The people running the animal shelter in Cumberland County, NC need to get their heads on straight. First off they recently had a problem with distemper. And by “problem” I mean dogs suffered and died needlessly without veterinary care for months. Although they shelter 14,000 pets every year, they have no Vet on staff or even one who drops by on occasion.
To be clear, the place is called an animal shelter. It’s supposed to shelter animals. That’s what taxpayers are paying for. Of course nothing complements failing to do one’s job like a witty retort from your elected official:
County Commissioner Marshall Faircloth said the department’s priority is public safety, not animal welfare.
“With all due respect to animal lovers,” Faircloth said, “the animal shelter is not Club Med for animals. It is not an adoption agency, per se. It exists for the protection of the human public.”
Well since your shelter is killing 13,000 of the 14,000 pets you take in every year and letting the survivors suffer with distemper and who knows what else (no really, who knows, since there is no Vet around), I’d say you don’t have to worry about anyone thinking it’s “Club Med for animals”. (By the way, who is protecting the human public from your smug superiority?)
The county asked two professors from the vet school at NC State for recommendations on how to prevent another distemper outbreak at the shelter. The professors advised that (can you guess?) vaccinating all incoming pets would be the best preventive. But of course the Animal Services Board thought that was just ridiculous:
Most of the animals coming into the shelter have to be put to sleep and inoculating them against disease would be a waste of money, according to [chairman of the board and veterinarian John] Lauby.
“To vaccinate 14,000 animals and then euthanize 13,000 of them,” said Lauby, citing annual statistics, “that’s not a prudent use of taxpayer dollars. At least, I don’t think so.”
Right. I guess that would make sense if the sign on the place said Pet Slaughterhouse. But since it says “animal shelter”, I can’t help wondering if the county couldn’t do that sheltering animals thing instead of killing 93% of the pets that end up there. I get that it’s “not an adoption agency” but you know, maybe it could be? I mean, has that thought ever crossed anyone’s mind? Has any effort been made to do anything besides kill 13,000 pets every year? It doesn’t have to be Club Med but I don’t see any reason it has to be Club Dead either.