After Shelter Kills Surrendered Dogs in Just 3 Hours, Thousands Demand Policy Change

After months of searching, the Blackwell family had finally found a new home for their beloved dogs, Tux and Bruiser. They surrendered their pets to the Aiken County Animal Shelter in South Carolina that afternoon.

But after someone interested in adopting the dogs contacted 16-year-old Karli Blackwell, the family decided to retrieve the dog. Karli said she called the shelter near closing time and received no answer.

Karli and her mom went to pick up the 8-month-old and 1-year-old dogs in the morning, only to discover they had been euthanized. Tux and Bruiser were killed fewer than three hours after they arrived.

Care2 petition with nearly 100,000 signatures urges the shelter to change its policy on euthanasia. And anyone outraged by the unnecessary deaths of Tux and Bruiser should sign.

A shelter representative told WRDW that Aiken County Animal Shelter never got Karli’s call. Furthermore, the family signed a contract that allowed the animals to be adopted or euthanized.

Aiken County Shelter justified its decision by saying Tux and Bruiser were behaving aggressively, fighting with each other and other animals.

While lost dogs get five days to two weeks at the shelter before they’re put up for adoption or euthanized, surrendered dogs don’t have the same grace period. But they should.

“The decision to euthanize an animal should not be taken lightly or decided on whim, no matter how the animal found itself at the shelter,” Care2′s Aarti Kelapure writes in the petition. “The life of a surrendered animal should not be given less consideration than the life of a lost animal.”

Aiken County Animal Shelter is one of a number of animal shelters that have made hasty decisions to euthanize surrendered pets this year. Petersburg Animal Shelter in Virginia put down pit bull Patty within an hour after her former owner dropped her off this March.

The shelter warden told 8News, “The dog came at me, he came at my leg.”

Owner Vanessa Thomas changed her mind — and when she returned the next day to reclaim Patty, she found out the horrible truth of what happened to her pet.

Take Action!

Sign this Care2 petition to give shelter animals a real chance at adoption.

And if, like Aarti Kelapure, you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.


Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a month ago


Jennifer H
Jennifer H2 months ago

All animals should have the chance to be adopted whether they are surrenders or missings. There is no excuse for these deaths.

Laura Adams
Laura Adams2 months ago

If they were "pets", why were they "surrendered" ? Was that the only option? If you don't want an animal killed, then don't surrender one to a "shelter". That is what they do.

Kelsey S
Kelsey S2 months ago

Wtf?? Already signed

Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 months ago

Those sick minded people who are making excuses for kill shelters should try to start one in countries like Portugal, Austria, India, etc. They would find themselves in prison for breaking the law. It's AGAINST THE LAW in those countries, because you accept a status quo of committing those kind of crimes in so called "civilized" countries like the US and Canada, does not make it "moral". It's still a criminal act.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 months ago

If you "volunteer" for a kill shelter you are just as guilty as the permanent staff. No mercy for your victims means there should be no mercy for you.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 months ago

Why do they call the concentration camp a "shelter". It's a criminal operation run by criminals. The owner and operator and all staff in that place should serve life sentences, they are criminals and a danger to the public.

Sonia M

Petition signed thanks for sharing

Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.