Knoxville — The Marion County Humane Society (MCHS) posted a message on its Facebook page today to clarify that it is not a "no-kill" animal shelter. Careful consideration is given to every animal in the hopes of avoiding that consequence.
MCHS held its annual meeting last night, where concerns were raised. The organization's statement reads, in part, "Each case of euthanasia for behavioral reasons is examined closely by both our senior staff and our board. The decision is made as a team, not by any one individual, and if you were to take part in this conversation, you would often hear us reference whether this would be an animal we'd feel safe having in our own home or neighborhood. If not, we do not feel it is right for us to place it in yours."
Accusations of MCHS euthanizing pets were received by the Journal-Express. MCHS Board President Aubrey Burress, when asked about euthanasia, said she would like to let the Facebook statement stand as the organization's comment.
"We just don't feel there's any issues," Burress said. She said that sometimes, euthanasia is the organization's only option.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has authority over animal shelters, such as MCHS. Department Spokesman Dustin Vande Hoef said the Department has received complaints about MCHS. A complaint was received in March 2013 and the department followed up with an inspection the next month. The Department took no action against MCHS, believing there was no problem.
Vande Hoef reiterated that shelters are allowed to euthanize animals, though a second complaint regarding euthanasia was received on Wednesday, Jan. 22. Vande Hoef indicated that a follow-up inspection of MCHS is expected to take place within a few days. He added that the Department has not seen significant issues with MCHS .