Group wants to end euthanasia at Lee County Domestic Animal Services

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo
Published: Updated:

An online petition claims Lee County Domestic Animal Services euthanized close to 2,500 animals last year.

That would be between six and seven animals a day.

A group is now striving to give these animals a voice.

Many of these critters just want a forever home, but one group feels Lee County Domestic Animal Services isn’t giving them that chance.

“I think that dogs, cats are being euthanized there unnecessarily and inhumanely,” said Jessica Gibson, a member of Voices for Lee County FL Animals. “I feel like they have a very good chance of being adopted and being sent to a loving home, and instead, their lives are being ended for no reason.”

Gibson is referring to a statement made on the Lee government website under lost pets that states stray dogs found with no identification can be humanely euthanized after just three days if the pet is deemed unadoptable. There is no holding period for unadoptable cats.

Voices for Lee County FL Animals made their message clear Tuesday’s Lee County commission meeting.

“Euthanizing animals for unnecessary reasons, they might be scared,” said Mary Thomas, member of Voices for Lee County, FL Animals. “One of them bites leash, 7-week-old puppies were fighting over their food, and they run the euthanasia list. Somebody deemed a cat a nuisance. That cat gets killed.”

“I want to know who’s evaluating these dogs to decide if they’re euthanized, and I want to know, yeah, I mean, who’s making these calls?” Gibson said.

We looked up the statistics and counted. In 2023, almost 2,500 animals were put down at Lee DAS, which is between six and seven animals a day.

“They’re the voiceless, and if we don’t do something for them, then nobody’s gonna,” Thomas said.

The group has also made a petition asking for community support to stop unnecessary killing; it has almost 2,500 signatures.

WINK News reached out to Lee County for a statement.

A representative replied that their department had to make difficult decisions, but their staff continues to work diligently to assess pets and get them adopted.

Lee County also stated its partnership with over 60 rescue organizations, mentioning when a dog may not appear adoptable, they will participate in second chance programs.

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