CHEYENNE (WNE) — Cheyenne Animal Shelter President Bob Fecht will be suspended for 60 days without pay starting Friday following an investigation into his decision to have a young dog pepper sprayed during a "training exercise" earlier this month.
The decision to suspend the former police chief was made in a closed shelter board meeting Monday night and discussed during a Tuesday afternoon meeting with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle Editorial Board.
Fecht also will be required to present the board with "an acceptable plan of action to restore the trust of the Shelter community in his abilities as the President and CEO" before returning to the job, according to a prepared statement from the board.
The decision came roughly two weeks after an 8-month-old pit bull mix named Tanner bit a shelter employee as she tried to take him out of his kennel. The following day, Fecht ordered the dog taken outside and pepper sprayed as part of a "training exercise." The dog was euthanized the next day.
Jay Klapel, then the shelter's community cat program coordinator, emailed board members the day Tanner was euthanized calling the incident "absolutely abuse." She further accused Fecht of ordering the training exercise in unprecedented retaliation for the biting incident.
Shelter officials had disputed the allegations.
An unidentified animal control officer wrote a report saying the dog had "viciously" mauled the employee, leaving her fearing for her life, and outlined the spraying as a relatively harmless training exercise to determine whether the spray would work on the dog and show employees how to use it.
Fecht, for his part, had said people questioning his actions were ignoring his responsibility to the employee who suffered a "very traumatic experience.”