Best friends, an animal social group where dogs are allowed to hang out with one another and socialize with their human companions, has been shut down by the owners of a dog.
The group has been closed for six months due to complaints from animal rights groups.
The owners of the K9 Dog and Cat Club said in a statement that they “are extremely saddened and dismayed that this group has become a target of animal activists who want to take down our beloved pets.”
The owners said they had “no intention” of closing the group, which was started by the two owners of an American Bulldog mix named Buddy, which they adopted from the Humane Society of the United States.
They said the owners were working with the group’s founder to find new owners for the dogs and their cat, as well as for the kennel that housed them.
The dogs have been part of the group for years, the owners said.
They were raised at the Humane Sanctuary in West Palm Beach, Florida, where they were fostered and trained by a group of foster and adoption agencies.
The shelter said in the statement that it had “decided to terminate the dog and cat club because the owners have failed to comply with their obligations to provide care to the animals.”
“We know that the dogs’ care and behavior was excellent and we are confident that the K-9 club will continue to operate safely and efficiently, as it always has,” the shelter said.
The Animal Liberation Front, a group that opposes animal cruelty and the use of dogs as security guards, said in its statement that the owners had “abandoned their dogs and cats” and “fled the country in search of new homes.”
“The animal rights group, along with the Humane League, have chosen to shut down the group because they believe the breeders and owners of K-8s and smaller breeds have failed in their obligation to protect animals,” the group said in an emailed statement.
The Humane League and its affiliates have repeatedly called for the adoption of small breeds and other smaller dogs to be euthanized.
“The Humane League is deeply disturbed that the members of the k9 dog and kitten club are so out of touch with their animals that they have chosen, without consulting us, to abandon their dogs, kittens and puppies,” the Animal Liberation group said.
It also said the Animal Protection League had “taken a stand against the breed of kennels in the past, and this is the third time that they will abandon the animals to the whims of activists.”
The Humane Society said in another statement that members had been unable to find any owners willing to take in the dogs.
The society said it had contacted the owners and asked them to return the dogs, but no owner had responded.