Roice-Hurst defends county animal services after latest report

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Roice-Hurst Humane Society is speaking out about a new report that shows Mesa County Animal Services ranks last in Colorado when it comes to saving animals.

The report was released by Denver non-profit 'No Kill Colorado.'

The Roice-Hurst Humane Society said the report isn't looking at the full picture. They said it's just taking the number of animals that were euthanized and makes Mesa County look bad.

"I don't want an aggressive dog living next door to me and putting my dogs at risk. I think there are worse things then euthanasia," said Denise Lashmett, a dog owner.

It was a question Mesa County was faced with just this week.

"There was a dog that mauled a 5-month-old baby. That baby had to have a blood transfusion and almost didn't make it," said Anna Stout, the executive director of Roice-Hurst.

That dog is in the court process right now and could be put down.

"If Mesa County Animal Services followed the rules of groups like 'No Kill Colorado,' No Kill would have us keep that dog alive," said Stout.

Stout said the report is taken out of context. She said these euthanizations are done to keep our community safe.

"You have to look at the reasons for each euthanasia. You can't just look at it as a number and say 'well they're not saving things'," said Stout.

She says Mesa County Animal Services only euthanizes as a last resort.

"These are animals who can't be rehabilitated. They are either too sick and suffering or they're too aggressive to safely send out into our community," said Stout.

She said this "No Kill" group doesn't know anything about animal welfare in Mesa County.

"An organization that is not in this community and has never come and toured our facilities or asked for context behind the numbers is offensive, misguided and ignorant," said Stout.

The numbers that 'No Kill Colorado' has are all from 2016. The 2017 numbers for shelters are due March 1.

Stout said that Mesa County's numbers are also impacted by her shelter because Roice-Hurst is a limited-access shelter, meaning they can turn away aggressive and sick dogs if they feel they can't adopt them out.

Those dogs then end up getting sent to Mesa County Animal Services where they could end up being euthanized.

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