Story by James Turner, Contributing writer
An animal shelter in Georgia caused quite a stir in the Murray-Calloway County area earlier this month when it posted on Facebook the need to euthanize dogs if they weren’t adopted.
Local residents mistook The Murray County Animal Shelter’s plea for that of the Calloway County Humane Society in Murray, Kentucky.
Emily Cook, animal control officer for Calloway County, said this happens whenever the Murray County Animal Shelter makes a post about euthanasia. She reiterated the Calloway County Humane Society does not post such messages on social media.
“We don’t post stuff like that,” Cook said. “If we’re down to that point, I don’t see that we’d ever post something like that.”
Cook said euthanasia in the Calloway County Humane Society is very rare and primarily consists of dogs with aggression towards people and other dogs, or dogs that are severely ill.
“We are trying our darndest to get these animals out, adopted, reclaimed to their owners,” Cook said. “Microchips are helping a lot. If your dog’s microchipped, or your cat’s microchipped, it comes right back to you.”
Murray County is not the only shelter that is commonly mistaken for the Calloway County Humane Society. Murray, Utah and Calloway County, Missouri have also been mistaken for the shelter in Murray, Kentucky.
Cook said that the issue gets taken care of quickly and does not really affect work; however, this time of year is still very busy for the Calloway County Humane Society.
“It’s a never-ending job,” Cook said. “And it’s a very rewarding and heartbreaking job at the same time. So you have to learn to take care of yourself also.”
In 2017, Calloway County Humane Society had an 89.9 percent live release rate, where dogs were adopted or released to their owners.
Kathy Hodge, executive director of the Calloway County Humane Society, said they work with a lot of puppies and work to keep them out of the shelter. The shelter is run by the county and legally bound to accept any puppy or dog that comes in, including dogs that are ill.