Mary Jo Frazier, the former head of Boulder City’s animal shelter and Animal Control Supervisor, pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty after she admitted that she killed her own Dachshund. Her excuse was that she was moving to California from Nevada and couldn’t bring the dog, Oscar, with her. She didn’t give Oscar up for adoption because she believed the dog’s age and behavioral issues would make it hard for him to find a home, and she couldn’t bear the thought of him living in a shelter.
Instead, Frazier decided to kill Oscar. Her lawyer denied the claim that Frazier killed the dog as an act of revenge against her ex-husband after their divorce. But the story gets even more complicated. Police ordered an investigation of Boulder City’s animal shelter for excessive euthanizations, and during Frazier’s time there, drugs and money went missing, and there were many suspicious animal deaths. Other employees alleged that Frazier enjoyed killing animals and would often euthanize them before the required waiting period for the animals expired, especially when it came to Pit Bulls.
The police chief at the time covered up some of the findings, abruptly cutting off the investigations. It seems that he had known about Frazier’s conduct for some time. Not wanting to get caught, he used the findings to force Frazier to retire rather than bringing formal charges. But word got out, and in the ensuing scandal, that police chief quickly retired, as well.
As for what happened to Oscar, an animal control officer, Ann Inabnitt, who was an eye witness to the euthanization says it was no mercy killing. She said that when the pup arrived at the shelter, he was happy and healthy by all appearances. But Frazier was upset that the dog kept peeing on the carpet since she had divorced her husband.
Inabnitt advised Frazier that the dog just needed time to cope or that she should give the dog back to her ex-husband. But Frazier didn’t listen. She shoved Oscar in a cage, got drugs from the safe, and went against protocol to kill the dog. Inabnitt wanted to at least hold Oscar as he passed to comfort him, but Frazier wouldn’t allow it.
Frazier stuck the needle in the dog’s hind leg and went out for a smoke, leaving the poor dog screaming and banging his head against the cage. Then she came back in and stuck a syringe into Oscar’s heart, killing him. Inabnitt asked how the drugs used to kill Oscar would be explained since the DEA requires a detailed drug log, and Frazier said she would doctor the records, adding, “This never happened.”
Frazier maintains that she euthanized Oscar to prevent his suffering. She also claims that she never killed animals for fun, though the evidence that she had been euthanizing animals without cause for years forced her to retire. A judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail for killing Oscar along with four years of probation. Hopefully she’ll never be allowed near animals again.
Do you think Frazier deserves her sentence, or is it too light? What would you do if you discovered an animal shelter employee euthanizing animals needlessly? Let us know in the comments below! You can also make your voice be heard by contacting the Boulder City Justice Court.