Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals – Columbus County Edition

A man in Columbus Co, NC was reportedly keeping dogs in sub-standard conditions and authorities had received complaints from neighbors.  After the man died, ownership of the 13 dogs went to the Columbus Co animal shelter.  Shelter director Rossie Hayes decided to kill all 13 dogs immediately, without ever offering them for adoption or even posting them online.  The first excuse – lack of space – is straight out of Pound Killing 101 and, while unacceptable, isn’t exactly new.  The second excuse though is new to me:

According to Hayes, he had no choice but to euthanize the animals, since his shelter did not have any space and he did not want to violate state law.

“The dogs we had in the animal shelter are already on Facebook, and I’m sure the rescue groups are out there raising money to get them adopted, and vets to come pick them up,” Hayes said.

The 13 dogs who should have been rescued by the shelter after living in what were reported as poor conditions for so long, had to be killed because other dogs were already on Facebook. By this logic – erm… nothing, actually.  [Left side of brain explosion]

Tragically, someone described as an animal rights advocate was interviewed by WECT for the story and demanded to know why dogs who had been at the pound longer weren’t killed to make space for the 13 incoming dogs.  [Right side of brain explosion]

[…]Hayes tells us his shelter has one of the lowest kill rates in our area, and that statistic shows he’s dedicated to saving animals.

Oh thank ponies. Finally a chance to examine something objectively and scientifically. Let’s go look at the Columbus Co pound’s statistics:

Columbus Co pound's 2012 report to the state of NC
Columbus Co pound’s 2012 report to the state of NC

In addition to impounding 55 possums and raccoons – and killing every one of them – the Columbus Co pound killed more than one-third of the dogs and cats in its care last year. Mr. Hayes is stating that the killing of 1541 dogs and cats is in some way illustrative of a dedication to saving animals.  [Remaining bits of head explode]

(Note:  The report states the Columbus Co pound is spending close to $6 grand per animal which I believe is a typo.  Not sure how such a glaring error made it through to the final report.  Maybe the reporting party’s head had exploded during preparation.)

A ray of hope:

Monday night, many animal rights advocates plan to attend the county commissioners meeting to voice their concerns. The county manager tells us, the incident is under investigation.

Please oh please let someone go before the county commissioners and advocate for the right of all shelter animals to live.  Is that too much to ask?

Here’s the part of the post where I normally summarize.  I’m gonna need a minute………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  • 13 dogs HAD TO be killed instead of being rescued by the Columbus Co pound because they weren’t on Facebook and putting them on Facebook would clearly not be an option.  Because Facebook.
  • Killing 1541 dogs and cats in 2012 is proof that the Columbus Co pound director doesn’t want to kill animals.  Because one thousand five hundred forty-one.
  • The person complaining wants to know why 13 other dogs weren’t killed instead.
  • I have no head.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

21 thoughts on “Nobody WANTS to Kill Animals – Columbus County Edition

  1. I cannot even begin to understand the “thinking” here. Facebook? Kill 13 others to make room? Doing a good job? I so hope that there are some really good advocates going to that meeting. How do we make changes with so much stupid?

    1. She is full of some witty sarcasm, isn’t she, Evelyn Black. One reason I love reading her blogs. And the other fact that she truly does LOVE animals and is doing her best to do something about all the needless killing of ALL animals. For that I thank her so very much. I cried as well when I read about the senselessness of it all. *Biscuit. :) You are always in my prayers every night. I for one, adore you.

  2. Oh LET ME UP! $6 GRAND per ANIMAL? I think that’s just a little more than a TYPO!! That’s someone’s brain not working properly!! If they spent that much on every animal in that pound, each and every one of them would be alive today! Hell, they could PAY someone to TAKE the animals and keep them up with that kind of money for each one of them! Whew. talking about your brain exploding! Right AND left sides exploded when I read that one! Thank God there is ONE little ray of hope. I hope they get rid of the brainless wonders that work there!!

  3. What an ignorant bastard! Again the numbers show that they aren’t trying to find animals homes and they’d rather kill them! Again I say there must be consequences and those involved need to be fired!

  4. As a dog volunteer working with this shelter and this individual for three-plus years, I share your concerns. I encourage anyone who is upset about this issue, especially in NC, to request the documentation from the shelter which shows that, in fact, there was space in the shelter that day to house those dogs; a volunteer documented the number of open kennels one hour before these dogs arrived. Since March of this year, ALL but 21 of the LISTED dogs (i.e. ones we were given photos of and time to network) have gone into rescue or adoptive homes; those 21 dogs were euthanized because of severe aggression (i.e. biting an employee) or health issues. ALL LISTED cats (again, the ones volunteers are allowed to know about) have been saved. This is all due to the efforts of many volunteers from across the country and one shelter employee (NOT Mr. Hayes who has personally told me that he wishes our group on facebook would stop networking the dogs). There ARE many of us finding these animals homes; unfortunately, these particular dogs never had a chance as they were euthanized immediately on arrival. The paperwork which came in with these dogs strongly suggests they were not legally surrendered and therefore were subject to a 72-hour hold time, a hold which they did not receive.

    It should be noted that two more dogs were euthanized by this manager the following morning before the shelter opened; again, no one was told about them until they were already dead. That same day,TEN dogs were rescued or adopted; the following day, EIGHT more dogs and a litter of pups were saved. It is obvious to me that, had these euthanized dogs been given the legally required 72 hour hold, there would have been ample space for them; additionally, the numbers suggest we could have moved them safely out of the shelter before it filled again (which it has not as of this weekend).

    We hope that all residents of Columbus and surrounding counties will consider attending this meeting to ask for further review of Mr. Hayes’ actions. You don’t have to believe me; copies of the documentation are on file at the shelter.

    Thank you for publishing this!

  5. At the last county budget meeting his operating expenses were not even that high. County manager, Ben Clark even congratulated the shelter for ‘no new costs’. I’d still like to know how they sanitize seeing how whenever I’ve volunteered there I’ve yet to find HOT water.

    This is not his first time. I was foster to eight of his victims 5 Dec 2012. They never even made it off the truck from witness accounts. No intake done, records destroyed (documents I sent with for rescue). His excuse then was, the woman who took care of the cat room was sick. Next thing I knew I was getting a call from someone in England that the cats had been killed right in the truck in the parking lot as the rescuer turned to leave having just stated she was coming right back. When she came back, they were gone. Forever.

    When I went to a Humane Society meeting the following Tuesday and relayed what happened. I was told something similar had happened before; but the county manager didn’t want to hear the hard evidence because those giving the evidence or involved in the complaint were not residents of the county so their input did not count.

    So here I set trying and wanting to do something about this and most people around here look at me as if I’m just a crazy cat lady with horns or tentacles sprouting out of my head. Most positive response I get out of most people around here is: “Oh, you’re an animal person. Yeah, I have a ……older dog/cat and I want to find it a home so I can get a new puppy/kitten…find a home for them will ya”?

  6. October 20, 2013 – Updates on the Petition from

    First off let me begin by saying THANK YOU!!!! Thank you everyone for your support!!
    There has been some media attention, online blogging and certainly a lot of outrage shown (rightfully so).

    When I first started the petition it was most certainly to get the word out and hopefully open some eyes at the situation of The Columbus County Animal Shelter, Rossie Hayes’s, mismanagement and abuse of power. I had no idea how much it really needed to be heard as the events unfolded. It seems Rossie has a track record of doing these things in the past and nothing has been done about it to date. He seems to be a member of the “Good Ol Boys Club” that is taking place in this county. Hopefully that is about to change.

    There has been a lot going on in the last few days. Mr. Rossie Hayes stated to WECT his excuse was “The dogs we had in the animal shelter are already on Facebook, and I’m sure the rescue groups are out there raising money to get them adopted, and vets to come pick them up”. All I have to say is this is the most ridiculous reason I have ever heard in my life. This was also reason number 234,506 at this point as he kept changing his story. His initial claim was the dogs were “unhealthy”. The heirs to the owner beg to differ as they were all up to date on shots etc. The paperwork from the shelter (now confirmed) shows that there were actually 14 open kennels at the time (initially thought to be 11) when he decided to euthanize the 13 out of 15 dogs from the single home and not tell any of his staff of his intent. That was beyond plenty of room for dogs that knew each other and could clearly be doubled up if need be. He apparently missed the 2 puppies that were now known to be placed in Kennel 19 because they came on a different truck and he did not realize they were part of the group. (Thank god for small favors) The puppies have since been removed by a Rescue Group and are now in good hands. The Shelter staff has opened the facility this weekend a couple times to ensure animals got out to safety and into rescue groups. I must also state that the paperwork on the two Hounds that were euthanized on October 17, 2013, seems to not exist. Therefore, they do not exist in the eyes of the county. Not the first time dogs brought into this shelter by this man went nonexistent.

    WECT has interviewed Mr. Hayes, and not to our surprise the whole story was not told. We have come to find out the lady said to have been the owner whom surrendered and signed over the dogs was neither his wife nor his daughter. The daughter was actually the heir and legal guardian. That being said since an owner never signed over the dogs they were to be considered strays and should have been placed on 72 hour hold. Mr. Hayes is still claiming the animals were not healthy. The news story can be seen here

    I have personally spoken with Nicole Cartrette of The News Reporter, Nicole previously ran a story about Mr. Hayes on May 21, 2010 found here Jefferson Weaver a reporter from the same paper seems to have a very different opinion of Mr. Hayes even to the extent of lying and bashing us on his personal Facebook page and bringing it to the Volunteer/Shelter Facebook page Urgent Dogs of Columbus County Animal Shelter, NC. He must belong to the same “Good Ol Boys Club as Mr. Hays. I do find it quite ironic that after one of his “friends” states “Jennifer Witkowski There have always been lots of rumors about Columbus animal control. Sigh. Stupidity in mass”, Mr. Weaver replied by saying “Jefferson Weaver And some have, regrettably, been true. But Rossie has always been willing to admit when he was wrong, and willing to work with folks who will work with him. I’m glad we have a good relationship with him now with the USERL.” So apparently, Mr. Hayes has been such an “honest” Law Abiding man in the past that surely he could not have done anything wrong now right? That being said, I can only pray that Nicole is the one running the story that Mr. Weaver claims his paper is putting out on Monday because if he is the one writing it … sigh.

    From WECT “Hayes tells us his shelter has one of the lowest kill rates in our area, and that statistic shows he’s dedicated to saving animals.” Well here is some eye opening information on that one found here … You tell me how that adds up at ALL? The County does NOT pay for the food and medical expenses at all for these dogs. The community of over 4,000 people on this Facebook page does. If the kill rate is down and cost is down that is thanks to all the good people on that page that help and NOTHING at all to do with Mr. Hayes or his management skills.

    There is a County Commissioners Meeting being held tomorrow night, Monday, October 21, 2013 Courthouse Annex, 112 W Smith St. Whiteville, NC. I have been informed it was too late to get on the agenda, but there is a public forum that people are going to speak at. If you are in the County or close to it I urge you to please go and show your support to remove this man. The Family did NOT know this was Mr. Hayes’s intent with the dogs. This was posted tonight “Jennifer Delong-White Exciting news about tomorrow evening’s Columbus County Council meeting. The owner of the dogs is planning to speak about her outrage that all the dogs were killed. She was told that 2-3 older dogs might have to be “put down” due to their Senior status, but she had no idea that CCAC would kill them all. She will reiterate that the thirteen dogs were healthy and that sadly, they were turned in to animal control because the family could not afford to feed that many dogs. Another sad note: the family learned about the mass killing on the evening news. They were heartbroken and said that they would not have turned them in to animal control had they known the consequences.” Sadly, I have mixed emotions. While I am elated the family feels the way we do, I am saddened by the lack of compassion of Mr. Hayes and it only makes it more important to get this man removed even more.

    Some of you have asked where you can send letters too. This is the information I received on who we should write to from Lynn..

    Please consider using this contact information to let County officials know we are not giving up on Mr. Hayes’ removal. Please be polite and factual in your communication with these officials – let them know what we do, what YOU do personally, and how you feel about their lack of attention to this matter:

    Mr. Bill Clark, County Manager,,

    Amon E McKenzie, County Commissioner
    P.O.Box 1884
    Whiteville, NC 28472
    (910) 738-6281 Work

    James E. Prevatte, County Commissioner
    P.O.Box 905
    Whiteville, NC 28472
    (910) 642-0400

    Giles E. (Buddy) Byrd, County Commissioner
    1941 Giles Byrd Rd
    Hallsboro, NC 28442
    910) 646-3365 Voice
    (910) 646-3365 Fax

    P. Edwin Russ, County Commissioner
    1123 South Madison Street
    Whiteville, NC 28472
    (910) 646-1366 Home
    (910) 642-3444 Fax

    Trent Burroughs, County Commissioner
    209 North Lewis St
    Tabor City, NC 28463
    (910) 653-2928 Business

    Ricky Bullard, County Commisioner
    Vice Chairman
    215 Bullard Lane
    Cerro Gordo, NC 28430
    (910) 654-4833

    Charles T. McDowell, County Commissioner
    P.O. Box 59
    7691 Seven Creeks Highway
    Nakina, NC 28455
    (910) 642-3709 Home

    Thank you all! Your support is greatly appreciated. Please continue to spread the word as we are not backing down we implore you to not either. I will continue to update when we have more information.

    Thank you ,

  7. Though Facebook, I have followed Loretta’s efforts to save the poor unwanted, unloved, and homeless animals from our county. Each and every one is important and worth saving. It is such a good feeling to know that a dog or cat that has been abandoned, abused, or maybe never had a home, will get a second chance at a happy life. You see, even more than food and clean water, these animals just want to be loved and give unconditional love. They want a hand of their very own to stroke their heads.

    These 17 dogs that were INHUMANELY euthanized, or murdered, will never know the joy of being rescued by a family that WANTS them and being truly loved. Hundreds of Loretta’s success stories are spread all over the country. And not only have these dogs been cheated out of a happy ending, but also the potential families won’t get a chance to meet these sweet little angels.

    If all of this isn’t bad enough, the manner in which these dogs were “murdered” is barbaric! Heart stick euthanasia is NOT humane. The poison-filled needle and syringe are jammed into the conscious dog’s chest, aiming for the heart. The dog’s last moments are agonizing, especially if the needle hits the lungs instead of the heart. In that case, it has to be done all over again.

    This isn’t the first time dogs have been killed by Rossie Hayes before being given a chance. I hope it never happens again!

  8. No matter the method, if an animal is healthy and adoptable, there is no euthanasia involved. It’s called KILLING and that’s what we need to say. The language needs to match the deed – and the sooner we tell the whole truth, the sooner people will begin to understand the atrocities that are going on at too many of these facilities. People read “euthanasia” and think of a dying animal quietly going to sleep.
    Thanks to all who are working hard to make a difference. I know that the “good old boy” network is solidly in place in many areas and often prevents the right thing from happening. Don’t give up!

  9. I’m sick to death of the ignorance that is happening at shelters across the Country. I feel that all personnel involved in the killing of animals should be fired immediately. These ignorant bastards get away without consequences and the killing goes on!

  10. This is sad and heart breaking that this has happened, but believe me it is not the first time.It may be the first time for that many at one time but this place is bad it is full of bad seeds and everyone at the place needs to be replace.All of them have watch this kind of stuff go on for a long time and kept their mouths shut.That is wrong.I started watching how they worked us that were following them on Facebook a few months back.Here we make pledges to save a dog but they kill it any way.True fact!This deal with a foster that has a pet shop getting the pledges that were for other animals she did not want to foster but would take the pledges to foster a smaller pet then sell it out of her shop in Wilmington NC is wrong.If we pledge and get the pledges where they need to be and then some why kill it? Don’t want to hear oh it was sick.If it had been sick why take the pledges? I know why because they were playing with our hearts.I have emails and notes I had been saving till I could turn it over to the right person this is why I say they all need to be fired.If you talk to 3 different people and all tell you something different someone is lying or don’t have a clue to what is going on.Do the right thing and let all of them at this shelter face consequences.

  11. I do not believe that! Judging from this pitiful excuse for a “humane” society here in Fremont County, Canon City, CO., there are definitely those who enjoy murdering these animals in the most inhumane ways possible.

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