Animal advocates worry about the future of Calhoun County’s shelter animals


CALHOUN CO, Ala (WIAT) — The Calhoun County commission is taking control of their rescue shelter and making it a county-run animal control center.

This news is angering many animal advocates who claim the county will put animals down. The county commission said this is not true. 

The Cheaha regional humane society has until March 1 to finish their work, then the county  will take over. 
“I was just heartbroken,” said Jane Cunningham with Cheaha Regional Humane Society. 

For the past six years, Calhoun county has worked with the Cheaha and funded them $200,000 a year.

That’s ending because the county said they’re not taking care of the stray dog problem. 

“We had three dead dogs along the road. We have so many strays in six years. Would you imagine how many strays are out there? We have all of these strays out there everywhere because no one is addressing the problem,” said Eli Henderson, Calhoun county commissioner. 

Cheaha is worried they’re dropping their partnership so they can euthanize the animals.

“There is a stray population but you can’t kill your way out of it. When the county was in it before, they killed over 8,000 animals a year and there were just as many strays when we took over than there was when it started,” said Cunningham. 

Cunningham said the animal control center that existed before them was terrible and worries after seven days, they’ll euthanize the animals. 

“They decided they wanted to go to a true animal control function which is basically code enforcement. They want to go in to hire full time animal control officer, picking up stray and holding them for seven days,” said Cunningham. 

“The state law says that but we’re not going to do that we’re going to open our doors up, make it really nice, and all rescues, not just this one, but any resucue open the door to all rescues . We want you to resuce all dogs, we don’t want to put an animal down. Tt’s not at our benefit to put an animal down,” said Henderson. 

In the meantime, the humane society said they’re rushing to get all their animals adopted or to another animal shelter.

The county takes over March 1 and they will have a full-time animal control officer and new staff.

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