Did Sheriff’s Deputies, Animal Control Agents Gun Down Dozens of Caged and Fenced-In Animals?

Navajo County, AZ (RPRN) 6/30/2009-– On June 29, PETA sent an urgent letter to Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon calling on him to initiate a criminal investigation into the reported May 7 massacre of more than 40 caged and fenced-in dogs by Navajo County officials at the Chevelon Retreat residence of Edward Harvey. According to news reports, Harvey–who had allegedly left his dogs in a state of neglect–was taken into custody on an unrelated matter. County officers then reportedly entered the property, gunned down all the dogs, and left their bodies to rot. In addition to asking Carlyon to file charges–including cruelty to animals–where warranted, PETA is calling on Navajo County to implement a policy requiring authorities to euthanize animals who have to be killed by properly administering an injection of an approved barbiturate.

PETA has also sent a letter to Dr. Wade Kartchner, Director of Navajo County Public Health Services, urging a reform of animal control procedures.

“If it is true that these dogs were killed in a hail of gunfire instead of being individually examined and either treated, adopted, or humanely euthanized, it defies comprehension,” says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Law enforcement officers are entrusted to secure the safety of the community, so these allegations are deeply troubling.”

For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site HelpingAnimals.com.

PETA’s letter to Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon follows. PETA’s letter to Dr. Wade Kartchner is available upon request.

June 29, 2009

The Honorable Brad Carlyon
Navajo County Attorney�s Office

Dear Mr. Carlyon:

PETA is the world�s largest animal rights organization with more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide. This letter concerns a May 7 incident during which Navajo County deputies and animal control officers allegedly massacred 40 dogs on the Chevelon Retreat residence of Edward Harvey. According to reports, Harvey was taken into custody on an unrelated matter on May 6, and his dogs were discovered the following day in states of severe neglect. Officials apparently gunned down the dogs where they had huddled, terrified, against fences and in corners of the property. Their bodies were then left to rot.

Shooting can be among the cruelest methods of destroying an animal because the gunshot must be carefully placed in order to ensure that the animal immediately loses consciousness. It is particularly difficult to shoot with the necessary degree of accuracy when animals are running loose and in a state of panic. Humane capture and euthanasia by intravenous injection should be used if animals are deemed too ill and/or unsocialized to be adopted.

We understand that Dr. Wade Kartchner, director of Navajo County Public Health Services, claims that the gunshot method was used because of limited resources. However, according to its executive director, Anna Marie Rea, the Humane Society of the White Mountains, an agency that contracts with Navajo County, has an open-door policy and has accepted large groups of dogs in the past. PETA also offers its assistance when jurisdictions encounter large numbers of animals in need of help. Unfortunately, it appears that Navajo County officials did not attempt to contact the Humane Society–or any other agency–for assistance before they gunned down Harvey’s dogs.

On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Arizona, we respectfully request that your office investigate this incident and file charges–including cruelty-to-animals charges–where warranted. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Kristin DeJournett
Cruelty Caseworker
Cruelty Investigations Department

Contact:
Kristin DeJournett 757-622-7382