Collier County commissioner suggests eliminating no-kill rule at animal shelters

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A suggestion to eliminate a policy that saves all healthy and treatable animals from unnecessary euthanasia has landed one Collier County commissioner in controversy.

The suggestion shocked listeners since the no-kill policy protects abandoned dogs and cats.

The comment was made during a Collier County workshop regarding the budget.

The Department of Animal Services said they had no comment other than to emphasize the commissioner’s comments shouldn’t be seen as an imminent policy change.

WINK News also tried contacting Commissioner Hall but was told he was unavailable.

“I’m going to say something, and I don’t want the public to hammer me,” Hall said. “I don’t want, I just want to, this is a workshop, and as I look at parks and rec, you know, the figure that we need is $520,000 to get services for our kids, families, visitors and to enhance the parks, capital maintenance, so I’m looking at that. I’m thinking, OK, that’s for people.”

That is what Hall said as a setup leading to the controversial take.

“I look at the budget for Domestic Animal Services, and I see that’s a $5,250,000 annual budget, that we’re operating seven days a week,” Hall said, “so my thoughts are to risk sounding cruel, and I’m not cruel at all. We’re a no-kill policy, and it seems like to me like if you ever go to a no-kill policy, there’s no returning back, and I can understand that rationale, but when it comes to money and funding, do you want to fund pit bulls and pit bull mixes? Or do you want to fund people?”

Hall knew he was saying something people wouldn’t like. Daniel Weber, a pit bull rescuer, is one example of a person who was surprised by Hall’s comments.

“It would be terrible to see him to go to a shelter and then consider them euthanizing the animal if there was no place for him, because I always believe there’s a home for all animals,” Weber said.

Putting an end to no-kill shelters could change the lives of many animals in Southwest Florida. Eighty-five out of the 135, or 62.96%, of shelters in Florida are no-kill.

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