QOD: Is this “irresponsible knife use”? Animal Control Officer slits injured fawn’s throat

800px-OdocoileusVirginianus2007-07-28fawn

photo of a white-tail fawn from Wikipedia

A New Jersey Animal Control officer has been charged with 14 animal cruelty counts for reportedly using a knife to “euthanize by exsanguination” an injured fawn. Apparently, this is not an approved method in the State of New Jersey.

From NJ1015.com:

Animal Control Officer and Animal Cruelty Investigator, Vincent Ascolese, 48, of Edgewater was charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the group announced last week.

Ascolese is the director and supervising animal control officer for North Jersey Humane Society Shelter in Bloomfield, and the director at the Bergen County Protection and Rescue Shelter in Cliffside Park. Both shelters provide animal control services in multiple jurisdictions in Bergen and Essex Counties, the NJSPCA said.

Ascolese allegedly euthanized an injured fawn by method of exsanguination with a knife, by cutting the fawn’s throat.  Exsanguination is not an approved method of euthanasia in the State of New Jersey, the NJSPCA said.

He was charged with “needlessly killing a living animal and “failure to provide necessary care” in addition to several counts of cruelty to animals at the North Jersey Humane Society Shelter in Bloomfield for allegedly failing to provide proper shelter, food and necessary care.

Why an animal control officer did not have a firearm handy is beyond me. Probably a New Jersey thing. However, exsanguination is a pretty common way to dispatch a farm animal, in fact I know that it is required for halal meat (Muslim) and I believe for kosher-prepared meat for Jews. In a production slaughterhouse setting, this is done after an electric charge stuns the animal.

Do you think that 14 charges is a bit of an over reaction? I have no problem with firing an officer who violates a law that they should have known. However, I think that 14 charges is an emotional response to a common act that offends the sensibilities of a soft, urban populace.

comments

  1. Researcher says:

    The AVMA Guidelines on euthanasia is used by veterinarians as a reference to acceptable techniques for euthanizing animals. There are other considerations to minimize the suffering of the animal. Exsanguination is used in conjunction with other methods, and depending on circumstances it can be a humane action for euthanizing the animal. The issue in the article appears to be the reaction of the NJSPCA.

    From the avma “handbook” on euthanasia of animals:

    “Physical methods of euthanasia include captive bolt, gunshot, cervical dislocation, decapitation, electrocution, focused beam microwave irradiation, thoracic compression, exsanguination, maceration, stunning, and pithing. When properly used by skilled personnel with well-maintained equipment, physical methods of
    AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition 35
    euthanasia may result in less fear and anxiety and be more rapid, painless, humane, and practical than other forms of euthanasia.”

    https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Documents/euthanasia.pdf

    1. pat gilleran says:

      I live in Bloomfield NJ – The ACO is question chose to bring the fawn from Woodland Park to Bloomfield (he actually ordered an ACO who works for him to do so) knowing how badly it was injured.

      He also knew that he was not certified to euthanize, that there was an animal hospital that takes care of wildlife (that he patronizes) about 15 miles in the other direction from Woodland Park, and that he had no drugs to utilize for euthanasia at the shelter.

      In NJ NJSPCA does the investigation and may serve the charges but the local prosecutor actually prosecutes.

      The NJ Board of Heath inspected the Animal Shelter subsequent to the report about the fawn and found it sadly wanting – many violations of the Animal Laws

      1.11 (e) All persons administering animal euthanasia shall be a New Jersey licensed veterinarian or be certified by a licensed veterinarian in the acceptable euthanasia technique or techniques used at the facility, (as delineated in these regulations under 1.11 c.), in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:65. Such documentation shall state the euthanasia substances and techniques certified for use therewith, shall be signed by the certifying veterinarian, and shall be kept on file at the facility for inspection by State or local health authorities.

      1.9 (d) 1. Sick, diseased, injured or lame animals shall be provided with at least prompt, basic veterinary care (to alleviate pain and suffering) or euthanized, unless such action is inconsistent with the purposes for which the animal was obtained and is being held; provided, however, that this provision shall not affect compliance with N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16, which requires all stray animals to be held for seven days.

      I will gladly supply the NJBOH inspection report to anyone who is interested.

      1. Thanks for the thorough background info.

  2. I_Like_Pie says:

    This is the craziest thing that I will read all week. Pitiful bunch of people with their heads in the sand.

    The counter argument is that the officer would have been scott free if he left that deer to die in a ditch over the course of 2 days. Makes no sense at all.

    Those charges will be thrown out, but angry that a judge won’t even slap the wrists of the overzealous prosecution.

    1. sagebrushracer says:

      i believe that their heads are up their asses, rather than in the sand. Minor technical point, but still relevant IMHO.

  3. skinnedknuckles says:

    Please excuse my ignorance of New Jersey jurisprudence but how does a state SPCA “charge” anyone, since it was stated he “was charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the group announced last week”?

    For some reason, I thought the police or prosecutors were the ones who “charged” people with crimes.

    It also sounds like there were other issues beyond the fawn “addition to several counts of cruelty to animals at the North Jersey Humane Society Shelter in Bloomfield for allegedly failing to provide proper shelter, food and necessary care”.

    Maybe the fact that he is the “director and supervising animal control officer for North Jersey Humane Society Shelter in Bloomfield” might have something to do with it, the Humane Society seeming to be anything but in so many cases.

    1. pat gilleran says:

      Actually this organization has NOTHING TO DO with the Humane Society

  4. Lee Duran says:

    Most ASPCAs have sworn law enforcement officers that can enforce animal cruelty laws. Additionally some locales allow officers to prosecute their own misd. Counts and then you would pull in the DA for felonies. Guessing ASPCA has the authority to prosecute or charge their own cases due to their special focus as oppose to general patrol duties.

    Source: LE experience across different states. None were NJ so it’s just speculation

  5. elcas says:

    breaking news a 3years old kid in facing death penalty for mass murdering an ant colony …… those dman kids (never too early)

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QOD: Is this “irresponsible knife use”? Animal Control Officer slits injured fawn’s throat

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