May 18, 2013 2:28 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Huachuca City animal shelter closes; supervisor on leave

HUACHUCA CITY - The animal shelter is temporarily closing, and its supervisor is on leave after a Parvo outbreak.

A letter from a Cochise County Animal Control Officer described the conditions as "cold and uncompassionate" and some animals had to suffer "slow and agonizing death."

The Huachuca City Mayor, Chief of Police and City Clerk quickly responded to the accusations with an investigation.

They placed Scott Allard, the head animal control officer and shelter supervisor, on paid administrative leave.

Mayor Byron Robertson said he is glad somebody brought the issue to his attention.

"I can say that it does look like there will be a termination of Mr. Allard," Robertson said.

That is not official, and the Police Chief and City Clerk make the ultimate decision. The City attorney will also review the case.

Allard also believes he will be fired.

"I believe that I am being terminated, yes," Allard said.

Allard does not think he should lose his job.

"It was a personal vendetta," he said. "I did the best I could with the conditions that I was given and the supplies that I was given."

Brittany Stilgenbauer is a shelter volunteer who reported the conditions.

"It's heartbreaking and it's a little bit infuriating," she said, "because we asked for assistance. We've even asked, ‘Will you please euthanize this dog? It's suffering and we don't want it suffering in the kennel,' and nothing is done in a timely manner."

Allard said he followed procedures and had to wait until after business hours to euthanize animals.

The animals left in the shelter will have to go to other shelters.

Workers are cleaning the entire building with bleach. They will also strip, paint and reseal the floors. It should re-open in about 3 weeks.

Cochise County Animal Control officers bring most of the dogs. The County pays Huachuca City about $40,000 a year for that service. But it costs more than $100,000 a year to run the shelter, according to Robertson.

The County contract is about 10 years old and Robertson said they are going to renegotiate for better terms.


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