Southern Paws Transport has dogs seized by NLR
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Thirteen dogs were taken to the North Little Rock Animal Shelter Thursday afternoon after officials said Southern Paws kept them in an illegal shelter. Volunteers however said this is all a misunderstanding.
On Wednesday night, we first told you about troubles at a local non-profit Southern Paws Transport. The non-profit works as a liaison between local animal shelters and homes, with too many dogs and not enough money to support them. On Thursday, many of those dogs were seized by officials in North Little Rock.
In a time where shelters and foster homes can be at full capacity, Southern Paws Transport said they were at max capacity, but couldn't bring themselves to turn dogs away.
"The agreement was, we would try to have the dogs out of here by the first of the month. That was the agreement. We would try”, said Southern Paws Transport Board Member, Mary Traylor. She said the City of North Little Rock knew about their predicament and gave them time to work it out.
In the mean-time, the surplus dogs were kept in a warehouse in North Little Rock.
"For whatever reason, the shelter believes that the agreement was that September 1, we had to be out. So what happened is, 7:30 they're here first thing in the morning”, Traylor added.
The City of North Little Rock says on August 5th, it cited Southern Paws Transport for having 25 dogs living in a warehouse without a shelter permit. The volunteers said they moved "heaven and earth" to get all of those dogs placed, but when the shelter showed up Thursday morning, 13 remained.
"She came in, talked to the prosecutor, talked to the judge, made a deal that the dogs would be taken care of and would be out by the first of the month. Well, they weren't. I'm not sure why they weren't out but they weren't out. She didn't live up to her end of the bargain. And the dogs deserve better. The conditions were bad in there. I walked in and had to walk out, the smell was so overwhelming”, explained Nathan Hamilton, spokesperson for The City of North Little Rock.
Traylor said their attorney has tried contacting the City Attorney without any luck. The group, she said, was simply doing their best with a very bad situation.
"My biggest concern is for these dogs because when that North Little Rock Animal Shelter gets full they will start to euthanize good, adoptable dogs. My fear is they are going to start killing our dogs”, she said. The city has also said they only want what's best for the dogs.
"We would love for our relationship with Southern Paws to continue, as long as they can resolve their issues and not try to hide dogs in warehouses”, explained Hamilton.
The City said the dogs are considered property of the court until Southern Paws' hearing next Thursday. That means they cannot be adopted out until then, but they also cannot be euthanized. Southern Paws will be holding its biggest fundraiser of the year on September 9.
For more information visit Southern Paws Transport on Facebook.