Humane Society in Fort Pierce accused of animal abuse by a former doctor

New contract in the works in response

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The way animals are adopted and euthanized in St. Lucie County could soon change.

After the Humane Society in Fort Pierce was recently accused of animal abuse by a former doctor, a new contract is being written so St. Lucie County leaders can regulate it.

Former Humane Society employee Dr. Sara Matthews said the shelter euthanizes up to 8,000 animals a year simply because there's not enough space.

A current employee also said the animals weren't sedated properly before those euthanizations, according to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Humane Society of St. Lucie County Operations Manager David Robertson said the claims of abuse and improper euthanization are false.

"All the allegations that I'm aware of are completely untrue, they're unfounded," Robertson said. "Most of them are from ex-disgruntled employees. They're from a group of individuals that have a vendetta against the Humane Society for many, many years."

St. Lucie County paid the Fort Pierce Humane Society shelter $260,000 last year.

It's the only shelter of its kind in St. Lucie County.

The county started drafting the new contract with new oversight Tuesday.

New regulations could include creating a citizen committee to make sure guidelines are upheld and biannual unannounced inspections occur.

This new contract isn't agreed upon yet.

The St. Lucie County director of public safety was quoted as saying it could be presented by the first of the year.

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