Two women in Pawhuska are heartbroken after they say the city plans to start euthanizing more dogs if the women can’t find them homes in a hurry.
Susie Owens and Vicki Godbehere from Pawhuska Pound Pals have been saving dogs from euthanization for the last two and a half years, but now they say the city has a much harsher time limit to get dogs out of the pound.
Owens and Godbehere say they’ve saved the lives of more than 400 dogs in Pawhuska since 2015.
“No one else is going to step up for these animals,” said Godbehere.
The two say they have been feeding, vetting, and even housing dogs until they could be rescued.
“Someone has to,” stated Owens. “It’s not the dogs’ fault that the owners failed them.”
Owens says they worked in cooperation with the city until last week, when Owens says things went sour.
“After the 72 hours, I now have 24 hours to get the dogs out of the pound,” she said. “If they’re not out of the pound in those 24 hours, they will be euthanized.”
The 72-hour rule is a city ordinance, but Owens says the city manager had allowed her to leave the dogs in there a little longer in the past – long enough to find the dog a forever home.
“Sometimes, they’d stay two, three, maximum they were five,” said Owens.
She says her key to the pound has been taken away and she’s not even allowed to be on the property anymore.
“If I go down there, I’ve been told I will be arrested,” she said.
Both Owens and Godbehere say they don’t understand the sudden change of heart. They say they’ve saved the city thousands of dollars in euthanasia fees.
“We’re not going away,” declared Owens. “I’m going to fight this for the animals.”
I reached out to the city manager several times but didn't hear back.
Police Chief Scott Laird didn't want to comment - he tells me the city manager is the person who needs to speak on the matter.