This note, posted on Facebook, is purportedly from the Robeson Co Animal Shelter (RCAS) director, April Lowry:
I am not writing this to you in defense i am writing this to you stating the facts…I do not need a defense…
What an opener.
First I will state that we have failed 2 inspections due To being over capacity.
I checked on the last 2 inspections for RCAS. Indeed they are both fails but multiple issues are cited. On July 29, there was an animal welfare inspection and a euthanasia inspection (both are pdfs). Failed items include:
- 4 cats crammed in one cage
- Broken air conditioning units in the cat room so the temperature was too high. A fan was brought in and the manager advised new AC units were ordered and scheduled for installation next week.
- Cracks in the concrete floor need to be sealed
- Food and water bowls have been chewed up and need to be replaced
- Rodent droppings in restroom, bugs in pet food
- Inadequate staff – by 3:30pm, the quarantine section of the shelter still hadn’t been cleaned for the day.
- Sick cat had been at the shelter for 2 weeks without veterinary care
- Cleaning is being done with dish soap and bleach. Shelter needs to check with the vet for which disinfectants are appropriate for disease control.
- Re-inspection to be conducted in 2 weeks.
August 12 (Follow up inspection to make sure items noted from last visit have been addressed):
- Materials to fix some of the issues are on site but the work hasn’t been done.
- 5 dogs had no resting platforms
- Cat overcrowding issue unchanged
- Chewed food/water receptacles still not replaced
- Kill room has evidence of rodents
- Open bag of pet food
- Cleaning not complete by 3pm
- Dogs were too hot.
- Sick kittens had been at the shelter for 2 weeks without vet care. Sick puppies had been at the shelter for more than 1 week without vet care. A dog with multiple bite wounds has not been seen by the vet.
- The shelter’s power goes out for extended periods of time. Shelter needs to be checked on by staff more frequently on weekends.
- Re-inspect in 30 days.
To my mind, the shelter failed these inspections due to far more than being “over capacity”. I’m not sure how anyone could characterize these failures in that way. The conditions described are inhumane and lacking the basics of appropriate shelter pet care and prevention of disease. Perhaps RCAS is “over capacity” for neglect, but that’s not one of the categories on the inspection form.
The Facebook note also refers to the recent killing of all dogs under one year of age at the shelter due to 2 puppies testing positive for parvo:
This is merely disease control…
Uh, no. Make that – NO WAY. Disease control is checking with the vet, like you were told, and finding out what cleaners to use to control disease at the shelter. Disease control is getting your quarantine areas and the rest of your shelter cleaned every day in a timely manner. Disease control is getting vet care and treatment for sick shelter pets. What you did is not “merely disease control”. It’s unnecessary killing in lieu of doing your job.
We will never get the problem here at the shelter rectified because people in our community fail to spay and neuter and also fail to vaccinate. Vaccination is a good prevention for this disease, but unfortuneatly these animals have not been vaccinated due to them being unwanted and dumped here.
Oh good. Let’s blame the public. Always a good fallback position for a shelter director trying to shirk responsibility. By the way, is RCAS leading by example and getting a vet to examine all pets upon intake and vaccinating those deemed healthy enough to be vaccinated?
I have all been told “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” and this is so true.
I agree. If only you’d done your job and followed the specific directions given to you at your failed inspection from July 29, that would have been worth at least an ounce of prevention. But instead of using standard, established shelter protocols to control the spread of disease and instead of addressing the issues from your failed inspections, you chose to needlessly kill pets and then blame the public.
If this note was in fact written by the RCAS shelter director, I am appalled. If not, the facts remain that RCAS is not working to prevent the spread of disease at the shelter but instead killing pets arbitrarily as a means of disease control. That too, is appalling.