On a surprise visit to the Pender County pound on Monday, March 11, the NCDA&CS inspector discovered two cats who had been held in traps without litter pans for three days. “Feces was noted on the floor where they sat,” according to the report. The inspector “advised manager not to allow traps to be set unless there is an adequate shelter enclosure available for the cats.”
The impulse to bring in more cats than there is room for could be because dead cats are a revenue source for the Pender County pound. Between June 26, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013, the Pender County Animal “Shelter” sold 660 dead cats to LBS Biological Inc. for $4 each, according to receipts obtained through a public records request. That’s $2,640 in revenue over a seven-month period, which means that over the course of a year, dead cat sales could potentially bring in nearly $4,500 in revenue. The cat-selling practice raised at least one county commissioner’s eyebrows when it was revealed last month.
LBS Biological sells the cats to Carolina Biological Supply, which turns them into dissection kits so that school children can learn all about the miracle of life in biology class.
A request for records of all animal-killing drugs purchased for the Pender pound between August 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013 revealed that $636.60 was spend on Fatal Plus and Ketathesia (ketamine) during that time period. During the same period, pound staff used the drugs to kill 769 cats and dogs, one chicken, one dove and 27 opossums, raccoons and foxes.* The revenue from the sale of dead cats appears to more than cover the Pender County pound’s business of killing animals.
Given that the capture and sale of cats is a revenue source for the Pender pound, it’s not hard to see why they would disregard animal welfare laws to trap more cats than they have room to house.
Pender is not the only so-called “shelter” in NC that profits from killing and selling animals. LBS Biological obtains cats from shelters in 34 NC counties and cities (including Brunswick, Onslow, New Hanover, Duplin Beaufort, Lenoir and Surry). LBS is just one of many dealers operating in NC and elsewhere in the US to obtain animals for dissection or experimentation.
Other problems found in the March 11 Pender County pound inspection included:
- 18 sick cats with matted eyes and nasal mucus who had not been provided any medical care. Shelter staff killed the cats during the inspection.
- Dog biscuits lying on top of a storage cabinet and an open box of dog treats were noted in multipurpose room.
- Spilled dry food inside an outdoor storage building
- Holes in the metal walls of indoor dog kennels. Dogs noted urinating and sticking their feet through the holes.
- Chewed dog houses in the outdoor kennels.
- Seven cats in a kennel with two litter pans (acceptable ratio is one pan per three cats).
- Cat urine and and feces and spilled dry food inside an outdoor food/bedding storage building.
- Trash around the storage building and the kennels.
- The cat isolation area is in a poor location in that workers must pass through the healthy cat room therefore may easily transmit disease to the healthy cats. (It was recommended that fixing that deficiency be a long-term capital improvement project.)
There is to be a follow-up inspection to see if the deficiencies have been corrected on March 25, 2013.
Pender County Photo Gallery (all photos taken while shelter open to public):
* The killing log notes that many opossums and raccoons were killed for being “feral.” Isn’t that pretty much a NORMAL way to be for wild animals? Why are they not being released back into their habitat? Depending on how and why they are trapped, the impoundment and killing of these animals may not actually be legal under NC law. According to The NC Division of Wildlife management, if an ACO sets a trap for a cat and by chance captures an opossum, the animal must be released from the trap on sight and should not be relocated or euthanized. If a depredation permit has been issued for the removal of an animal causing damage then it could be euthanized by the animal control officer or at the animal shelter if that is where animal control captures are killed. Also, if an animal is rabid or displays disease-like symptoms for rabies ACO’s are responsible for capturing those animals euthanizing them and submitting them for testing. The NCWRC statues and rules addressing this issue are G.S. Chapter 113 Article 21 and 22 and Title 15A NCAC 10B .0106. Back