Cleveland for a No Kill City activists said they learned on Thursday morning that animal control officers at Cleveland Animal Control had killed three dogs. They said Animal Control had told the activists on Wednesday that they had until Friday to get these three dogs out of the pound.
The group said, "All of the dogs were healthy and adoptable, and they were killed while kennels remained empty at the city facility."
Cleveland for a No Kill City said it has had a verbal operating agreement with Shelter Director Gene Smith since December 2012. Activists with the organization said they "are given deadlines of when dogs must be out of the shelter and since December, those deadlines have been honored. This has given the nearly 100 volunteers who are part of Cleveland for a No Kill City the opportunity to drop the kill rate at the shelter to less than 5 percent.
"The scenario under which the dogs were killed Thursday is similar to another such killing spree that occurred in November 2012.
"Smith was on vacation both times when the operating agreement was violated."
In November, activists staged a peaceful and silent candlelight vigil at animal control the morning after the killing. A similar vigil is scheduled for Friday morning at 7:45 outside the gates of the animal control facility at 360 Hill Street SE, Cleveland.
An internal investigation by the Cleveland Police Department, under which animal control is operated, found no wrong-doing on the part of animal control officers who killed the dogs in November. The internal investigation cited that activists only had a verbal agreement.
The group said, "Despite several pushes by Cleveland for a No Kill City, the Cleveland City Council has failed to make a commitment to any type of policy change that would put such agreements in writing."