UPDATE 9/28/18: Cheyenne Animal Shelter officials have decided against an idea to arm shelter employees with pepper spray in response to a recent biting incident.
Instead board members have decided to rely on less-abrasive methods for personal protection and “special training” for employees on how to safely handle animals.
The pepper spray idea was proposed Shelter CEO Bob Fecht who said the idea could be lifesaving tool for an employee under attack by an aggressive animal.
Experts in animal care and control tell the Wyoming Eagle Tribune that the spray could potentially backfire on the employee and instead recommended the shelter focus on training in animal behavior and defensive handling instead.
In addition to trainings, shelter employees will be equipped citronella spray which officials say is safer and less abrasive.
Police in Wyoming say three animal shelter officials, including its director, should be charged with cruelty to animals in the pepper-spraying of a dog that wasn’t threatening anyone.
Cheyenne police said Wednesday in a news release that employee Ryan Johnson held the 70-pound, pit bull mix while employee Eric Smale pepper-sprayed it under the direction of director Bob Fecht, a former Cheyenne police chief and state legislator.
The dog had bitten a shelter employee the day before and was euthanized a day later.
The misdemeanor charge recommended by police is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Police have sent their investigation to prosecutors. District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Fecht has been suspended and previously expressed regret in a public statement. Phone numbers were not immediately available for any of the three men.