Williamson County Animal Control is getting heat this week after news broke that they aborted eleven puppies from a pregnant dog they received. Various versions of this news story have been published to enlighten the public.
A member of the rescue Tennessee Death Row Dogs was livid over the story.
It shouldn't even be an argument to whether she was actually in labor or not. The fact is that they aborted full term puppies and put this mama at a considerable risk. She has since passed away which was totally preventable, said a link on thier Facebook page. Clearly, they just didn't want her babies coming into this world at all.
The shelter Director has made statements to defend their position, citing the current overflow of pets with no homes.
"The more puppies that get adopted, that leaves that many more animals here in the shelter waiting for homes." Brightwell emphasized that the dog was not in active labor as some stories suggested and that the shelter policy is to spay all animals.
"When we do a spay, and there are puppies involved no matter what stage the fetus is in, we do inject them with euthanasia fluid, just to make sure," said Brightwell.
I spoke with a veterniarian at a rescue shelter who advised that she also performed spays on pregnant dogs, but had a cut off period during the pregnancy as it progressed. Her personal policy was not to spay any animal at the end of pregnancy but allow the birth to take place. Veterinarians that share her view cite moral and health reasons for their position.
The issue of pregnant animals dumped at shelters or roaming the streets is certainly a problem. And shelters are not suitable places for a dog to give birth or raise offspring where the risk of illness is high to their immature immune systems.
Rescues and shelters need to create a more cohesive relationship so that these dogs have somewhere to go when they come in, and are off the hands of shelter staff. This of course, is easier said that accomplished.