Illegal Dog Shelter in Midland, City Hesitates to Crack Down 2/5/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 5, 2013
MIDLAND-An illegal dog shelter in Midland has caught the attention of city officials.
It violates city code, but the city is holding back from taking the dogs. If they rush in to rescue them, they’ll have to turn right back around and put them to sleep.
They’re the dogs no one else usually wants. Pit bulls and bully breeds.
One Midland home has them everywhere--in the front yard, in the garage, in the backyard and in kennels.
Bully Beds, Inc. co-owner Greg Clark says they would never turn the dogs away because of their breed.
"We love any animal, this breed happens to be a special part of us,” Clark said.
Animal services says they know the shelter is illegal – it’s over the City of Midland maximum limit of 5 to 8 dogs in a private residence. But they've been turning a blind eye, and even giving dogs to the shelter.
"40 to 50 percent of our dogs came from Midland animal control, now they are shutting us down,” Clark said. “I don’t understand."
It’s not until officials heard complaints about the living conditions of the dogs that the city decided to enforce the ordinance and ask homeowners to remove the dogs.
"We've known about complains for awhile, but didn't know how bad they were. The first time I went out there was 60 dogs, living in small rungs, there were feces, some had dirty water,” said Paul O’neill, Director of Midland Animal Services.
The city is holding back -- if they follow the ordinance, the 30 to 40 dogs they take in may have to be killed.
O’neill says unless they are an owned animal, these types of dogs are not available for adoption and will be put down.
"Some of the dogs that they have there, if we have to take to the shelter we would probably just have to euthanize, which I would rather not do. We're going to work with them as long as they are doing what they need to do,” O’neill said.
Adoption is the only way to keep any of the dogs from being put down.
"We're trying our best to just get them home. They're gonna have to euthanize me before they take my dogs." Midland animal services could not give a timeline for how long they will allow the shelter to continue to house dogs.
For information on the Midland Animal Services Adoption Process, see their website.