Euthanized puppies at Surry Co. Animal Shelter causes outrage

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DOBSON, N.C. -- Animal advocates are calling on county commissioners to fire Surry Animal Shelter Director Gary Brown.

Animal rescue groups are asking for Brown's removal after he ordered five healthy puppies be euthanized Friday just hours after they were surrendered to the shelter and knowing animal rescue volunteers were trying to save them on short notice.

"We can find places for these dogs to go but not if you kill them before the end of the day," said Melanie Morrison, with Carolina Caine Rescue.

Morrison says volunteers were told by a shelter staff member that they had room to keep the puppies until Monday. The puppies were killed just hours later. "There was no reason to kill the puppies and I don't want my tax money going to support [Brown's] salary."

All questions for Brown were referred to his boss Surry County Health Director Samantha Ange, who reviewed his actions and backed his decision.

A prepared statement from her office stated that because the puppies were surrendered, "No policies were violated" and claimed "at no time on Friday were Animal Control staff asked to hold the animals until Monday."

Brown has come under fire in recent years for the shelter’s high euthanization rate and for failing to work with animal rescue groups. That changed last year after highly publicized protest and county commissioners forced Brown to open the shelters doors to volunteers and animal rescue groups trying to find homes for shelter animals.

"Mr. Brown has been given clear guidance from this point going forward of what is expected of him from the county commission," said Eddie Harris, chairman of the Surry County Commissioners. "We expect him to fulfill that charge. The boards of commissioners are going to do the right thing."

Since January of this year, 160 animals have been rescued from the shelter, 124 more animals compared to the same time period last year and before a new policy allowing rescue groups went into place.

"We are making some progress ... but still have a way to go," said animal advocate Paula Stanley. "If there is room there should be no reason to kill a healthy dog especially when they've reached out to us to find a home and we worked all weekend to do that."


    • santana

      there are never any dogs in there when i go they all should be fired and put the animal lovers in control this guy should be put to sleep i hope you know mr. brown you will get whats coming to you

      • Donna

        correcting someone’s spelling when they are trying to make a point is rude. Grow up and be nice.

      • sunseeker

        Actually, It was a simple typo Raven Youngblood. Hmmm…I correct myself. Two typos that I made at 2:30 am in the morning. I can guarantee you this, my IQ is a great deal higher than the idiot running the animal shelter. How is this for you – Too bad Surry county can’t learn something from neighboring counties like Guilford with a 98% adoption rate or even the little town of Burlington. Raven, does that make you feel better about my comment? Or would you approve if I used larger words? I can probably pull out the thesaurus if you want me to.



    • mj

      Yes, as a matter of fact and thank God, there are people that do care. Anyone that doesn’t IMO is wasting space here on earth….

    • sunseeker

      Actually, I think the correct wording should be “Do you think anyone cares”. See there what I did? But hey, who am I to judge…I make typographical errors in the middle of the night.

      • Sunseeker

        This was directed at Raven’s comment of “do you think anybody cares” which has strangely disappeared. Perhaps her comment was deleted. At any rate, this story makes me sick and it has been going on way too many years. Wasn’t there an issue a few years ago of a worker putting two cats in the gas chamber a the same time to watch them fight? SICK SICK SICK people in that county that are uneducated, heartless and ignorant. Perhaps one day a change will come. This is why I’m glad I left and really never looked back.

  • lisa

    This is pretty ridiculous pathetic of typical county state government employees using tax payers money at will as they see fit to do so. I would have been gladly adopted couple of there animals if they would ever open the doors.I find this appalling to just kill a animal at will. Check out a animal social site called petsandfriendsnetwork ( dot )com

    • Raven Youngblood

      Killing animals at will….LOL…how about we talk about this over a nice steak dinner, or meet at KFC for some chicken.

      Why not run on down there and get a couple dogs this morning….I’m sure there are at least 2 there that needs a good home.

      • RCC

        Or better yet…discuss it at an abortion clinic. Since everyone is against killing an “animal at will” that should be a nice discourse.

  • Linda

    Surry County residents need to speak loudly – vote out any person who supports this brutal man.
    Brown obviously does not like the local rescue people. Killing off puppies is a way of getting back at them for exposing his cruel management of this facility.
    Next county commissioner’s meeting needs to be overwhelmed with folks who want this facility to change !!

  • Teresa

    I thought there were laws that stated they have to hold an animal for so many days (I thought it was 3 days) before they put them down? This makes me sick! Why? Was it to much trouble to come feed them over the weekend? I would have been glad to go do it!!!!

    • mj

      If it’s an owner surrender, no, they can euthanize immediately. Doesn’t mean they should, just that they can. Sad thing is, whomever surrendered them will probably be bringing in another litter months down the road. There are free/lowcost spay/neuter clinics that people will not take advantage of, they just keep letting them breed and dumping the pups at the shelter or on the side of the road. Disgusting!! There need to be laws in place to put an end to this cycle..

  • david

    gary brown and his boss samantha should be fired.and i mean fired.they can support their decisions all they want becauses they are the bosses,yet when they are fired,lets see who will point the blame,and you know it will be a he said,she ,said of them are going,,home,only time will tell

  • mj

    These people should be ashamed of themselves. Those beautiful puppies!!! What a shame! Gary Brown is just a fat, lazy, miserable slob!!!

  • lisa

    I say lets protest in front of this animal shelter a peaceful protest. If they get fired they still probably get a pay check and a bonus like the rest of these CEO’S and head honchos get .. And to those that said about steak and chicken theres a difference that’s for food consumption these animals dogs cats are not food consumption…. Abortion that’s her own choice not mine not yours its called freedom what little we do have left we need to fight for what we do have left

  • neal hall

    We have killers everywhere…. Some think that only killing innocent humans (or even not so innocent) is cruel. And then some think that killing innocent animals is cruel. Whenever, or wherever we can save a life, regardless of human or animal, we should at least try. It seems like this individual in charge of the shelter has very little sympathy for life itself, especially when it comes to helpless animals. Someone who appreciates the sanctity of all life, and to only kill as a last resort (or to put food on the table), should be in his position. My vote is for the commissioners to replace him ASAP, and a primary characteristic of his replacement should be appreciation of all animal life, whether human or otherwise.

  • DEBI

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!! THEY should be euthanized. So wrong! what is wrong with these people? Puppies are usually the first to get adopted! They didn’t even try…..I KNOW God will judge them, and I don’t know how they sleep. How would they feel if their CHILDREN were put to sleep? to alot of us, animals are OUR children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Here the rescue workers are trying SO HARD to save lives, and those stupid people up there don’t even care! They should all be fired, and something horrible done for the disrespect of life..


  • DEBI

    Surry county shelter should be CLOSED & FINED!!! Let THEIR county pay $ for this mishap, and they should serve time. CLOSE THAT SHELTER AND bring the little animals to a place where they HAVE A CHANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PSL

    Surry County is one of the worst in the area. They let someone who had two horses die in his care, several others in his care were malnourished – one abused and they slapped him on the hand and he still has animals!! Mr. Brown needs to GO! They need to find someone who WANTS to help and make changes and TRY to find ways to get animals adopted, placed with rescues and to boost and promote spay and neuter programs rather than someone who finds it easier to just kill them off and keep his costs down and his pockets lined. And for those on here complaining – dont complain – do something about it. Repost this and stir the pot on social media – make people aware of the situation and make some noise so hopefully someone will eventually listen and make some needed changes!!!

    • neal hall

      Instead of Moral Monday’s in Raleigh, we need to have Moral Monday’s in Surry county… I’m not from Surry county, but I would drive there to help protect the animals….

  • Kristen

    Unless the owner of those beautiful puppies provided written proof of ownership and signed a consent form stating the puppies could be euthanized before the minimum holding period of 72 hours was up then Gary Brown broke the law!

  • Save A Mutt-Kennel

    Here is a facebook page that I made a few years ago. It has listings of the articles and news stories starting from June 2012 when we held a protest at the shelter. We informed the public a little more about the awful euthanasia rates at the shelter. We wanted to get it out there up front for everyone to see. The rescues KNEW what a bad track record they had, but the general public was clueless. All that is available for anyone to see on the NC Dept Of Agriculture website. It is available for every shelter in the state.

    I have learned some pretty frightening things over the last 2 years. Did you know that the majority of people who dump animals are clueless? They have no idea that they have the right to kill your animal as soon as you walk out there door. As soon as the paper is signed basically it is a done deal.

    Also cats do not stand a chance in hell there. Did you know over 97 percent or more of the thousands of cats that end up at the shelter are killed? Do you know what they do with them? They kill them and then put them in a freezer to sell to a medical research company. THIS IS FACT AND PUBLIC information yet not many people knew it. I am not totally against the medical research thing, but they used it as an excuse to not do more for the cats than they have. It is easier to kill them than to try to promote them to new homes.

    Also, another issue I have with them. They had kept cats at a local store in Mt.Airy. ONE of the cats came down with a simple respiratory infection that could have been treated with a $10 course of amoxicillian or a med like Clindmycin which is cheap as well. Do you know what they did? They took that cat and everyone in the store EVEN ONES THAT WERE NOT SHOWING ANY SIGNS OF BEING SICK and KILLED THEM. This happened not one but several times.

    There has been a lot of improvement this year with the rescues being able to work with Abraham Doby as acting director. I just wish they would give the job to him for real instead of using that as a front to make everyone happy.

  • sunseeker

    my last comment was directed @ravenyoungblood but her comment seems to have disappeared. troll. I don’t know why I expended my energy.

  • Kevin Mitchell

    The article is correct that no laws were violated by killing the puppies on the same day, since they were surrendered. With that being said what was violated was the belief by the general population that the shelter should “shelter” the animals and make every effort to find them homes. If the politicians of Surry County actually want to make change as is indicated in the comment (“Mr. Brown has been given clear guidance from this point going forward of what is expected of him from the county commission,” said Eddie Harris, chairman of the Surry County Commissioners. “We expect him to fulfill that charge. The boards of commissioners are going to do the right thing.”) then unfortunately Mr. Brown needs to be relieved of his duties due to poor performance over the years and replaced with an Animal Advocate who will strive for finding homes for all the animals in the shelter via adoption, rescue and allowing volunteers full access to do what is needed to facilitate getting the word out about what is available at the shelter. We (Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolina’s) like all rescues rely on the information volunteers and caring shelter staff send us.

    Please read the post by Save a Mutt-Kennel. All this information is PUBLIC record but is known by only a small part of the public. Voters can cause change by holding the county commissioners accountable for the actions of their shelter via the voting process.

    Kevin Mitchell
    Intake Coordinator
    Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolina’s

  • Bonnie Nichol DeBlauwe

    Samantha Ange and Gary Brown both should be let go and there should be ppl with the love of animals be put in charge. This is uncalled for. Need to get them both out of office. Someone needs to

  • Denise Heric

    They ALL should be fired!!!! To follow someone’s orders to euthanize those puppies so quick…. How can they sleep at night knowing they murdered for the sake of a f..ked up job.
    People that work in kill shelters must get their kicks!!!

  • sue

    That’s why we call it “sorry county”…. has been and still is in some ways. For a county wishing to be “forward”-looking and wanting those tourist and business dollars, don’t you think this really adds to the attraction of the area?
    It’s really is time to get out of the dark ages..
    And as for the cats (see above comment that most get euthanized), gee, it’s a great way to make some $$$ selling them to the medical supply companies.. who cares about their lives (definitely not the good ol’ boys-and gals- running the county!
    So let’s show up for the next county meeting…when is it?

  • icyfire

    FIRE HIM .. THIS HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH!! a couple of years ago i went and picked out a dog to bring home from that shelter .. i was a little short on money .. i told the people at the shelter that i wanted the dog and i needed to go to my house to get more money .. when i returned to the shelter ( no even an hour later) the dog had been put down. Dobson does not have an animal shelter they have a KILL shelter!

    • Steven Casey

      Not only should Gary Brown be fired, he should also be charged with animal cruelty.

      On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM, – News, Weather, Sports and more from WGHP Fox 8 Televisi

  • Stephanie

    Very disturbing….he needs to be fired immediately along with his boss. If he has a problem with or doesn’t like the local rescues, he’s such a miserable person. I know several rescue groups that would have taken them all. What a jerk. We all need to ban together and stop the senseless deaths.

  • Juliann

    I believe it is time for the BOC to step in and investigate the shelter. It is paid for by citizen’s tax dollars. There are just too many incidents like the news story to indicate that something is wrong. Surry County has a lot of problems with treating animals poorly. There was a time when pets were not fixed and had litter after litter. Now there are operations available for this but some people have not moved to modern times and appear to be immune to education on the subject of fixing their animals. The owners of these puppies were irresponsible in not fixing the mother. However, at least they took the responsibility of taking the puppies to the shelter. It would be preferable to euthanize animals humanely than to do what so many in Surry County do – dump them by the side of the road to starve, get run over and suffer as they die, wander around and get chased away from home after home. I have had to call the shelter when someone dumped a sick mother dog and puppies out on a cold, rainy day. They were starving to death – you could see their ribs and we gave them some food and some blankets but could not take them in. We already have several animals courtesy of the ignorant in Surry County – strays we took in but there is a limit to how much we can afford.

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