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.
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.