Catawba Co has completed its killing of all 220 pets in the shelter, purportedly due to a mystery illness. They are now closed for cleaning and scheduled to reopen next week. Jay Blatche, the shelter director, defends the mass killing:
Blatche and some county officials say they have received calls and e-mails from some people upset over how the situation was handled.
Blatche says closing the shelter and euthanizing the animals was a last resort, but “the only choice to keep the illness from spreading.”
If killing 220 pets, including healthy ones, was “a last resort”, what were the alternatives? What options were explored and deemed less desirable than killing every pet in the place? Was this illness affecting both dogs and cats? (That would be unusual.) What sorts of tests were run by the animal virus labs? Were the labs asked to identify the virus or were they simply asked for a basic test (e.g. Is this parvo?)?
Taxpayers have a right to know all this information and I find it mystifying that the county hasn’t been completely transparent in their actions. After all, the consequences for the community’s pets at the shelter were extreme. Shouldn’t the public be informed as to why such drastic action was deemed necessary?
Further, I ask again if Catawba Co has standard shelter protocols in place to prevent the spread of disease such as veterinary exam upon intake; vaccination, treatment and/or isolation as deemed appropriate by the vet; and routine cleaning procedures in line with best practices. Because if Catawba Co isn’t at least following the standard, proven methods of disease control at the shelter, I can’t even begin to consider any justification for the killing of 220 pets in their care.
Anyone with additional info on the shelter, please post in the comments or drop me an e-mail.