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Protesters Complain about Number of Dogs Euthanized
NORTH COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- Protesters gathered outside the Franklin County Dog Shelter Thursday evening. They're upset with the number of dogs being euthanized at the facility.
More than 11,000 dogs are brought to the shelter every year. On average between 35 and 40 percent of the dogs are put down because they're considered too sick or too aggressive to be adopted.
"They are perfectly adoptable dogs," said protester Megan Guthrie. "There are millions and millions of people that are looking for perfectly adoptable dogs every year that aren't getting the chance to be seen by the public."
The shelter said it legally must take every dog that is brought to the facility. The dog warden said there simply isn't enough room to keep all the dogs indefinitely.
"It's just as hard, if not harder, to go home every night, or to sleep every night, knowing the number of dogs that have to be euthanized," said Dog Warden Joe Rock.
Rock said putting dogs down is not the goal of the shelter.
"That's not what we're here to do," he said. "We're here to try and find homes for the dogs and to try to reunite them with their owners."
So far more than 3000 dogs have been put down. The shelter is on pace to break its record from last year for the lowest percentage of dogs being euthanized. That's still not enough progress for the protesters.
"They're not doing the work that is expected of them by people like us who are out there every day busting our butts doing what we can to help save dogs that they've rejected," Guthrie said.
The shelter said it's rate of putting dogs down has dropped steadily since moving into its new facility on Tamarack Boulevard two years ago.