ST. GEORGE -- The manager of an animal shelter in St. George has been demoted for unprofessional conduct, but a report filed by police supervisors largely dismissed allegations of animal abuse at the shelter.
David H. Vane was demoted to animal-control officer, suspended for two days without pay and placed under close monitoring, according to findings released Thursday.
Supervisors questioned Vane's personal skills and said he alienated kennel volunteers and others. But it found no wrongdoing, except for Vane's practice of hosing down kennels with dogs still inside the cages.
The report (http://bit.ly/176CUeO ) says Vane didn't immediately obey an order to stop this practice, but acknowledged it saved time at a chaotic shelter.
"One complaint that has been verified by multiple people is that at times Vane has done a poor job with public relations," the police panel said in the 11-page report prepared by Deputy Chief Richard Farnsworth.
It added, "Many people have said that the atmosphere at the shelter is not 'friendly to volunteers' or 'animal rights groups.' Many people with animal advocacy or rescue groups had a story about something Vane said to them that they felt was unprofessional. It appears that he regularly voiced his personal opinions, even when he should have known what he was saying might be offensive to some."
The city report dismisses a number of complaints of animal abuse. One allegation had Vane washing puppies down a kennel drain -- a rumor police traced backed more than
10 years ago when a stray dog gave birth overnight and dropped some puppies down a drain. One died.
Vane, 56, didn't immediately return a message left under a phone listing for his name Thursday by The Associated Press.
The 11-page report posted on the city's website also questioned Vane's practice of failing to sedate unwanted pets before euthanizing them.
The shelter uses the "heart stick" method, also called an intra-cardiac injection of a paralyzing drug. It's a widely used practice that usually follows sedation, but taking that step is not a requirement of law or city police, the police panel said.
The report left the issue of sedation unresolved.