State & Regional News

Arizona shelter kills puppies to prevent overcrowding

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona animal shelter has spayed two pregnant dogs and killed more than two dozen full-term unborn puppies.

Maricopa County officials confirmed Thursday that the pups were not removed from the birth sac and were killed by doses of anesthesia given to the mother.

Chief veterinarian Dr. Valerie Moser tells The Arizona Republic ( ) that Maricopa County Animal Care and Control would have euthanized the pups even if they had shown movement because the shelter is overcrowded.

She says a well-run shelter shouldn't euthanize dogs for space and allow other dogs to have puppies. According to Moser, terminating unborn pups is part of a shelter policy that was recently re-enacted. It was suspended more than a year ago because of public outrage over the practice.

Information from: The Arizona Republic,

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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