Outrage at Maricopa County shelter in spaying full term pregnant dogs

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In Maricopa County, Arizona, authorities have confirmed that 25 nearly full term puppies were aborted as part of a re-enacted county spaying policy which states dogs can not be allowed to give birth while so many adult dogs are being euthanized because of overcrowding.

According to AbcNews15, in the past month at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, two dogs were spayed that were about to give birth, resulting in the death of 25 near full-term puppies. Shelter director, Mary Martin, who was hired during the late summer, is enforcing a no-exceptions policy for all dogs coming into the shelter to be spayed. She said terminating unborn pups is part of a recently re-enacted shelter policy to spay pregnant dogs. The policy had been suspended more than a year ago because of public outrage over the practice. The county says they now fully support Martin’s decision:

“County leadership accepts this as an unfortunate thing that has to happen when we have overcrowded conditions,” said Fields Moseley, Maricopa County communications director. “It’s just not fair, when we’re euthanizing dogs every day, to bring in a litter of 14 pups.”

Officials stated the puppies were never removed from the birth sac and were killed during anesthesia given to the mother dog before they ever took a breath. The chief veterinarian at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control stated the shelter is over capacity, and she would have euthanized the puppies if they had been born.

“A well-run shelter doesn’t euthanize dogs for space and then allow (other dogs) to have puppies,” stated Dr. Valerie Moser.

And that’s when social media outrage erupted as animal advocates made the shelter aware they would have organized foster homes and temporary housing to care for the mother dogs and their litters. Volunteers have accused shelter officials of trying to hide the very pregnant dogs from the public referring to the dogs as having “distended abdomens” with “mammary development,” however the next day the “abdomen does not appear to be overly distended.”

Martin defends her position to abort the puppies – even in the very late stages.  According to AZCentral, records show that both dogs that were pregnant were two-year-old pit bulls. One of the dogs was 61 days pregnant and had 14 full-term fetuses on December 19 when she was spayed. Another dog was 55 days pregnant with 11 unborn pups when her pregnancy was terminated. Dogs are generally pregnant 63 days. Sadly pit bulls are the most commonly euthanized dogs and often are hard to adopt.

What do you think?

(Photo of dog spaying full term via Maricopa County shelter)

17 replies
  1. maxiemom says:

    I think this is monstrous! The ‘shelter’ director who’s decided to reinstate this policy has a room all ready and waiting for her in Hell. I hope she wakes up before it’s too late.

  2. John says:

    This is an Outrage. I thought this Shelter was a No Kill Shelter. I hope the Supervisor who was just Hired gets Fired real soon. What happened to Calling in Foster Homes??? Shame on Maricopa County, AZ Shelter.

  3. discriminationresolutions says:

    I agree with the Counties decision as much as it breaks my heart. As long as the majority of pit bulls in shelters across the USA are getting euthanized, it has to be this way.

  4. Brenda Minarik says:

    Did you not think you are traumatizing the mother and killing the infants you are a sick women maybe you could have asked for help it’s people like you that shouldn’t be in this business you will never solve the problem this way the problem is people in general they can’t take care of their animals would hate to see what they would do with a child ?????????? What happened to no kill you people are killing machines

  5. Linda Szymoniak says:

    This is horrible! It’s also dangerous for the mother. A dog that is THAT far along is more prone to having bleeding issues. Just like spaying a dog in heat has an added danger. Some vets won’t do it and others charge an extra charge because of the added care.

  6. M. Aronson says:

    I happen to agree with this policy. It is sinful to bring more lives into the world when there aren’t enough resources for even the ones already here. Older dogs have no chance of being adopted as long as there are little puppies waiting for new homes instead. At least the mothers were kept alive and have a chance at being adopted!

  7. Kristi says:

    Makes me a SICK to my stomach!! What is wrong with people. Now shelters are aborting puppies? All of humanity makes my blood boil because of what they do to these precious souls…

  8. Barkley's Mom says:

    What do I think? This is barbaric! This practice was suspended for over a year, why would they think the “public outrage” will be any different!

  9. Roselyne CORNETTE says:

    Tout les animaux ont droit de vie, ils sont des êtres innocents, se qui n’est pas le cas le cas des humains qui ne sont pour la plupart des parasites. Quelle HONTE.

  10. Cheri says:

    There is NOTHING responsible about bringing more puppies/kittens into the world when they are being euthanized in shelters across the country everyday.

  11. C. Baker says:

    The vet should stop practicing. Did she not promise “to do no harm” as she took her vows to become a vet? I understand the concept, but by the same token they should stop killing for space. What the hell is wrong in that town???? How do the county officials and the shelter director live with themselves?

  12. Rescuer says:

    I have seen this done at the spay/neuter clinics I volunteer at. I was very upset and sad the first time I saw it done, but then one of the vets explained it to me. The puppies never feel any pain – they just fall asleep inside the womb and are never conscious. The sad reality is that it is better for them never to be born than it is to be born into a world where so many animals are in dire straights. So many have either no homes, or bad homes. Why add to the pet overpopulation problem? It sounds cruel but better never to be born than to suffer.


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