An animal shelter in Oklahoma is under scrutiny after it emerged it was euthanisings dogs by shooting them. Residents of Bristow, Creek County, have been complaining about the practice on social media.

Bristow mayor, Leonard Washington, told Fox23 that the shelter's objective was to find homes for the animals, but that some are euthanised if they have been left unclaimed or adopted at the shelter for too long.

Oklahoma law states that municipalities with under 10,000 people may use any method to put down the animals, so long as it is humane. The law does not define what is meant by humane. Bristow is a city of around 4-5,000 people.

Local residents tried to get access to the facility but were turned away. A local reporter attempted to visit the remaining dogs but was told it was a restricted area. There had been suggestions that the city was unfairly targeting pit bulls in the practice but the mayor disputed that, saying that they only euthanise when an animal has spent too long at the facility.

Pit bulls are often mistakenly thought to be a more dangerous or aggressive breed of dog.