Committee releases findings to help lower Baytown Animal Shelter's kill rate

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Three former Baytown Animal Control officers told FOX 26 that the City’s animal shelter routinely violated state law by euthanizing animals in front of each other.

“Some of the animals, when they didn’t do it right, would scream and cry and you could see the fear in their eyes,” said former animal control officer Lauren Hartis.

Our reports led to protests and Baytown City Hall forming a committee to review the shelter’s practices.

“It was not our mission to investigate whether or not those allegations are true,” said committee member Zandra Anderson.

The committee told city council members they did not witness any law violations during their visits to the shelter, but say they found ways to save more lives.

“We recommend that they use more social media sites to market the animals,” said committee member  Dr. Cynthia Lipps. “We felt like people didn’t know the animals were there.”

The committee also recommended the shelter utilize volunteers and rescue groups, something most area shelters do.

“Plus the public’s awareness that the shelter is a positive place to go, not just the killing fields,” said Anderson.

She showed city council a picture of a dog with a wound to push for a vet at the shelter, something the committee also recommends.

“It had been in the kennel with an infected eye,” animal advocate Wanda Cater told city council.

“Dogs right now in the facility receive no pain medication,” Carter said.

Baytown’s mayor says he’s committed to making changes at the shelter as soon as possible.

“There’s a lot of things that we’re not doing that other shelters are doing that essentially cost nothing,” said animal advocate Shantel Priddy.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office tells FOX 26 its investigation into the alleged law violations at the shelter is continuing.