The Henderson Animal Shelter is facing backlash from citizens after euthanizing a dog named Rex on August 3 for “showing aggression.” A petition has started in hopes of pushing the city to make changes to the shelter.
“The people running the shelter are cruel,” junior Allison Buckner said. “Rex is one of many animals they have senselessly killed, and he won’t be the last unless something changes.”
After Rex was surrendered to the shelter after killing a chicken, the Friends of Henderson Tx Animal Shelter, a Facebook page dedicated to posting animals available for adoption, posted a video and multiple pictures of Rex.
“I went to go look at Rex,” Henderson citizen Jessica Harvey said. “I realized he was too small, and I wanted a bigger dog.”
A shelter employee was concerned about Rex attacking a chicken and accidently hurting a child.
“That [hurting a child] is not likely because dogs can be taught to respect the chicken,” a Henderson citizen said. “If child safety was a concern, then why was the dog allowed to live long enough to be seen by the public for adoption?”
Harvey did not adopt Rex, and minutes later, another adopter was turned away because Rex was aggressive and going to be euthanized due to city policy.
“The dog was showing aggression towards other dogs in the kennel beside it, which was an indicator that it might not be good for adopting,” animal control director Chad Taylor said. “Our goal is to not put down as many animals as what we do; we don’t want to put any animals down if we can help it.”
Soon after Rex’s euthanization, a citizen called the shelter about him, asking why he was euthanized before adoptions stopped that day at 4 p.m., when an animal is typically euthanized.
“The employees come across as unprofessional,” senior Brianna Rumbo said. “They seem completely unaware of a canine’s natural behavior when put in a natural environment.”
Through the petition, citizens are rallying together to minimize euthanization and leaving comments in support of the cause.
“As heartbreaking as the whole situation is, I think it’s kind of beautiful,” Buckner said. “So many people are coming together to fight for change.”