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Robeson Co Animal Shelter: Bring Out Your Undead

Since the Robeson Co Animal Shelter in NC doesn’t have a shelter vet, they pay private veterinarian Curt Locklear to kill pets at the shelter.  Recently, allegations have emerged that Dr. Locklear is improperly euthanizing some pets at the shelter – that is, failing to confirm death before tossing them in a truck with dead pets.  That truck dumps its load at the landfill, where the pets who weren’t dead wake up and start walking around.

Susan Barrett, a local animal activist, “says live animals have been found several times at the landfill”:

“One is too many. And it’s not just the one, not just the two, not just the three. This is happening way too often,” Barrett said.

The number of live pets Robeson has sent to the dump appears to be in dispute.  Dr. Locklear puts the number at one:

[Dr. Locklear] confirmed that there was a recent instance in which a live puppy was transported to the landfill, but said he was unaware of any other similar incidents.

He said the animal had been sedated, but the second part of the process — a heartstick or IV injection — was not performed.

“It was just a mistake,” he said. “When it was discovered alive, the puppy was brought to my office, where it was euthanized properly.”

No word on whether the puppy had been medically hopeless and suffering prior to the unimaginable terror he experienced waking up among dead pets at the dump, but Robeson does kill healthy/treatable pets and I don’t know in which category this puppy belonged.  In any case, if he was healthy/treatable, what kind of person would go back and finish the job, so to speak, after learning the puppy had been subjected to such horror?  I guess what I’m asking is, what would it take to inspire Dr. Locklear to spare one puppy’s life?

[Susan Barrett] said that until this past week, animals were euthanized on the floor of the kennel in front of other animals rather in the shelter’s euthanasia room.

If this is accurate, I have to wonder how anyone could allow such cruelty to occur at what is supposed to be a safe haven for pets.  It’s inexcusable.

The shelter’s response was to get the manager, Lori Baxter, certified so that all the killing could be done in-house:

The manager of Robeson County’s animal shelter plans to take over euthanasia responsibilities at the shelter next week after at least two live puppies were sent to the county dump.

Two, one, several – whatever.  It was just a mistake.  *shrug*

Per Ms. Baxter:

“The staff over here is working hard to get this turned around, and we need the support of the community, not their hate mail.”

Got it community?  You do not have permission to express your outrage at the killing of healthy/treatable pets, some of whom may be waking up in the landfill after only being sedated by the vet the county uses your tax dollars to pay to kill them.

Ms. Baxter should have some extra time to whip up community support this week as the state has halted killings at the shelter:

State regulators have ordered the Robeson County Animal Shelter to stop euthanizing animals after a live puppy was found dumped at a nearby landfill.

The Animal Welfare Section of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also imposed a $2,000 civil penalty for the shelter’s actions.

Do you think the $2k is going to come out of Robeson’s Fatal Plus budget?  Or Dr. Locklear’s paycheck?  Yeah, me neither.  But hold your hate mail.

In this same article, we get an “explanation” from the shelter manager for how a vet might not be able to confirm death in pets accurately:

The vet was pressing his hand against the animals to determine whether they were breathing and so didn’t accurately determine that the puppy was dead, Baxter said.

I don’t know what vet school teaches the hand pressing method of verifying death but apparently, it no worky.

It was just a mistake.  Come on community, where is your goddamn support?!

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