County animal shelter puts out euthanasia list due to record number of dogs, animal advocates concerned

All dogs want the same thing.

"Just want to be home. Just want to be with someone, they just want to be in a better situation than they are," said Dr. Max Vigilant Interim Director at Harris County Pets.

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Vigilant has been with Harris County Public Health for more than three decades.

"His past work experience is food quality/water. Nothing to do with animals," said Jennifer Braudway with BARC Task Force. "What makes him qualified and why was he chosen?"

Vigilant has only been the Interim Director since last July. The shelter currently has some 475 dogs, the highest number ever.

"One dog goes out, I've got three coming in. There are days we have no fosters or adoptions, or one goes out, and 21 come in," Vigilant said.

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"Last week, they started a daily euthanasia list coming out in the morning, and they have to be saved by 6 p.m. that day," said animal advocate Angela Jackson.

"We need more time if they tell us they're going to euthanize a dog. They can't drop that on us that moment. We need time to network, and networking isn't easy," said animal advocate Judy Hausler.

Vigilant says there's a lot of misinformation on social media about the euthanasia list. He says it's not daily, just twice a week.

"I've got 154 animals in the back. That have been here more than the period they should be, which is 45 days," he said.

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Vigilant says the euthanasia list is based on animals that have been at the shelter the longest.

He points out some dogs drop off the euthanasia list, but that doesn't mean they are dead.

"We are transparent. There is nothing hidden anywhere," Dr. Max said.

We can all help by adopting, fostering, volunteering or donating.

"We need volunteers. We need fosters, we need adopters. We need new rescues to step up if they're available," said animal advocate Christine Toomey.


All pet adoption fees are currently being waived.

For additional information on how you can volunteer or donate to the shelter, click here