Hampton no-kill shelter faces backlash over decision to euthanize four unadoptable dogs

Virginia News

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A local no-kill shelter is facing backlash and threats after having to euthanize several dogs recently.

Four dogs deemed unsuitable as pets are going to be put down for safety reasons, but the decision has some animal lovers upset.

“These dogs are not broken, so there’s nothing to fix,” said Sharon Bilyj, president of the Animal Aid Society. “They can be managed, but they can’t be cured.”

The Animal Aid Society in Hampton prides itself on finding forever homes for rescue dogs, but staff says there are four dogs that can’t be adopted.

“These dogs are un-adoptable due to the behaviors that they have displayed,” Bilyj added. “They have been deemed to be psychologically suffering in many instances. They are unmanageable.”

The dogs have attacked volunteers, some instances causing severe injuries. Vets and trainers have spent the last two years working with the dogs, but when nothing changed, the no-kill shelter decided it was best to put the dogs down.

“It boils down to quality of life,” Bilyj said. “They have been deemed to be too dangerous to be allowed to be adopted out safely. What’s their quality of life here?”

Staff says the dogs would be confined to a cage forever. Some are even having to be fed through a tube.

“We have been a safe haven for homeless dogs,” said former volunteer Debbie Wheeless.

Former volunteers took to social media upset over the decision to euthanize. They want to see the dogs allowed to live out their lives.

“To blanket four dogs in one week, in 50 years we have never done this,” Wheeless added. “That is unacceptable for a no-kill shelter.”

The shelter has euthanized one dog in its history. Staff says unfortunately, this is what must happen.

A date has not been set to euthanize the dogs, but the shelter says it will be done as humanely as possible.

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