Lyons Animal Control has taken a lot of flack since January 20th, when they did a horrible mass murder of 77 dogs in one day and then put them all in one big burial pit on the property. The community got involved, the residents of the state got involved and even the people across the nation got involved. After articles started floating around the internet, people started calling Lyons to see why they did this. People wanted to know what was going on and to make sure it would never happened again. The City Council listened and got with their community to create a committee that is creating a policy and procedures for the shelter. They have been working to better the situation out in Lyons but this process is going to be a long one. In January, Councilman Willis NeeSmith will be the new mayor. With this, he is looking forward to helping and is very sympathetic towards Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS) for their relationship with helping the dogs and the animal control.
The main rescue SOAPS is doing everything they can to help the county out. They are there all the time helping the animals, feeding them, caring for them and getting them into foster homes and adopted. SOAPS know the county has a long way to go but they also know there has been progress since last January. Therisa, the owner of SOAPS has said, “No dogs have been euthanized in Lyons since the mass euthanasia except a few who were extremely sink or dangerous”. SOAPS helped over 100 dogs in one month get rescued and 90% of them came from Lyons Animal Control. They are helping and they are doing their job. People on Facebook are claiming that Lyons is still killing dogs, mistreating dogs (not taking care of or feeding) and they are about to do another mass murder. These are strictly allegations from people that do not know what is going on nor do they even try to know what is going on. Others just want to bring sympathy to the dogs in the hopes it will help get them adopted by creating fictitious stories, when in fact it is hindering this as then Lyons Animal Control hears these and wants to stop rescue efforts. They feel it may be the people that are there helping everyday when in fact it is others that are not even there, or have a different agenda all together. Just shameless!
The speculation has been that they are planning a mass murder at a location on Mt. Vernon and the current Mayor has approved. The truth to the matter is Mt. Vernon had a shelter that was vacant and not in use. SOAPS were granted permission to utilize the facility for overflow to get dogs adopted and into foster homes. Here SOAPS cared for these animals and treated them with much care and respect. Last week they were notified that Mt. Vernon was gathering the necessary people and funds to re-open their animal control facility so SOAPS would need to get their animals out as soon as possible. SOAPS began working on foster homes and putting each dog into foster care. For the ones that did not get foster care, they were put into boarding. Again they are caring for the animals, not harming them.
Lyons Animal Control is full. They are always full, but when you only have 16 kennels for all of Toombs County it can fill up quickly. Toombs County has an estimated 26,000 residents. Based upon the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) U.S. Pet Ownership Calculator, Toombs County would have an estimated 6,570 dogs living among the homes in Toombs County. Now just think if 1% of those dogs get out and away from their owners. That is 65 dogs running at large and with 16 kennels that is just not possible. Lyons Animal Control is doing the best they can with the resources they currently have. If the dogs have tags, they call the owners to pick them up. It they are microchipped, the owners are located and called to come get their dog. If there is nothing, they only have SOAPS to help get them out and adopted.
Is Lyons where they need to be on animal control? Maybe not, but they are defiantly headed in the right direction. That is all we can ask for. Is there room for improvement? There is always room for improvement, but that is with anything. For anyone with doubts to the situation, please call the animal control and ask for an appointment to go out there. See for yourself. Then when you want to judge them, stop and just ask how you can help. Ask what you can do that day to help a dog in need, or ask to help clean a kennel, or maybe bring a bag of dog food with you to help out. Never judge a person or place until you have physically been there or done what they do – First!
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