Columbia Police Chief: "It is very rare that we have to euthanize an animal by gunshot.”

Social media post sheds light on Columbia Animal Control and Rescue euthanization process.

Columbia Police Chief: "It is very rare that we have to euthanize an animal by gunshot.”

COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - People on Facebook are outraged after a woman’s post on social media accusing the Columbia Animal Shelter and Rescue of euthanizing animals by gunfire.

Social media post sheds light on Columbia Animal Control and Rescue euthanization process.
Social media post sheds light on Columbia Animal Control and Rescue euthanization process.

Some community members like April Bonilla said shooting animals is inhumane.

"But don’t don’t let them see a gun on their way out, Bonilla said. “It’s it’s pretty horrifying even for a person and they know what you’re doing.”

We reached out to Columbia’s mayor Justin McKenzie.

He refused to comment, but Police Chief Michael Kelly told us off-camera, “It’s very rare that we have to euthanize an animal by gunshot."

“On very rare occasions at this animal shelter euthanization has to take place,” Kelly said. “According to the Veterinarians Association of the state of Mississippi it is not only legal but an acceptable and humane form of euthanization.”

The Mississippi law allows animals to be euthanized by a law enforcement officer, if necessary.

Ward 4 Alderman, Mike Smith works with animal control and rescue. He said this past week he was told two dogs were shot.

“I heard that two, had to be shot the other day they were vicious they had bitten an employee," Smith said. "They had jumped on him and they shot both of those immediately.”

Currently, Columbia is operating with Marion County through its police department.

Kelly talked about the lack of money in the budget for the shelter ran by two employees.

“These are some of the best people in Marion County that come up here and work for less than $10 an hour, and take care of unwanted animals," Kelly said. “We’re a city government. I would love to have a million-dollar budget. I simply don’t, I have to live in my means."

According to Columbia police the facility has 32 dog kennels and 11 cat kennels. At last check, 60 animals are in the shelter.

“We have too many animals here that’s why we had to deal with the spread of disease,” Kelly said. "That’s why the animals get kennel aggressive or kennel depression. I would love, absolutely love to have enough staff to take those animals that you just saw out of those cages for 30 minutes a day, and go outside in the grass and play with them. That would be ideal, but we can’t do that because we have so many animals here.”

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