Rowan Co Deigns to Let Citizens Work for Free at the Shelter, Within Limits, Because Obviously

One of the six pets advertised for adoption by the Rowan Co shelter in NC.  (Image via Petfinder)

One of the six pets currently advertised for adoption by the Rowan Co shelter in NC. (Image via Petfinder)

Some Rowan Co animal advocates are apparently pleased with promised policy changes at the shelter but after reading about the changes, I was able to contain my enthusiasm. In an effort to be fair, I’ll outline the changes in yay/nay format.

Paws Up: Beginning July 1, the shelter is going to start vaccinating and microchipping animals.
Paws Down: These costs will be passed on to adopters and rescuers who will have to pay an additional $10 for pets (beyond the current $70 fee).

Paws Up: The county will allow a volunteer program at the shelter.
Paws Down: The program won’t be implemented until a new cat wing, currently under construction, is opened. The volunteers will be issued reader cards in order to be prevented from accessing all areas of the shelter. The county has yet to purchase the card readers. Inmates who work at the shelter reportedly have full access but volunteers will be restricted.

Paws Up: There has been universal support for a 60 day TNR program for feral cats which would cost the county zero dollars.
Paws Down: The county decided to table the measure.

Paws Up: The shelter will purchase new software which will allow photographs of impounded animals to be posted online upon intake.
Paws Down: There is no set date for implementing this change. In the meantime, animal rescuers are restricted to following the current policy: they are allowed in the shelter for one hour at the county’s discretion and can take no more than 8 animal photos during that hour. The county commissioners and the shelter director were asked to relax this rule but refused.

So there you go. Keep your cheering to a dull roar, if you can manage it.

I appreciate that advocates have been working hard for a long time to effect change at the Rowan Co shelter. And I understand that progress doesn’t always take the form we hope for or arrive in a timely fashion. It’s an ongoing effort and you have to start somewhere. I get all that.

But speaking for myself, I’d rather eat glass than volunteer my services to people who treated me with such contempt and are more interested in wielding their sovereign power over me than saving animals. There are, tragically, many places where shelter animals are desperately in need of help and many ways to help them. I wouldn’t waste my time in Rowan Co. On the other hand, I am eternally thankful that not everyone in the world is like me. I’m glad there are some animal advocates in Rowan Co able to put up with these dickheads. Long may they run, especially since there may not be anyone on this planet willing to replace them.

(Thanks Lisa for the link.)

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9 Comments

  1. I think it’s time animal advocates convinced a lawyer to join their ranks, because a lot of those restrictions are illegal.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for writing this YB. We continue on because people gotta retire eventually right? ;)

    I wanted to also mention the insanity regarding FOIA requests. The county lawyer has now taken them over and has suspended any new ones until he can go through the current ones. They basically said you can’t send so many in. The lawyer for the county. It boggles the mind.

    Reply
    • You may be able to find assistance from the Sunshine Center at Elon University: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/communications/ncopengov/

      Legally there is no limit to the number of request you can send in, so technically you should be able to file a complaint with the NC attorney general’s office. But from my experience, I can tell you that the only real enforcement one is likely to get is by filing a lawsuit.

      Reply
      • Oh, and I almost forgot of of the BEST ways to get compliance with a records request: CC it to local newspaper and TV reporters. That has worked for me several times, and even resulted in news articles about the issue.

  3. db

     /  June 19, 2015

    And they are kind enough to post the date of availability and date of death on a pathetic photo, too. I wonder how many people are running to the facility to adopt them. I’m a sucker for the sad stories, but I fear I might run in the opposite direction of this place because I couldn’t tolerate the awfulness. Our county ac here in Michigan is dealing with so much of the same sh#$% that it makes me physically ill. They are working hard to prevent anyone other than the chosen few to know what’s happening to the animals (mostly dead ones), including the facility advisory board. I honestly don’t know what it’s going to take to change things.

    Reply
  4. This is me about to ask a stupid question, but what in the world does $70 cover if not vaccinations and a microchip? And how in the hell were they able to get to 2015 without vaccinating? AC exist for community health first. So they have been letting animals that can spread illnesses out into the community and did nothing to prevent it?

    Reply
  5. Jane

     /  June 19, 2015

    In response to Alice, the shelter has been giving intake vaccines (but not rabies) for a while now- less than a year). But, they were donated by another local group and never a sure thing. They only started given those after letters from a lawyer even though they now claim to have always been in favor of them. The reason they don’t give rabies, state law says they will be cited if they have animals longer than 14 days without a rabies vaccine. Their answer to this- kill them on the 14th day. People have offered to donate the rabies vaccines but they won’t give them on intake even though they give them at adoption or rescue.

    Reply
  6. Jane

     /  June 19, 2015

    I guess I shouldn’t have left out that the needed rabies vaccinations would cost less than $1500 and they approved $100,000 for keyless entry internal doors.

    Reply
  7. Patty

     /  June 19, 2015

    Open your eyes, Rowan County!! Especially females who live here…you are still being treated like second class citizens by the good ole boy network. What a shame some don’t see just how patronizing these assholes can be. Why do those who sincerely care continue to accept the crumbs they throw at you?

    Reply

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