The Caswell Co pound in NC has a website that’s rather, uh – brief. The reason I looked it up was that a reader sent me two screengrabs from Facebook which allegedly show puppies at the Caswell Co pound just before they were loaded for transport to NJ. The kennel appears to be wet and a patch of what looks like suds may have washed into the space from beneath the guillotine door. Were there other dogs on the other side of this kennel and if so, were they healthy? Is that diarrhea on the floor? Did these puppies have health certificates for their trip?
If shelters are going to transport vanloads of puppies, it needs to be done legally – that is, in compliance with the laws of every state the dogs are being transported through; and ethically – with attention paid to the health status of the dogs (as well as those they’ve been exposed to) and with careful consideration of the local dogs being displaced by the imports. I hope Caswell Co is attending to the legal and ethical considerations regarding the transport of any pets.
I used to be more in favor of mass transport for shelter pets but I’ve modified my view in the past couple of years. There seems to be no shortage of transport horror stories – pets escaping en route, pets getting sick and dying after arrival, pets who don’t sell quickly being killed or warehoused in sub-standard conditions, etc. Then there is the notion that northern shelters and rescues “need” to import high value pets such as puppies and lapdogs because the ones they have get adopted quickly and all that’s left is big, black mixed breeds, Pitbull types and others who are challenging to adopt out. This idea goes against the most basic tenet of no kill – that every individual pet has a right to live and that right must be protected. If some of these importing shelters and rescues won’t put in the hard work to find the right matches for the least adoptable pets in their own communities, who will?