Local shelter responds to inhumane euthanization

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. --- Putnam County Animal Control has come under fire for the way in which they euthanize animals.

However, the shelter says the misconceptions swirling on the internet are not true. In turn, the shelter has received calls from Australia and even England, with hateful comments on the other end.

Sargent Hancel Woods of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said the shelter does euthanize, however, it is done in the most human way possible. Woods said they are forced to put down animals because of the overpopulation. By law, the shelter is forbidden to turn away abandoned, stray or surrendered animals.

"Unfortunately, there are animals everywhere that are unwanted and we are sort of the bucks stops here," said Woods.

He said when the shelter is at capacity, there is no where to turn and they are forced to euthanize on Thursday mornings.

The animals are put down in their kennels. According to the shelter, they are sedated with a tranquilizer. The shelter told First Coast News they spend $2,300 on the tranquilizers, once every two months.

"Once they are put to sleep and they don't feel any pain and we do our best so that they don't feel pain," said Woods. "Then, they are injected with the chemical that euthanizes."

The chemical is injected into the vein. The Humane Society of the United States says this is the recommended route.

However, Tanya MacDonald still, does not think it's right."I don't want to see any animal die," said MacDonald. "They don't deserve that."

In fact, Tanya bought 5 acres of land so that she can keep adopting animals. Now, she has eleven dogs after she adopted Sparky.

Woods says he does have love for dogs, too. "My little dog Buster I've had for nine years," said Woods. "He's slept on the foot of my bed for nine years. The sheriff...his little dog Dudley is 17-years-old."

Animal control claimed the number of euthanizations is down. In 2005 they would euthanize three times a week, 20 to 50 animals. Now, they euthanize about 20 animals once per week. Woods says some weeks there is no need to euthanize at all.

"That's a last resort," said Woods. "We are animal lovers."

Still, the shelter has come under fire from half way around the world. Some telling the sheriff's office, they're children should be euthanized, if they're doing it to animals. Woods is responding and says there are 74,000 people in Putnam County, they've looked into a grant for a larger shelter, but for now, they're asking you to adopt to avoid putting down anymore animals.

It costs $80 dollars to adopt a spayed or neutered animals for in-county residents. For out-of county residents, the cost is $10 dollars.


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