ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A worker at one of Albuquerque’s animal shelters was investigated by the city for posting TikTok videos of a dog being euthanized. The worker told investigators they did it to show critics when the city does have to put down an animal — they do it humanely.

The Animal Welfare Department knows the issue of euthanasia can be a sensitive one. Carolyn Ortega, Director of the Animal Welfare Department, wouldn’t talk about the investigation — just the issue of euthanasia. “We have to do what’s best for the animal, and sometimes, unfortunately, euthanasia, humane euthanasia, is what’s best for the animal,” says Ortega. 

Story continues below

In March, the city’s inspector general received an anonymous tip about the foster-volunteer coordinator at a shelter posting two Tiktok videos of dogs being euthanized. Investigators found the videos had been deleted.

However, the investigators say the worker “violated rules of going into exam rooms during a procedure… and that work-related social media posts needed to be approved by a manager.” The worker says they did it to show “Euthanasia — when necessary — is humane, sanitary and peaceful.”

Ortega says workers are extra stressed because the shelters are full. “This is the highest influx they’ve seen, and when you feel like there’s no end in sight, it really takes a toll on you,” says Ortega. 

The city only euthanizes animals that are sick or have severe behavioral issues. Right now, their euthanasia rate is at 13 percent. They say they’d like to get it under ten. The city says the worker has undergone more training but won’t say if they were disciplined, calling it a personnel matter.