City says they're fixing Animal Control following scandal

Tonight, animal activists presented a petition to the Amarillo City Council. There were several thousand signatures demanding the city terminate city employees Mike McGee and Shannon Barlow, who are currently on paid administrative leave. McGee and Barlow have been running the city's Amarillo Control Department before the controversy erupted over the department's euthanasia practice

The city has a long laundry list of best practices that are to be immediately implemented at animal control, including supervised euthanasia.

â??We continue to do euthanasia and it is supervised through local veterinarians,â?? said Scott McDonald, the interim director of Animal Control. â??Our veterinarians are helping by mentoring and teaching staff proper technique and procedure and helping them grow and enhance the certifications they already had.â??

The City Manager Jarrett Atkison says that the city is committed to "improvements and to identify and ensure that best practices are used." They plan on upgrading the facility that is long overdue for a renovation. This still isn't comforting some concerned citizens, as they say someone should be held responsible for the violations that were made over the years.

â??The management over the management needs to be held accountable for this,â?? said Shea White, a concerned citizen and a local dog trainer. â??They reported to someone and that's the city manager and the deputy city manager, and I believe our questions for them are going to continue.â??

The city says that a scale was put into place at the facility to weigh animals, which was a major point of contention for concerned citizens, because animal control did not have one as recently as the last city council meeting. This means that for many years, they might not have administered the proper amount of anesthesia to humanely put down animals.

The management of Animal Control remains on paid leave and the investigation into improper euthanasia, among other allegations, is still ongoing.