A television news investigation has reportedly turned up "a number of former employees" alleging unethical practices at the Orange County Animal Care shelter in Orange.
For instance, the facility's stated "major goals are to protect the public health and ensure the safety and well-being of animals," but Ryan Henry, a former OC Animal Care field officer, told KABC Eyewitness News that bringing in money was "a focus all the time."
Reporter Greg Lee says he also heard from a veterinarian who made similar allegations and, like Henry, ultimately resigned from OC Animal Care. The doctor further claimed his signature was forged on a rabies form to give vaccinations he did not authorize and that his superior demanded he change a report in which the vet said he found no evidence of abuse of a dog.
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KABC took the allegations to Dr. Jennifer Hawkins, director of Orange County Animal Care, who reportedly issued a statement saying the issues raised are not new and have been addressed with "corrective action" when necessary.
"Our commitment to humane animal care is reflected in the reduced euthanasia rates experienced at OC Animal Care over the past five years," the statement adds. "This is not a coincidence, but rather a commitment to improving the lives of animals in our care."
As the Weekly previously reported, Seal Beach-based nonprofit Paw Protectors Rescue filed a $2.5 million lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court last summer that alleges OC Animal Care euthanizes healthy cats and dogs too quickly.