Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cleveland Co Animal Control Sux

A kitten in NC was recently rescued from a storm drain by AC:
Little “Lucky” will never realize how fortunate he really is.

Right. Because he's dead.

Backstory: After getting the kitten out the drain, AC slated him for death because of a bass-akwards policy which mandates the killing of any stray without proof of Rabies vaccine. That would mean definite death for "Lucky" who wouldn't be old enough to get a Rabies vaccine, even if he had an owner. And obviously most strays aren't carrying their proof of Rabies vaccines in their purses when picked up by AC. I guess that explains these sad stats:

Cleveland County Animal Control's annual report for 2007 through 2008 reads that out of 6,750 animals at the shelter, 6,249 were euthanized.

According to that report, nine animals were adopted from the shelter and seven were adopted by the [Cleveland County] Humane Society. While the numbers are low, Lockridge said animal vaccinations and the county's high rate of rabies are part of the reason.

Because of the publicity Lucky's rescue received, there was a public outcry over the idea that he would be killed. Authorities relented and granted him a six month stay in quarantine at the Cleveland Co Humane Society (CCHS). But Lucky never made it out of AC. He apparently became ill and was left to suffer in his cage until the President of CCHS came to pick him up:

“He was curled up in a box, kind of lifeless,” Mebane said, describing Lucky. “That poor kitten was just left there in a cage, all alone, dying. No animal should have to lay there, left to die. We went straight to the vet and he died at the clinic.”

The vet that examined the kitten found him to be dehydrated, with white gums and a dangerously low body temperature.


“He was so weak that he could barely stand up on his own,” [Veterinarian Deanna] Moseley said. The kitten went into respiratory arrest and died."

Since it presumably took several days for the kitten's condition to deteriorate so badly, I would think someone would be held accountable. But it looks like all the locals involved are expert players at passing the buck:

Moseley conceded the county is limited in what they can provide to animals taken into the shelter.

Mebane agrees.

“It's unfortunate that animal control isn't set up to provide veterinary care,” she said. “It's not their protocol.”

Sam Lockridge of Cleveland County Animal Control was unable to be reached for comment.

Moseley coined Lucky a “survivor,” but noted his story is just another scenario that happens locally on a daily basis.

No one person or group in particular is responsible for Lucky’s death, Moseley said.

So I guess that's that. No harm, no foul. Unless you mean Lucky, or any of the other 6249 pets killed by Cleveland Co Animal Control in recent years. In which case: meh.

Added, 7-22-09: The Rabies vaccine policy mentioned with regards to Lucky:
“Policy will not allow us to sell someone a stray, unvaccinated animal,” said Sam Lockridge, coordinator of health services with the Cleveland County Health Department.


Anonymous said...


PETA must be so proud, they have a kindred spirit in Cleveland.

I'll bet the publics opinion of AC is kinda low, they don't have much of a volunteer force and they are "doing the best they can" and people "don't realize how heartbreaking the job is"

What a load of BS. Time for truth in advertising folks.

Cleveland County Slaughter Facility, "your tax dollars at work!" sounds about right. Remind mwe never to drive through the county if I am going cross country with any pets.


Barb said...

And what's with the SIX MONTH quarantine??? Just how far back in the Dark Ages ARE the Cleveland AC asshats??

That is the most... I was going to say ridiculous policy I've ever heard, but "ridiculous" doesn't sufficiently convey the sense of tragedy and outrage.

Pai said...

Apparently those bastards think 'quarantine' is leaving a kitten to die of thirst in a cage all alone.

Just like Winograd says: This is the kind of shelter that blames YOU for their killing!

Susan said...

I just watched a movie about the Scottsboro trial, so I can't help hearing a Southern drawl in my head saying something like, "That'll larn those damn kitten lovers to get in the way of Cleveland County animal justice. He coulda gone easy, but they made us do it hard."

OK, maybe not. But if there is such a thing as reincarnation, PLEASE don't bring me back as an animal in N.C.

Anonymous said...

Query, this dumb-ass 6 month rabies quarantine rule.

A county policy, or a county ordinance?

Astonishing that those of us all over North America, including those of us living cheek by jowl with raccoons, foxes, bats you name it have not just all died from all those stray dog, cats, puppies, kittens adopted out.

When was the last time anyone here heard about a stray, who originated in North America, and who was adopted out coming down with rabies?

There have been a few imported stray puppies with rabies, and the puppy from a flea market in Canada last year, but shelter strays, adopted out?

How bout instead of spending the money on euthanol or sure=kill, Cleveland Co. could order rabies vaccine and start up free and low cost rabies clinics, because killing 50-60 pets a day must get old, dontcha think?


YesBiscuit! said...

JenniferJ: I added a bit on the Rabies vax policy to the end of the post. I don't know why the shelter follows the policy instead of vaccinating strays themselves but it may be protocol set by the health dept. And maybe the health dept would agree to allowing the shelter to get strays vaccinated instead of killing them, if anyone at the shelter asked.

EmilyS said...

so like couldn't they, you know, VACCINATE the stray animal and then "sell" it? Rather than killing... unless of course they just believe in killing...

Anonymous said...

I'm just amazed. Not surprised, there's plenty of reactive, stupid policy out there, but still amazed. If it's a health dept policy, I wonder how many others around the country follow this policy?


Anonymous said...

This on the county website

*Animal Shelter -- (704) 481-9884, 1601 Airport Road, Shelby. (Next to County Landfill)

Now THAT"S convenient.


Pai said...

Ew. I bet THAT location helps discourage adopters from coming to visit, too!