Discussion: Who’s to ‘blame’ for the 29 cats killed by 2 dogs at Dothan animal shelter?

The tragic killing of 29 cats by two dogs at the Dothan Animal Shelter in Alabama last Wednesday night is one of the top shelter debates taking place on social media. Today I’d like to share what I’m seeing across Facebook and to get your opinion.


Insecure cage

Insecure cage forced open by the dogs.

First, please read Michael’s article posted earlier today.

County officials are to blame. This post was made by Barbara Yaber Seaman 

“The Dothan Animal Shelter has an excellent staff – caring, compassionate from Chief Steve Parish, Bill Banks, Rene Skipper and all the staff and volunteers. They do the absolute best they can with the antiquated facilities of the shelter.

That cattery was built YEARS ago by volunteers because the shelter didn’t have room for the cats and would spend no money on improvements. The city of Dothan has never spent the money needed to improve it. It should have been demolished years ago and a new one built and the city KNOWS this. The conditions were made public by the Dothan Eagle, tv stations, and many volunteers who spent hours caring for the animals.

The past mayors, city commissioners, city manager all visited the shelter at that time and still didn’t do anything….2006 – 2008. Yet how many new ball parks were built, how many sidewalks, how much money given to the museum of art, downtown redevelopment. The city has the money, they just don’t want to spend it on the shelter.

Don’t blame the workers there. This was heartbreaking for them. Call your mayor, your commissioner and tell them a shelter needs to be built NOW.”

The shelter manager is to blame. The post below was given by David White

“The manager of the shelter is responsible for what happens at that shelter. That’s what it means to be in charge. You are responsible for the deaths of all those cats you allowed to be mauled to death through your inability to do your job. It’s not the dog’s fault and it’s not your subordinates. It’s yours. But, being the city politician weasel you are, you won’t be held accountable and you don’t have the integrity to take the blame on yourself. Fall on your sword. Literally.”

What should happen to the 2 dogs?

Animal advocates are arguing over what should be done with the two dogs who mauled the cats to death. I didn’t call them ‘pit bulls’ because any dog can attack cats. In this case it happened to be pit bulls.

What should become of the dogs is split pretty much even, with some saying the dogs should be killed because they’ve had a ‘taste for blood.’ Others believe the dogs should be adopted out (as quickly as possible) into homes where they’re the only pet and without small children. That they’ll make excellent companions as long as the environment around them is controlled.

How do you feel about this tragedy? I read grief counselors have been available to help the staff who came in Thursday morning and found the cats. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through.

Having dealt with shelters and with local governments refusing to spend any money to improve shelter facilities, I tend to agree with Barbara. How do you all feel? Review comments are being left on the Dothan Animal Shelter Facebook page.

Please sound off in the comment section below.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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6 Responses

  1. Donna Lasseter says:

    Being a cat lover and a dog lover I was so upset about this situation because it’s just wrong on so many levels! I dearly hate what happened to the cats and how they suffered and I hate that they put the dogs down for being dogs, how many people would lose their beloved pet if they got rid of every dog that didn’t kike cat’s? I blame the whole mess on the irresponsibility of the staff.. The whole set up of the Dothan Animal Shelter needs to be better planned than what it is..

  2. Michelle says:

    Even idiots know to keep strange animals separated/ the director needs to step down. Dogs!!! where can they go. ?Will other animals and children be safe ? . Shame on this whole state county all. Bullshit.

  3. Lupe Gore says:

    I just read it but this is my opinion. The dogs should not have been able to get out of their enclosures. The cats should not have been housed where those two dogs could get to them. The dogs need to be euthanized as they couldn’t be trusted not to kill anything. Unfortunately, this is the sad truth, in my opinion.

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