Ousted Carson City animal services chief sues city

CARSON CITY — The former manager of Carson City Animal Services has filed a lawsuit, claiming she was defamed by city officials and ousted from her job amid public outrage after a dog was euthanized.

The lawsuit filed Thursday was the latest fallout from the death of Rollie, a dog that had been picked up by animal control on July 25 then put to death when its owner didn’t pay the required fees within a three-day window.

Gail Radke’s complaint alleges City Manager Larry Werner and Deputy City Manager Marena Works implied the dog’s death was unnecessary and improper “and further implicated that plaintiff had engaged in wrongdoing in connection with Rollie’s death,” the Nevada Appeal ( ) reported.

The lawsuit names Werner and Works as defendants along with the city. It does not specify a possible damage amount.

Werner declined comment to The Associated Press on Friday, saying the city hadn’t yet been served with the lawsuit.

The case came to light when owner Jeraldine Archuleta wrote a letter to the Appeal explaining that she tried to retrieve her dog from the shelter the day after it was picked up but was told she’d have to pay $100 within 72 hours.

Archuleta said she was unable to come up with the money fast enough, and Rollie was euthanized.

“I cannot believe that the staff at the animal clinic were so uncooperative and not willing to allow me a few days to get the funds together,” Archuleta wrote.

Shelter workers underwent intensive training on customer service and ethics in the aftermath of the death, according to city officials, and Works told reporters the shelter would no longer euthanize animals if their owners show up.

“While it was within our legal right, there is no doubt that we should have let more time go by so that we had a chance to rectify the situation,” Works said at the time.

Radke argues in the suit that she tried to explain the situation but was fired and has suffered emotional distress and a damaged reputation.

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