New animal shelter procedure alarms local rescues

New animal shelter procedure alarms local rescues
The Standard Operation Procedure sent out to rescues from the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society / Source: KFDA
The Standard Operation Procedure sent out to rescues from the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society / Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Local and out-of-state animal rescues are concerned a new standard operation procedure (SOP) released by the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society will make it harder for them to save dogs from euthanasia.

"The objective of the SOP is to assist us in getting the maximum number of animals out wherever that may be," said Larry Milam, Executive Director of the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society.

The SOP stated animals are only able to be pulled for rescue if they pass a health examination and do not show signs of aggression toward humans or other dogs.

Some rescue groups tell us they think this puts more dogs in danger, while the shelter says it's for their safety.

"At the moment, of the 150 or so animals that are here at this shelter right now, there are only two animals that fall under the non eligible criteria of the SOP," said Milam.

Those two dogs are on hold because of their temperament.

Both local and out-of-state rescues told us they fear that number will go up the next time a sick dog enters the shelter.

Texas Panhandle Pet Savers (TPPS) said they focus on rescuing sick dogs, and are afraid some dogs will not get the chance to be saved under the new SOP.
   
"We're just concerned because there are so many dogs that come in sick and so many dogs that need help," said Jerrie Coffey, a member of the TPPS Board of Directors. "If they're only wanting to transport the dogs that are healthy and well tempered and don't have any issues, that just loses the face of rescue."

Coffey said a lack of clarity has TPPS confused about the fates of some animals, fearing any dog deemed too sick to rescue will quickly be euthanized.

Milam said that's not true, that health is evaluated daily by an on-site veterinarian, and the SOP is not trying to make it harder for rescues to save animals.

"The animals are here, they're available, anyone can come down any time."

TPPS and other rescues that reached out to us say they need more information before they feel comfortable working with this new procedure.

Milam invites any of the groups to meet with him and address their concerns.

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