Dog dumping leads to overcrowding, euthanization in Smith County

Dog dumping leads to overcrowding, euthanization in Smith County
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Shelters and animal rescue centers are facing an overpopulation crisis. They are asking for the communities help with adopting and fostering dogs to refrain from having to put them down at Smith County Animal and Control.

“To see the fear in their eyes and to know what they are facing, and I know that that is realistic, and I know that that is part of it. It’s just something that I can’t accept,” said Barbara Skeen, A 2023 board member of The SPCA of East Texas.

She says it’s devastating that many dogs are taken into shelters only to get put down and euthanized due to overcapacity.

“If we had spay and neuter programs here in Smith County and in the state of Texas, this would be such a much better situation. I mean we have found dogs in trash bags, at oil rigs, that people just dump them anywhere,” said Amber Greene, supervisor of the Smith County Animal Control center.

Greene says she has been receiving over 60 calls a day about stray dogs on the street. She says she suspects that 25% of the calls she receives, are from citizens abandoning and throwing out their pets.

“We have come to a point to where my shelter is full and we do have ten or twelve that are in critical need of getting out or they do ultimately face having to be euthanized,” said Greene.

Greene says when you adopt a dog, you are saving two lives; the dog that gets a forever home, and a dog who is able to come into the shelter rather than dying out in the streets.

The shelters work together to try to send dogs to northern states where there is more room.

Lynn Harty is one of the founders of Angel Paws Advocates, and she explains why she thinks so many dogs and puppies are being abandoned.

“Some of the calls we get are death in the family, people moving, but a lot of it is people cannot even afford to take care of themselves, much less their pet,” said Harty.

Shelter workers are advocating for a mandatory law to be passed that requires dogs to be spayed or neutered and for dogs to be registered through a system, rather than dogs just being listed as property under Texas law.

“Well, that property is in their shaking to death right now, knowing his days are numbered and probably tomorrow is his last day. That’s not property to me, that’s one of God’s children and that’s what we want to do our best to save,” said Skeen.