Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in Georgetown was established as a no-kill shelter, but it is believed 19 dogs at the shelter were euthanized Nov. 14.
An additional 18 dogs were transferred to other shelters.
While they did not confirm 19 dogs were euthanized, officials from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Safe Haven announced Nov. 14 that some dogs previously housed there were put down.
The dogs were evaluated by the ASPCA, which began working at the sanctuary when Safe Haven was no longer able to pay staff.
Emily Schneider, spokeswoman for ASPCA, said, “Some dogs, due to severe behavior issues, were such a threat to other animals or humans that they were evaluated as unsuitable for adoption. Some were humanely euthanized.”
As for how many dogs were euthanized, Schneider said Safe Haven was responsible for the fate of each dog and referred questions to the Safe Haven board.
Safe Haven released a statement saying, "With the support of the animal welfare community and the public, we were able to place an overwhelming majority of the dogs through transfers to local partners, adoptions, and out-of-state relocations."
"We are grateful for all of the lives that were saved and the support that we received during this difficult time," the statement said.
Safe Haven spokeswoman and board member Lynn Lofthouse said the shelter is not making any further statements.
Schneider said there were 105 dogs at the facility when the ASPCA arrived Oct. 16. Since then, 86 dogs were adopted out, she said.
According to a count by Tacia McIlvaine, who was supposed to pick up two dogs from Safe Haven before being denied entry Nov. 14, 18 dogs removed from the Georgetown facility were placed in nine shelters stretching from Delaware to Maine.
McIlvaine said after going through the Safe Haven facility before its closing she noted the identities of 19 dogs that were slated to be euthanized, including Wilton, a pit bull McIlvaine had attempted to get out of the shelter Nov. 14. She said the ASPCA has confirmed that 19 dogs were euthanized.
While the location of all the remaining dogs has not been verified, two pit bulls, Prince and Ivy, were received Nov. 15 at Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick, Maine.