Dog Euthanized Within an Hour of Arrival at Jasper Shelter

By isak, June 3, 2009

Boost was euthanized within an hour of arrival at Walker County Humane SocietyEuthanized within an hour of arrival at Jasper Shelter??? Folks, we have a problem at Walker County Humane Society in Alabama.

The following story has so many tragedies rolled into it that could have been avoided and the outcome would have been so much better. There were errors committed on all sides of the story… at least based on my opinion from the info in the articles I have read.

The bottom line? Boost was let down by everyone involved. All he did was get out like mischievous pups do on occasion. This should not have been a death sentence.

Any ONE of these things could have changed the outcome of this story:

  • The dog had a collar, but no tags on the collar. Why not add tags? A name tag. A rabies tag. Your phone number written in Sharpie pen?
  • The dog was euthanized within an hour of arriving at the shelter. An official at the shelter says the dog would not come out of the carrier, so they used a capture pole to pull him out. Let’s think about this for a minute: a dog is brought to an unfamiliar location with all it’s unfamiliar smells and sounds. Someone tries to take you from the only security you have (we know dogs are den animals, right?). They shove a pole into the carrier with a loop they slip over your neck. Then they yank you out of the carrier. Hmmmm… frightened dog yanked against his will shows some reluctance. THIS is what caused him to be labeled hostile? Aren’t these people accustomed to differentiating fear from hostility?
  • The shelter says they did not have any space. Did the dog not arrive in a carrier that could have been used in an emergency? After all, this was near the end of the day and “The law requires dog or cat owners be notified when their animal is impounded, if ownership can be determined, or the animal may be put up for adoption after at least seven days. The Code of Alabama also requires all counties to have a suitable pound and impound officer. Walker County, which has neither, is essentially breaking the law. The City of Jasper pays the Humane Society to impound its dogs.”
  • The dog’s neighbors brought him in??? Why did they not return him to the owner? Or if they did not know who the owner was and they felt he was such a nice dog, why did they not hold on to him… maybe put a sign in their front yard?
  • The shelter is clearly in need of help: Walker County Humane Society Director Lane Reno said “It’s not unusual to euthanize an animal once it comes through our doors. I mean, we get so many dogs in and there isn’t much room. And Tuesday we didn’t have any space.”
  • The determination that this Boxer was a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix shows the bad rap that has been bestowed on all Pit Bulls… a breed discrimination built on media-generated fear. Should they not know their breeds better?
  • The owner thinks his dog may have been sold. The shelter should have still had Boost’s body the next day.

Here’s the story:

Jasper, AL – Marcus Campbell was relieved to find out his lost boxer, named Boost, had been found Tuesday. The dog was at the Humane Society in Walker County, and Campbell was there to claim him the next morning before the doors even opened.

“She asked what I needed, and I said, ‘I’m here to pick up my dog that you got in at 4 o’clock.’ She said, ‘The only dog we got in at 4 o’clock was the boxer dog that an old couple brought in.’ I said, ‘Yes, ma’am. That’s him,’ and she said, ‘We done put him to sleep.'”

Campbell was too late. Boost was gone. Humane Society Executive Director Lane Reno says the dog came in at 4 and was put down by 4:30. At first, she thought the dog was a pit bull or pit bull mix, and says in those 30 minutes, her staff quickly evaluated Boost’s temperament. “We can have any individual bring a dog in. It’s a family pet. It’s never bitten anybody. It’s really nice, but I guarantee you if it tries to bite one of us while we’re reaching for it, we cannot and will not put that animal up for adoption.”

She says the 55 cages were already full, leaving no room for the moody boxer as the business day came to a close. The lack of space has become quite the issue as more and more strays are dropped off.

But Campbell maintains his dog was well behaved and was not a stray.

“It had a collar, and it was well fed. She should have known it was somebody’s dog.”

Campbell has hired an attorney because he believes there’s a chance the full bred Boost may have been sold. Reno denies that accusation. Meanwhile, the Humane Society’s board plans to meet with Walker County leaders to discuss getting some type of animal control for the unincoporated areas of Walker County.

The goal of this petition is for reformation of the Walker County Humane Society. We would like to see the law followed by the Walker County Humane Society as well as by its employees.

We first made attempts to contact board members of the Walker County Humane Society to remedy this situation, but once we saw these members were choosing to only listen to Lane Reno’s side of the story, we decided to go public with the truth about the Walker County Humane Society.

Article 1 | Article 2


If you live in this area of Walker Co. & have ever had this happen to you, please get in touch with the attorney that is handling Boost’s case.

Updated info June 2, 2009


  1. Jan Grant says:

    This story makes me sick! I have known and loved Boxers all my life. I have never seen one with a bad temperament.

  2. Redeana Russell says:

    This is so very disturbing to me. I don’t know how I would have handled this situation.

  3. Redeana Russell says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this family’s loss of their beloved pet. And applaud the steps that they are taking. To assure that this doesn’t happen to any one else.

  4. kevin leonard says:

    Wby dont they fire everyone who works in that place . Or set up a sting cause people are money hungry . And good dogs get stolen . Fire those peices of dirt .

  5. Susan Gaskell says:

    I hope this director is not still in charge at the Jasper facility and I hope that the NATIONAL Humane Society has taken some actions to restructure their branch operations so that they are truly a humane organization.

  6. isak says:

    I applaud Mr. Campbell’s goal to turn this tragedy into a reformed Humane Society. There seem to be so many such facilities that have managed to hide their problems, but the current economic stress is bringing these problems to the surface as more and more pets are being turned in.

    As for suggestions: I don’t know how many shelters you have and how they are set-up, etc., but…

    1. Perhaps as part of the submission process to a shelter, the info could be entered into a central database including a photo of the animal. This would be a requirement. This database could be searched via area shelters’ websites. Access for entering info into this database would be available to all the shelters in your area, county, state or however you want to deem access. It might take a little longer than the current submission process, but the time spent at this point would likely be made up further down the road. A lost pet would be reunited with its owner sooner resulting in less shelter time and fewer killings (no sense hiding the real word for it).

    2. Perhaps establish a program among several of the shelters where adoptable animals could be traded between the shelters maximizing their exposure to potential new homes.

    3. Include ID tags on all animals adopted from the facilities. There is a new product on the market — PawTags — that bridges the gap between rabies tags, name tags and microchips. Maybe broker a deal with them. They offer a live operator 27/7, options for finding a place to “hold” the pet, etc. You can read more on the post about PawTags.

  7. Cindy Wadsworth says:

    First, let me thank you for posting concerning our situation. Next I wanted to shed some light on some of your points. Yes, Boost’s owner has learned a very valuable lesson in regards to tags. Still no excuse for the Humane Society. Also, the director stated that he was brought in on a capture pole, although in another article in our local paper, the elderly couple who brought Boost in has said that is not true at all. That Boost was put on a leash, came out of the carrier easy and went it just as happy as you please. Also, this couple were “neighbors” but not right next door. They did not know who the owner was and felt like the Humane Society would be the safest place for this obvious pet to stay until the owner could find him. If they had only known….. they were never told this would be the outcome. One more thing… at first the body was not available… two days later it shows up after being drug out of the incinerator and a small percent of the charred carcass was offered to Mr. Campbell. That offer was declined. We are working torwards a positive change here in Walker County and any input will be appreciated. Anyone that would like to contact us in regards to this tragedy can do so through the facebook group linked on this blog. Thanks again for your post!!

What do you think?

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