UPDATE: Gallia Dog Wardens Put on Paid Leave After Charges Filed

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 3/17/14
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Gallia County Dog Warden and Assistant Warden have been placed on paid administrative leave after animal cruelty charges were filled against both men, and a former warden.

The Gallpolis City Solicitor filed the misdemeanor charges Friday.

Paul L. Simmers, the current warden, Jason Harris, the assistant warden, and Jean A. Daniels, a former warden, were each charged with multiple counts of negligent causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the dogs being euthanized at the shelter.

The alleged crimes happened between March 2012 and February 2014. There is a two year statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Ohio.

The actions of the dog wardens were brought to light after accusations that 11 dogs were put down inhumanely at the shelter last month.

Monday, Gallia County Commissioners announced the action against Simmers and Harris.

Harris was originally eassigned to the county's maintenance department shortly after the investigation began.

The Gallipolis City Solicitor charged Simmers with 32 violations, Harris with 12 violations and Daniels with 13 violations.

Each violation is punishable of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $750, up to five years probation and 200 hours of community service.

The three will be arraigned on the charges in Gallipolis Municipal Court next week.

The case was handed over to the Gallipolis City Solicitor after the Gallia County Prosecutor's Office did not find any chargeable offenses

Commissioners say they will continue to investigate the situation in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office. Upon the completion of the investigation, they will move swiftly if disciplinary action is warranted, according to a news release.

According to a press release from solicitor Adam R. Salisbury, it is alleged the dog wardens did not follow the correct procedure during the euthanasia process and that the animals suffered unnecessary pain as a result.

Investigators say the wardens injected a solution of sodium phenobarbital into the animals' muscles in order to sedate the dogs, which were then euthanized with a method known as "heart stick", in which a drug is injected into the animal's heart.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the "heart stick" procedure is only legally performed on a heavily sedated or unconscious animal.

Salisbury says when administered directly to the muscles of an animal, sodium phenobarbital is widely believed to cause intense pain.

He says the practice of injecting this drug into the muscles of an animal is specifically labeled an "unacceptable practice" by the American Humane Association and that all three charged attended a session sponsored by the American Humane Association prior to euthanizing any animal.

The case was handed over to the Gallipolis City Solicitor after the Gallia County Prosecutor's Office did not find any chargeable offenses.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/14/14
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three past and present dog wardens in Gallia County have been charged with animal cruelty.

The Gallpolis City Solicitor filed the charges Friday.

Jean A. Daniels, Paul L. Simmers, and Jason Harris, all of Gallia County, were charged with multiple counts of negligently causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the dogs being euthanized at the shelter. The charges are misdemeanors.

Simmers is the current Dog Warden. Harris is reportedly an assistant warden, and Daniels a former warden

The alleged crimes happened between March 2012 and February 2014. There is a two year statute of limitations for misdemeanors in Ohio.

The actions of the dog wardens were brought to light after accusations that 11 dogs were put down inhumanely at the shelter last month.

According to a press release from solicitor Adam R. Salisbury, it is alleged the dog wardens did not follow the correct procedure during the euthanasia process and that the animals suffered unnecessary pain as a result.

Investigators say the wardens injected a solution of sodium pentobarbital into the animals' muscles in order to sedate the dogs, which were then euthanized with a method known as "heart stick", in which a drug is injected into the animal's heart.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the "heart stick" procedure is only legally performed on a heavily sedated or unconscious animal.

Salisbury says when administered directly to the muscles of an animal, sodium pentobarbital is widely believed to cause intense pain.

He says the practice of injecting this drug into the muscles of an animal is specifically labelled an "unacceptable practice" by the American Humane Association and that all three charged attended a session sponsored by the American Humane Association prior to euthanizing any animal.

Daniels is charged with 13 violations. Simmers is charged with 32 violations. Harris is charged with 12 violations. Each violation is punishable of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $750, up to five years probation and 200 hours of community service.

The case was handed over to the Gallipolis City Solicitor after the Gallia County Prosecutor's Office did not find any chargeable offenses.


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