Some critical of police department's dog auction

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Undated (WTVY)- Critics of a planned auction of dogs seized earlier this year in a puppy mill raid claim it could cause more harm to the animals.

“They need special care—physical and emotional care. They have been traumatized,” Laurie Hood said Monday. She is founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, one of the largest organizations of its kind in the nation.

The auction—organized by the Dothan Police Department--will have about 60 dogs of various breeds sold to the highest bidder. Proceeds will go toward construction of a new city animal shelter.

“We’ll have experienced people to talk about the do’s and don’ts of these breeds with those interested in adoption,” Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said. He promises those who bid must fill out an application. Professionals will also counsel those who adopt.

While Hood believes the department’s heart is in the right place its head isn’t. “(The dogs) can have congenial heart failure, they can have bone, hip, and knee issues and all that is going to adds tens of thousands of dollars to that animal’s care.”

The dogs were seized in March from a Dothan home where investigators say a puppy mill was operated. Two people recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor neglect charges and, as part of a plea bargain, agreed to surrender ownership.

“(Dothan Police) have turned this into almost an emotion-driven event not based on fact,” Hood said. That, she believes, could lead to disaster and that’s why she offered to take the dogs and adopt them on a case by case basis.

Parrish said he declined her offer and others. “To call an out of state rescue to take these animals would not be fair to this community that has cried over this. They want an opportunity to take one of these dogs and rescue it.

The auction will be Thursday evening at the Dothan Civic Center.