UPDATE 6:01 a.m. (7/1/22): After a post from the Martinsville Henry County SPCA — which said that Henry County Animal Control was losing its animal control officer next week and would be euthanizing pets — was shared more than 1,400 times on Facebook, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office provided some clarification about the situation.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office would like to correct some misinformation recently posted to a Facebook page regarding our Animal Shelter.  The Henry County Animal Shelter is operating as normal with enforcement and care of animals. A post stated we were discontinuing with an Animal Control Officer, but this is incorrect. Enforcement and protection against animal cruelty is a vital part of our office and important to our community. We will continue these services. Also, someone may misinterpret a post to mean that our office would be euthanizing animals at our shelter for space considerations.  This is not true.  Even though we hope to never have to euthanize an animal, on occasion instances do occur where this is necessary or may be required by law.  We work diligently with our shelter partners to transfer as many animals as possible to adopt out.  Along with many successful adoptions, we strive to reunite animals with their rightful owner.  Currently, we are taking applications for a Shelter Office Manager position that will be a full-time position with the Sheriff’s Office.  This will enable us to better serve the animals in our care and our community pet owners.  If interested and qualified for this position please visit the Henry County website and go to the Job Openings link to apply.  

Statement released on June 30, 2022 by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office

As of this writing, the Martinsville Henry County SPCA has yet to respond to the statement from the sheriff’s office.

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — With animal shelters across the country already dealing with capacity issues — not to mention preparing for a surge in missing pets over the holiday weekend — the Martinsville Henry County SPCA put out an urgent plea for help Wednesday in order to prevent pets from losing their lives.

According to the SPCA, Henry County Animal Control is losing its animal control officer next week, which means animals will be euthanized in order to make as much space as possible since there won’t be a new officer until September or October.

“The grim reality is if we do not get these precious animals out soon they will be euthanized,” the SPCA wrote on social media on Wednesday, June 29. “Please open your hearts and your home to a dog in need. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!!”

SPCA staff members say they have tagged some animals to bring to their shelter as soon as they have enough room, which means they are in urgent need of fosters and adopters for adult dogs.

“Everyone is at capacity and space is at a premium!” the shelter posted. “Please consider adding to or starting your pack.”

The SPCA posted pictures of the four dogs that have been at the shelter for the longest time, as well as a video tour of the shelter’s available pets. You can also check out of every adoptable animal on the SPCA’s website.

On Thursday, June 30, the SPCA posted a statement providing clarification about the euthanasia situation in Henry County:

We would like to clarify some misconceptions that have come to light since we posted about the urgent situation with Henry County Animal Control. The SPCA is a no-kill facility! We do not euthanize animals. The SPCA administers medical care and upkeep along with emotional care as best we can. We also do our best to reach out to rescue organizations and other shelters for placements when we are at capacity. Unfortunately the number of animals being surrendered to shelters has skyrocketed nationwide. It is a problem everywhere. If you or someone you know has been thinking about adding to their pack, now is the time. It is an urgent situation! We appreciate the support of our awesome community!

Additionally there has been some confusion about the animals pictured with the emergency post. Those babies are safe at the SPCA shelter. They are some of our longest residents and need to find a home.

Statement shared on Facebook by the Martinsville Henry County SPCA on June 30, 2022

If you want to help save an animal’s life, you are encouraged to visit the Martinsville Henry County SPCA or the Henry County Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible.

You can find more information about adopting –including the adoption application — or fostering on the SPCA’s website.

This news comes just days before one of the busiest times of the year for animal shelters across the U.S. — the Fourth of July. Many pets get scared off by the sounds of the fireworks, the number of strangers in their homes, and other elements of Independence Day festivities.

In fact, according to an infographic shared by the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office last year, there is a 30% increase in pets that go missing over Fourth of July.

You can find tips on how to keep your pets safe from potential holiday hazards — including noise anxiety — by following this link.