Animal control facility's decision to put down dogs causing upro - CBS46 News

Animal control facility's decision to put down dogs causing uproar

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The decision to euthanize dozens of dogs at the Clayton County Animal Control facility is causing an uproar on social media.

Over the past couple days, hundreds of people have gone online to post comments about Clayton County Animal control's decision to euthanize about sixty dogs.

"We were advised by our veterinarians that we need to go ahead and euthanize," said Captain Andre Jackson.

Dave Edwards is a rescue volunteer who oversees Atlanta Pit Bull Networking on social media.

"This topic has created a firestorm on my Facebook group," said Edwards. "There are a lot of people who are angry and want answers about exactly what happened."

Edwards said the only disease he can think of that would automatically require that type of mass extermination is rabies. It's his opinion that other diseases are treatable with the right funding.

CBS46 asked Clayton County animal control officials what kind of contagious illness prompted the latest action.

Jackson said, "We can't determine at this time, but we had an increase in animals that came into the shelter, and they began to exhibit some signs of runny nose, coughing, and sneezing."

A photo of a litter of puppies circulated on Facebook after the dogs were put down.  The pups were rumored to be orphaned because their mother was euthanized for aggressive behavior.  However, Captain Jackson confirmed the mother was part of the group of dogs that were killed to prevent illness.  He said the puppies were adopted the same day and are being bottle fed.

Gwinnett County Animal Control had a similar issue several weeks ago where kennel cough became a problem.  But somehow, they were able to save every dog except one.  They did that by temporarily closing the shelter and moving operations to a second location while they quarantined sick dogs and disinfected the entire building. 

Edwards said he thinks the main reason Clayton County didn't save the dogs comes down to money.

"Gwinnett County has a much nicer shelter than Clayton County does at this point."

Gwinnett County is now vaccinating every dog on the first day that they come to the shelter.  It's a strategy Clayton County officials said they are looking into.

Clayton County Commission chairman, Jeffrey Turner, said he heard public complaints at a meeting, Tuesday night, about the decision to euthanize the dogs . He agrees that something needs to change. He said plans have been in the works for some time now to start over with a new facility.

"In 2009, the voters of Clayton County approved for a new animal control building to be constructed," said Turner.

Chairman Turner said he predicts the shelter may be finished within 18 months, which will be nearly eight years after the project was initiated. 

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