The public comments portion of a city council meeting in Amarillo, Texas, was dominated by outraged animal lovers speaking out for a pit bull known as G7.
The dog was recently euthanized while in labor at an Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare (AAMW) shelter and the mother dog’s puppies were put down as well. The incident was brought to public attention by Dacia Anderson, a woman who often volunteered with the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society, which rents space from the AAMW at the facility where the controversial procedure occurred.
As part of her Facebook posts recounting G7’s story, Anderson asked Amarillo residents to attend a city council meeting on Tuesday.
“The goal was to express concerns directly to all members of the City Council, and to push for new policies to be implemented, so moving forward, what happened to G7 will never happen in our shelter again,” Anderson told PEOPLE about the meeting.
She added that “the meeting room was full and the overflow area was standing room only. Outside, protesters held signs in support of G7 as well.”
In response to those who spoke on G7’s behalf during the public comments section of the meeting, City Manager Jared Miller said there was a side to the story the public was not aware of.
“I think it’s important to provide some additional information about these events that led up to two dogs being surrendered by the same owners for attacks on humans and animals,” Miller said to those in the council chamber, according to Amarillo Globe News. “It’s important to clarify the facts in a difficult situation like this, especially since major aspects of the case, important things that people should know, where omitted from the social media post and other sources.”
Miller went on to describe what led to G7 being put in the care of AAMW. He said on May 9 a 911 call went out to Animal Management and Welfare, EMS and the Amarillo Police Department about an owner looking to surrender and aggressive male dog. When authorities arrived to collect the animal, G7, also owned by the caller, started a fight with the male dog. The male dog attacked the owner while they were trying to break up the fight. This dog was taken into custody and euthanized, the owner attacked by the dog was hospitalized and had to get surgery to treat their injuries.
G7, who had instigated the fight with the male dog, according to Miller, was picked up from the house later in the day, after the owners called the authorities again to say G7 had attacked two occupants living in the owner’s house. With this information, authorities picked up G7 and brought her to AAMW facility to be euthanized the next day.
Miller said the AAMW had the right to euthanize the dog in labor and her two newborn puppies because, “according to policy and accepted veterinary medicine practices of the American Veterinary Medical Association, examples of qualification for immediate euthanasia include aggression directed at humans and of animals.”
Anderson, who said G7 acted friendly when she encountered her, doesn’t believe this lets AAMW off the hook for their actions.
“Jared Miller, city manager, stated some new information regarding the incident that occurred with G7 leading to her surrender to AAMW. However, this raised more questions as to how this situation was handled (and mistakes made by AAMW),” Anderson said. “People are now seeking public records such as police reports, 911 calls, etc. The timeline discussed needs a lot of gaps filled in. Why was G7, who was labeled as the “aggressor” not taken into custody when the first 911 call was made? Why was this information not released before? Was proper bite protocol taken and the specimens sent for rabies testing per state law?”
She also added that putting G7, a supposedly “vicious animal in an area of the shelter that was accessible to anyone with nothing identifying her as such,” was dangerous to other animals and shelter workers.
To her, it all speaks to how AAMW needs to be overhauled. She is confident that this active public comments section will encourage the city council to place the discussion of policy changes for AAMW on their future agenda, so action will be taken sooner rather than later.
“Supporters are also still pushing for new policies to be put in place,” she said. “The community has a lot of questions concerning how this situation was handled from start to finish.”
Anderson also hopes that the attendance at the meeting shows the AAMW that the community is invested in helping them change for the better, and, conversely, shows that the community is now more dedicated to speaking out and supporting low cost spay and neuter options.