City Animal Shelter Linked to Suicide Attempt - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/1/04

City Animal Shelter Linked to Suicide Attempt

Last Monday, the city of Lubbock's animal shelter welcomed a new volunteer. Next thing they knew, they were in the middle of an investigation. City Health Director, Tommy Camden, recounts what happened saying, "I'm contacted and animal services was contacted late Wednesday afternoon saying an individual has attempted suicide that may have some connection to the animal services volunteer program."

Police think the individual stole this drug commonly called "Fatal Plus," brought it home, and injected it into his veins. Fatal Plus is a lethal drug the shelter uses to put animals to sleep. Police and the Health Department are still investigating how the volunteer got access to the drug. They think it was through the room where euthanizing takes place, but all entrances are usually locked. Camden says, "In one particular part of the building we can raise one of the garage doors where the euthanasia takes place and this individual had wandered around to the back part of the shelter and was observing some of what was going on that afternoon."

Camden says it's still unclear exactly how the volunteer got into areas that are normally off limits to volunteers. Regardless, he doesn't think the safety procedures at the shelter should be questioned. He says, "There may be a few minor things that will be tweaked, but it's an unfortunate incident that happened in which somebody it seems might have had something pre-planned and did his best to carry it out."

The shelter volunteer was taken to University Medical Center. He survived the suicide attempt.

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