Humane Society of Tulsa hit with allegations of illegal euthanasia
Two members of the Humane Society of Tulsa are in hot water over allegations they illegally euthanized 10 adult dogs and one puppy at a no-kill shelter in Grove.
According to a complaint filed with the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, HST President Gina Gardner and Lawrence DePriest, a veterinary assistant, allegedly killed the 11 dogs in July at Second Chance Pet Rescue. They allegedly did so without a licensed veterinarian overseeing them.
Cassie Owens, director of Second Chance, says her staff and volunteers were not notified any dogs would be put down. Both she and the complaint say the Humane Society was originally invited to the shelter to assist with overcrowding.
Gardner reported to investigators that the shelter was aware dogs would be euthanized during her visit. She and the assistant will appear before the state board on Dec. 1 for a hearing.
Owens provided KWGS News with this statement:
"Since the first day I walked into the shelter as director (July 25, 2023) my focus has been on the safety, well-being & happiness of the animals in my care. With the help of dedicated employees, volunteers & our community we are making a difference!
All of these things take dedication and funding. We are a private 501c3 that relies totally on our community.
I will always have the best interest of the animals my highest priority. I will always be transparent with our community. I am asking for your continued support. We cannot do this without your help!"
In response to an inquiry from KWGS, the Humane Society of Tulsa provided this statement:
"The Humane Society of Tulsa looks forward to presenting the facts surrounding allegations made with the Oklahoma State Veterinary Board. We disagree with the false stories and claims being made about representatives of our organization."