Animal Control / Shelters

I keep thinking that surely there are some Animal Control facilities that employ humans who truly care about the animals and surely there are some facilities that can be mentioned without people snarling and cursing but based on my own experiences I must describe Animal Control as a government entity that is clearly out of control and in need of major reform.


(It's truly amazing how quickly these media stories go "poof" and disappear from the internet. I will continue to try to locate the stories on other sites and keep updating the links on this page.)


This video seems to have disappeared and it is not available on any other sites Surveillance Video From Jefferson County, Ohio Animal Control but I did find this post on Facebook describing what happened.


As incompetent, uncaring and sometimes cruel as they appear to be our lawmakers have given them the power to legally to confiscate our beloved pets for true and false reports of very minor and even accidental incidents or violations.

Healthy or deathly ill, young or elderly and in their finals days of life our pets can be confiscated and impounded by Animal Control for reports of very minor incidents even if the report is false.

According to our county codes, Animal Control officers "may" but are not required to render medical care to pets in their custody.

"Animal services division staff may administer medication and veterinary care as prescribed by a veterinarian. The county, its employees and agents, shall not be liable for any act or omission in rendering such care."


After reading the horror stories on this page I sincerely hope you will support the effort to force badly needed changes at Florida's Animal Control facilities. It will take a collective effort to turn this dream into reality. If you are interested in supporting this effort in any way, please e-mail

Here are many reasons why they should not be allowed to impound sick pets and many more reasons why they should be forced to offer pets to rescue organizations before animals can be euthanized.

Family pet accidentally euthanized

"The Escambia County Animal Shelter says an error lead to the mishap."




Hillsborough Animal Services: Adopted Dog euthanized by mistake

"JoJo, a 1-year-old male German Shepherd was mistakenly euthanized just hours before his adoptive family was supposed to pick him up."


Family claims adoptive dog was euthanized

Animal Services indicates that they did nothing wrong, the adoptive family disagrees.


Cage with dogs inside falls from animal control truck on I-95 in St. Johns County

"Two dogs were in the cage, Frazier said. One was recovered and the other was missing as of 7:30 p.m."



Animal abuse allegations surface against Orange County Animal Services

"Debbie Turner showed Local 6 a picture of a small dog that had its eyelids cut off while being groomed at the facility in Orlando. It was turned over to an animal rescue group two days after the incident in the same condition."


Two Dogs Accidentally Euthanized In Florida, Vet Releases Demeaning Response

"After a few days in the shelter, Hershey was scheduled to be adopted by a new family."



Vet tells concerned group they're 'dumb' after dog accidentally euthanized

"Channel 9 has learned a pit bull that was ready to be adopted was accidentally put down at Orange County Animal Services, officials said Wednesday."


***Advocates Making Some Progress***

Hershey the pit bull's death spurs Orange shelter reforms



Do animals need laws protecting them from shelters?

"New York State Sen. Thomas Duane and Assembly Member Micah Kellner have introduced "Oreo's Law," a statewide bill to prevent shelters from killing dogs and cats if a qualified 501(c)3 animal rescue group is willing to take them." (2010)

"Tom Skeldon was recently forced to resign over his unwillingness to let even puppies go to another humane society or rescue group, and insisted on killing them instead."


Florida officials: No penalty for employee animal cruelty and dog euthanasia

"Employees violated a seven-day hold policy by killing an 8 month old dog, Zeus, just 12 minutes after arriving at the shelter on April 13th."

"In an interview with the Tampa Tribune on April 19th, 2012, Public Safety Director Mike Nickerson admitted that Zeus was not “dragged the entire way,” into a back room to be killed. Zeus was only dragged by the neck part of the way."


Another mistaken dog death jolts Hernando animal services

"Another dog was euthanized that wasn't supposed to be and now Hernando County Animal Services is bracing itself for another wave of criticism."





Pasco woman upset her cat euthanized by

animal control officer


"There's no reason this cat should've ever been euthanized," he said. "I'm blown away. They shouldn't even call them shelters. They should call them death camps."



Dog accidently euthanized at Pasco Animal Services

"Sherry Mehl, treasurer for the Humane Society of North East Florida, said, "I sent my email in. I had it properly constructed. I sent it to the right people. I've done it 100 times and so, everything was fine." But, everything was not fine at the facility. Instead of being put with a forever family, the dog was put to sleep Friday."



I had great hope when I heard we had a new Director of Animal Control. That hope quickly diminished.

New Animal Services director has passion for pets

“Many people believe that all we do is impound animals and kill them. Nothing could be further from the truth. We would much prefer pets stay at home where they belong and avoid having them come to the shelter at all.”

But their website says ** Yes, that page went "poof" (see comment below)

"Our officers receive many bite calls every week and in most cases, biting animals have to be brought to the shelter for a ten (10) day observation period."

**(that link no longer works, the page was removed after I was invited to a meeting at my State Representative's office. I don't know why they removed it but I would love to think it is because they have changed their policies about impounding pets - I can dream, right?)



(Even if the bite or scratch incident is minor, accidental or happens while playing?)

Do they also impound pets that accidentally scratch someone while they are having a seizure? Based on the verbal assault that was launched on me by one of their officers when I tried to purchase a tag for Mikey my guess is yes, I think they probably would. What ever happened to home quarantine?



"The animal's owner, Ellen Waldinger of North Lauderdale, was hospitalized briefly on June 8. Not knowing how long the woman would be away, police called county animal-care workers to take Waldinger's three dogs to the pound. When Waldinger arrived at the pound three days later to collect her pets, she was told her 65-pound dog, Gina Marie, had been killed by lethal injection - the usual method."


Orange County Ordinances


Sec. 5-32. Classification of dogs as dangerous or potentially dangerous; confinement and quarantine of animals; exemption; appeals; unlawful acts


(c) A dog shall not be classified as dangerous or potentially dangerous if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was unlawfully on the property, or while lawfully on the property, tormented, abused or assaulted the animal or its owner or a family member or a guest of the owner.



Pine Hills man fights to save Champ the pit bull from death

"According to Coleman, the boys jumped the six-foot chain-link fence around his back yard by climbing on a barbecue grill. Coleman said Champ reacted violently was because the boys were not supposed to be there. Witnesses told him Jordan struck the dog with a metal railing."



Owner of Pit Bull That Bit Two Florida Boys Fights to Save Dog’s Life

"If he had attacked the kids outside my own yard, I would’ve given them Champ. But he didn’t get out of his yard," he said. "He didn’t attack the boy, the boy provoked the attack."

"However, Orange County Assistant County Attorney P. Andrea DeLoach saw things differently. She found that the dog bite injuries were severe enough to warrant a dangerous dog investigation in accordance with Florida law."

Photo Of Champ

A Beagle Puppy Faces Euthanasia After Biting a Boy

"The dog bit a family member. There's no history of aggression, but animal control takes a hard line."


Rufus the beagle goes home

"The 1-year-old pooch, who faced being destroyed, was reunited with his family Thursday evening at the Belle Isle home of the family's lawyer, Dawn Berlanga-Helms."


Outside Of Floriduh


Gallia County Assitant Dog Warden Under Investigation In Deaths Of Dogs

"Nathan Weatherholt, a member of the group's board, stated the dogs had all been vaccinated and several already had adoption commitments."


Gallia County, Ohio Three Dog Wardens Charged In Dog Euthanization Case

"Daniels is charged with 13 violations. Simmers is charged with 32 violations. Harris is charged with 12 violations."


Assitant Warden Removed From Dog Shelter Pending Euthanasia Investigation

"To do it without sedating them first is just criminal," Weatherholt said.


Pregnant Dog Euthanized At Shelter Hours Before Pickup Prince George's County, Maryland

"The owner brought this particular dog and another dog to the shelter to relinquish custody on Feb. 8, 2014. She was euthanized on Feb. 9, 2014."


"Human Error" Blamed For Oops-Killing in Prince George's County

"The rescue advised the pound they were sending a volunteer to pick her up. But someone at the pound failed to mark the dog’s record with a DO NOT KILL so Prince George’s Co killed her before the rescuer arrived. Oops."


Dog Left in Animal Control Van for "Several Days" Chicago, Illinois

"Disciplinary action is certainly possible," Chicago Animal Care & Control spokesman says


Arizona Shelter Ooops - Kills Family Pet

"Tammy Porter was given a form to sign indicating she would redeem Hollie as soon as the quarantine expired. When Ms. Porter arrived at the shelter to take Hollie home, she learned the impounding officer had failed to properly communicate to the staff that the owner intended to redeem Hollie. So they killed her."


Three dogs euthanized before being rescued Vermillion Parish, Louisiana

"The euthanization of three dogs in Vermilion Parish has sparked an online petition demanding answers as to why the dogs were killed."


Animal Control Officers Accused of Abusing Dogs (this page went to "poof" too but I did find the story posted on Facebook)

"The dogs, they say, were not at all aggressive. Yet the alleged treatment they received from two Las Vegas Animal Control officers resulted in a trail of blood that could be seen more than a week later."


Dog That Bit Boy Adopted Out; Wrong Dog Put Down

"a dog that bit a 6-year-old boy at a shelter was put up for adoption, while another dog that had done nothing wrong was euthanized"


Euthanized puppy back from the dead

"The animal control officer who found the dogs crated outside the facility in Sulphur, Okla., said the animals were sick, so he opted to put them down. The lethal injections (two for each dog) apparently failed to work on one pup; he was found alive and well the next day in the Dumpster where the officer had placed the supposedly dead animals."


Area Animal Control addresses criticism over euthanized dogs, new adoption program

"Old and blind, trusting, left in a drop box at a shelter which was not a refuge for her,” said one Facebook user. “It was her death sentence.” "Four other dogs were euthanized a week before Millie, including two that should have been on hold for rescue, and one that was pregnant."


Man calls for change after his 18-year-old dog euthanized at shelter after he claimed him

"He was told on at least three separate occasions that Bow Wow wasn't there. But Bow Wow was. Shelter paperwork shows that the dog was processed last Saturday, but the dog was put in the wrong area. Patrick was told he needed his driver's license and to pay the $140 fee to get Bow Wow, so he made a trip to get the necessary items, and when he returned less than an hour later, he was told Bow Wow had been accidentally euthanized."


Shelter Dog Deaths Investigated by Jerome Police

"Four dogs fought in cages at the Jerome animal shelter last month until they were so severely injured that they had to be euthanized, police report."


Police dog mistakenly euthanized

"He was nearing the end of his service career with his age getting up there," Vetruba said. "We just didn't expect it to end quite like this."