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Sugar Land officials in Texas fired workers at an animal shelter last week after investigations revealed they had improperly euthanized dozens of animals.
The City of Sugar Land announced the layoffs in a statement Friday after finding that at least 38 dogs and cats had been improperly euthanized by Sugar Land’s animal shelter.
Five employees were promptly fired in light of the “unacceptable actions”, the city said. The shelter’s manager resigned before he could be fired.
The fired workers reportedly claimed that the euthanized animals behaved aggressively or “had a medical diagnosis.”
But research found that the cats and dogs were euthanized without evaluation or veterinary supervision, both of which are mandatory. The city said it also required a certified behaviorist to determine whether aggressive animals should be euthanized.
City officials then concluded that workers deliberately ignored verbal instructions and ignored protocol to put the animals to sleep.
Sugar Land officials stressed that they are working to restore public confidence amid the disturbing revelations.
“The city will continue to work to implement all training and protocols necessary to ensure this never happens again,” the city said in a statement.
“It will take time to rebuild public confidence, but the city is committed to doing so,” she added. “The prompt and informed investigation and disciplinary action is a start.”
The Sugar Land Animal Shelter Dogs Facebook page, which is run by volunteers, also lamented the “sickening and disturbing news.” They distanced themselves from the fired workers, saying the unauthorized euthanasia was taking place “behind closed doors”.
“Our mission and purpose for this page is to promote our wonderful dogs for adoption and bring a smile to people’s faces by displaying their cute and silly personalities,” the page read.
Fox News Digital contacted the city of Sugar Land for additional information, but received no response.