Eldon euthanasia case riles community

Dogs take advantage of the nice day in the outer half of their pens.

More than one hundred community members attended a city council meeting Tuesday night to express concern over allegations of animal abuse and the euthansia of two dogs from the Eldon Animal Shelter in October.

An official who was at the shelter at the time the dogs were taken to be euthanized shared the following account of events.

A woman dropped off the dogs â?? a male and a female â?? at the Eldon Animal Shelter. The animals were identified as mixed breed, predominately pit bull.

The dogs were very aggressive, barking and growling at anyone who came near. The male was especially protective of the female, and it was later determined he was her father.

There was only one runner available, so the dogs were placed in the same pen. Belatedly, staffers realized the female was in heat after the male dog began mating with her. They allegedly separated the dogs. When the officer we spoke with arrived on the scene, the dogs were separated on two different sides of the pen.

The dogs were deemed unadoptable because of their aggression, and the decision was made to euthanize both. This decision was made before the dogs began mating. The only alternative would have been to euthanize other dogs, all of which were considered adoptable.

A catchpole â?? an extendable pole with a loop on one end â?? was used to safely control the dogs so that they could be crated and taken to the veterinarian.

After euthanizing the male, the veterinarian noticed a piece of his penis was missing. Officials at the shelter did not notice and the vet only noticed after the dog had been sedated.

There are rumors that these dogs were beaten by officers. However, that has yet to be substantiated by any of our sources. Eldon Mayor Ronald Bly said the veterinarian's report confirmed this.

"The veterinary report said there wasn't any other type of injury to the animals except for the mating problem," Bly said.

This "mating problem" had upset many people who attended the council meeting, with several saying that separating the animals while they were mating is animal abuse.

Representatives with rescue groups from around the area offered to help shelter and care for animals so that no animals would need to be euthanized in the future.

Rene Ward from the Friends of Animals Missouri Humane Society shared her thoughts on reforming the shelter to avoid these situations in the future.

"I want to set up some kind of a structure with them," she said. "I want to set up an advisory board. I think that people that have been doing this for years will be involved in the decision making so that we'll be able to save the money that the city needs to be saved."

The tone of the meeting was very calm at first, with people from various organizations offering their time and resources to help the Eldon Animal Shelter.

However, when Bly mentioned the Facebook post alleging animal abuse by two officers that went viral. Members of the crowd then became agitated, demanding facts about the situation.

Bly declined to comment on specifics, saying that he requested that the Missouri State Highway Patrol do an investigation into the allegations.

He did, however, say, "It probably wasn't the smartest idea to put those two animals in the same cage, and I totally regret the situation. I hate to see an animal hurt or injured like that."

*According to the Eldon Animal Shelter webpage, the facility has 18 dog runs and 16 cat kennels.