Reform The Columbus County Animal Shelter
Reform The Columbus County Animal Shelter
Imagine… You’ve been hit by a car and immediately taken from your home by strangers to be tossed onto a cold, damp, hard concrete floor surrounded by chaos and noise. You’re scared and in so much pain. You hear the conversation behind you. Someone is asking to be allowed to help--to be allowed to get you a doctor. But they are denied. They are informed there is nothing wrong with you. They claim that you’re just mean, so there you lay on that cold, hard floor. This is the story of Ranger. The next morning, the shelter staff find Ranger cold and dead on that concrete floor. Dead despite the pleas of a volunteer to get him treated. A beautiful, adoptable dog that spent the night alone, slowly and painfully dying from untreated injuries….
Imagine… You are a volunteer, toiling against nearly impossible odds in a rural county kill shelter. You see the masses brought in everyday. You watch these helpless souls waiting days, weeks, and months for rescue or adoption, with most of them being overlooked and never finding that safe haven. You are informed that state law says animals rescued from the county shelter must be spayed or neutered and the public pays for this spay/neuter voucher as part of the adoption fee. You know that rescues pay a different rate, as they are responsible for spay and neuter cost along with their regular vet bills. A man strolls in confidently, proceeds to blatantly inform you that he wants a particular dog for breeding purposes, because “two dogs somehow got to my boy and killed him before I could stop them.” He leaves and returns with his fee in hand. NOT the public fee, which includes spay or neuter, but the fee charged to rescues. No one has any reason to inform him of rescue rates, as he is clearly not a rescue. Rescue work goes on largely behind the scenes. We don’t purposefully hide anything, it’s simply that the general public is uninterested in our daily grind and struggles. Yet this man seems very insistent that he is allowed to take this animal for a $25.00 fee. He seems very comfortable, too comfortable, as though it is very familiar and routine.
Last, but not least… Imagine a tiny kitten. One who is lying in his own waste so long it causes blistering of his underside, penis and even feet. He is parasite infested. Just a tiny baby who never had a chance in this house of horrors… The kittens name was Squirt. Sadly, he did not survive. He was humanely euthanized; the injuries to his small body more than he could recover from.
These horror stories have occurred not over the past few years or even months, but rather weeks. Just a few short weeks… We acknowledge vast improvement in this county’s animal welfare and we express our gratitude for this. But it is time to push the South out of the dark ages, starting here and now. To complain without solution is simply whining. We are not whining-we come with solutions and ideas. We come with models to follow to assist in moving forward. We come willing to lend our assistance in any way possible to do this. There are immediate issues, which must be addressed before there is any real progress.
Dismissal of any employee currently working in Animal Control who is afraid of or uninterested in the animals
Injured or sick animals should receive veterinary care in a timely manner
Investigation of suspected inside assistance to fighting rings in obtaining fighter and breeder animals
Investigation of suspicious individuals engaging in felony dog fighting with the assistance of a shelter employee
Actual and Serious Investigation of felony animal cruelty
Adopters screened prior to adopting an animal
Spaying or neutering of animals before they leave county custody in adoptions
We come prepared to volunteer our time and expertise when needed. We bring with us many concerned citizens with the drive and desire to make a difference. This county has long endured the “Good Ole’ Boy” system, well known as a place where who you know is vastly more important than what you know or what you do. With your help, we can ensure that these issues are not just swept under the rug like many others in the past have been. We are prepared to assist in this transition. There are tried and true models of shelters adopting similar guidelines to what is needed here. Two neighboring counties have made remarkable progress. What we are demanding is not impractical, as it has been implemented in numerous places throughout the nation with great success. It is time for Columbus County to move forward, NOW!