Heated debate over Fayette County animal shelter policy

- Emotions are running high in Fayette County where a proposal about the animal shelter is making a lot of people upset. The rule would allow the county to euthanize cats and dogs after just 30 days in the shelter.

The Fayette County animal shelter is at capacity again. All 26 runs are full. Officials there have even put dogs in crates.

Tough decisions are about to be made on who stays. The county wants new rules that would allow the shelter to euthanize dogs and cats that have been in the shelter for 30 days.

Chris and Sharon Waples who volunteer to walk the dogs at the shelter worry that 30 days is not long enough to adopt out some animals

"We have got dogs there now, Doug, that have been there for over a hundred days. And so 30 days is not a long time in the life of a shelter dog,” Sharon Waples told FOX 5’s Doug Evans.

For example, Stitch was recently adopted the day before he was to be euthanized and had been in the shelter for over 100 days. But county officials said the 30 days is an improvement from the current 7-day hold on animals, a time they give owners to reclaim their pets. And if Stitch survived 100 days during the 7-day policy, he would likely survive in the 30-day policy as well.

Critics of the plan also worry that the county wants to declare the shelter full at 75 percent, euthanizing dogs when there are still cages open.

"So, they would have six dog runs open at all times for hypotheticals,” said Sharon Waples.

“And this is really the bigger question that we need to be asking ourselves, ‘Is this county going to do the right thing and start investing in our county and our animals and take care of them?’” said Chris Waples.

The county said it needs open cages in case of a big influx of animals. They need somewhere to put them.

The two sides will face off in what could be a heated commission meeting Thursday night. 

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