Cleveland Co Animal Control Sux

A kitten in NC was recently rescued from a storm drain by AC:

Little “Lucky” will never realize how fortunate he really is.

Right. Because he’s dead.

Backstory: After getting the kitten out the drain, AC slated him for death because of a bass-akwards policy which mandates the killing of any stray without proof of Rabies vaccine. That would mean definite death for “Lucky” who wouldn’t be old enough to get a Rabies vaccine, even if he had an owner. And obviously most strays aren’t carrying their proof of Rabies vaccines in their purses when picked up by AC. I guess that explains these sad stats:

Cleveland County Animal Control’s annual report for 2007 through 2008 reads that out of 6,750 animals at the shelter, 6,249 were euthanized.

According to that report, nine animals were adopted from the shelter and seven were adopted by the [Cleveland County] Humane Society. While the numbers are low, Lockridge said animal vaccinations and the county’s high rate of rabies are part of the reason.

Because of the publicity Lucky’s rescue received, there was a public outcry over the idea that he would be killed. Authorities relented and granted him a six month stay in quarantine at the Cleveland Co Humane Society (CCHS). But Lucky never made it out of AC. He apparently became ill and was left to suffer in his cage until the President of CCHS came to pick him up:

“He was curled up in a box, kind of lifeless,” Mebane said, describing Lucky. “That poor kitten was just left there in a cage, all alone, dying. No animal should have to lay there, left to die. We went straight to the vet and he died at the clinic.”

The vet that examined the kitten found him to be dehydrated, with white gums and a dangerously low body temperature.


“He was so weak that he could barely stand up on his own,” [Veterinarian Deanna] Moseley said. The kitten went into respiratory arrest and died.”

Since it presumably took several days for the kitten’s condition to deteriorate so badly, I would think someone would be held accountable. But it looks like all the locals involved are expert players at passing the buck:

Moseley conceded the county is limited in what they can provide to animals taken into the shelter.

Mebane agrees.

“It’s unfortunate that animal control isn’t set up to provide veterinary care,” she said. “It’s not their protocol.”

Sam Lockridge of Cleveland County Animal Control was unable to be reached for comment.

Moseley coined Lucky a “survivor,” but noted his story is just another scenario that happens locally on a daily basis.

No one person or group in particular is responsible for Lucky’s death, Moseley said.

So I guess that’s that. No harm, no foul. Unless you mean Lucky, or any of the other 6249 pets killed by Cleveland Co Animal Control in recent years. In which case: meh.

Added, 7-22-09: The Rabies vaccine policy mentioned with regards to Lucky:

“Policy will not allow us to sell someone a stray, unvaccinated animal,” said Sam Lockridge, coordinator of health services with the Cleveland County Health Department.

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