In Anson County, North Carolina, the Anson County Animal Shelter is under sharp criticism from animal advocates after euthanizing a four-month-old puppy on Tuesday named Shayla.
Just one week ago, four month-old Shayla’s life changed for the worst; she was surrendered by her owner along with her siblings. As Animal Control rounded up the puppies in a “not so humane manner” described by the previous owner as “dangling” the pups from a lead and picking up one of the dogs by “the scruff of the rump,” one of the little ones bit the kennel worker. As reported by WcncNews, the Anson County Animal Shelter and County Manager Megan Garner, stated the bite broke the worker’s skin and caused bleeding. Officials said the skin on his finger, “had to be glued back together.” In addition, the employee did not seek hospital care, but under a rabies protocol, Shayla was ordered to be quarantined for ten days after learning the dogs had not been vaccinated. There has been no evidence of the bite injury.
“The puppies were safe in rescue care until Anson County workers showed up at the foster’s home to confiscate the biter puppy for a bite quarantine. It is standard practice in the state of North Carolina to hold an unvaccinated animal in bite quarantine for 10 days post bite. We had no issue with that. The only problem is that they identified the wrong sibling. The shelter employees were made aware that it was the wrong puppy and they didn’t care, they took Shayla anyway,” posted the Greater Charlotte SPCA who reached out several times to the Anson County Animal Shelter offering to help.
Garner continued to allege that the employee positively and correctly identified the puppy named Shayla as the one that bit the employee.
“Greater Charlotte SPCA called multiple times to offer help and to offer to work together to get Shayla back to her siblings after the bite quarantine. We also emailed. We were never acknowledged by those who had any decision making authority. We have pulled many shelter animals over the years from our partner shelters after their bite quarantine. Shayla did not have to be euthanized.”
The puppy’s former owner, Gretchen McCollum, tried to intervene after Shayla was brought back to the shelter, and even was allowed to visit the sweet puppy who appeared healthy. No one from the shelter commented as visitors pushed their hands through the puppy’s cage to pet her. North Carolina protocols for dog bites from unvaccinated animals require employees to be administered two shots and be tested for rabies. The only positive method to test an animal for rabies is to kill the animal and test a sample of the dog’s brain tissue.
“Today, Shayla was euthanized. A totally innocent puppy who didn’t even have the opportunity to complete her 10 day bite quarantine because the County Manager decided to be spiteful against passionate animal advocates. That County Manager is Megan Garner (firstname.lastname@example.org 1-(704)-994-3200). She’s the one who refused to acknowledge us when we tried to reach out to help.”
And on the Facebook of Saving Shayla, the heartbreaking announcement came on Tuesday:
“It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to post that Shayla was killed today. She was innocent and she died because of others’ spite and dishonesty! We are just devastated! However we will continue to fight for justice for Shayla! Please continue to call, please continue to email, please continue to share, please continue to tell Shayla’s story! Shayla’s life mattered.”