Outrage arises after no-kill shelter puts down several dogs

The H.E.L.P. the Animals shelter, 2101 W. Main St., on Nov. 14, 2017, in Richmond, Indiana. (WISH Photo)

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — Some people in one community are outraged after learning a no-kill animal shelter decided to put down several dogs in recent weeks.

They believe there was a cover-up.

It happened at H.E.L.P The Animals on West Main Street in Richmond.

People who use to work and volunteer at the shelter told 24-Hour News 8 they are not happy with how board members handled the decision. They are demanding transparency and had no idea what happened to seven dogs at the shelter up until the other day.

Word quickly spread across social media that something may have happened to seven dogs at the no-kill animal shelter in Richmond.

24-Hour News 8 learned one employee was told the dogs were being moved to a different rescue shelter, but that wasn’t the case.

“Absolutely breaks my heart,” said Stacey Miller, who used to work at the shelter.

Miller said she recognizes all of the dogs.

“Cupcake, Princess, Si, Red, Ben, Vance and Whylie,” Miller said. “I knew all seven of those dogs.”

Miller was close with Cupcake. Cellphone video provided by Miller shows Cupcake cuddling up next to another employee.

“He was a loving dog, he loved to give hugs, he loved to give kisses, he loved all of his squeaky toys,” Miller said. “We knew what those dogs loved, we knew those dogs like the back of our hands and we looked out for them.”

Miller and other people kept pushing for answers from the shelter manager and board members as to what happened to the group of seven and said they didn’t get any answers.

They learned over the weekend the dogs had been euthanized.

Monica Kinley-Wilson served as the board president from 2004 to 2007.

“We knew that almost every animal could find a perfect home if they could. It distresses me greatly that the shelter has done other things,” Kinley-Wilson said.

According to a letter posted on the shelter’s website, board members made the decision to put the dogs down and classified the dogs as a “bite risk.” The letter went on to say how the dogs were unpredictable and could put an adoptive family at risk. The shelter also admits to euthanizing 52 dogs since 2012 for bite risk and sickness.

“Let the community know what’s going on and stick to your mission,” Kinley-Wilson said. “You know the mission statement says we are no-kill shelter.”

The Associated Press reports the shelter director has been fired and the board requested the resignation of two board members.

24-Hour News 8 reached out to the board president for a comment, but did not hear back Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, a rally is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday outside the shelter, 2101 W. Main St.