TATE CO., Miss. — Thousands in north Mississippi are livid after they said puppies were euthanized for no reason.
FOX13 has been working the last several days to figure out why this would have happened.
Local rescues were prepared to take these puppies in. Instead, nine seemingly healthy puppies were killed.
Rescue groups and residents in Mississippi said change needs to come, so this never happens again.
“They were picked up Thursday, they were dead Friday by 3 o’clock in the afternoon,’ said Jim Davila.
Davila was one of several people from north Mississippi who reached out to FOX13 upon learning two litters of puppies – nine in total – were euthanized at the Senatobia Tate Animal Shelter last week, just hours after being picked up.
“Any puppy that manages three months in whatever circumstance they come out with, they were strong. These puppies looked vibrant to me,” Davila said.
Davila said the puppies’ photos were never shared on social media, a tactic successful shelters in the Mid-South use to attract rescues and adopters.
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A volunteer with the shelter reached out to local rescues for help, and they stepped up. But before they could get to the shelter, he said the puppies had been euthanized.
“Have you ever heard of puppies, having only been at the shelter less than 24-hours, be the first ones to be euthanized over dogs who have been there maybe a long time?” FOX13 asked.
“No,” he replied. “I haven’t. I haven’t. That’s why so many people got incensed and heartbroken over the situation.”
The shelter has been in the hot seat ever since. More than 6,000 people have signed a change.org petition demanding the shelter change its ways.
FOX13’s call to the animal shelter wasn’t returned, so we stopped by. Shelter director Alicia Burns told FOX13 she’d gotten the message but was told all comments had to come from City Hall.
At City Hall, we were told the mayor was “out of town” and wouldn’t be back until Monday.
Davila said the closed-door experience FOX13 had is nothing new.
“This is a job I wouldn’t want, but if you just close your doors and pretend everything is hunky dory and want to have a beautiful image from the outside – but inside you know you’re dying and you’re having to kill,” he said.
While it’s too late for the puppies already gone, Davila said he and others are focused on the others they can save.
“We just want to bring change about. It’s not about crucifying anybody,” he said. “We want to reach out and work together.”
Davila said he’s spoken to the shelter director about getting a volunteer to do their social media work.
But also, he said, it’s about accountability.
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