Cats Seized from Alleged Hoarding Situation Sent to Gassing Pound in NC

WBTV reports that a home in Iredell Co, NC was visited by animal control officers in May:

They found 23 cats and the house was clean. Months later conditions got bad.

How bad?  Supposedly there were 198 cats and 3 dogs at the home yesterday when AC came with a warrant and seized all the pets.  WBTV states 15 will be killed.  Cruelty charges are pending against the owner.

Chris Royal, director of the Iredell County pound says some of the cats have ringworm.  And although she runs a gassing facility which killed 87% of the 3153 cats it received last year, she uses this media opportunity to chide the public regarding neutering:

“This just goes to show you,” Royal said. “If they would have their cat spayed or neutered, they would not have had the problem they have – 198, that is a lot of animals.”

Would neutering keep them out of your gas chamber?  I didn’t think so.

WSOC is reporting different numbers.  When AC visited in spring, they found “30 – 40 cats” and clean conditions.  WSOC also says 50 cats are sick and will be killed.  But they have the same total figures.

Whatever the exact numbers were a few months ago, it’s a staggering increase to get to 198 today and not explainable solely by a failure to neuter.  Neither report includes images from conditions inside the home and the cats pictured at the pound appear to be in good health.  I don’t know if the 15 (or 50) cats “have to” get stuffed into the gas chamber for ringworm or if there has been some other eyeball diagnosis by a layman that they are using as an excuse for killing instead of treatment.  But the director says they don’t have room for the cats and given her track record on killing, I fear for the non-ringworm cats.  Assuming the pound does no better and no worse than they did with their cats in 2011, that would mean at least 87% (probably more since RTO is not an option for any of them) will be killed.

Could the owner have been offered assistance with spay-neuter, education, and placement of some of the cats, allowing her to keep a smaller number which AC could monitor in future?  Seizing these cats is kinder to them than leaving them where they were – how exactly?  If even one of the healthy/treatable cats goes into the gas chamber at the pound, I call this entire operation an epic fail.

(Thank you Lisa for alerting me to this story.)

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54 Comments

  1. wanda

     /  July 28, 2012

    why did they have to go to this gassing hell hole?????? Such a barbaric method……can’t we plea for other shelters to take them?

    Reply
  2. lisa brodbar

     /  July 28, 2012

    Euthanizing pets in gas chambers is barbaric and cruel. I cannot believe that this is going on in 2012. They should be shut down! There is no excuse for this!!!

    Reply
  3. jean

     /  July 28, 2012

    I call it a fail even if they only kill the ringworm cats .its treatable. They were better off at home.

    Reply
  4. Lynne Jaquith Lowe

     /  July 28, 2012

    Really! Why “save” them from the hoarder only to kill them any way?!

    Reply
    • christine

       /  July 28, 2012

      I agree with you 100%!

      Reply
    • Vicki Aucremanne

       /  July 28, 2012

      My thoughts exactly. I cannot understand this method of “saving” animals….

      Reply
  5. mikken

     /  July 28, 2012

    It sounds like things deteriorated very quickly. But they do not state where all of these animals came from – craigslist? collected from the neighborhood? Is anyone checking to see if any of these animals are stolen? Are they posting photos of every animal in case they belong to someone or someone wants to reclaim an animal they gave/sold to this woman?

    Or do we just round them up and shake our finger at the public for not s/n?

    Reply
    • Pai

       /  July 29, 2012

      “Or do we just round them up and shake our finger at the public for not s/n?

      That’s the only thing most of these people know how to do, apparently.

      Reply
  6. Jessica C

     /  July 28, 2012

    15/201 are going to be killed? Hopefully I’m reading this right. When I used to watch Animal Cops, the SPCAs would go into situations like this, and if they rounded up 200 animals, you may see 15 survive out of that. It was like they were trying to punish the owners for not S/N. And still using the gas chamber in today’s world is just absolutely cruel and barbaric.

    Reply
  7. db

     /  July 28, 2012

    Beyond words – the cruelty and stupidity continue. God help these poor cats.

    Reply
    • Vicki Aucremanne

       /  July 28, 2012

      These animal do not deserve this fate…

      The story leaves me with many questions…how does 23 cats go to 198 in 2 months? And why was the house in good shape in May and in poor shape in July? what happened in between? Was the owner ill? In financial problems?

      Why was animal control at this person’s home in May?

      Were people dumping cats off at this person’s door step – this seems to be something that happens a lot if people know you love animals! And some people lack the ability to say NO NO NO!

      Are part of these cats actually kittens that were born since May? (and BTW, sick animals, geriatric animals, injured animals and the very young should NEVER be killed in this manner – their bodies do not absorb the poison in the same manner as a healthy adult animal, thus making a horrible death even slower and more painful and barberic)

      Inquiring thinking minds would like to know more. No matter what the reason these animals ended up here, they do NOT deserve the gas chamber. It is most barberic of ways to kill…I do not understand the concept of taking animals from one situation, that may be not so good, to only put them in a situation with the potential for death by gassing.

      Reply
  8. snappingturtle

     /  July 28, 2012

    I don’t understand how there seems to be conflict on the number of cats. Plus why kill a cat because it has ringworm? I’ve treated many cats with ringworm. It’s quite easy & not costly to treat/cure. With a kill rate of 87%, that is NOT a shelter, it’s a kill station. There are also too much conflict about the condition of the cats. It sounds to me like another phony raid to deprive a person of their an

    Reply
  9. Parallel

     /  July 28, 2012

    Not related to the post, but I just found this and I’m fascinated…

    My local animal shelter is the Gloucester County Animal Shelter and is well-known for their very strict adoption requirements. They’ll turn people down if they want to declaw a cat, want an indoor/outdoor cat, if prior pets aren’t vaccinated regladless of reason…among many other excuses. They’re like the Soup Nazi of animal shelters, only the cat you can’t have gets a needle of Fatal Plus.

    At the same time, they have the highest feline euthanasia rate in the state at 81%. This is a shelter that ‘protects’ animals by killing them as quickly as possible.

    I happened to look at their adoption page today and it actually apologies for how ‘frustrating’ the adoption process is…but of course, they only do it because they care so dang much about the animals. It truly is pretty amazing in terms of the shelter just not getting it.

    Direct quote…

    “We don’t ever mean to be frustrating to or evasive with you. We want you to understand that it’s stressful and upsetting – in fact,
    downright devastating – for the animals, for our staff, and most importantly, for you when adoptions don’t work out and pets have to come back to us.”

    The shelter requires that anyone interested in seeing the animals must fill out full application paperwork…you can’t just look at the animals, you have to apply and be approved EVEN BEFORE you select a pet. So no casual visiting the shelter and falling in love is possible.

    I don’t know why, but it amuses/horrifies me that they apologize for making the adoption process ‘frustrating’ when they are killing 81% of cats that enter the shelter.

    Reply
    • Jessica C

       /  July 28, 2012

      I couldnt agree more. Shelters can be so weird about their laws or whatever it is they are doing because they think that its good for the animal, but it really isnt. My cousin and his wife went to a shelter to adopt a dog and they told them no because they both work during the day (so no one would be there with the dog). Well most families nowadays have 2 working parents, so think of how many dogs that would save if they didn’t have that rule? Stupid.

      Reply
      • If the pet is in a killing facility, the criteria for adoption should be: Is this pet better off with the people who want him than dead?

      • Pai

         /  July 29, 2012

        They think dogs are 2 year old human babies that need 24/7 care or something. Only, in this case if the dog can’t get that care they kill it. Only the BEST for their ‘rescued dogs’! The best, or death.

      • Vicki Aucremanne

         /  July 29, 2012

        AND what about the shelter staff – would their homes meet the criteria? If they are spending lots of time working for or volunteering at the shelter then, aren’t they also falling into that “no one at home category”? Do they NOT have pets then? Or is this the same old crap I see over and over again – “it’s ok for me, since i work at a shelter – but not for the public”

        Also shows a basic stupidity about cats especially, some cats, do NOT want to be in your face 24/7 – it depends on the personality, but some are more or less contented to be in your presence sometimes.. AND how about the fact that animals spend a great deal of their days sleeping?

        These shelters are simply killing stations, designed to screen good enough homes out of the pictures. Then they can go and kill KILL KILL! I have no sympathy for the people who set things up so difficult that no one can adopt.

        I believe Nathan Winograd has a story on his blog about being denied an adoption – so folks, if a shelter would deny him, then they would deny anyone.

        BUT do not cry about “having” to KILL animals when you turn away adopters based on your arbitrary criteria. Reasonable screening questions, minimally intrusive, will often tell you what you need to know. Let people talk during the adoption process and they will often screen themselves out! People will tell you all sorts of things once you get them talking. OH wait – just like taking good care of the animals, taking nice pictures of the animals, planning and manning adoption events, and other things – it takes work to talk to people!!!! (sorry, my bad)

        Anyway, this whole fiasco makes me ill.

    • Joel

       /  July 28, 2012

      Why do you say “at the same time”, as if the two observations are not related?

      Reasonable background/home checks are one thing. Requiring a perfect home that the shelter staff likely doesn’t even provide for their own pets at home is another.

      Reply
      • Parallel

         /  July 30, 2012

        That’s true…I should have said “as a direct result”

        I’ve meet the director of this shelter on numerous occasions. She honestly does believe that animals are better off dead than in the average pet owner home. She’s also thoroughly entrenched, much like the situation in MAS. We connected media, etc., but nothing ever changes.

    • mikken

       /  July 29, 2012

      My local radio station is running commercials encouraging people to adopt children by reassuring them that they don’t have to be “perfect parents” to give a child a good home.

      I do wish more shelters/rescues embraced this philosophy for their charges.

      Reply
  10. CristyF

     /  July 28, 2012

    I helped some crazy cat ladies care for the 50 cats they had in their home (it was clean, the cats were cared for) and 50 cats is doable if you 1. Have the money for all the vet bills and food bills that many cats would rack up and 2. Your life revolves around cats and nothing but cats (these ladies had no life but work and cats). I would be very sad if I found out somebody seized those ladies’ cats for no reason. Those cats are well cared for and fairly happy. It is exhausting though, you spend so much time taking care of feeding and cleaning up after them that it is difficult to actually sit down and enjoy having them. I think if it were one person trying to do it, it would get really tough. The cat ladies I knew got most of their cats through the cats themselves just randomly showing up on their doorstep. Some were from a feral colony they were caring for, and one that I know of was from a shelter.

    198 cats, that just boggles the mind. 0_o Poor kitties who have ended up at that horrible pound. :(

    Reply
    • Vicki Aucremanne

       /  July 29, 2012

      Bless you CristyF for caring and helping. Your post speaks that it is not in the numbers, it is truly in the care given. A lot of interaction can go on while doing the cleaning and care. And thankfully, these cats ended up with people who love cats and want to be with them.

      Sounds like the ladies are saints who are also victims of the idiots who dump their cats out like trash. They have taken them in and given them a chance at better life.

      What is worse though, some interaction with humans who care OR ending up in a nasty small cage at a shelter waiting for your turn in the gas chamber.

      And again, bless you for your help with the cats. many would have turned them in for the “H” word, you did what should be done, lend a hand to a neighbor – isn’t this the right thingto do?

      Reply
  11. IREDELL ANIMAL CONTROL ONE OF THE WORST IN NC, THEY COULD CARE LESS IF THERE ADOPTED OUT OR GASSED , MOST UP THERE DONT CARE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER

    Reply
  12. saving pets one at a time

     /  July 29, 2012

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnimalControlnokill/

    pls join this group must live in Iredell County to sign it

    Reply
  13. TLP

     /  July 29, 2012

    Okay, time for me to add my two cents worth. I understand that animal control is a kill facility, however has anyone complaining and pointing fingers fostered, donated, volunteered, or done anything to contribute to assisting them? I fail to understand why a/c is looked at as to blame for pet owners being irresponsible. Every Facebook page is flooded with people wanting to “buy” a specific breed of animal, often willing to pay several hundred dollars. Yet these same people will often be heard saying they don’t have the money to donate, and complaining that ac charges up to 80.00 and rescues.charge to recoup fees as well. If you really want to stop the killling; stop adding to the over population problem! Where does everyone expect these animals to go, how do you expect them to be fed, cared for, etc? We hear about the outrage over people not being charged when their animals are neglected/abused/hoarded, but its only noise over the problem. Come on people, be creative……… Come up with a viable cost effective means to save the animals, get off your soap box; and contribute something positive. If not money, your time will do as well. But, do something besides blaming an agency whose soul purpose is to clean up someone elses mess that they didn’t want nor create.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  July 29, 2012

      “Come on people, be creative……… Come up with a viable cost effective means to save the animals, get off your soap box; and contribute something positive.”

      Exactly the advice the SHELTER should be taking. When they are overloaded with a hoarding situation like this, do they put out a call for help? Do they appeal to the public for volunteers to groom, foster, adopt? Do they use the media/social media? Do they post photos of EVERY SINGLE animal on their website in case someone is looking for their lost pet who somehow got caught up in the hoarder’s life? Bottom line – are the animals seen as victims and saving their lives made a priority or are they just another burden upon the shelter to be disposed of as soon as legally possible?

      And sorry, but you can not play the “irresponsible public” card when your facility still uses the gas chamber and makes no effort to get animals out alive.

      AC is to blame when they refuse to operate as anything other than a catch and kill program.

      Reply
      • Arlene

         /  July 29, 2012

        You are so right! If the shelter staff revised the way they see the animals wonderful things could happen for them. The animals would benefit from not being terrified whenever anyone comes around and look forward instead to the interaction and the staff would absolutely feel good about behaving in a kind and loving manner. You can’t just not feel good about doing good. You need to see the animals as finding themselves in a situation that they didn’t choose. You have the power to make their lives better. It isn’t hard to do if you just try to put yourself in their place and think about how you would want to be treated. I doubt you would choose to be treated like MAS and other shelters now treat their animals.

      • TLP

         /  July 29, 2012

        We read these stories.on the news every single day…. if were as concerned as we say we are, shouldn’t we be volunteering on an on-going basis? We know they need help, but expect them to figure out what to do on their own. Guess what? They did. They use the media, which was actually in this story, they also advertise animal adoptions on petfinders. It’s up to us as responsible citizens, to participate, not just to complain. I’ve mentioned these animals being advertized from the shelter many times to people searching for an animal. Their response, 80. is too much, even though their ad started they would pay up to 200 for the exact same breed of animal! I’m not embaressed that we HAVE a shelter. Oh no, I’m embarrassed and disappointed that 1. We need one at all and 2. We have a “no kill” petition circulating, and for everyone here in Iredell county that states how much they “care” the last time I looked it was at 800 MAYBE, out of the 10000 needed. At the City Councel meeting where support was desperately needed, 6 Iredell county residents showed up, so spare me its not the.citizens resposibility routine. Who do you think these poor animals were adopted by???? There’s always room for improvement, but until people stop buying purebred, there will be puppy mills. Until people spay and nueter their pets, there will be more animals than available families. Until people of Iredell County get off their butts and sign the petition, volunteer, and stand behind their.words, animals are going to die. Plain and simple.

    • Parallel

       /  July 30, 2012

      Here’s one of my big issues with the old “spay/neuter”
      ,”rescue don’t buy” song and dance.

      MOST pets in America ARE spayed and neutered. The public has gotten that message. About 80 of owned dogs and almost 90 of owned cats are altered. These numbers are from both the ASPCA and HSUS, both of which also continue to insist that spay/neutering is the solution to animals in shelters despite these numbers.

      The main barrier to an greater number of altered pets isn’t getting the message out there. Again…message received. The barrier is cost. If shelters and rescues want people to spay and neuter they need to make it affordable and easy. People will line up for days to receive low cost spay/neuter vouchers…they WANT to neuter and spay, so help them do it.

      The public has also gotten the message about pet stores. Less than 10% of pets are purchased from pet stores. The majority of pets are obtained through friends and family members. 26% do come from breeders (I’ll come back to this.) Around 30% come from shelters and rescues.

      So when you’re saying pet overpopulation would be solved by spaying and neutering and not buying from pet stores, you’re telling people things they already know. They’re standing there nodding their heads and giving each other high fives because their pets ARE altered and didn’t come from a pet store. That means they’re part of the solution! They did their part…you even said so! It must be all those OTHER people who are letting their pets breed like bad and buying from pet stores. They can’t do anything about that, so they’ll just wait until everybody else catches up (except, you know, they already have.)

      That’s the problem with the message…the only things it gives people to do are the things they’ve already done.

      You need to give them new things. Okay, gang, we’ve done a bang up job with the spaying/neutered thing…here’s what’s next. Come volunteer. Help build us build a community to keep pets in the homes they have. If I were a shelter, I’d set up a community outreach page where people could talk to each other. Help them network so the pet never enters the shelter system. Keep them updated on what’s happening the shelter weekly or monthly…here’s how many pets went home, here’s how many we have, here’s what we’re expecting next month based on past patterns. Here’s all the pets you saved before they ever got to our doors. People love goals they actually reach…okay, folks, we need to build five new kennels and need a new towel for every cage…who can help? Then celebrate every goal when it’s reached. Keep the public constantly involved, not just every once in awhile during an emergency. No more blame, just praise at how fantastic your community is.

      People will always buy from breeders…you won’t change that. You just need a few to visit the shelter instead and you won’t accomplish that by berating them. People like to take ownership. They don’t want guilt…they want to say ‘we did this together’ The shelter director’s job should be setting up ways to help them say that. You’re blaming the public for not appearing to help you when you’ve told them they already have. You said spay/neuter, no pet stores, and that’s what they did…then you never told them good job. When people feel they can’t win, they stop trying.

      The whole animal rescue community needs to change their message.

      Reply
      • Well said Parallel. There is an open admission no kill shelter in MI called UPAWS that does a great job including the community as part of the solution. They have a “Home to Home” program where locals can advertise pets they need to rehome on the UPAWS website.

  14. PEGGY

     /  July 29, 2012

    It is a sad situation when a person gets somany animals that they can’t be cared for ie. food,medications when ill, flea treatments etc. Some people just can’t stand the thought of any dog or cat not having a home. the lady commenting about spaying and neutering is absolutely corect.! If owners don’t take responsibility and spay their animals , we will never cut down on the numbers of animals goin gto the gas chamber ! Dogs, puppies, cats , and kittens are being dumped out in woods and roads that don’t have much traffic to be mistreated by people trying to get them to leave or hit by cars or starving and unable to get water in this heat. the responsible thing to do is DON”T BREED AND SPAY YOUR PETS.

    Reply
    • If every person in this country didn’t breed and spayed their pets as you suggest, how would it help the cats in this gassing facility right now?

      Reply
      • TLP

         /  July 29, 2012

        If they weren’t born into an environment unable or unwilling to care for them properly….. They wouldn’t be there. As of right now, the residents of Iredell county can flood animal control with phone calls and foot traffic volunteering. Walk in…..”what can I do to help YOU care.for these animals” is not unreasonable! If even a portion of the population brought ONE bag of food, volunteered to help.clean the facility, and perhaps made a committment to work WITH to care for these animals, perhaps we could make a difference. But by continuing to let them breed and then bashing ac for not being able to handle the sudden influx of animals is not only irresponsible, its counterproductive.

      • TLP, you do realize you have come onto my soapbox and repeatedly told me to get off my soapbox, right?

        Secondly, I bet the place would have a lot more vols if they weren’t stuffing pets into the gas chamber left and right. I myself can not volunteer to care for animals who will be killed. I know some others feel the same way.

      • TLP

         /  July 29, 2012

        My original and only “soapbox” comment was not directed to anyone in particular. We all want no kill facilities, but still were acting like not addressing spaying a pet could not have prevented the unwanted birth of many. Again, for anyone not able to volunteer or foster, there are other ways of helping out. Donating dog food was also mentioned. The point I was trying to make is we have all had a part in creating this problem, not just this one woman-there’s thousands of animals needlessly killed each year, people shop not for the best facility, but the cheapest which encourages puppy mills. People pass up often purebred animals from animal control facilities for ones at the pet shops, because hey they’re pretty. Animal control would he out of business if we simply took care of our own. No?
        Like you, I hate.this whole.situation. But if we.don’t get.up and DO something, then were partly to blame, are we not?
        And for the record, as I only live down the road from them, I will be there tomorrow, in person volunteering my time, and food if needed, because I care. So I was not bashing you, I was simply saying that we can either say we care or we can show we care. Because most of these post are mostly just about bashing animal control instead of how we can actually help these poor cats and dogs, I can only wonder the fate of these animals regardless of the actual number.

      • No, AC would not “be out of business if we simply took care of our own”. There will always be a need for shelters. Pets will get lost. Owners will die. Strays will need help. Etc.

        I am showing I care by getting on my soapbox and demanding better for these cats. I am not partly to blame, nor is anyone else here, if the director chooses to gas them. There is another option available. It’s called doing your job. The director can choose at any time to stop killing pets and start doing her job. Other places are saving pets instead of killing them. And in those places, instead of apologists running up the Irresponsible Public flag, you have compassionate people fostering, adopting and volunteering. It could happen in Iredell Co too.

      • mikken

         /  July 29, 2012

        Well, let me ask this, then – are the cats better off with a quickie FIV/FeLeuk test and then given to adopters for 5-10 dollars each with no more vetting, or dead in a gas chamber?

        Because the $80 per fully vetted cat or nothing is not the only choice available and I would bet that it ends up with more dead cats than not.

        And Shirley is right – if you want the community to step up and support you, you must, must, must be on the same page as they are. And that page for them is not “80%+” death rate by gas chamber. You have to take the first step towards change and be committed to the will of the community. Wherever a shelter tries to operate without the support of the community, it is bound to have a high kill rate and demoralized staff.

  15. carole

     /  July 29, 2012

    There have been emails circulating from Iredell, asking local rescue groups to take some of these cats and help place them. Hopefully some step up to the plate.

    Reply
  16. TLP

     /  July 29, 2012

    Mikken, I’m not trying to sound arrogant or disrespectful of anyone’s opinion. But I continue to hear ” people would help more if they’d stop killing them” honestly, is that why so many of our citizens don’t help? Maybe if we operate under the guise of “maybe of we get.more involved they won’t need to kill so many.” Its like we against them, and honestly, the only ones.who suffer are.the animals. All I’m trying to say is maybe its time for a truce and collaborative.effort to save as.many as we can. And if our community truly wants whats best.for.these animals, perhaps our presence not absence.is what’s needed. A demoralized staff is usually evidence.of.a.lack of support. Maybe again, we’ve had a part in that? I have.no hatred for this woman, animal control or anyone else. I simply wish our.community.could get.over our.power struggle and help these poor babies that have been deprived enough already.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  July 29, 2012

      “But I continue to hear ” people would help more if they’d stop killing them” honestly, is that why so many of our citizens don’t help? ”

      You can bet that it’s a big part of it, yes. The use of the gas chamber is another factor. Think about it – who is most likely to help out volunteering, fundraising, adoption events, etc.? Animal lovers. Who is most likely to avoid a building where the vast majority of animals won’t get out alive and are assured to die in a horrible way? Animal lovers. The basic nature of a high kill shelter is highly aversive to the very people you need to turn things around.

      You want to rally people to your cause? Show them that you’re invested in change – really invested. Shut down the gas chamber. Make animals more available, even if it means less vetting. INVOLVE the community in your goals. Publicize what you’re trying to do and ASK FOR HELP. And above all, *stop blaming the irresponsible public*. It’s not helpful and it looks like you would rather be a victim than a leader and a force for change.

      It takes a massive shift in attitude, but it’s been done elsewhere and can be done here.

      Reply
      • Jessica C

         /  July 30, 2012

        Exactly. It’s happened in a few places, but Reno, Nevada is the main place that comes to mind. The shelter director decided to stop blaming the public and change things around for the sake of the animals. It wasn’t like every single person in Reno woke up one day and decided to come forward in order to help; the change had to start from the top down. Now I’m sure they have helping hands, their kill-rate is down to what 10% or so? and they are doing great all-around. You need a responsible and compassionate shelter director to change things. Not someone who is either MIA or defending the actions done by the abusers. Blaming the people who aren’t coming forward and volunteering isn’t going to help the dog that was on a choke-pole the wrong way and was caused physical harm. It’s not going to help the cat in the vet’s office that isn’t getting the proper painkillers or medication that is needed. And it sure is hell isn’t going to help the dog who was killed in the backroom even though there are plenty of empty cages.

  17. db

     /  July 30, 2012

    I’m a bit late coming to this conversation, but I can tell you why I stopped volunteering at our (then high-kill) humane society. The director and staff were so apathetic about the animals that, on some days, one of them would walk through the cattery and pick cats based on color to pull for killing (ie – we have so many black and white cats so we’ll pull some of them). Or someone would sneeze and they’d do a mass killing to take care of that dreadful URI that cats can get. Dogs who were kenneled for a long time would go a bit crazy so they’d be killed. Cats and dogs who were simply not doing well in a “shelter” setting were pulled for behavior and killed. As a foster and volunteer (time, money, supplies, etc) it pained me to know that many of the animals I was taking care of and falling in love with could be arbitrarily pulled for killing. When a favorite young kitten I had volunteered to foster was killed for being “unadoptable” (just scared and shy) I walked out and never went back.

    If that facility had used a gas chamber or been unwelcoming to the public I never would have gone back a second time.

    How does the public feel when they enter your facility? Is is comfortable, airy, light and welcoming? Are they greeted warmly and able to easily interact with the animals (all of the animals)? What do they see, smell and hear? How do the animals appear? What do the kennels and cages look like? Clean? Fresh food and water (and even toys or something for mental stimulation)? How does the staff interact with the animals? Is your facility a pleasant place to be for everyone there, including the animals?

    How are your animals marketed? Do they have critical information available on a cage card? Do all of them have positive names? Is the adoption process reasonable? Can people (who buy the animals from pet stores) see that these shelter pets are wonderful animals who simply ran into a streak of bad luck but simply need homes?

    Are volunteers and donors valued and respected as a resource? If not, don’t expect people to come in and donate their time, money, supplies, whatever, be treated badly and then expect them to come back again.

    It’s not all that hard. It simply takes a director or supervisor to make the decision TO STOP THE KILLING and then surround him/herself with like-minded people. Those facilities that have high out-alive rates are places where people like to go and where they feel comfortable because they know good things are going to happen – for them and for the animals who end up there.

    Many of us here do much more for the animals in our community than just sit at our computers and write on this blog. You are preaching to the choir when you tell us to take action. Many of us do, much more than you might realize.

    Reply
  18. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  July 30, 2012

    You can blame the “irresponsible public” all you want. Yes, we do acknowledge there is a problem. When the animal end up in a gas chamber using death camp, the shelter director is given a choice – save or kill! The shelter director can chose to solve that problem right then and there….There are proven ways to save shelter animals. It takes a lot of things, a compassionate and dedicated staff and volunteer base, the willingness to spend time and some money, It takes creativity. And yes, even enlisting the help of the horrible irresponsible public by doing things like having off site adoption, and more lenient adoption rules.

    Another soap box that i can get on – pet limit laws and BSL!!! LOBBY AGAINST these kind of laws – they kill pets…..they yank loved pets out of the arms of homes who care, and put them in the shelter system to die…I have read plea after plea from a certain WV shelter for example, begging for adopters. They have probably one of the highest kill rates in the state and yet they ask for a pet limit law to be initiated. They had a hoarding situation and instead of addressing the problems with existing cruelty statutes, they got a limit law passed – so the hoarder moved out of the county and now loving homes are restricted to only a few pets when perhaps they could have cared nicely for one more OR could provide foster care. AND don’t even get me started on BSL…

    There is a proven way to the kiling of homeless pets. Its called the NO Kill Equation. It works….if you have not visited Nathan Winograd’s web site, please do – (sorry for the repeat for those who know of these things)

    http://www.nathanwinograd.com/

    Visit the No kill advocacy center

    http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/

    Reply
  19. Donna

     /  July 30, 2012

    I posted this on our petition page: Wow, folks, people are really commenting on the post in the link above(this link you are viewing). Some say we, the public are the whole problem, some say it is A/C, some say it is both. All of them are correct! This petition does absolutely no good if we just sign our name and forget about it. Spay/Neuter our own pets and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Adopt from A/C whenever possible (the fee is not too high for what it covers) or other rescues as well. Do not buy from pet stores and breeders. Volunteer somewhere/anywhere that it will make a difference in the life or death of an animal. Donate whatever you can (food/facilities/cash) as often as you can afford it (even the smallest amount makes a huge difference). Foster, foster, foster……if you have the space, foster a pet. You may not get to keep them forever, but that animal will forever love you! None of us can do all of these things, but all of us can do something!

    Reply
  20. Ok this rips my heart out to think that a person could do such cruelty to a animal. I have 14 cats 7 are with my ex and I have 7 with me.All because I couldn’t give them away because I don’t trust people. I have seen the cruelty that has been done to animals and I didn’t want anything to happen to my cats, they are my family. All are fixed, and all have been taken care of. I don’t make much money but I do take care of them they can’t do it themselves. If I had a bigger place I would take these cats. But I think that the person who has done this to these poor animals should be put in a gas chamber and let them know what it would feel like having your life taken away from them because of a stupid human, who has no business having any animals at all. I feel very deeply about this and there may be a lot of you who think I am crazy but I’m not I am speaking for these animals who can’t speak for themselves. They loved you and you end up putting them in a gas chamber hope you all go to hell for the treatment of these and all animals.

    Reply
  21. Richard

     /  July 30, 2012

    I found this t
    video that was dated today.

    http://www2.statesville.com/news/2012/jul/30/iredell-woman-charged-animal-hoarding-investigatio-ar-2476937/

    Reading this, I have to wonder if this person didn’t have all these animals the first time animal control came to her residence. A 900 sgft home and 3 litter boxes is certainly not acceptable.

    Reply
  22. sweet sweet

     /  July 31, 2012

    i also had a150 cats and 5 dogs oct 24 2011 they killed over a100 cats some cats i had for 18 y. got put to sleep at my house and all my cats where spay and nuter i also help people get there cats fixed so if they were fixed they do not care i hope she will be ok all my prays go to the cats may the lord help them because i know how they do to get them it may help if every bodey say apray for them

    Reply
  23. saving pets one at a time

     /  August 1, 2012

    called Iredell County animal control today and was told that they are in need of dry cat/dog food-any brand, q-tips, cotton balls, bleach, newspapers, toys, etc. They are also in need of volunteers. We as Iredell County residents can all do a little something, and pull together for these unfortunate babies, can’t we?

    Reply
  24. saving pets one at a time

     /  August 2, 2012

    Iredell county animal control are in need of dry cat/dog food-any brand, q-tips, cotton balls, bleach, newspapers, toys, etc.as
    a/c take in 198 cat’s from a home in Iredell county last week
    Animal Services & Control
    430 Bristol Drive
    Statesville, NC 28677
    (704) 878-5424
    Office Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:30am-5:00pm
    Sat: 10:00am-2:00pm

    Reply
  25. minnie

     /  January 3, 2014

    I ended up adopting one of those cats and I’m so glad I found her because I love her to pieces. But does it help in a situation like this to bash the animal shelter even if it is a no-kill shelter? All it will do is make people have negative feelings about it and they will think, well gee I guess I’ll find a different no-kill animal shelter to adopt from, and meanwhile, less people would go to Iredell and more animals would continue to be killed. It just doesn’t seem an effective way to solve the problem.

    Reply
    • db

       /  January 3, 2014

      Thank you for taking one of the cats. What would you suggest we do to solve the “problem”? And which problem are you referring to? Taking in cats or gassing them to death?

      Reply
  26. Lee

     /  July 25, 2014

    Spay/neuter IS the only solution, and it must be mandatory! NO shelter on earth can keep up with the amt. of animals discarded by the hoards of people who get pets to be entertained, or to entertain their children, only to “find” themselves looking for ways to discard or give away 4-10 of that animal’s babies twice a year. Or they get males, who, at the age of one year have urine that starts to smell like skunk, so they “let him out”. Permanently. And he fights and sprays and impregnants females, and get the feline version of AIDS (FIV), which he passes on to other males with whom he fights, and then he dies a miserable death because his fight wounds become infected and there is no one around who cares about him enough to take him to a vet.
    And yet people “in the know” who’ve never taken in a neglected or abandoned cat tell me often “Oh, leave the cats alone. They’re fine out there on their own.” I have vet records for over 250 cats over the last 20 years that proves otherwise.
    The vets I’ve used have euthanized most of the adult males because of the extent of their disease. And there are so, so, so, SO many more even in my own neighborhood who’re giving birth to kittens in the vacant houses they deem safe.
    NONE of us who care will ever be able to keep up with the numbers of pet owners who don’t spay and neuter, because they don’t have to.

    Reply

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