Animal Neglect

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It's an ongoing issue, stray animals in the area. Experts say maybe many of them were once house pets that owners felt required too much responsibility.

On the other hand, these pets could be deathly ill, and instead of paying for euthanization, they let the animals go free or drop them off at the shelter.

Euthanization is a touchy subject, and according to officials opinions a new pet owner probably doesn't think their pet will get old and sick, but its said what happens with the pet once they get of age is what counts for the benefit of the owner and pet.

Countless dogs and cats wait in kennels at the Dothan Animal Shelter. Others want to get adopted and bark and stand in cages to get a visitor’s attention. Then some unknowingly are awaiting euthanization as the shelter becomes more crowded.

But the reason there could be overcrowding at the shelter falls on a number of things, though it may begin with who had the pet first.

Renee Skipper said, "We do have some older animals that do get turned in. It's either that they have some health issues or people can't afford to take them and have them euthanized. They have no other choice to bring them to the shelter and have it done, either way it's not a good situation."

The price tag for euthanizing a pet can vary. It depends on the size of the pet and the method of them getting put to sleep.

Veterinarians say a pet’s existence depends on the pet owner. For example, some people look at it as family, while others may see it as a piece of property and not properly care for their pet, and vets say you can tell if your pet needs help.

Kirk Holland said, "The biggest thing is a change in attitude, a change from the normal, but certainly when a pet is unable to move, get around, very noticeable things, it's a very easy decision for most people. But there are others who still really have a tight bond with their pet."

Within the last few days the Dothan Animal Shelter has had more than 60 strays brought in.

Experts say researching thoroughly is the best way to ensure a pet won't eventually be neglected. The Dothan City Commission will vote next week on whether the city's animal shelter will expand.