Utah Humane Society meets with state leaders to discuss lack of oversight in pet facilities

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- Humane Society of Utah leadership met with Utah state executives from the Governor’s Office and the Department of Agriculture to discuss the risks associated with a lack of state oversight of pet care facilities, such as shelters, rescues, board-and-train facilities, and more.

The Humane Society says the lack of oversight results in no standardization of facilities or training for the employees running the facilities. This may lead to potentially dangerous situations for both the animals and the employees. 

In an effort to keep both animals and pet care facility employees safe, the Humane Society of Utah is calling for the enactment of a licensing and inspection program in order to standardize pet care facilities in Utah.

Several other states, including Georgia, Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan, have already enacted effective licensing programs.

“A licensing and inspection program is key to increasing worker safety,” said Rachel Heatley, Utah Humane Society’s Advocacy and Investigations Director, “This program would help ensure that pet care facilities are safe and healthy for pets and the people that care for them.”

In August, the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter stopped using gas chambers to euthanize animals at their facility. The decision was made after members and supporters made phone calls, sent e-mails, and attended protests to ban the method.

The Humane Society said in a 2019 report that euthanasia by injection is comparable in cost, faster, painless, and safer for personnel compared to gas chamber euthanasia.

Emphasizing the importance of and need for a licensing and inspection program for pet care facilities in Utah, the Humane Society of Utah invited state executives to its campus to discuss the problems and the proposed solution as well as ask for their assistance in launching a successful program. 

“We greatly appreciate the Governor’s Office and the Department of Agriculture for taking the time to hear our concerns and brainstorm possible solutions,” said Vaughn Maurice, Utah Humane Society’s Executive Director, “We feel confident that we can continue to work together to improve pet care facilities here in Utah.”

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