Internal investigation follows wrongful euthanasia of 12 dogs at Wichita shelter

Internal investigation follows wrongful euthanasia of 12 dogs at Wichita shelter

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The mistaken euthanasia of 12 dogs at the Wichita Animal Shelter prompts action from the Wichita Police Department that includes an investigation into what happened and a civilian supervisor’s placement on paid administrative leave pending investigation results.

Thursday, 12 News reported on the wrongful deaths including reaction from an animal rescuer and advocate, as well as with a Wichita police lieutenant who oversees the shelter. WPD Lt. Derek Purcell said there was a communication error that led to a situation that shouldn’t have happened. Thursday, Purcell said he’s taken immediate action and no animal under the Wichita Animal Shelter’s care will be euthanized without his approval.

Friday, the WPD elaborated on its response.

“Chief Joe Sullivan has directed the Professional Standards Bureau to conduct an internal investigation into the matter so appropriate action may be taken. Consistent with City of Wichita Human Resources policies, the involved employee has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation,” the WPD explained in a news release. “If the investigation reveals that WPD policies, procedures or expectations were not followed, appropriate personnel action will be taken.”

Wichita police also apologized “for the pain or confusion this incident may have caused to individuals in our community.”

“What s most unfortunate about this event is that the individuals and rescue organizations we rely on were affected greatly. WPD is working hard to ensure operations within the Wichita Animal Shelter meet or exceed recognized standards of care,” the department said.

The WPD said this year, Wichita Animal Services has provided care for nearly 7,000 lost or stray pets within the community, “and owes much of their success to the dedication of staff, the respected relationships with rescue organizations and the partnership with the Kansas Humane Society.”

“While the internal investigation is underway, an adjustment to operations has been made to avoid this issue recurring and we remain committed to the goal of providing humane care and maximizing the number of animal lives saved,” the department said.

The shelter is calling the error a breakdown in communication, saying they made a mistake and are taking action to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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