Unwanted pets can be shoved through a drop box in the wall of the Shelter, down a 3 ft drop onto a concrete floor. Holes are labelled for Cats Only or Dogs Only. So what happens next to the animal that finds himself/herself on the other side of the hole? They suddenly find themselves in a cramped, smelly, filthy pen with other dogs or cats like themselves. This is assuming some cruel person doesn't drop a cat through the dog door, or vice versa. Imagine all of these animals falling all over each other, & the injuries it causes! Imagine a sick animal tossed down the chute, and left to suffer, or to be attacked until someone arrives in the morning! Disease and parasites are spread because healthy animals aren't separated from those infected or infested. How many animals may not live until morning? Are the injured & sick & elderly then just euthanized?
Officials say that the drop box method is used to prevent animals from being tossed over the fence, left in air tight boxes outside the facility, or chained the fence. These are great reasons to have after hour drop off services, but this method is totally unacceptable, & inhumane. It is the laziest, cheapest, and least humane solution to the problem. To think this operation is actually supported by tax-payer’s dollars is appalling. They also claim that the drop box can only be used for one drop per night because it can be locked. However, the official who tried to demonstrate the locking ability was unable to engage the difficult lock.
There are viable alternatives to drop boxes. The shelter could easily stagger employee hours to provide expanded hours of service. Interior and exterior surveillance cameras can be installed for less than $1000 to document people who abuse or abandon animals on the property, and prosecution of these people can be used to prevent such abuses. Public education, and better signage about abandonment can discourage future incidents, too.
We must sign this petition to be the voice for those who have no voice. We must let the elected official of Rutherford County, NC know that animals are not refuse to be dumped down a chute. We live in a more enlightened time regarding animal welfare. There are laws to protect their safety. But more simply, you know in your gut it is wrong to treat alivong, feeling, trusting, & loyal companion animal in such a callous & dangerous manner. Rutherford County needs to change their policy & method regarding the intake of unwanted companion animals right now!