JERSEY CITY, NJ - JULY 24: A pit bull looks out from a cage in the Liberty Humane Society shelter July 24, 2007 in Jersey City, New Jersey. According to animal shelter statistics, around one-third of all dogs coming into shelters nationwide are pit bulls, up from just 2 to 3 percent fifteen years ago. An estimated 40,000 people are involved in illegal professional dogfighting in the U.S. which often involves pit bulls. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Photo: Mario Tama
Photo: Mario Tama

Animal shelter criticized for euthanization by gunshot

Because of the size of the city, Bristow is legally allowed to euthanize however officials see fit as long as they do so humanely, but state law does not clarify what is humane.

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Mayor Leonard Washington confirmed that three dogs, including a pit bull, were put down by gunshot in the last week.

Oklahoma law allows municipalities under 10,000 people to use any humane method to put animals down, but it does not define “humane.”

"I was outraged, as well as many other Bristow residents," said animal rescuer Beth Roberst. "I've never been associated with any humane society or shelter ever that's used this practice. ... It needs to be humanely done, compassionately, not with a bullet."

The mayor stressed that the main objective is to find homes for pets, but when dogs are left for long periods of time without being claimed or adopted, they are euthanized.

Some said they feel the shelter is targeting pit bulls, but the mayor said they do not pick out a specific breed, but instead euthanize based on how long the animal has been in the facility.

Residents said they have tried to help get word out about the animals in the shelter, but they were turned away.

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