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11/10/2002 "Yadkin County Institutionalizes Cruelty in North Carolina"

"For years, we've been fielding complaints about this county's treatment of homeless animals. Our many attempts to communicate directly with the county commissioners have been ignored. Commissioners didn't even contact PETA in response to our recent offer to raise $15,000 toward construction of a new shelter!

The shelter is nothing more than a dilapidated collection of cramped wire-and-wood cages with metal roofs, offering little to no protection from harsh wind, freezing or scorching temperatures, rain, and snow, and more often than not covered in urine and feces. Small, weak animals are housed in cages with aggressive large animals, who bully the smaller animals and prevent them from seeking food and water. Food bowls are not used at the facility, so food is simply thrown on the ground, contaminated by feces, urine, dirt, and water, creating a disgusting health hazard for the animals. The water buckets provided for the animals appear to be too tall for small dogs to reach, and the water is often foul and black with mold and filth.

Animals at the shelter are killed in a crude, windowless metal box pumped full of carbon monoxide. Even adequate carbon monoxide equipment can fail, subjecting fully conscious animals to the horror of watching and hearing others struggle and suffer as they succumb to the fumes. But makeshift chambers, like the one used by Yadkin County, are virtually guaranteed to subject animals to suffering and to a prolonged, agonizing death. PETA is told and video footage confirms that animals are crammed into the box one on top of another and that live animals are thrown in, layer after layer, on top of dead and dying ones. A shelter employee allegedly once bragged about being able to stuff more than 80 animals into the tiny kill box at once.

We understand also that all animals at the shelter are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, regardless of their age and physical condition. Old, young, and sick animals are particularly susceptible to gas-related trauma, as they breathe and circulate oxygen and carbon monoxide differently from healthy adult animals, causing a resistance to hypoxia (oxygen deficiency). For these animals, death by carbon monoxide poisoning is slow and highly stressful and therefore unacceptable.

Moreover, Yadkin County has a mandatory kill policy, prohibiting adoptions, supposedly because of a fear of rabies. However, the county dedicates no resources to enforcing North Carolina law requiring that animals be vaccinated against rabies. Their excuse? Money, which of course would be collected if violators of the state rabies law would be fined as warranted!

The 2001-02 Annual Budget Report for Yadkin County shows that not one cent was spent on training for the animal control staff or on veterinarian fees. One complainant wrote to PETA to say that on one occasion, an adult dog had a large flap of skin and muscle [lying] down over his left hip, exposing bone. He lay from Wednesday to Friday on kill day. He had numerous other wounds, and the hip injury was teeming with maggots.

PETA and many concerned citizens have attempted in vain to help Yadkin County improve the deplorable conditions at its shelter. In 1996, county officials rejected an offer to pay the difference in cost between intravenous injections (the most humane method of euthanasia) and the gas chamber. In May of this year, after receiving increased pressure from PETA and local residents, Yadkin County commissioners finally voted to put $75,000 toward the construction of a new shelter if the community can raise an additional $75,000. PETA offered to donate $15,000 toward the construction of the shelter if the county would ensure that certain humane standards were met. The commissioners never bothered to respond directly to PETA, but Commissioner Thomas Wooten had the audacity to tell the media that the offer was not as much as [he] would have liked and that each of PETA's 750,000 members should be willing to donate $1!

Of course, the commissioners conditional pledge of $75,000 does nothing to improve the deplorable conditions that the animals are being subjected to as we write this. Construction of a shelter won't happen overnight. There's a long list of simple things that the county can and must do to make the shelter comply with minimum national standards.

Please contact Yadkin County commissioners and urge them to stop shirking their legal, moral, and financial responsibilities to their county's lost, abandoned, and unwanted animals. Ask that they provide these animals with the least they deserve: a painless, peaceful death administered by a licensed veterinarian at least until caring individuals can be trained. Please push for immediate improvements to be made at the current facility. Animals shouldn't have to wait for fundraising and construction efforts before having their basic needs met."

Please end this horrible suffering in Yadkin County. Sign today!

End animal suffering in North Carolina.

Yadkin County Commissioners: Josh Baity, Johnny Myers, Lloyd Davis, Thomas Wooten, James L. Graham, Cecil Wood

Sponsor of Petition:
Zena Hirsch

(click table of contents under this entry - go to entry at 10/22 Henry County - click and sign petition)

I think the empty prison camp would be ideal for an animal shelter.

Posted by Sherry Wiles @ 12/14/2003 07:15 PM CST

I think the empty prison camp would be ideal for an animal shelter.

Posted by Sherry Wiles @ 12/14/2003 07:15 PM CST

I think the empty prison camp would be ideal for an animal shelter.

Posted by Sherry Wiles @ 12/14/2003 07:16 PM CST


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