The South Will Rise

While places like Union Co, NC continue to go moldy, communities all around the south are defying stereotypes and adopting progressive no kill protocols.

In Spartanburg, SC, city ACOs used to pick up cats and take them to the pound where roughly 8 out of 10 would be killed.  Area caretakers of feral cat colonies had a contentious relationship with the officers who would round up their maintained colony cats, along with other cats, and take them away for killing.

But late last year, Spartanburg Animal Services investigated trap-neuter-return for community cats and decided it was worth a try.  Funded by a grant, the city’s ACOs launched the program in January 2013.  They are on track to meet their goal of providing neuter and vaccination services to 750 feral cats this year.  The feline kill rate has dropped to virtually zero in 2013 thanks to TNR and the relationship with the community has bloomed into a supportive and useful one.  And Spartanburg Animal Services has been educating the masses via its Facebook page on which they document their outstanding TNR success.

In North Carolina, Lincoln Co animal advocates successfully lobbied their county commissioners for shelter reform.  Citing the will of the people to save shelter pets instead of killing them, commissioners unanimously voted this month to adopt the programs of the No Kill Equation:

“We are excited about leading the way in the state of North Carolina, through our commitment to become a no kill municipal shelter,” said Alex Patton, chairman of the county commissioners. “It is the right decision and one shared by the majority of our citizens.”

In Calhoun Co, AL, an advisory board was formed after concerns were raised about animal cruelty and botched killings at the pound.  The county is now slated to turn pound operations over to a non-profit group with goals for significant improvements:

 “I kept hearing from the previous board that it’s impossible to be a no-kill shelter,” [board member and attorney Tom] Wright said. “That’s not right to me, because that should be your goal. That’s what we want to work towards.”

Makes sense to me.

So even as many old-think shelter directors and politicians in the south remain mired in the killing ways of decades gone by, more and more southern communities are throwing off the yoke of archaic practices and starting to look at what makes sense:  Animals shelters should shelter animals. The public does not want animals in shelters killed.

No kill is not only possible, it’s happening in hundreds of communities all over the country.  Regressive directors and their enablers will continue to see their stranglehold on shelters eroded as more advocates take political action and the public continues to be educated about lifesaving alternatives.  And when history reflects upon those who fought to keep killing in the south and elsewhere, they will find themselves a mere Meisterburger footnote at the end of the chapter entitled “Compassion and Common Sense”.

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12 Comments

  1. And we need to flood these positive people with emails letting them know we applaud them and support what they are doing. I know I’m quick to send a critical (but respectful) message to the “other kind” but not quick enough to send a positive message to the “good guys”. Off to do that right now!

    Reply
  2. I’m going to share this with my local group that is working very hard to help the animals and the feral cats

    Reply
  3. Please tell us what grant so other communities (like ours) can do the same.

    Reply
    • It was a grant from Petsmart Charities. Please contact Spartanburg AS directly if you need additional info. I contacted Major Steve Lamb (who heads SAS) in advance of this post to request an interview but he never replied.

      Reply
  4. mikken

     /  November 25, 2013

    It gives you hope. The Spartanburg folks are awesome and are using social media to their advantage. They have a LOT of fans!

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  5. It’s really refreshing to read about things going in the right direction! Hope to read more of these!

    Reply
  6. I read that another country did this. One result was reducing rodents to a tolerable level. We live near a national forest. So, our bird feeders were attracting mice & rats. We adopted 3 homeless cats and that rat problem wentaway

    Reply
  7. spaycritter

     /  November 26, 2013

    Maj Lamb is aware of this posting… He is returning calls, and doing follow up. He is currently ( as I write this) speaking with “Ardena Perry” , , Priscilla Walker and Harve Morgan have been attempting to spread their lies on the SAS page..When Steve came on board with TNR and No Kill , I don’t think he was prepared for folks that would be so opposed to such wonderful programs. As a member of his Community Advocacy Committee , I’m trying to stay above the fray , unless he asks for my support. However , nothing to stop any of you guys from commenting on the SAS page ;)
    Another item to note , the Greenville County Animal Care facility holds the contract for Spartanburg COUNTY,which is separate from City of Spartanburg… G’vlle has directed their officers to NOT pick up ear tipped cats, which forces S’burg County officers to act in the same manner. Having the city program is making it harder for the county to stay with antiquated trap and kill..The G’vlle facility has called me to return ear tipped cats to their home– in the county of G’vlle AND S’burg.
    Shirley , I feel certain Maj Lamb will be in touch…
    To thank him for his programs , his email is slamb@cityofspartanburg.org
    To thank G’vlle County for looking into TNR Paula Gucker is the county admin I have been working with– pgucker@greenvillecounty.org
    Kathrine Hubbard is S’burg County Admin who has yet to come on board– khubbard@spartanburgcounty.org
    I am so proud to have some Upstate leaders willing to go against the status quo !

    Reply
    • The names you refer to make it a full time job to troll the pro-TNR sites and create problems. Don’t know who they are or why they are such cat-haters, but they aren’t worth the powder it would take to blow them (him/her) up. So please tell the good guys to keep doing what they’re doing!

      Reply
    • Killing apologists with fake FB profiles seem to look at shelter killing like it’s the last chopper out of ‘Nam and they’re hanging on to it for dear life. With as much misinformation and pain these desperate people have put out there though, I can’t help but be happy about the fact that they obviously know their days of kill cheerleading are numbered.

      Reply
  8. Major Lamb has replied back to people in my community with lots of good ideas. We could all wish that our municipal shelter had a Major Lamb. I just cannot think of enough good things to say about this man (and I’m rarely at a loss for words:))

    Reply

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