We all have our own favorites when it comes to dog breeds but in recent years, pit bulls have gained a significant amount of popularity. At the same time, they are also often looked at with some scrutiny as well. In some communities, they are considered dangerous creatures and cities across North America have been limiting the ability of their residents to keep them as pets.
This debate has certainly reached high levels with lawmakers, pitbull owners and animal activists getting involved. In the midst of it all an animal shelter managed to get caught in the crosshairs and what they did has outraged the public.
The Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare facility in Texas made a decision on May 10. There was a shelter pit bull that was euthanized while she was in labor. Soon after this occurred, the shelter decided to euthanize the puppies as well.
A volunteer at the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society decided to share the event publicly. She wrote,
” need to write about something that I recently witnessed and found completely appalling and unacceptable. I have found immense joy through my volunteering, and I have struggled with the potential pushback from speaking out.
I have also sought to remedy wrongs through the proper channels. I have held on to this post, hoping that I would not have to share, but I cannot seem to get anywhere. Today, I am coming to the public for support”
She was also very clear that it was the shelter’s decision to put down the pitbull and not hers. When she realized that G7 (the dog’s designation) was in labor on that day, she notified several employees who said they would give her a whelping box.
“They acknowledged and took control of the situation. I then saw an AAMW kennel attendant assembling a whelping box and assumed it was being handled. A bit later, I heard that a message had been sent stating G7 was euthanized. She was in labor and euthanized. An AMW employee later confirmed that it was indeed the same dog. Her last moments, while she lay dying, were spent still trying to clean her newly birthed puppies. Their words, not mine.”
Anderson is not the only one who is talking about this issue. A city Council meeting was held on June 6 and they discussed the death of the dog.
“You can not euthanize your way to eliminate specific animal breeds. We need fines in place for people who do not choose to spay or neuter,” said one Amarillo resident.
Another resident added, “The AAM&W department is one who has total face to face contact with the public and must have public trust in their judgment. At this time, that trust in Mr. Havens and his department is completely compromised.”
The director of the shelter, Richard Havens, stood by the decision.
“The owner of the dog in question contacted 911 to state they had a vicious animal that was there’s [sic]. We responded after hours we took the animal into custody and then the following morning we ended up euthanizing it due to the nature of the call and the behaviors the animal exhibited,” Havens told radio station KMAR.
“With our limited budget we just simply can’t save all the animals,” Havens later said in an interview KVII. “We’re doing the best we can to give them the best chance but when animals come in with behavior issues, those animals will be ultimately put down.”
Anderson, however, discusses the deceased pitbull from a different perspective.
“She had no markings on her kennel that she was aggressive whatsoever, so to say she was aggressive to me is putting a spin on something that’s a narrative. If she was aggressive she should have been marked at such she should have been in the appropriate facility.”