Jeff Bass, the manager of the Robeson Co Animal Shelter in NC, is transferring to a new position within the county. The transfer is apparently unrelated to any performance issues at the shelter or the pending lawsuit against the shelter in which Mr. Bass is named:
Bill Smith, the director of the county Health Department, said in a voice mail left with The Robesonian that Bass asked for a transfer in April, saying that he worried about his and his family’s safety because of frequent death threats.
Albert Locklear, director of Environmental Services for the Health Department, will manage the pound on an interim basis, according to Smith.
Then he added: “If Mr. Locklear receives similar treatment as Mr. Bass did, we may move to just do what is required — rabies control and dog bites and look at closing the shelter.”
I think most normal people are in agreement that death threats against anyone for any reason are out of bounds. No one is going to help any shelter pets by making death threats against a shelter manager. I have no independent confirmation of the alleged death threats but suffice to say, the idea of it is nauseating.
As far as the posturing by Mr. Smith, that really rubs me the wrong way. It’s not clear to me what he means by “similar treatment”. Is he referring solely to the alleged death threats? If so, perhaps he intended the remark as a proactive measure to put the kibash on future threats against the new director, I don’t know.
Or is he referring to the “treatment” Mr. Bass received as being called out by animal advocates over shelter abuse and killing as well as being named in a lawsuit – along with Mr. Locklear and Mr. Smith himself – against the shelter? How the comment comes across to me is – If you animal advocates don’t stop pestering us about killing the community’s pets, we’ll just shut down the whole operation. Or, the shorter version – It’s our ball and we’re going home!