Protesters: Too many animals being put down at Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Nearly 30 animal care activists have staged a demonstration to voice their concerns about the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center’s operations.

The demonstrators stood outside of the Broward Governmental Center on Tuesday morning with signs reading “We are their voice” and “No-kill now!”

They said they are upset with the amount of animals that have been put down and the reasoning stated is not proper.

“As an actual no-kill community, you do not put down for treatable, trainable issues,” said Windy Schugarmartin, co-organizer of the protest.

A spokesperson from the shelter said a lot of strides have been made as they reached a 90% survival rate the first time since 2012.

The survival rate the shelter has claimed is considered high compared to other shelters across the nation.

The largest no-kill shelter, located in Austin, Texas, has a survival rate of 95%.

An official with the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center said the animals being put down are only the extremely aggressive ones that are considered to be a danger to society, have severe health risks and are not expected to survive if they were adopted.

“Of course, a dog hit by a car, a dog that’s come in that’s killed other animals, those are pets that are suffering or their behavior could put our community at risk,” said Lauralei Combs with the Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center.

They said the process they go through is very serious when they consider the animals to be put down and do not take it lightly.

“It’s done with a panel and our veterinarians are included, so when a doctor makes the choice that a pet is suffering, that is their decision-making, and they have that right to make that decision,” said Combs.

“There is not an overcrowding problem. There’s a problem that the county won’t accept the help from the community that is trying to give, trying to rescue,” said Hallandale Beach Commissioner Michele Lazarow. “The community is trying to be a partner. The community is trying to help.”

Last week, 7News cameras took a tour of the facility and witnessed the overcrowding firsthand. Every kennel was filled with either cats or dogs.

This issue is something the shelter is trying to raise awareness about in the community as they try to talk to residents to keep their pets and about spaying and neutering their pets for free.

However, protesters said that is not enough.

“We’ll protest in front of the shelter. We will be their voice. We will do whatever it takes to make sure the animals get what they deserve,” said Lazarow.

The shelter said the best way for the community to help is by adopting, fostering or rescuing the animals at the shelter.

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