It’s heartbreaking when shelter dogs are euthanized. But with so many pets in need of homes, sometimes shelters end up with far more than they can handle and drastic measures are taken.
That was nearly the fate for 20 shelter dogs, who were all slated to be euthanized due to overcrowding. But thankfully, the public stepped up to give these dogs the homes they deserve and save them from being put down.
On August 12, the Clayton County Animal Control, in Jonesboro, Georgia, put out an “urgent plea” regarding 20 of their dogs, who needed to be rescued or adopted by August 18, or risk being euthanized.
According to CBS46, the shelter faced an “unsustainable” increase in dogs this summer, and had more dogs than they could handle, forcing them to increase their euthanasia rate.
The 20 dogs were listed based on their special needs, the time they have been in the shelter, and their risk of illness. The shelter noted that many of them have been in their care for a long time.
“This is not an action that any of us take lightly or want to do,” CCPD said, according to Clayton News Daily. “We wish that all of our animals would make it into loving forever homes where they are pampered for the remainder of their lives.”
But thankfully, the plea for help worked. Their story was shared on social media and picked up by the press, and soon, animal lovers were turning out to help in a huge way.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all 20 dogs were saved. They either found homes or were taken in by rescues.
Not only that, but the shelter received a record response: not only were the 20 euthanasia dogs rescued, but in total 36 dogs and one cat found homes.
“There has been an amazing turnout from citizens and rescue groups to assist our animals here in Clayton County,” the department said in a statement.
“If it wasn’t for the media groups and everyone pushing that message out, I don’t know if we could’ve done that,” Clayton police Capt. Jodi Turnipseed told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It helped us out tremendously because obviously, none of us want to have to euthanize dogs. We’re all animal lovers here.”
She explained that the huge influx of shelter dogs was a result of people adopting dogs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to return them later as their lives returned to normalcy.
While it’s inspiring to see the public step up and save these dogs, it was far from the final solution to this issue. New dogs are taken into shelters all the time — and on August 19, Clayton County Animal Control shared another urgent plea, of 20 dogs who need to be adopted by August 25.
We can only hope that people come through again and rescue these 20 dogs from being put down. It’s a sad reminder of the importance of adopting shelter dogs.
And it’s also a reminder that owning a dog is a serious commitment. Overcrowded shelters can be avoided by more responsible pet ownership from the public.
“We urgently need owners to step up and take responsibility for their pets,” said Public Information Officer Johnny Carroll, according to Clayton News Daily. “They are your four-legged children for the remainder of their lives, not to be discarded when they get sick, injured or no longer have time for them.”
It’s sad to hear this shelter is facing such overcrowding that they have to consider euthanizing their dogs, but it’s nice to see the public step up to adopt, not shop.
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