WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 03, 2010, 09:43 PM

26 Dogs Will Be Euthanized At Circle of Friends Humane Society Because Of Rabies

Twenty six dogs at the Grand Forks Circle of Friends Humane Society will be euthanized next week.

Twenty six dogs at the Grand Forks Circle of Friends Humane Society will be euthanized next week.

Arlette Moen/Executive Director: "Every single day they take care of these pets, and they love them, and it's like taking your children away from you."

These tears are for 26 dogs at the Circle of Friends Humane Society that will be put down next week. Today the Board of Animal Health recommended that all dogs that were at the Grand Forks shelter between March 15th to the 20th be euthanized. That's because a dog that was at the shelter during those days tested positive for rabies.

Arlette Moen/Executive Director: " Even if we vaccinated the dog when it came in it wouldn't have help. You can not cure a dog that already has rabies."

Each dog has little to no contact with any other dog. Each dog has its own pen and it's even on a leash all the way up to its adoption.

Arlette Moen/Executive Director: "Any exposure was extremely low the dog may not have been shedding the virus until it left the shelter, and I think that it's very important for people to understand."

Health officials say it was a difficult decision to make, but they're being extra cautious because of the seriousness of rabies.

Dogs like these puppies weren't even in same room as the dog with rabies, but because they were in the building, health officials recommend they be put down.

Arlette Moen/Executive Director: "The blame lies here with owners not vaccinating their pets, Absolutely, Rabies is preventable by vaccinating you pets for rabies."

But even though it's heart-breaking for these employees at the Humane Society to see the dogs put down.

Louise Olsen/Employee: "It's hard"

They're giving the dogs what many dogs on the street never get the opportunity to have: a human's warmth, love, and heart.

Louise Olsen/Employee: "We feel that a lot of these dogs come here and aren't, haven't felt the love or the human contact so I would not take back loving those dogs while they were here."

The Board of Animal Health is also recommending that another about ten dogs be put down or strictly quarantined for six months. Those dogs were at the shelter from March 15th to the 20th, but have since been adopted.