Animal rescue centre with ‘no kill’ policy defends decision to put down biting dogs

An animal sanctuary with a ‘no kill policy’ has been slammed after putting two dogs to sleep because they wouldn’t stop biting people.

Staff at the Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary in Blackpool, Lancs, came under immense fire on social media after taking the decision to put down two Jack Russells with “unpredictable” behaviour.

But despite facing criticism that the decision was “selfish” and ‘heartless’, the sanctuary hit back saying they “can’t win” after staff members were left too scared to handle the dogs due to repeated attacks.

The pups known as Marty and Jack had been living long term in kennels due to numerous failed rehoming attempts.

The dogs were not considered to be safe around the other animals and visitors to the sanctuary.

The decision to have them put to sleep was made after a majority vote by sanctuary staff in May, Lancashire Live reports.

The sanctuary’s statement read: “Both of these dogs were in the care of Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary for several years.

“Over the years our animal welfare staff made numerous attempts to rehome them, unfortunately all were unsuccessful in the main down to issues with both dogs biting.

“Sadly, both Jack and Marty were very unpredictable in their behaviour.

“They continued to regularly bite the staff members who cared for them, to the point where some members of staff had become very uncomfortable and nervous being around them.

“No member of staff should be subject to being bitten at work on a regular basis. Jack and Marty were not the cute, cuddly dogs that the pictures posted on social media would have people believe.

“Due to their unpredictable behaviour the Trustees and Staff made the decision that both dogs were unsuitable to be rehomed.

“Animal welfare staff had recently been bringing Jack and Marty up to the sanctuary in an attempt to enhance their lives as they were living long term in kennels.

“However, due to their unpredictable behaviour and biting this could never be a long-term solution as members of the public come to the sanctuary for meet & greets when looking to adopt/sponsor an animal.”

The sanctuary added that there was a risk that if Jack or Marty had gotten loose – someone could have been bitten.

It added: “How would members of the public feel if they came to visit the sanctuary, and they or a family member, child, grandchild, or friend had been bitten by either of these two dogs?

“No doubt people would then have posted comments on social media accusing Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary of being irresponsible and failing to protect their staff, visitors and members of the public. We can’t win!”

The sanctuary highlighted that the dogs faced a poor quality of life in kennels – but were left with no ways to allow them to interact due to their biting tendencies.

The trustees claimed that it was unfair to continually place the pair in kennels for the rest of their lives and decided to take a vote on what action should be taken.

The statement continued: “Unfortunately, even though our animal welfare staff contacted many potential adopter organisations none were willing to take either Jack or Marty.

“As it had been previously agreed that it was not in the best interest for the dogs to spend the rest of their lives in kennel facilities with a poor quality of life, the decision to have them put to sleep was agreed.

“Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary has always abided by having a no kill policy, unless it was on veterinary advice, or it was deemed to be in the best interest of the animal concerned.

“We reiterate that it was agreed to be in the best interest for Jack and Marty by the majority of trustees and staff present at the meeting in May 22.”