Puppies aborted, euthanized at Williamson County shelter - WSMV Channel 4

Puppies aborted, euthanized at Williamson County shelter

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

A Williamson County animal rescue group says a policy change is needed at Williamson County Animal Control after a golden retriever's 11 puppies were aborted and euthanized following a spay procedure at the shelter.

Shianne, a golden retriever, was ready to give birth to a litter of puppies. However, on Feb. 13, Williamson County Animal Control decided to spay the dog. That's when the puppies were removed.

The president of  No Kill Williamson County, Todd Rumsey, told Channel 4 News aborting the puppies was not necessary.

"We know we could have had these puppies taken care of and adopted out. She had 11 puppies removed from her while she was in the act of delivering," said Rumsey.

Doug Brightwell, the Animal Control director, doesn't dispute that 11 puppies were aborted. But he said Shianne was not in active labor and wasn't about to go into labor. Brightwell told Channel 4 News the problem he faces every day at the shelter are too many animals and too few adoptive homes.

"The more puppies that get adopted, that leaves that many more animals here in the shelter waiting for homes," said Brightwell. 

Brightwell said 1,500 spay and neuter procedures are performed every year at the shelter. Animal Control policy does not take into account the viability of a fetus.

"When we do a spay, and there are puppies involved no matter what stage the fetus is in, we do inject them with euthanasia fluid, just to make sure," said Brightwell.

Shianne was released into the custody of No Kill Williamson County and adopted out. But the rescue group believes the spaying procedure eventually caused her death.

"An infection that could be created by having parts of her uterus or ovary left in her following the spaying procedure," said Rumsey. 

Rumsey believes it time for the shelter to change its policy.

"We are concerned, they do not reflect the values of the community, its something we believe needs to be changed," said Rumsey.

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