hernando County Animal Services.


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BROOKSVILLE, Florida - The case of Zeus, a dog surrendered by its owners then euthanized within 15 minutes after being dropped off at Hernando County Animal Services, sparked outrage among animal activists back in April.

"I think it's despicable," said Laurie Boynton, a volunteer at the shelter who says she arranged for someone to adopt the dog that weekend without knowing Zeus had been put down so quickly. "I think it's inexcusable. I think there are people here who need to be fired."

Calls for change prompted a 4-month investigation into conditions and procedure. A 52-page audit was released Tuesday. The report found no wrongdoing by employees the evening Zeus was put down because the shelter was simply too low on space going into the weekend.

But the audit also pointed out other alarming issues, including the fact that the shelter has been operating 33 percent understaffed, with more than half of surveyed volunteers and employees indicating they felt overworked. The audit was most critical of an overflow area for stray cats, citing extreme overcrowding. The structure was described as an unairconditioned garage with no ventilation on weekends and tiny cages measuring less than five square feet, much smaller than guidelines for humane care.

Take a look at the full audit here.

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