Citrus animal shelter under fire

15 dogs put down in first two weeks of September
Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 17:45:07-04
Barbara Platt said the dog she brought to Citrus County Animal Services didn’t deserve to die.
“She would love you to death. Lick you to death. That’s the only harm she would do to a person,” she said.
But the dog named 'Leena' and at least 15 others were euthanized in the first two weeks of September.
“I don’t usually complain, but when I see something that’s not right, and they can’t speak for themselves, I just want to open my big mouth for them,” said Platt.
The dogs were put down at the order of Interim Animal Services Director Tobey Phillips.
She’s taken a lot of heat during her short time in charge, even having to shut down her Facebook account after online attacks and threats.
Some volunteer are upset they weren’t consulted before the dogs were put down.
“We want to see a new director brought in that has compassion for the animals and has experience,” said animal advocate Frank Yuelling.
But some think the nastiness directed at Phillips crossed the line.
“I’m very disappointed in you, county commissioners, for not standing behind your employees,” said one speaker at the commission meeting.
Citrus County leaders listened to several criticisms of the shelter, but said they are taking action now.
The county is interviewing for a new director.  It is also drawing up a new ordinance allowing rescues to adopt dogs that have been deemed aggressive, saving them from euthanasia.
Meanwhile the animals supporters will continue their fight.
“We are not asking to save every dog, but give us a chance to save dogs that deserve to be saved,” said a speaker.