Vet used outdated technique to painfully put down over 200 dogs, leaving them 'screaming in agony'
89-year-old John Hendrie Smith reportedly injected dogs in their hearts, a process described to cause the animals 'appalling pain'
A veterinarian who allegedly put down more than 200 dogs using an outdated practice that caused the animals to scream out in agony as they were dying was struck off as a doctor. 89-year-old John Hendrie Smith reportedly injected the dogs in their hearts, a process described as causing the animals "appalling pain".
Hendrie Smith has been a veterinarian for almost 65 years and was found to be using the controversial method of Euthanization on hundreds of helpless animals at his Valley Veterinary Centre in Galston, Ayrshire, U.K.
According to records from a disciplinary inquiry held regarding the outdated methods, pet owner Darren Stevenson is said to have contacted the elderly vet to help with his terminally ill German Shepherd called Bouncer. The Daily Mail reported that when the vet arrived at the family home, the pet owner discovered that he did not bring a muzzle for the dog and instead tried to wrap Bouncer's snout close using his belt.
Hendrie Smith is also alleged to have asked Stevenson for a pair of pliers to fix the needle of the syringe he had before he inserted the tip through Bouncer's lung wall. Due to that particular area containing a dense nerve network in the animal, it is said that this would have caused the dog a significant amount of pain.
34-year-old Rachael McRoberts, Stevenson's partner at the time, said she heard Bouncer screaming in distress as he was being Euthanized. She told the Sunday Times: "It was horrible. The dog was wailing for what seemed like ages. I've never heard a dog make a noise like that."
McRoberts said she remembers Bouncer being a protective dog who was a proper companion to her family, including her three children who are now 16, 12, and 5-years-old. She said: "He was kind of human...he understood you and knew if something was wrong with the kids and would alert me."
Stevenson filed a complaint with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), who discovered Hendrie Smith had used the outdated technique on the animals for a number of years. The elderly vet also admitted many of the animals had desperately cried out in excruciating pain before they died.
The RCVS investigated Hendrie Smith and the cases of the animals brought up a variety of questions about veterinary regulation and why an aging practitioner was not the subject of routine checks. The organization advised vets: "It's up to you to decide how best to fulfill your learning needs."