CARSON CITY — Carson City Animal Services’ leadership is changing amid outcry over a dog that was euthanized when its owner couldn’t pay $100 in fees.
Gail Radtke no longer manages the department as of Wednesday and no longer works for the city of Carson City, the Nevada Appeal reported. Bob Elliott, an environmental health inspector, is in charge while the city seeks a permanent replacement.
Deputy City Manager Marena Works and City Manager Larry Werner said the changes stemmed from a “need to refocus the direction and goals” of the department, although Works declined to offer any specifics on Radtke’s departure.
Animal services came under fire after the death of a dog named Rollie, who was picked up by animal control July 25. Owner Jeraldine Archuleta said she tried to retrieve Rollie from the shelter July 26 but was told she needed to pay $100 within 72 hours.
She was unable to come up with the money in time, and the dog was euthanized.
The shelter is dealing with a fierce backlash to the incident, which was detailed in a letter Archuleta wrote to the newspaper.
Works said pet adoptions have decreased, volunteers have quit, and the shelter “is just filling up like mad” with animals.
“It’s getting more crowded every day,” she said.
Shortly after Rollie’s death, shelter personnel attended customer service and ethics training, and Works said policies are being rewritten. She said staff members, many of whom were not at the shelter when the decision about Rollie was made, are “devastated” over the controversy.