Robeson Co Animal Shelter: Still Failing

Robeson Co Animal Shelter has significantly lowered its kill rate due mainly to aggressive marketing of its pets on Facebook.  This is good.  But it’s not sustainable.  Robeson Co rejects the no kill philosophy and instead keeps rescuers in crisis mode.  The reason Robeson Co is killing fewer animals is because they are continually pummeling rescuers with “pull this pet or we’ll kill him” type threats.  In the long run, this burns rescuers out.  But currently, the pound has numerous defenders on Facebook who see the small picture (less killing) and seem to believe that Robeson Co is doing the best it can.

Robeson Co is not doing the best it can.

Meet Thelma.

She was listed on the pound’s Facebook page as a young Lemon Walker Hound with a note that she was scared in the shelter environment but warming up to people.  They even posted a short vid clip of Thelma to show how sweet she was despite her nervousness.

Today, Robeson Co killed Thelma – not because she was nervous, sick or in any way unadoptable, but because they were out of room.  This is the status update the pound posted to Facebook earlier today:

Thelma was killed for space (I could not find any information on the other pet, Shoney) and the pound is threatening to kill many more, also for space, tomorrow.  You may have an idea in your mind that Robeson Co, a 50 run facility, has already buddied up every dog they possibly can, has all 50 runs full, is keeping a couple of lobby dogs in crates in an office at night, has maxed out their fosters and is working like mad to get dogs transferred out today in order to free up space.  If you do have that idea in your head, erase it.  It’s not true.

To the best of my knowledge, Robeson has at least 25 runs empty at all times.  They do not buddy up dogs.  They do not have a foster program.  You might be wondering why a place with 25 empty kennels killed Thelma today for space.  From Robeson’s FB photos:

25 dogs, 1 per kennel, and this 50 run facility starts killing for space.  They do not have a vaccination upon intake protocol in place but they do apparently use whatever donated vaccines the public sends them when they have them.  They say the practice of keeping half the place empty reduces disease outbreak and that they can’t pair up dogs because this could increase the chance that the pound might break with parvo or distemper.  Their defenders say the practices at Robeson lead to less disease than other NC shelters.  Gee, it’s super swell that dogs like Thelma are hale and hearty on their way to the landfill.  What a comfort.

Standard practice of vaccination upon intake across the board would serve to reduce the possibility of disease and allow all cages to be utilized.  It would also allow for dogs to be buddied up wherever possible.  But even if Robeson Co refuses to adopt the practice of vaccination upon intake, I still say they should use all the cages and pair up dogs before killing “for space”.  Yes, there would be an increased risk of disease but since the alternative is DEATH, I think it’s well worth the risk.

I know sometimes I come across as a hardline no kill advocate.  It’s places like Robeson that remind me why.  Less killing is better than more killing but it’s not good enough.  It still fails pets because it doesn’t guarantee that their inherent right to life will be respected.  It failed Thelma.  And it will keep failing until there is either a change in practices or someone in NC gets a CAPA type law passed to remove the discretion of who to kill from shelter directors who think a half-empty shelter is a good reason to kill pets.

I’m sorry you ended up at Robeson, Thelma.  You are loved.  You are not forgotten.


If you are in Robeson Co and interested in either learning more about no kill or working to get a CAPA type law introduced in your state, please contact me.  I will help.

52 thoughts on “Robeson Co Animal Shelter: Still Failing

  1. Totally appreciate your hale and hearty point. Love when a adherence to a system overtakes common sense.

    I’m sure given the chance at a few more days and a permanent home, Thelma would have taken the risk of disease…

  2. It still boggles my mind that so many shelters were not built with runs divided by guillotine doors. That makes cleaning so much easier! If the rescue shelter’s runs weren’t built that way, I have no idea where we’d put the dogs when we clean.

    1. One way to do it would be to clean the runs one or two at a time, moving each dog to a temporary kennel, outdoor play yard or sending them out on a walk with a vol while cleaning. They’d have to return to a wet run but so long as they have a bed to keep them off the concrete, they’d at least have a dry place to lie while the floor was drying.

      1. While there certainly have to be other options, I’m not sure that cleaning the kennels one or two at a time woud work. My shelter has the indoor/outdoor setup with the guillotine doors, so it’s not a problem. But our kennel attendants have a lot of responsibilities throughout the day, and they need an efficient process to clean the kennels. I can’t imagine a system where two dogs get taken outside, then those dogs get moved back, then the next two dogs get taken outside, then those two dogs get brought back, etc. Too much waiting for the kennel attendants or trying to constantly switch back and forth between tasks.

        Of course the argument is that it’s better than considering your shelter to be at full capacity when only half the kennels are occupied, which is valid. But whatever process you do have needs to be both fair to the dogs as well as efficient for the kennel attendants.

      2. Most shelters do not have outdoor playyards, the one shelter I knew that had once got rid of it once it became county owned (something about grass not being sanitary and if they wanted to keep it they would need to cemet it or cover it in gravel, which was WAY to expensive for a low budget shelter and not good on the dogs feet anyway)
        Temporary kennels could work… but that would mean leaving extra runs open (like how Robeson has 50 runs but only uses 25 at once…) but it would also increase chances of spreading diseases
        This shelter, like many, does not have NO WHERE enough volunteers who actually go to the shelter, gas is expensive, the shelter is a 40 min drive ONE WAY for me, and thats if traffic is good….
        The dogs DO have beds,,,,, Kuranda beds….. sadly, most dogs in shelters re to scared to use them and instead huddle up on the floor agains a wall

      3. That might work in a place with a small amount of dogs, but it would take FOREVER to clean the runs if you had a large amount of dogs. With the indoor/outdoor runs and guillotine door system, you shut the dogs inside and clean the outsides, then you shut the dogs outside and clean the insides. I am relatively fast, and I can clean two lines of 15 runs (so 30 runs) inside and outside by myself in three hours. Typically I only have to do that if we’re short on people. I can’t imagine how long it would take if we had to move each dog out individually. It wouldn’t take as long if you had multiple places to put the dogs, or could put dogs in large playgroups.

        I remember reading somewhere on this blog that MAS has 500 dogs? I know how much 100 dogs is, and to think of caring for 500 dogs blows my mind. Is MAS adequately staffed to handle this many dogs? Do they have any space to put dogs while they clean other than another cage? It seems to me it would help conditions in a lot of places if the runs were fixed up so that they had two parts seperated by a guillotine door. Not all the shelters in VA have indoor/outdoor sections, but every one of them that I’ve been to in my area has two sections divided by a guillotine door.

    2. Can you help fund the shelter to change this?

      1. If I win the lottery, sure. :) But since that won’t likely happen, I think focusing some effort not on just adoption but on making the procedures related to cleaning, vaccination, intake and outtake of animals, etc. more streamlined and efficient would go a long way toward improving the sheltering of animals as a whole.

        Those who haven’t worked in a shelter environment I think often fail to realize what backbreaking work it is just to clean up after a large number of animals every day. It is a full-body workout, TBH. Making everything as efficient and smooth as possible keeps you from getting burned out from exhaustion and helps you do a better job.

  3. Reading the facebook comments on the photo was infuriating. “But we’re doing the best we can!” seemed to be the most popular response. I don’t think so. There is always more room for thinking outside the box. They seem to feel that listing animals that are on death row with urgent statuses on their facebook page is enough to assuage their guilt in killing them :/

    1. “seem to feel that listing animals with urgent statuses is enough to assuage their guilt in killing them :/”

      I think you’ve hit the nail… many pound employees seem to feel that once they’ve put that 9th hour URGENT request out, then if the dog is still there to be killed the next morning it’s the fault of rescue, or (obviously) the irresponsible public – NOT their fault, of course!

      1. Robeson County does not euthanize on the 9th hour, ALL dogs in ANY kill shelter are urgent, but dogs who have been there the longest are the most urgent, there are dogs in the shelter who have been there for days, and it IS the owners fault, not the employees! they did not say hey, people, let your dogs breed out of control, decide after YEARS of having a pet to decide you dont want them anymore… they do their best to find homes for them, hence why rather than having VOLUNTEERS run the facebook page, the actualy employees help run it, get to know each dog and help us post like crazy to find loving homes!

  4. Thank you for bringing this to light.

    I gripe to them that they hardly ever post cats to their FB page and I never see much options, ever being posted about low cost or free spay/neuter options for locals or any community outreach for it.

    They can not “threaten” rescue their way out of this forever without change and in this poor dogs case, no rescue came.

    1. Nothing has been brought to light….
      The cats ARE posted on the FB page, they do not get as much interest as the dogs and they are harder to find rescue or adopters for, we DO try though
      The low cost and free spay/neuter options ARE posted for locals, its in the notes section on the FB page and every now and then it is reshared on the page…. everyone in this area knows about the options, whether or not they choose to use them is not something we, or the employees, control

      NONE of us have EVER threatened a rescue, when I email a rescue, I give all of the information to them point blank, how much the dog has in pledges, breed, age, health if known, temperment, and yes, how long they have. I have BEEN in the situation before where a rescue emailed me two weeks after I had emailed them saying they could take the dog in… only for me to have to tell them that the dog had been euthanized…. this is not something we can avoid telling a rescue, it’s something that needs to be told immediatly, because without the urgency, most rescues will not take in one more dog… because EVERYONE if full, donators, fosters, volunteers… we HELP, but a rescue can only take so many, so when we get the memo that a dog is on the list, we dont have time for a rescue to give us a maybe, that dog needs to be OUT

      Sadly, few rescues are avaliable for hound dogs, every year around this time dozens come into every shelter, hound dog rescues are full, and most people do not view hounds as family pets…. especially not hunting ones…. but if YOU want to prove them wrong, there are two hound dogs at Robeson now waiting for a forever home

  5. I only saw one older dog at this shelter. It sounds as if the county needs a low cost spay/neuter facility. There is a mobile spay-neuter assistance program in NC but it looks like they do not have a facility in that county. There is one in Cumberland County in Fayetteville which is approximately 25 miles away from the shelter. This program also does feral cats.

    1. I live in Caswell County, NC and they have the low income spay/neuter program and it’s mobile.. they come to the Foodlion parking lot once a month. It’s done threw “Animal Kind” the” ” Pet Over Population Patrol” $20 fix” Next county over has “Snap”, not sure what that stands for. I have been hearing some really bad things about this shelter lately… most of it is drama. I have a close friend that keep an eye on this shelter… I’ll ask her what she’s heard lately. She has told me that a rescue was pulling a lot of animals out of there every week, but something happened and he stopped.

      1. Actually, this shelter HAS improved and is one of the better once in NC
        And the drama your friend is talking about is stuff like THIS…. WE work our butts off and some rescues help us out more than others…. then some “person” decides to make rude comments about the shelter, the staff, the volunteers, and even question the rescuers we use as if we do not check them, though we managed to clear a lot up, no rescuer wants to be bashed when they are helping… THAT is the reason the rescuer stopped pulling, because someone started going from post to post asking how he was adopting out dogs and such harrasing him till the point he said sorry, no more

    2. The county actually has a NO COST spay/neuter program the MOST of the county qualify for BUT the residents don’t take advantage of it! Info is given out at vets, online, at the shelter, I’ve even posted it in the local paper to get the word out but the residents simply do not care! They don’t see it as a problem! I’ve fought this battle within my own family for years and they are very educated people. They have degrees from UNCP, UNC Chapel Hill, some have double majors while others have masters degrees but just do not see the importance of spaying and neutering! If you can’t get educated people to understand the importance, then how are you going to get the majority of uneducated people in the county to realize the importance of it? It’s easy to sit on the outside looking in & point out the problems but it’s different from the inside looking out. I invite anyone to take a road trip to RobCo & see for yourself how it is and what the mentality of it’s residents really is like, THEN see if you feel the same way. The shelter can only do so much without the support of the community it serves and THIS shelter has very little “community support”!

      1. did you see Duplin County posted 22 dogs Tuesday morning and then murdered them all 7 hours later? Dogs of all age groups that never had a chance. Audrey… keep sharing the low cost spay/neuter program, even if it saves one dog from re-producing.. that’s something.

      2. Exactly, the residents of this county for the most part are just trashy and irresponsible while they carry the attitude that they are entitled to handouts. I can say this because I grew up here and I’ve lived in several other places that I can compare Robeson County to. I’ve taken road trips all over the country and this is by far the nastiest place I’ve ever seen; the number of dead animals on/beside the roads multiplies daily (several I’ve noticed collars on) and the potentially beautiful nature around us is horribly littered although the county provides several dumps that are free to use. The residents of this county seem to prefer driving to the river or some other country spot to dump their trash which often times includes their pets. This is the county facility in a county that is unbelievably poor, when put against the large number of irresponsible pet owners what can you expect the few shelter employees to do? You really can’t expect a few people to properly take care of the numerous animals brought in daily. The shelter could be twice as big but if they can’t afford the employees to care for them what good is the size going to do? We have to just realize that a difference is being made no matter how small it may seem and until there is a change in the attitude of the Robeson County residents as a whole or the county manages to become wealthy there is no more we can do. I have read several posts from the shelter requesting responsible rescue and asking that people NOT panic at the thought of the animal being put to sleep. Having tried numerous times to find stray animals rescue before going to the shelter I can say it is very rare for anyone to step up until the animal is faced with certain death. Personally I am proud of the positive changes that have occurred within the shelter BUT there are those people who are going to complain until the world is what they consider perfect- which will never happen. So, instead of focusing on the positive changes they have to place a negative spin on it…much like the mainstream media. Yes, it would be fantastic to have a no kill ac facility here but the county’s financial state in addition to the general attitude regarding animals makes it unattainable. This is a place where so many children go without meals unless they are in school, if a person will not make sure their kids can eat do you really think they are going to properly care for the animals?

    3. There IS low cost, even free, spay neuter options in this county… but this area chooses NOT to use them, I have asked people why their dogs ar enot fixed when they can get it done for free… is not natural, I want my dog to protect me and getting that done will make him not want to… why bother… its just a dog?
      Yup, people really say that, and until ignorance changes, sheltrs will need to euthanize

      1. It sounds as if the county needs a spay/neuter program for feral animals both dogs and cats. If there are that many stray animals in the county, perhaps one can get started.

  6. Shirley, I love your blog but this is one issue I don’t wholly agree with you on. Posting Urgents on Facebook and other social media helps get people involved and educates people in a community — people who otherwise would keep living in blissful ignorance of how many animals are dying. Over time, that exposure can lead to networks that are big enough to force change. So I think that Urgent pages can help bring about change that is sustainable.

    1. Posting the kill list, or “urgents” or however anyone wants to term it, is good. It’s good transparency, it’s good public awareness and it’s good for networking.

      That however is a different issue than what I was talking about here.

  7. First… it’s easy to point out flaws and problems when you yourself are not active…. if you loved Thelma so much… where were you? I know a few months ago I fell in love with a young dogs picture… depsite weeks of crossposting, emailing, pleading, and pledging money to anyone that would save him… needless to say, no one stepped up, I was texted and told by a mutual friend that he was scheduale to be euthanized that morning… needless to say, he now lives with me and is every bit of a sweet heart as he was in his picture (he was actually rescued 6 mins before his euthanization time)….
    So, going from point to point
    No GOOD shelter will throw in two dogs who have no prior history together…. I would not do that to my dog and Im sure you wouldn’t do that to your own… I also woud not bring a dog in with my dogs who had unknown medical history (great way to spread worms!) nor would I leave my dog in a small space with an unknown dog and then feed them (dogs are fed IN their pens in EVERY shelter)…. screams bad news to anyone else? not to mention… throw two males together or two females? who are probably unaltered… fight!!!!! and lets not even get into throwing a male and female together (have your parents explain the birds and the bees to you).. not to mention…. what if dog A has tape worms? now dog B has tape worms… or what if dog A is an owner drop off… but dog B is a feral dog or a stray… heartworm, mange, other assorted worms, parvo, and who knows what else… if you want to adopt a dog with ANY of these thing, please let me know, they are ALWAYS in shelters and its SO hard to find adopters willing to take on the medical bill and the pain taking on a dog with these issues
    NEXT…. as a volunteer at this shelter (and at least 10 other high kill shelters)
    … I must say… I DREAM of the day when I can get on MY facebook page and not have it covered with URGENT dogs from every part of US… to NOT have to see euth lists… and i know that the staff and other volunteers feel the same way, it IS the reason WE are up till 2am trying to find homes for unwanted pets… but the sad truth is, a NO kill shelter will have to shut their doors, once they are full, they turn away dogs…. who then end up in high kill shelters… which CAN’T by law turn away ANY dog… so, say Robeson gets in 5 dogs on monday, legally, each dog only has to remain at the shelter for 72 hours (stray hold) but an owner surrender can LEGALLY be euthanized IMMEDIALTY… (we bust our butts to give them as much time as possibly and the staff doesn’t rush them OR us…. if the shelter then has a busy day come Tuesday/// and gets in say…. 9 adult dogs added in with the 5 adults from monday and the probably… 12 dogs from last week… the shelter now has 26 dogs in the shelter…. NOT including puppies… well, if say local adopters adopt 3 dogs… then a rescue comes in and takes ALL of the puppies… that leaves in 23 dogs… then by a stroke of bad luck a local person brings in 6 hunting dogs, another person drops off a beloved 12 year old shepherd, and then animal control brings in 3 feral dogs… the shelter now has 33 dogs in the shelter….what if NONR of these dogs are adopted.. but no new dogs are brought in that week… but come the NEXT week, 2 dogs are returned (for barking?), then animal control siezes 16 pitbulls from a “criminal case”… none of these 16 dogs can be adopted… this brings in 51 dogs in the shelter…. even if 5 are adopted (freeing up a few kennel spaces) much like how every business MUST have a certain number of handicap parking spaces depending on how any people visit and the reasons for visiting, every shelter, by county, must have so many open kennel spaces to account for any dogs that come in the next day via animal control, owners, or other situations (ie hoarder, puppy mill)… if the shelter allowed ALL of the kennels to fill up, or even more than half, and the next day it was especially busy or something bad happened, there would be no time to creat a euth list and try to get as many dogs out as possible, it would be to late and the room would be needed
    NEXT…. vaccinating upon entering… the dogs at Robeson are lucky, I wont name any other shelters (to prevent them from being harrased) but I can tell you, MOST shelters do not even bother to vaccinate… why? if they get adopted, the adopter takes care of it, if they dont, well…
    vaccinating cost money, donaters like myself are the reasons ANY of the dogs recieve vaccinations… but ,my pockets only hold so much money… I already covered the joys of why not to throw two dogs together (and bTW, if two dogs come intogether, they are paired in a kennel together)
    And last
    If you want to sit here and talk about what NEEDS to be fixed in a shelter.. .about whats wrong… then I want YOU to work at a shelter, I want YOU to volunteer at a shelter, I want YOU to foster, I want YOU to adopt, I want YOU to donate, I want YOU to email a rescue and ask them to take in a dog off of the euthaniation list, I want YOU to watch as family after family brings in a once beloved pet, I want YOU to go to a shelter and play with a dog, knowing it could be the last time for him, I want YOU to walk into a shelter and look at the faces of them, then I want YOU to choose one to foster or adopt,KNOWING his brothers, sisters, neighbors, more than likely will no make it out, I want YOU to watch your wallet get smaller and smaller, but still, feel happy as you look at pictures of animals in rescue, forever homes, or fosters, knowing you helped, I want YOU to feel the sadness when a rescue tells you, Im sorry, we can;t we are full, he is not purebred, I want YOU to know, that while you typed this article, I SAVED THELMA’S kennel mates, and while I am sad she did not make it out, that she was euthanized thanks to an irresponsible owner, I know that I DID try my hardest, I know the staff did everything they could, and I will always try to save them all…. but I need help… are you willing to use YOUR money and YOUR time to help? or are you just going to hide behind your computer talking about how we could do better… because now… Im looking through the pictures of the dogs I have helped save: Gazelle, Sampson, Dante, Misty, Sissy, Lucy, Isabel, Nina, Chelsea, Thumper, Spike, Princess, Rumble, Rowzer, Nicole, Nadia, Nathan, Zeila, Simone, Teton, Jayzee, Marta, Raisin, James, Crockett, and Sable… just to name a FEW!!!! Where are your storied of them? where are your stories that include how we work, night after night, day after day to save dogs that society has cast away as our friend tell us “You can’t save them all”… maybe we can’t, but at least WE try… can you say the same?

  8. I pull from Robeson a lot. They to use this tactic of we cant tell you how long a dog has. I do appreciate the amount of change they have made….however the cleaning policy is over the top. I work with two rescues and Robeson AS gives me a hard time pulling dogs. That the people there are angry all the good ones are taken by rescues…whatever that means. It is difficult to understand but I know they have improved.

  9. I think the author of this should volunteer to work in the animal shelter….someone on the “outside” always has better answers.

  10. Must be nice to sit in judgment when you aren’t there in person to see the shelter, talk to the staff and volunteers, see the dogs, or understand current county & state policy governing the shelters. RobCo gives very little support to their animal shelter because they don’t care.

    Animals roam all over the 900-sq-mi county, some are killed by cars, others are feral…the general populace of RobCo doesn’t give a crap about their animals nor their shelter. The RobCo residents, by and large, don’t use the free spay/neuter option because they just don’t care. The shelter has few local volunteers, and most of the people who care live outside RobCo or even the U.S. via FB. Yes, we may not be perfect, but we help save as many lives as possible, we have generated positive feedback from a LOT of people and have great relationships with local & out-of-state rescues, some of which are well known to the animal rescuer world.

    The FB RCAS community CARES, works their asses off in all kinds of ways to save animals, dogs AND cats. Which is more than you can show. Where were you when Thelma needed adoption or rescue? She did have a hold, but the person never came.

  11. This is so disgusting. Who works in these shelters…a bunch of animal haters with no hesitation when it comes to killing. What can we do to get these people investigated and under pressure. The public wants animals to live, so why are they not listening. They’re all a bunch of bastards as far as I’m concerned. And this goes all the way up the ladder. I hate them and I am sick of the games they’re playing! Stop them! I’m getting sick to my stomach when I hear about the abuse!

    1. People, people like me and you… but who are 100% better, stronger, and braver then us… NOT ONLY do they care about the animals, but they are willing to clean up other peoples mistakes, they do not take in a dog, discover it has distemper… or rabies even… and adopt it out or go “oh no, look what someone else did!” they solve it, they give the animal the BEST care it probably has ever had, espcially for an animal in this county, a constant supply of food, fresh water, a clean place to sleep…. and a loving hand and kind voice.
      WE are not playing games! THIS kind of stuff, THIS article, THAT it the game that you find in rescue work, certain “members” of the volunteer/advocacy group who go behind the shelter staff and spill lies, who do this without ever settng foot in the shelter… they will sit here and talk about a bunch of problems THEY see… but the REAL problem…. the fact few people spay/neuter in this area, the fact on ONE street alone, EVERY single house has at least FIVE dogs running loose… not strays, its easy to see where they live by watching which house they head back to after they are done chacing you…. and the rest are tied up or live loose in a backyard… or are simply cast off strays or in feral packs
      THAT is the reality, shelters get in a LOT of animals, diseases spread fast, money is TIGHT…. most shelter’s staff members donate money, they foster animals, they do EVERYTHING in their power NOT to have to make the decision, but in the end, YOU are not adopting the black dog, NO one wants the pitbull, the dog with mange so bad it can hardly walk, and no one can afford another dog with heartworms… no one wants to watch them suffer…. but few are willing to step up… if your willing to take in one of the dogs who WILL be euthanized, prepare your home, I WILL pay the adoption fee for YOU for the next dog in the shelter with mange, the next HW +, the next dog aggressive dog, the next pitbull, the next black dog…. and tell me why you refuse. because they have no where else to go

      1. I am going to save your comment and hold you to that offer. As soon as I get my two current fosters placed.. (one is already adopted, waiting on transport) I’ll take a black pitt with mange. What I’d like to know is your real name, are you on FB? You can find me there and I have excellent references.

  12. How these places especially the Carson shelter legally use the word ‘shelter’ I will never know. Helll on earth might be better.

  13. Again Robeson is in the headlines. I cannot think of a time I have been an animal advocate that it has not. I was sad to see this article because it has been a long road for this shelter and there have been many improvements that have greatly improved the lives of animals coming into this rural shelter in an area where many people do not fix their pets. Until there is a better solution it is a fact that many shelters perform euthanasia. Robeson is only a small drop in the bucket of the killing in NC and there are many shelters that are much worse in their operations than this one. NO they are not perfect, Yes they probably could stretch their capacity, yes they should have a vaccination protocol, yes they should try and have a foster network but let us not forget that this shelter, while not perfect, has come a long way from a few years ago and we should be at least thankful for that. The entire U.S. sheltering system is broken and in need of great overhaul but I was disappointed to see that again Robeson is getting pointed out when they are at least trying to make changes and more animals are being saved. That is the goal isn’t it? Save more animals from death? I say they are not perfect but let’s give them a break. I could name about 5 shelters right now in NC that could use this YesBiscuit article and exposure a lot more than Robeson. It seems the major complaint is that they are not using their facility to the max and not buddying up dogs and bullying the rescue community using the threat of death to get their dogs saved. First of all buddying up dogs is fine but guess what as soon as they buddy up a pair that goes at it there will be another article about their negligence for buddying up dogs in runs that are attacking each other. When they do not leave room for cleaning and sanitation in a place where there is a high rate of disease in the animals that come in due to lack of vaccinations and care there is a very high risk of an outbreak which does and has happened. So there will then be an article that they are not keeping the shelter clean and causing helpless animals to die due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions because they cannot keep up. I know for me I have watched this shelter for years and I have seen it go from a death and torture camp for dogs to a place that has more volunteer involvement, adoptions and better conditions for the animals there. It is not perfect but I think the above article is a bit unfair to the fact that until people start fixing and stop surrendering their pets to Robeson or Robeson implements a no kill philosophy and gets the necessary support through the County (unlikely) they are certainly not the worst of the worst in NC.

    1. Does Thelma only deserve to have an advocate if she was killed at the “worst of the worst”? Because she was killed by a facility which has upgraded from “torture”, no one should speak for her?

      1. I do not see how your comment addresses any of the things I mentioned. All dogs and cats deserve advocates but I think you are a bit unrealistic with your demands with the current state of affairs for animals in our society especially in a rural community that does not allocate a lot of funding for their operations. Until that changes we must work in reality and the reality is that there are thousands upon thousands of Thelma’s and it is just not possible to save them all but constantly writing articles about a shelter that is trying to improve and nit picking everything they do seems counterproductive unless you are soliciting change where it is possible for it to happen i.e. at the County level. I am sad for Thelma and I hate that she was an adoptable dog that died due to space but have you seen the parvo/distemper issues in this area? They are rampant and many animals will fall victim if an outbreak occurs and even if they used all 50 runs and packed the place they will run out of space with the number of animals they intake constantly and unfortunately adoptable dogs like Thema do lose their lives everyday in this Country. Also, if they pack the place and cannot clean properly you are looking at all the dogs losing their lives in a disease outbreak situation. Nothing is perfect but again nitpicking everything when people are at least trying to improve seems counterproductive to the cause.

      2. Every shelter that gets mentioned on this blog seems to have at least one defender who accuses me of having some sort of personal crusade against the place. It’s not the case, I assure you. I write about MANY shelters. Some kill most of their pets, some kill half their pets, some kill less than half. I do not discriminate in advocating for the pets who are needlessly killed. I don’t consider advocating for Thelma and the dogs like her who are needlessly killed for space at Robeson while half the place sits empty to be “nitpicking”. It’s not unrealistic for a shelter to save every healthy/treatable pet. It’s happening at shelters all over the country. It could happen in Robeson Co too and I’m hoping someone there will take the lead in that regard. Again, I’m willing to help.

      3. People did speak for her, the volunteers and shelter staff while we spent OUR time trying to find and adopter or rescue for her, when she was given more time, when we continued to try to help her… to get her safe, or to get as many other animals safe as possible so SHE could have more time…. WE, the volunteers, sharerers, the fosters, the donators, the rescuers… WE are her voice EVERY time we save another dog or cat….
        All you are doing right now, is making it harder for the staff and volunteers, with people calling and emailing to tell the staff how they feel… but they weren’t there for Thelma before… THAT is when speaking up for an animal counts

  14. I volunteer at a county shelter that only had cat fosters in place until one volunteer stepped up to make a dog foster program that is now growing everyday. If this is a shelter that is funded by tax dollars then start going to your local officials and start demanding that these practices are implemented. We have such amazing volunteers that take matters in their own hands to make videos, do out reaches, foster and net work with other shelters to get these animals adopted. There are vaccination clinics and assistance for spay and neuters to low income families. The staff is amazing at what they do to get these pets into homes and not on the euthanasia list. We are in desperate need of a new shelter but every one does very well with what we do have. Good luck to you all.

    1. This shelter HAS an amazing group of volunteers and fosters… what this article does not tell you is the MONTHS of hard work and hour we have spent rescuing animal after animal…. the number of times the euth list… like the one that THIS person posted… we got them ALL out… plus some….EVERY puppy is also out and into rescue or was adopted…. sure, the last dog found rescue the night before…. but WE got them out… THIS person who wrote the article…. where is the article on how we did that, YES… maybe you can say WE failed Thelma and Shoney, but the way I see it, that was the OWNERS who failed them… even YOU who failed them, WE at least tried to find them a rescue or new home!
      Thats the thing Tami… this article does not once say anything good we do, how much the shelter has improved, how animals are vaccinated WHEN there is the money (county does not supply vaccinations for animals they dont care about, because in this area, no one takes their dog to the vet…. I was even harrassed when an individual discovered I had my dogs INSIDE)…. but WE, the volunteers donate, we set up things like the auction that just took place, raised a couple thousand dollars toward vaccinations and heartworm preventative! <— lady who wrote the article forgot to put that I guess….there is FREE spay neuter here for low income families, NO one seems to care! there ARE things that tell them, but they dont even call a vet (thats how I first heard about it), they don't even TAKE their animals in, if they get sick, they are dropped off at the shelter for US to take care of and so WE look bad…
      Everything in this article is a bunch of lies, more drama of someone who knows nothing of what they are talking about, someone who WANTS to see a nokill shelter, but doesn't understand the amount of work that must go into one… or the fact that nokill shelters have closed doors, they can turn away a dog or cat when they are full, a county shelter has open doors, even if 40 strays came in that day, and the next 20 people wanted to leave their pets, they would HAVE to take them

  15. Thats JUST it “YesBiscuit”

    [quote]”You say that “Every shelter that gets mentioned on this blog seems to have at least one defender who accuses me of having some sort of personal crusade against the place”.[/quote]

    Does it ever occur to that some people don’t advocate ONE shelter… does it ever occur to you that WE have volunteered at shelter for a long time, that we have watched the every day activity, that WE know how it is truly like in a shelter, volunteer at a shelter like Carson, then volunteer at one like Robeson… do this for a YEAR… I have done it, I can promise you, Robeson is a great shelter, the staff actually cares and wants to save as many as possible

    [quote]”I don’t consider advocating for Thelma and the dogs like her who are needlessly killed for space at Robeson while half the place sits empty to be “nitpicking”.”[/quote]

    And again, you think the shelter leaves half of their kennels empty to be cruel, but they do is to be HUMANE…. shelter enviroments are very stressful for animals, the more packed the kennels are, the more stressed the animals are, the faster diseases spread… not to mention, if they let every kennel fill up they would have to euthanize more without notice if a day was busy, a lot more animals would get sick… and yes, county requires so many kennels be left open, for animals who are human aggressive, or in the shelter for legal reasons

    [quote]”It’s not unrealistic for a shelter to save every healthy/treatable pet. It’s happening at shelters all over the country. It could happen in Robeson Co too and I’m hoping someone there will take the lead in that regard. Again, I’m willing to help.” [/quote]

    And thats where you are wrong…. Robeson county, the “locals” tend to drop off pets once they get sick, a puppy came in once, within 5 mins it was adopted… the owner informed us later that the puppy had distemper…
    The list you posted was majority black animals, last month, EVERY puppy in the shelter was black, some were adopted, but its common knowledge in shelter environment that black dogs are harder to find adopters.rescues for…. not because they are worse pets, but because of “black dog syndrome” the simple fact that, dark eyes dark faces make it harder for people to connect with them, it is harder to read them for the average person (these are just what potential adopters have said in other shelters)… but the biggest thing… people want somethng facy, something unique… something more…. different… because thats how people are, white, brown, spotted… the more interesting the look, the faster they get adopted….. how are you willing to help posting a bunch of lies about how the shelter staff didnt even TRY… making the volunteers seem incapable, you posted everything you could think of to make the shelter look bad, without even thinking… is it true… is their a REASON behind it?

  16. Apparently the policy of killing healthy pets “for space” while leaving half the cages empty has failed yet again. Robeson is once again closed due to distemper.

  17. “Standard practice of vaccination upon intake across the board would serve to reduce the possibility of disease and allow all cages to be utilized. It would also allow for dogs to be buddied up wherever possible. But even if Robeson Co refuses to adopt the practice of vaccination upon intake, I still say they should use all the cages and pair up dogs before killing “for space”.”

    This pretty much sums it up. These types of stories just infuriate me. I knew Thelma was going to die so I didnt watch the video, it would just break my heart too much. RIP Thelma.

  18. wow where is their “transport” system.. seems like every other shelter ha a “going north” truck.. why not this one? and three ours to clean kennels?? come on..I can clean five runs in 10 mins.. hose, bleach, drain, fresh water , clean bowls.. bingo… no hwere to put the dog while cleaning.. ever heard of crates..

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