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Decision to Euthanize Dogs For Aggression Stirs Facebook Backlash; Sheriff Says Animals Posed A Safety Risk | Wild Rivers Outpost


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Jessica Cejnar Andrews /
@ 3:16 p.m.

Decision to Euthanize Dogs For Aggression Stirs Facebook Backlash; Sheriff Says Animals Posed A Safety Risk

Decision To Euthanize Dogs For Aggression Stirs Facebook Backlash Sheriff

Garfunkel, among the dogs euthanized, had actually been transferred to Washington just for the prospective adopter to turn him away, stating he was aggressive. | Courtesy Dogs of Del Norte County

No one at the Del Norte County Animal Shelter wished to euthanize 4 dogs, however for the safety of the workers and volunteers, that choice was required, Sheriff Garrett Scott informed the Wild Rivers Outpost on Thursday.

The Facebook reaction has actually been strong. One citizen, Franz Posvancz, posting on the Dogs of Del Norte County page and advising individuals to “do what you can to not support this decision and save them as soon as possible.”

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Euthanizing any animal is a last option at the Del Norte County Animal Shelter, Scott said. But after one volunteer was significantly bitten a couple of months earlier, the constable asked Animal Services staff to perform a safety evaluation.

The 4 dogs slated for euthanasia had actually been at the shelter for several years and were too aggressive to adopt to the general public, Scott said.

“The volunteers have tried so hard to get the dogs adopted,” he said. “One of them drove a dog clear to Washington and took it to some people who were considering adopting the dog. It didn’t work out. An event happened there to where the people said, ‘No, we can’t take him, he’s too aggressive.’”

That dog was Garfunkel, who, Scott said, is human aggressive and has a history of biting.

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Another dog, a German shepherd called Kobe, has actually likewise bitten and is “super crazy” to get in and out of a kennel, according to a volunteer who asked not to be called due to the vitriol on social networks. Another, Pee Wee, has actually assaulted another dog, she said.

“He’s got major dog aggression,” she said of Pee Wee. “It’s a liability for the county to adopt these dogs out to people even with full disclosure. It’s not fair to people. It’s not fair to the community. I freaking love those dogs. It was hard, but they are definitely a liability.”

The volunteer said she was with 2 dogs who were euthanized Thursday. Two more are scheduled to be put down on Friday, she said.

An employee at the Animal Shelter, who likewise asked not to be called, said other declarations on Facebook that there were 6 extra dogs on death row are incorrect. She said the choice has actually been hard on everybody.

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“Hopefully after this we can move forward and get community support and have an adoption fest,” she said. “And everyone can come out here. I think the backlash came to where it was such a final decision and volunteers wanted more time for that last plead. But after three years, we’re not sure what else can be done.”

Del Norte County’s Animal Services Division finished its shift from running under the umbrella of the farming department to running as a branch of the constable’s workplace in January. Three animal control officers, a kennel attendant and a DSCO sergeant staff and handle the dog pound.

A group of about 10 devoted volunteers likewise assists clean up the kennels, help with adoptions, transfer animals to other rescue shelters in addition to to veterinarian visits and to get them purified or sterilized.

So far in 2023, the pound took in 75 dogs, according to volunteer Laureen Yamakido, who tracks much of the information at the shelter. Thirty-9 were declared by their owners. Five were euthanized, consisting of the 2 that were put down Thursday.

Fourteen have actually been moved to other rescue shelters, 8 went through the Prison Paws Partnership program at Pelican Bay and 19 were embraced straight from the pound, Yamakido said.

In 2022, the pound took in 397 dogs, among which had a litter of 5 puppies, bringing the overall to 402 dogs, according to volunteer Laureen Yamakido, who tracks a great deal of the information at the pound. Of those 402, owners declared 205 dogs, 2 got away the property and one was euthanized, she said.

Of the staying 194 dogs that ended up being county property, 120 were moved to other saves, consisting of 13 from homeowners who wished to discover brand-new houses for their family pets, Yamakido said. Twenty-one dogs went through the Prison Paws Partnership program and 54 were embraced straight from the pound.

On Thursday, Scott concurred that embracing a dog that’s understood to be aggressive is excessive of a liability for the county.

“I wish the decisions would have been made before, but they weren’t so I’m having to deal with that,” he said. “And I can’t imagine adopting one of these dogs out and having it bite a child, a neighbor’s kid. Not only do we have a huge liability, but can you imagine the guilty conscience knowing that was an aggressive dog?”

Since 2008, the Del Norte County Animal Shelter has just euthanized animals if it was clinically required or if the dog was unexpectedly aggressive and inappropriate for adoption.

In 2009, the Board of Supervisors authorized a resolution embracing California Penal Code 599d and California Food and Agriculture Code Section 17005, both of which dissuade euthanizing any adoptable animal.

In September 2022, after choosing that the the Animal Services Division would shift to the DNSO, the Board of Supervisors chosen versus a proposition to customize that regulation.


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