HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Cockfighting is a blood sport, outlawed in Hillsborough county. Every year investigators raid and shut down a number of cockfighting rings. The birds are euthanized.
County policy requires they be tranquilized, then put down in a humane manner, with an injection to the heart.
Former animal control supervisor Pam Perry told 8 On Your Side Pet Resources director Scott Trebatoski violated that policy his first week on the job.
“They were to be tranquilized first and then humanely euthanized,” Perry said.
She claims after a March 2014 cockfighting bust in Clair-Mel, Trebatoski did not tranquilize the birds. Instead of following protocol, she said, he injected a killing compound called Fatal Plus into a vein in the back of their necks.
Hillsborough County just disciplined Pet Resources Sgt. Steve Scanlon when he disobeyed a supervisor’s order and did not follow the county’s euthanasia policy. He injected birds in the back of the neck or head during the destruction of more than 80 birds in Lithia.
Scanlon confessed during an interview with a county human resources representative. “I did violate the policy and I admit to that, but that’s the only thing that I did that was wrong that night,” he said.
The county demoted Scanlon. He now works the phones and the front desk at the Pet Resources Center.
“You’re gonna hold people to a policy then everybody has to follow that policy,” Perry points out.
Hillsborough County last updated its euthanasia policy in 2013, requiring the birds be tranquilized and then euthanized by an injection into the heart. Trebatoski was hired in March 2014.
“When I arrived in Hillsborough County we had a cockfighting bust, and the supervisors asked me to review a policy change that had taken place on what euthanasia used to be allowed and what euthanasia was allowed,” Trebatoski explained. “I was unaware that there was any kind of policy change other than they were told not to do it by a kennel manager, because it didn’t look good.”
8 On Your Side asked him if anyone advised him that the way he was euthanizing birds in Clair-Mel was against policy. “No,” Trebatoski said.
“I brought it to his attention prior to any of the birds being euthanized,” Perry insists. “His response to me was, ‘Yeah, I heard about the policy. This is the way we’re going to do it. Watch me,'” she claimed.
Trebatoksi doesn’t recall Perry mentioning the policy to him.
“He didn’t care, he was going to do what he was going to do,” Perry said.
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