Category Archives: “irresponsible public”

Irresponsible public steps up to help pound pets after theft

The Currituck County pound staff had been planning a fundraiser to raise money for a new shelter. But then right before hurricane season, when long power outages are likely in their part of the state, someone stole their emergency power generators. So their fundraiser became a little more urgent.

But the story got picked up by TV and radio and suddenly the irresponsible public–you know, the people high-kill shelter directors and staff love to blame for all the killing–stepped forward to give the shelter two brand-new generators and $5,000 in donations all within less than 24 hours.

According to News Channel 3, after the news reports aired people called in donations to the shelter or walked in and handed the staff money. A local radio station teamed up with Lowes to get the generators donated and raise more than $1,000.

“Without the generosity we have had from the community for getting the new generators we would not have the air to breathe that we will now have when a hurricane comes through and we can’t open doors and windows,” said shelter staffer Ginger Sikes.


Filed under "irresponsible public", Currituck County

Robeson adoption rate “less than half” of pre-distemper levels

The Robeson County pound killed 1,035 pets during the months of March, April and May 2012 because of a distemper outbreak (which was at least the third large distemper outbreak there in a little more than a year), and now adoptions are less than half of what they were before the outbreak and the kill rate has “barely decreased,” according to an article in The Robesonian.

The shelter reopened on May 23 after being closed since Feb. 29. In June and July combined, 1,001 dogs and cats were euthanized, 152 animals were adopted or rescued and 35 pets were reclaimed by their owners — an average survival rate of 16.5 percent for dogs and 9.5 percent for cats. August statistics were not available for this story.

Oh, but rest assured, it’s not their fault! Former director Lori Baxter (now employed blaming others for the failure of the Sampson County pound) and former adoption coordinator Sara Hatchell stole the pound’s “customers,” (i.e. rescue groups) when they left to take jobs at other pounds, according to Robeson County Health Director Bill Smith. “It’s much the same as any employee who leaves an employer, they sometimes take customers with them,” Smith said. “… Somebody else gained, and we lost.”

(Meanwhile, Robeson pound’s adoption coordinator Wanda Strickland might not be endearing herself so much to the rescuers who do choose to work with her.)

Actually, it’s pretty nice of Smith not to blame Baxter for the distemper outbreaks to begin with, since they happened during her tenure as manager (as did a “dip” in adoption rates and a spike in kill rates, despite ballyhoo about how she “turned the shelter around”). But wait, as her boss, Smith is probably the one who holds the purse strings, so it may have been his decision not to administer vaccinations upon intake, which are “vital lifesaving tools that must be used as part of a preventive shelter healthcare program.”

Smith also assigns some blame for his shelter’s failure to … wait for it … “poor treatment by county residents of their animals.” The Irresponsible Public! But again, wait … who is it that interim manager Bryon Lashley says will soon be coming in greater numbers to adopt and are currently bringing “donations of puppy food, dog food, cat food and toys coming in and helping us out”? The article says it’s local residents … yes, the Irresponsible Public to the rescue again.


Filed under "irresponsible public", Distemper, Robeson County

Director of Richmond Co. HS complains about the public, tells them to just shut up

Valerie Davis, director of the Humane Society of Richmond County, wrote a letter to the editor of her local paper in response to “several issues that have come about lately in the public eye.” (Anyone have any idea what these issues are and care to share?) Instead of addressing the actual issues, however, Ms. Davis ripped a page out of the High-Kill Shelter Director’s Self-Defense Manual and decided to get defensive, blame the public and call them irresponsible and then tell them they have no right to say anything if they aren’t doing her job for free.

The public is so quick to demand service. They wish to surrender animals at will without making donations. They allow their pets to breed and then surrender the litters to us. They will refuse to spay or neuter even when the service is offered at a low cost.

If the residents of Richmond County and the surrounding townships wish to help with any of these shortcomings we welcome their help and guidance. If you’re not supporting the shelter in some way, then please guard your criticism.

In 2011, the Humane Society of Richmond County threw more than 70 percent of the pets they took in into the dumpster. And the woman in charge there wants to lecture her community about how to take care of animals? So much for leading by example. And is it any wonder that the public is not beating a path to volunteer for her when she has demonized them and blamed them for her inability to do her job and protect the animals in her so-called “shelter?”

Ms. Davis and/or her staff apparently can’t even thank a supporter without getting in a swipe at her community:

Richmond County Humane Society griping

From the Humane Society of Richmond County Facebook page

Perhaps if Valerie Davis would stop taking potshots at her community, she could take a few minutes to see that there is an actual proven program that would end the killing of healthy and savable pets in Richmond County. It is in place and working at more than 50 open-admission shelters in communities across the US. But it only works if  you stop blaming your failure on your community and forge an actual trusting relationship with them.

But instead Ms. Davis, whose shelter is a recipient of public funds, has the gall to tell taxpayers that they have no right to complain about the service their money is paying her to do. This brings to mind one of my favorite quotes (from YesBiscuit’s Facebook page):

If you are a taxpayer, you have the right to complain about the municipal services, including your local animal shelter, funded by your tax dollars. Don’t let anyone bully you into silence by telling you that if you aren’t at the animal shelter volunteering, adopting, transporting or whatever, you have no right to speak about the shelter. You are paying for it. You have every right.

Imagine if the city hospital was killing the patients and all the candy stripers did was wag their finger and tell people that if they weren’t at the hospital passing out magazines, they had no right to complain.

UPDATE: Reader Charlene contributed a comment about her experiences with the Humane Society of Richmond County on the FixNC facebook page.


Filed under "irresponsible public", Richmond County

Public service message from Bladen Co. pound: This dog is disposable

Raleigh @ Bladen County pound

Raleigh, whose life is worth less than a dose of de-wormer.

I just saw a posting on the wall of A Shelter Friend (the advocacy/rescue group responsible for saving most of the animals who make it out of the Bladen County pound alive) that this dog named Raleigh  is going to be killed today for hookworm if someone doesn’t step up and commit to his rescue or adoption by 4:30 pm.

If a member of the public were to drop this dog at the pound saying he didn’t want to pay for the de-worming, he would be called  irresponsible. But when the pound decides the dog’s life is worth less than a dose of de-wormer, guess who they get to blame? The irresponsible public.

True, the Bladen County pound is on a small budget. But there seems to be enough in the budget for the dose of Fatal-Plus to kill Raleigh. What’s more, via A Shelter Friend, Bladen pound has a pretty large supporter base.  If the director asked ASF to put the word out that they need donations of de-wormers, they would probably get a decent response. Some people who can’t go to the pound and pick up Raleigh might like  a chance to do something concrete to help him get out of that pound alive.


Filed under "irresponsible public", Bladen, NC county/municipal pounds