Euthanasia controversy at Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter

"Just because he was an aggressive dog doesn't mean that I didn't love him and that he wasn't my best friend and that he didn't deserve that," said pet owner Tyler Shanks.

Tyler Shanks took to Facebook Thursday describing the experience he said he had with his dog Caesar.

In the post, Shanks outlines what he said happened at Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter.

Shanks was asking the shelter to assist in euthanizing his dog. 

"We took him back, and we put a muzzle on him and they gave him the first sedative and we waited two minutes," Shanks said. "They told me he would be calm so we could take the muzzle off. We waited a little bit and then once they tried to get him up on the table he growled at them."

From there, Shanks said Caesar was given another sedative, and was held down with a restraining pole.

"And so he was still trying to fight and that's when they shoved him in the kennel," Shanks said.

Shanks said he feels Caesar was mishandled throughout the euthanization process.

Chris Anderson with the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter said this is not typically the procedure for euthanasia at the shelter.

"Usually what we experience is we get a phone call," Anderson said. "Somebody calls us and says that their animal, for a reason, and they generally give us a reason, needs to be euthanized and they are wondering if we can help them with that."

From there, Anderson said YVAS speaks with the pet owner about the what's going on, is it an emergency situation, and when is the pet owner ready to do it?

"So once we have that information, we figure out the best information we can in terms of getting it," Anderson said. "If it's a crisis, we will get an officer in as quick as possible with animal control and they will do the euthanasia."

Anderson said she works with other agencies, like animal control or vet clinics, because her employees are not able to perform euthanizations.

"The state has a certification to be a certified euthanasia tech," Anderson said. "And none of my staff is certified to do euthanasia."

Although it was not her staff who was in the room at the time, Anderson said she is taking the matter seriously.

"It's very important to YVAS that we understand what the situation was and I know I've talked to animal control," Anderson said. "They're working hard to do what they need to do to figure it out. That's where we are right now. It's very important to YVAS that that needs to be addressed and we are willing to work with animal control to figure it out."

Shanks said his goal is to make sure others don't have the same experience he said he had.

"I've been trying so hard to honestly just forget it. I don't want to re-live that."

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