Florence Animal Shelter draws fire for euthanasia increase; director responds

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FLORENCE, Ala. – The city of Florence Animal Shelter has been taking a beating on social media in recent weeks. Numerous complaints led to a called meeting with the director Thursday afternoon and some members of the Florence City Council.

Leah Fox is in her second year as the Animal Control Director in Florence. Complaints have surfaced about Fox and her staff not maintaining a low-kill status. She addressed the concerns with the Florence Public Safety Committee.

“When we have 40+ animals come in during a day, and only three or four leave, it’s really difficult to figure out where we are going to put all of these animals,” Fox explained.

According to Fox, just this year they have seen 800 more animals brought to the shelter over last year. Already struggling for space, Fox said some tough decisions have to be made. The animals which can not get adopted, fostered, or sent to rescues have to be put down.

“Unfortunately it does take a toll on us as far as our euthanasia rate, it goes up,” stated Fox. “Just simply because we can’t house that many animals that are coming through our door.”

Fox told the committee on Thursday that she and her staff are overwhelmed with the numbers coming in. The majority of litters being turned over are simply because pet owners will not get the parents spayed or neutered.

A consulting firm has been hired to help the animal shelter see if there are things they can do differently to help with the numbers.

Thursday afternoon we were sent an email by Florence Mayor Steve Holt’s office. He has called a news conference concerning the operation of the animal shelter for Friday morning.

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