No kill group says city ignored promise - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

No kill group says city ignored promise; written agreement sought

Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City
Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City
Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City
Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City Photo courtesy of Cleveland for a No Kill City

CLEVELAND (WRCB) -- A group of animal advocates say they had homes for dogs that were put down.

They claim animal control workers ignored an agreement to help save them.

That agreement was never written down.

City workers followed city code, but some say that's not enough.

"We just came in Wednesday and four dogs were dead," says Beth Foster.

Beth Foster says a system to save animals is working, that's why she was surprised to learn Cleveland Animal Control put down four dogs.

"There have been twice as many dogs here as there were that day, so we had no reason to think we were in dire need," Foster says.

Foster and the group Cleveland for a No Kill City have been working together for months to save animals.

Volunteers post pictures on Facebook and find adoptive homes.

The facility's director alerts them when an animal's time is up.

"He was going to give us warning or the officers were, if we were getting close on somebody we could make those extra efforts to get that dog out," says Foster.

But Beth says she didn't get a warning this time, because the facility's director is out of town.

Those left in charge followed city ordinance, which only states a dog must be held for 72 hours before being euthanized.

"They were past, of course, their legal hold time," Foster says. "There was no legal obligation that they keep them, but it was the agreement that we had."

The Cleveland Police Department, which oversees animal control, conducted its own investigation.

The findings of that investigation were released to Channel 3, showing the animal control officer who euthanized the dogs did not violate any laws.

"That agreement, is it in writing," asks Channel 3.

"It is not," Foster replies.

"Should it be," we ask.

"It probably does, and that's one of the things we need to work out, some kind of protocol," says Foster.

Foster says she is now working with city leaders to make the agreement formal, so Cleveland can be a no kill shelter under anyone's watch.

"We had gotten to know these dogs," Foster says. "We had taken these dogs to adoption events, spent quite a bit of time with them. It's always a tragedy, but when they're not so anonymous it hurts even more."

Foster says two of the dogs put down had tentative homes to go to.

The facility has runs of dogs and cats available for adoption.

All of their pictures are on Cleveland for a No Kill City's Facebook page.

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