Many people have asked for an update on what has been happening at Cleveland County Animal Control since our Intake Coordinator, Patricia Kennedy, submitted a presentation to the County Commissioners with specific information about our unsuccessful attempts to rescue a sweet dog named Luna. After reviewing the presentation, County Commissioner Susan Allen reached out to us and has continued to be responsive to our concerns (even though she was traveling out of the country for a good part of the time). Based upon Commissioner Allen's review of the situation with Luna (and similar situations involving other rescues), the Commissioners determined that changes were needed at the shelter. Commissioner Allen expressed a sincere interest in having the shelter be more accessible to rescue and in reducing the shelter's euthanasia rate. One new change is that CCAC just hired Jennifer Coalson to serve as an internal rescue coordinator (previously, rescue efforts were coordinated through a local animal welfare group). CCAC is also implementing several safeguards to try to prevent breakdowns in communication from occurring. CCAC is requiring all rescue groups who wish to pull from the shelter to complete a FORM.
One of our Directors, Darren Binder, also spoke with Commissioner Allen today about the shelter's continued use of gassing. He recommended that Cleveland County consider looking into a grant from the The Humane Society of the United States to eliminate this method of killing (several other NC counties, including Sampson County, have accepted this grant). He then contacted the Humane Society's NC State Representative to encourage renewed discussion about this issue in light of the positive changes that appear to be occurring at the shelter. Please note that this is not to suggest that Cleveland County has committed in any way to cease using this method in the immediate future, but we believe it is at least a start.
In summary, we believe that there are positive changes occurring at the Cleveland County Animal Control. We also recognize that not everything will be fixed at once and there will unfortunately still be hiccups in the rescue process. Commissioner Allen has encouraged anyone with specific information about a particular animal issue to provide her with the all of relevant information (such as tag number, dates, etc.), but noted that general or duplicative emails are not helpful.
We thank Commissioner Allen for responding to our concerns and Patricia Kennedy for putting together a compelling presentation. We also thank local Cleveland County rescue volunteers, CDR supporters, and all of the other rescues who have worked hard to save the dogs and cats of Cleveland County. We also express our appreciation for the work of Chrissy Roberts and others at Take Action - Help Ban Gas Chambers for their continued advocacy on eliminating this inhumane killing method.
We will update with more information when we have it.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.