Animal rights groups are criticizing the decision by animal control officers in Navajo County, Arizona to shoot and kill more than 50 dogs owned by a man who was serving a month in jail and couldn’t take care of them.
According to the Arizona Republic, the woman who heads the shelter where the county usually takes stray dogs said the agency could have handled the dogs if someone had called.
“Shooting is not a humane way to end an animal’s suffering,” said Anna-Marie Rea, executive director of the Humane Society of the White Mountains in Lakeside.
“We do feel like the decision made in the field was the right one to prevent suffering for the animals,” said Dr. Wade Kartchner, director of the county’s health department.
The dogs were owned by Edward Harvey, who lives outside of Heber and regularly took in stray dogs. He said he had been jailed for about a month on a gun violation in early May because he couldn’t make bail. He returned home to find some of the dogs’ bodies still on his property.
“That’s more punishment than I deserve,” Edward Harvey. “No one needs to be treated that way, especially animals.”
While the county contracts with the Humane Society of the White Mountains for shelter services, county officials said the dogs were aggressive, would have been difficult to round up and would likely have died in the county animal-pickup vans, which aren’t air-conditioned.
Rea said the humane society could have dispatched a euthanasia technician, food, water and kennels to the site, or have transported the animals to shelter.
The agency has fielded at least 30 phone calls from upset residents who read about the shooting in a local newspaper.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also are criticizing the shooting.
“Animal-control departments and the Humane Society around the country have dealt with situations where a large number of animals that need to be contained and humanely dealt with without resorting to shooting the animals,” said Betsy McFarland, senior director for companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States.
PETA has aksed for an investigation into the shooting.
Whether you think the measure of a civilization is how it treats its prisoners, or how it treats its dogs, it’s clear Navajo County doesn’t measure up too well on either count.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 50 dogs, animal control, anna-marie rea, arizona, bodies, carcasses, dog, dogs, edward harvey, heber, hsus, humane society of the white mountains, jailed, navajo county, peta, shot, wade kartchner
If you need something to keep the kids busy on Christmas Eve, or perhaps even simple-minded grown-ups like myself, here’s a website that can provide, if not hours of entertainment, at least enough time to run out for some last minute gifts, or egg nog.
It’s the Mutt Maker, from Animal Planet, which allows you to combine attributes of 20 dog breeds — head, body, tail, legs — and fashion your own mutt. It then shows you a cartoon image of it, and gives it a name.
Example: Take the pug head, put it on a Rottweiler body, add poodle legs and a shih-tzu tail, and you’ve got a “Purotttzuoodle.” In a nice touch, every time you put on a new head, you hear the bark of that breed.
After that, you have the options of entering it in “best in show,” getting a “certificate of legacy” for your creation, or adorning it with accessories, including bonnet, cowboy boots, cape, glasses, pipe and more.
It’s not exactly the same as a puppy under the tree, but it’s free, interactive, won’t soil the carpet, and is relatively quiet — and for the child who’s not quite ready for a living, breathing, responsibility-laden puppy of his own, it’s a good way to learn a little more about dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 24th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal planet, animals, bodies, breeds, build your own, children, dogs, game, heads, interactive, internet, legs, mixed breeds, mutt maker, mutts, pets, poodle, pug, Purotttzuoodle, rottweiler, shih-tzu, tails, website