You Give Love a Bad Name: Pets Continue to Suffer in Southern Shelters reports on a public meeting held to discuss animal control issues in the Macon, Georgia animal shelter.
Citing Macon Animal Control’s 80% kill rate for 2007, the reporter notes that at the time she visited the facility, the tally of animals available for adoption was:
Dogs: 4
Cats: 0
Approximately 20 other animals were on hold, awaiting medical clearance before being released for adoption. The shelter’s inhalant anesthesia machine is broken and so presumably only those surgeries performed under injectable anesthesia are taking place. A local Vet offered to perform surgeries at his practice but apparently Animal Control doesn’t have the personnel or vehicles necessary to transport pets there.
The outdoor carbon monoxide gas chamber, where almost 4000 animals were killed in groups last year, is functioning however. Given the shelter’s proximity to the city landfill, where the gassed pets are disposed of, the transportation challenges haven’t been an issue.
A fund has been established in an effort to raise money for killing pets individually by injection and for possibly relocating the shelter in future. Contact Macon City Council at (478) 751-7260 for information on how to contribute.
Full story here.

Meanwhile a Mayor in Arkansas is handling his animal control challenges another way: by releasing homeless dogs into the St. Francis National Forest. He thought it would be better to abandon the dogs in the forest than to house them in the shelter’s horrible conditions. O and an animal control officer suffered two dog bites and a sprained ankle over a 3 month period, which the Mayor obviously considers outrageous.
Never mind the fact that domesticated dogs are not wild forest animals and releasing them to freedom, as the Mayor puts it, is inappropriate. Never mind that our elected officials are being paid to serve their communities, not make rash decisions which will have many layered negative consequences. Never mind probing the reasons why there is a surplus of homeless pets in the South (poverty, substandard education system, lack of community service programs, etc.). My question: Isn’t this against some kind of federal law governing our national forests? If so, can the Mayor and any relevant parties involved in this inhumane act be prosecuted?

Update: The Mayor was questioned on June 13 by investigators from the U.S. Forest Service. And apparently the community isn’t too happy with the actions of their public servant either and have been voicing their annoying opinions. Says the Mayor: “You would think that from all the emails and calls I just unleashed the world’s greatest problem… We’re talking about 10 dogs.”
Read the full follow up article here.

Personal Note: In case any of you are wondering – and if you rely on media reports then quite possibly you are – MOST of us in the South are kind and normal people. Those of us who choose to have pets are responsible. We just don’t make the news as often as the bad apples.
This is my dog Emily, rescued from a South Carolina shelter, well loved and cared for. She might not win any beauty contests but she is a treasure to me.

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