Animal rights activists demand euthanasia moratorium at Oyster Bay shelter to become permanent
Animal rights advocates confronted officials at Oyster Bay Town Hall Tuesday over euthanasia practices at the town animal shelter.
After waiting hours for the chance to speak, the women dressed in red and their allies addressed the Town Board one by one.
News 12 reported that Town Supervisor Joe Saladino issued a moratorium on euthanizing most dogs at the shelter, pending the results of a top-to-bottom evaluation of practices there last year.
But the group says while the moratorium was in effect, a dog was euthanized at the shelter in October.
The town says the dog was euthanized for aggression after failing multiple evaluations, but Saladino acknowledged there is a need for change at the shelter.
“We clearly have to make this better,” Saladino said.
He says a new request for proposals has already been issued for a new animal behaviorist. The shelter will also improve the depth and scope of the records it keeps on the animals in its care, and it will insist upon receiving a pet's health records before even considering a pet owner's request to euthanize for aggression.
“We have an obligation to protect the animals. We have an obligation to protect the safety of the community. We have an obligation to protect the taxpayers. All of these things must weigh in,” Saladino said.
But many of the people urging reform say after a yearlong dialogue with the board, they were expecting more. They're calling for the moratorium on euthanasia for aggression to become permanent.
When asked if he would commit to a stay of euthanasia for all of the dogs in the Town of Oyster Bay Shelter, Saladino said that he will talk to each member of the board.
Saladino added after he speaks with the members of the Town Board individually, he'll announce a decision on the moratorium soon. The animal advocates who were at Town Hall, however, said they worry about what happens to the dogs at the shelter between now and then.