How Does Clayton Co Animal Control Care for Abandoned Dogs?

In Clayton County GA, the police department runs the AC unit.  On their webpage, they give information about their adoption program:

Adult stray animals that remain unclaimed by their owners for three days become Clayton County property and are placed up for adoption. All puppies younger than three months old have to spend five days in quarantine before they are available for adoption.

On Saturday, a good Samaritan in Clayton Co saw about a dozen adult dogs and puppies who had apparently been abandoned in a vacant lot.  The man didn’t want them to get hit by cars so called AC to pick them up.  The article contains photos of the dogs, described by the good Sam as “very friendly”, and some are clearly younger than 3 months old.  And yet, rather than being offered for adoption after 3 days (for the adults) or placed on 5 day quarantine before being offered for adoption (for the pups), AC may have other plans:

Police in Clayton County said the animal shelter is near capacity and if they are not adopted they could be put down within three days.

Near capacity – so the shelter is not full.  Within three days – so clearly not in accordance with the policy stated on AC’s webpage.  If they are killed within 3 days, they wouldn’t even have been given a chance at adoption.

According to HSUS, the national average for a U.S. community is approximately 12.5 animals killed per 1000 people.  In 2009, Clayton Co killed 21.4 pets per 1000 residents.  That amounts to more than 6000 pets killed via the heartstick method in 2009.  In August 2010, Clayton Co AC was reportedly “preparing to do away with” killing by heartstick although I don’t know the current status of that plan.

So the possibility appears to exist that these abandoned dogs will be killed by heartstick without ever having a chance at adoption while cages sit empty at the shelter.  Regardless of how unlikely owner redemption might seem in this case, shouldn’t these friendly dogs at least be given that chance?  Failing that, shouldn’t they at least be offered for adoption for as long as possible while the shelter has empty cages?

Not that I’d ever want to choose between these two options but if forced, I think I’d rather take my chances avoiding cars than end up in the “care” of Clayton Co AC.  Better yet, it would be great if the AC shelter was reformed and its 80% kill rate drastically reduced.  Any animal advocates in Clayton Co with a mind to take on reform efforts?

Thanks Valerie for the link on the abandoned dogs.


25 thoughts on “How Does Clayton Co Animal Control Care for Abandoned Dogs?

  1. I checked the news link and the dogs are beautiful. What a shame.

    One of my dogs came from Georgia. A rescue pulled her the day before she was to be gassed. I’m grateful every day that she is with me.

    Hope that these dogs get a chance. Do any rescues work with that shelter?

  2. It’s sad enough that we are unable to verify if this AC is still using heartstick…put a dozen or so great looking dogs in their care and we could end up with a few dozen dead dogs. What I don’t get is that while they are near capacity – they are unable to hold them for the standard period and then put them up for adoption…those pups would go fairly quick I would think.

    I am glad to see it is reported on the news and hope there is mroe being done to get their faces out there to find some adopters.

    The police department run the AC as well – what are the chances that they work with outside help? Do we know if they are rescue friendly? Also is there a group already tackling reform efforts in this area?

    I have such a hard time thinking of the police running an AC facility and them actually being able to heartstick dogs? Those 2 images don’t mix for me…I think of police as the ‘good guys’ that go above and beyond to help.

    Do we know if any rescues are working with them to pull the dogs? I REALLY hope they find homes – so cute. Wish I had space for one or two….

  3. I haven’t looked at the PF for this shelter, but, can some of us botts-on-the-ground rescues get together and parcel these guys out, and just get them to safety? Yes, we are all beyond capacity, but, hey, I like a single baked yam or a couple of rice cakes for dinner, how about you? That makes it easier to take “just one more”.

  4. These are beautiful dogs and puppies! If you can take any of them, I may be able to put you in touch with someone who can pull them. One of our forum members just posted she’s going to Clayton today about another dog. The news story about these pups is posted there, too.

    Clayton works with rescues. As with all county shelters in GA, you need a GA license to pull from there or you can adopt instead.

  5. Sorry, had a piece of bread in my hand…if a load of us stepped up, and someone down there could handle coordinating and pulling, then we could empty them out…c’mon dudes and dudettes!

  6. Dr. Christi Ware DVM has the contract to euthanize animals at Clayton County. I believe she is paid by the animal. My understanding is that it his her husband (who is not a vet) that goes to the shelter to do the actual heart stick euthanasia.

    1. Ewww. That is NOT a relationship I admire. She’s the licensed vet, and he heartsticks animals to fulfill her contract? Is that legal?

  7. You have to be licensed to purchase euthanasia solution – but you do not have to be licensed to administer it – only trained in the procedure.

  8. In NYS, only one person can euthanize: the Vet holding the DEA license. TEchnically, eveyrone else is in violation of the law.

  9. I finally got through to the shelter. They said all the dogs have been rescued so I’m asking around now to find out which rescue took them. Just want to make sure that’s really where they went.

    1. Just to clarify – when you said along with several others – are you speaking of several other dogs or severla other rescues?

    2. Thanks for the update. Love A Pet is located in Fayetteville, GA. Here’s their website in case anyone wants to help with the cost of rescuing these pups–
      The shelter said they all went to the same rescue.
      Glad to hear other dogs got out also. Today was the dreaded day for the vet to come put dogs down.
      Anon, do you know if the little chi made it out?

  10. Jan 11, 2012
    YES, they still do heartstick. And apparently are now going to be closed on Wednesdays; That’s kill on Tuesdays, closed on Wednesdays, kill on Fridays, closed on Sundays, and oh! I forgot, they killed this week on Monday in addition to Tuesday! Nice place.

  11. With there kill time no one even has time to attempt to rescue or adopt them..Three days if they are lucky, and some on the site today did not even have the three days. I was told today that they are putting them down on a daily basis. What a shame, I wish I knew a way to save all of them. How can these people sleep at night, they can actually go home with a clear head after taking a life? How can we be so cruel? These poor babies are not even getting a chance.

  12. Btw clayton county still heart sticks. They heart stick cat without anesthesia and do in front of the other cats in the cat room. The vet gets 40$ a carcass

  13. At least the dogs have more of a chance. They promote animal cruelty against cats and don’t even investigate if it is a cat cruelty case

  14. They are, still, using the “heart stick”! The cats do not have a prayer. It’s like a Third World country the way they put these babies down! These animals are nonessential & if they can’t bring in any money as in adoption, etc….stick ‘um! Are the cats, even, put up for adoption? A town 2.7 miles square…..where are all these animals coming from in a town that size? They put down more in one week then most put down in months & months! They need to be investigated. Maybe, it’s time to see if the United States Humane Society can step in. This place needs to be closed & hopefully, other shelters will take their animals!

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