Tag Archives: NC

Open letter to the new Beaufort County AC chief

The Beaufort County pound has a new boss, Todd Taylor, who has worked there for the past 5 years as an animal control officer.

I figured it’s a perfect time to write him a letter asking for his outcome statistics (2011 numbers were not reported to NCDA&CS) and maybe getting him to take a look at the No Kill Equation … and while I’m at it, what about that heinous, barbaric gas chamber? Here’s an excerpt from my letter to him:

One of my projects is calculating the kill rates, adoption rates and owner reclaim rates for all NC shelters that receive public funds, based on the statistics they are required by law to submit to the NCDA&CS (you can see the dog & cat rates calculated here and the the kill rate rankings from highest to lowest here). Unfortunately, I am not able to include Beaufort County because your predecessor did not submit your facility’s 2011 statistics to the NCDA&CS. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in rectifying this, and if you would also consider sending me a copy of the stats. I could get them by filing an open records request, but it seems so much easier to just ask nicely.

The article in the Beaufort Observer mentioned that you don’t like the part of your job where you kill animals. That’s good to know, because perhaps it means you would be open to considering an alternative. There is a proven program to eliminate population-control killing that is currently being used with great success in open-admission public shelters just like yours in more than 50 communities across the US. The program is called the No Kill Equation, and you can read about it here. (I am also attaching a PDF file of a primer called “No Kill 101”).

Many of these communities are quite rural, much like Beaufort County, and six of them are just north of us in Virginia (Charlottesville, Fluvanna County, King George County, Lynchburg, Powhatan County and Williamsburg). Another rural Virginia community, Amelia County, is working on being that state’s seventh community to end population-control killing of healthy and treatable shelter pets. You can read about all of these communities here.

Most importantly for a small-budget shelter, many of the programs in the No Kill Equation are more cost-effective than impounding, warehousing and then killing animals. Some rely on private philanthropy, as in the use of rescue groups, which shifts costs of care from public taxpayers to private individuals and groups. Others, such as the use of volunteers, augment paid human resources. Still others, such as adoptions, bring in revenue. And, finally, some, such as neutering rather than killing feral cats, are simply less expensive both immediately and in the long-term, with exponential savings in terms of reducing births.

I have attached a PDF file of a publication called “Dollars and Sense” that describes No Kill’s cost effectiveness in detail  (also available for download here).

A final issue I’d like to raise is your use of the gas chamber as a killing method. The gas chamber is a throwback to a less civilized time when it was introduced by humane societies as an improvement over far more brutal ways of killing animals, such as drowning, shooting and beating, and has been denounced as inhumane by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the National Animal Control Association, and the American Humane Association. Use of the gas chamber has been banned in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Louisiana’s ban will go into effect in Jan. 2013. Beaufort County’s next-door neighbor, Craven County, discontinued the used of the gas chamber at Craven-Pamlico Animal Services last spring. Person County manager Heidi York has announced that their gas chamber will be phased out by July 2013. And the interim manager of the Sampson County pound has announced her desire to get rid of that facility’s gas chamber as well. Will you join this movement toward progress and ban the use of the gas chamber in your facility?

If you’d like to write a (respectful and polite) note to Beaufort County’s new animal control chief (other possible topics include asking him to actually list some pets for adoption on Petfinder or Adopt A Pet, the two most-used pet adoption sites, or maybe expanding their open hours to increase adoptions) you can send it to him at: todd.taylor@co.beaufort.nc.us. More contact information for him is available here.


Filed under Beaufort County, gas chamber, NC county/municipal pounds

Adoptable pet of the day

OK, I’m blatantly ripping off YesBiscuit! (And why not? Shirley inspired me to start this blog in the first place!) in starting a “pet of the day” feature. Although knowing me, it might be the “pet of every few days” feature because sometimes I can’t manage to find time for the blog.

Anyway, today’s adoptable pet is Champion, in the Granville County, NC, pound (which will be the topic of a post very soon):

Champion in Granville County pound

Champion is a young mix (hound+terrier?) who came into the Granville County pound already neutered, with a tattoo (probably from a low-cost neuter clinic) and a microchip (his owner seems to have moved and changed phone numbers, however). Champion seems to be house-trained because volunteers say holds his urine as much as possible to avoid soiling his kennel.

Granville County is a high-kill gassing pound, and Champion has already been there for a while. Shelter adoption fee is $50 per animal plus $6 per rabies vaccine where applicable. Phone (919) 693-6749 to speak with or leave a message for the officers. Speak clearly and leave your phone number twice. If the animal is still available, the officers WILL get back to you. Shelter hours are Monday thru Friday from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The shelter is closed Sundays and holidays.

You can also see Champion on Petfinder (including a fun photo of him peeing).

UPDATE! Maureen sent more photos of Champion!

UPDATE: Champion got adopted at the eleventh hour!


Filed under Adoptable pet, Granville County

Surry County pound lets coonhound wallow in his own blood

An April 26 NCDA&CS inspection report of the Surry County pound reveals that they housed an “emaciated and thin”  coonhound with a bloody tail without giving it veterinary care.

The report states:

One coonhound male named ‘Gunner’ (#57398) was found appearing to be severely emaciated and thin. This dog also has an injured tail that is bleeding. A sufficient amount of blood was found on the kennel walls and floor and on the dog’s left side. Records indicate that the dog arrived at this facility on 4/2/12. Upon review of this facility’s program of veterinary care the contract veterinarian should be contacted and his/her recommendation followed pertaining to this animal’s health. The animal should be isolated and evaluated. At the time of inspection such documentation was lacking. This animal was found in kennel 8 in the adoption area without a sign indicating that this animal was being evaluated and/or in isolation. This animal is in need of immediate veterinary care within 24 hrs.

Thomas Williams, a spokesman for the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, which oversees shelter operations, said it was a “quirky time due to the ongoing budget process.

Even if Gunner did get the veterinary care he needed, his prospects for getting out of the Surry County pound are (or were, as the case may be) bleak. Surry County has the sixth worst kill rate in North Carolina, killing 90.7 percent of the dogs and cats they took in during 2011 (86.93 percent of dogs and 94.47 percent of cats don’t make it out of that place alive).

That kill rate isn’t so surprising considering the Surry County pound staff don’t seem to make any effort at all to adopt animals out. There are no pets listed on their Petfinder page or their Adopt-A-Pet page, and their Adopt-A-Pet page doesn’t even list them in the correct state (Nebraska instead of North Carolina).

Their adoption rate in 2011 was 5.10 percent for dogs and 3.96 percent for cats.

Other deficiencies noted in the April 26 inspection, which the Surry County pound failed, were:

  • A broken guillotine door needs repair/replacement
  • Cracks are appearing in the floor throughout facility
  • Two cat enclosures were without water
  • An open bag of food was found in the washroom
  • Rusted enclosure doors in the cat room
  • Damaged canine enclosure gates in two kennels, leaving one kennel not escape proof
  • peeling and cracking floors and walls throughout facility
  • Three cat enclosures lacking a litter box.
  • Five animals that had been at the facility for 15 days or longer lacking a current rabies vaccine


Filed under Surry County