“She was not euthanized before she went into labor. She was not euthanized after. She was euthanized as she was delivering puppies. So, aggressive or not, I don’t know where you can excuse this or say, ‘This is why we did it,'” Dacia Anderson told KAMR, with tears in her eyes.
Anderson’s Facebook post about the incident has been shared thousands of times. She used to volunteer at Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare and did a walk-through of the shelter with an Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society employee on May 10 and took photos for the humane society’s “In the Facility” Facebook album. That’s when she came across a pregnant pit bull in G7.
Anderson said she took a photo of the dog for the album. She described the animal as friendly, but scared, and said the dog jumped up on her for comfort. Anderson said she later saw the animal was in labor and had given birth to one puppy. She called for help, and shelter staff took over the situation.
Anderson said when she later tried to enter the G building, she was denied entry and asked to “give them a minute.” When she asked if the dog was being euthanized, Anderson said she was told they were moving her somewhere quieter and less stressful. She later heard a message that said the pit bull had been euthanized.
“Her last moments, while she lay dying, were spent still trying to clean her newly birthed puppies. Their words, not mine,” Anderson wrote in her Facebook post.
Richard Havens, the director of the shelter, said the dog had been reported to be aggressive by her owner.
“The owner of the dog in question contacted 911 to state they had a vicious animal that was there’s. We responded after hours, we took the animal into custody and then the following morning, we ended up euthanizing it due to the nature of the call and then the behaviors that we also saw the animal exhibiting,” Havens said.
Anderson countered Havens’ statement.
“She had no markings on her kennel that she was aggressive whatsoever. So, to say she was aggressive to me is putting a spin on something that’s a narrative. If she was aggressive, she should have been marked at such. She should have been in the appropriate facility,” Anderson said.
Havens said the pit bull had to be put down because it was a matter of public safety – she was not an adoption or foster candidate.
“It’s very unfortunate that this had to happen, but it was the right call,” Havens said.
In her post, Anderson said she knows euthanasia is a reality at the shelter and that the people who work there have to make hard decisions. But she said this “horrific” action was unacceptable.
Anderson said she no longer volunteers at the shelter.