(NEWS CENTER Maine) -- A viral Facebook post by a recently fired employee of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society claims that euthanizations at the shelter "doubled" in the past six weeks.
The former employee, Amanda Kimball, who was an Animal Care Team Leader, posted a lengthy status on her page on May 9, claiming that GAHS started euthanizing twice the number of animals since the former manager left.
The post has been shared and commented on over 3,000 times. She said she, "never imagined the post would go viral."
Kimball said while she can't verify her claim that kills were 'doubled,' she did tell NEWS CENTER Maine she felt that the shelter euthanized more animals than needed to be.
"I thought if the community knows what's going on there, maybe they can help make a change so that the animals aren't suffering," said Kimball over the phone Saturday. "I think we all wanted to say stuff. I've still got people that work there that are upset, but you know, they can't say anything because they fear for their job."
Kimball says she won’t be silenced, continuing her mission on Facebook on Saturday. She posted a video that some may consider disturbing. Kimball claims the video shows a dog at the shelter being euthanized in front of another dog.
It's already been shared hundreds of times. NEWS CENTER Maine was not able to independently verify the video.
Kimball also told NEWS CENTER Maine, the shelter fired her for "attendance" issues. She says she has Lupus and that the shelter's management was aware of her health situation. She said she had missed work ten times over the last nine months due to symptoms of the disease. She said no one from the shelter has ever asked her for a doctors note.
The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society posted a reply later Thursday night on its Facebook page, responding to the allegations.
The post states that in the past six weeks, 16 total animals were euthanized, eight for aggression, and eight for untreatable illness. During the previous six weeks, 12 total animals were euthanized, six and six for each reason, respectively.
"Euthanasia is a last resort. We evaluate each unique situation, assessing the pet’s quality of life and community safety to determine if it is in the best interest of both to place the pet for adoption. An animal that has untreatable injuries or illnesses which would significantly negatively impact its quality of life, or a temperament deemed unsafe for people and animals, will be euthanized," the post states. Making the decision to euthanize an animal is always difficult, and we take our responsibility to all involved very seriously."
on the number of euthanizations and the animals released alive. Spokesperson John Bott said that shelters in Maine typically release more animals alive than other shelters across the U.S.
It is unclear how frequently a shelter is required to report euthanization data to the state. Bott said at this point, it is not possible to verify the claims made by either side about the total number of euthanizations during that period.
The DACF website lists 85 animal shelters statewide.
When asked if she had filed a complaint with the DACF or any other organization, Kimball said no.
NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to the management of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society for comment on the story, but have not received a reply as of publication.
NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to shelter management multiple times over the course of two days to hear their side of the story, but they did not return our calls or emails.
Many on Facebook are scrutinizing the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society for claiming to be a "no-kill shelter."
Maine officials say that's not a term they use, but the traditional definition of a no-kill shelter is one that only euthanizes animals for dangerous behavior or terminal illnesses.
The humane society says all 28 of its dogs euthanized in recent months have been put down for *those reasons.