CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Humane societies and shelters across the Wabash Valley are battling overcrowding problems. And one no-kill shelter is debating whether to euthanize some animals.
The Clay County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter. But -- it's not a rule and 19 dogs face euthanasia.
"We do not do it to make space for other animals. We do it if the animal is sick or the animal is aggressive and it's a danger to someone else,” said Steven Bryan, Clay County Humane Society.
Even no-kill shelters can euthanize an animal. But only for one reason: Illness.
And aggression is considered an illness.
This Humane Society is overcrowded.
"We're almost double our capacity of what we're supposed to have here,” said Bryan.
This caused the director to take a hard look at their animals that aren't adoptable. The 19 dogs all have a violent history.
In fact, during our visit, one dog tried to hop a six-foot-tall cage door to get to our crew.
Shelter officials have tried to rehabilitate every one.
"If the dog's been here for 3, 4 years, not showing any improvement, he's not getting any better, he's a candidate for being euthanized,” said Bryan.
And now they've had to make some hard decisions.
"As an aggressive animal, he's not going to get adopted. Why make him live in a little cell his entire life?” said Bryan.
The shelter isn't seeing the donations needed to keep this place running at this capacity.
So something had to be done.
"Nobody wants to do it. But if we don't, the whole building will be closed down due to overpopulation. Then none of these animals will have anywhere to go and they'll all have to be euthanized...it's a small sacrifice for the greater good,” said Bryan.
The Terre Haute Humane Society is battling the same issues with overcrowding.
So it’s partnering with Ivy Tech Community College to come up with a solution.
The Clay County Humane Society is in desperate need of donations and volunteers. If you would like to help, contact the shelter at (812) 446-5126.
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