To all Union County (NC) Animal Advocates:

This email was sent to me a few minutes ago by a resident of Union County, NC:

A friend sent me your blog on the gas chamber in Union County, NC. I live in that county. Currently we're trying to get the shelter turned into a no-kill shelter. The gas chamber would be history. We're going through the county commissioners because they are Sheriff Cathey's boss. No one else.

Now for my request. Below is the announcement calling on all residents of this county who care for the animals to write to the commissioners. If you can post it, great. If not, that's okay too. The only way we're going to get a change is to get the commissioners attention. With enough letters we'll do it.

Here is the link to the original blog post.

To all Union County (NC) Animal Advocates:

In the past couple weeks there were a series of articles in the Enquirer Journal about the Union County Animal Shelter. The County Edge also had an article. Below are a few quotes from the articles.

Far too many animals are being killed at this shelter. There is a solution. It's called the "No-Kill Solution". Here are two links.
A video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1r9GJ_N7WU

The web site: www.nokillsolutions.com

What is needed are letters to the County Commissioners asking for a Special Meeting with the animal advocates of Union County. Write to all five; you can copy & paste. Be polite but tell them it's urgent that this situation be addressed by a special meeting. State the town you're from so they know you live in Union County. Their email addresses are below.

Feel free to give this to any/all animal lovers in Union County. We need this meeting and if the commissioners hear from enough people they'll respond. Please write this week, and next week send another one.

from Saturday, Dec. 16th Enquirer Journal:
The odds aren’t good for the strays. Ninety percent of the cats that end up in the shelter are killed; 74 percent of dogs are destroyed. But there are just too many animals coming in, Tucker said, and it’s impossible for all of them to go back out. It’s not about adoption, he said.

My comment: The new shelter has around 100 dog kennels. Captain Bill Tucker's statement,"It's not about adoption" might explain why there are only 11 kennels allotted for adoptable dogs. They don't even keep those 11 kennels full.

from Tuesday, Dec. 19th Enquirer Journal:
Back when the shelter was run by the Union County Health Department, most of the employees earned between $21,729 and $32,593 a year. That’s the salary range for an animal shelter attendant, of which there are three.

Deputies are a little more expensive, both because of their training and the implied risks of a law enforcement job. Deputies start out at $31,066 per year, and the Animal Control division has six, plus a lieutenant and a sergeant. All told, the personnel budget, including those
salaries plus benefits like paid vacation and health insurance, totaled $514,926 for the 2005/2006 fiscal year. By contrast, the operations budget was $195,456, which kept the lights on and the animals fed, and covered the cost of veterinary care, medications and the general costs of running the facility, including the gas chamber.

My comment: As evidenced by the numbers above, there is plenty of money to run this shelter correctly, with the no-kill solutions program.

from Wednesday, Dec. 20th Enquirer Journal:
Commissioner Allan Baucom said e-mail has flooded his inbox from animal advocates from as far as Arizona, but he has heard very little about the problem from local residents."...he added that the Sheriff ’s Office is responsible for figuring out how to address animal over-population. “This is the sheriff’s responsibility. This has already been determined. They have the new facility and I’m of the opinion that we need to stay out of his business.”

My comment: We need let the commissioners hear from the residents of Union County. If we don't speak for the animals, who will?

Kevin Pressley mayorpres@aol.com He's the chairman
Roger Lane anhast@earthlink.net (be sure to reply to
spam blocker)
Allan Baucom allan@baucomservice.com
Parker Mills parkerapmjr@aol.com
Lanny Openshaw lanny@carolina.rr.com


Anonymous said...

I watched a video clip with this sheriff cathey and from what I understand you'd probably have better luck trying to get a statewide ban on the gas chamber. I don't live in NC, but NC seems to be the worst state in America for gassing so it would just make sense if somehow a statewide effort could be organized.

Furthermore, it's odd the sheriff talks about how fast and humane gassing is on TV, yet he wouldn't dare to show an actual gassing from start to finish on tv. Afterall they showed injection on WSOC, so if gassing is so quick and humane why not show it's full process too? Every pro-gas offical I've ever seen never wants the public to see it. Somehow they almost always have very high kill rates too.

Anita said...

Excellent point....I hope that some of those who have been active in Union county, as well as other animal advocates from NC read your comment and consider the idea of organizing a state-wide ban on gas chambers. Thank you!

Candice Gibson said...

I live in Union County. And until now, i had no idea this was going on. I love all animals and i cant believe they gas them. Thats horrible. It needs to be illegal. Animals didnt ask to be abandoned. I know Im only 15 years old, but i would love to do somthing to help. Anything.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I am totally against using the gas chamber to kill animals; it's abominable. In fact, I am against using any method to kill perfectly good animals, unless it is to relieve pain and suffering from disease and/or injury.

And that said, I'd like to know why more people aren't concentrating on making low-cost spay neuter options available in Union County. After all, everyone in rescue knows, or should know, that the only way to reduce the number of animals that are euthanized by any method is to spay & neuter, and there is evidence in various places around the U.S. that this works.

Many states have mandatory spay/neuter laws. Other counties in NC have s/n clinics and mobile units, and some counties even have s/n assistance for low-income people. There is even free s/n for feral cats in Raleigh, and high volumn s/n clinics can alter a lot of animals in one day.

So until the people, vets, shelter and rescue orgs. in Union County get together to make spaying & neutering more affordable and available for all Union County residents, I'm afraid a lot of perfectly good cats and dogs are going to continue to suffer & die in Union County, regardless of the method used to kill them. And that is really sad.

Union County Orthodontist said...

It is very unfortunate that we have come to this but spaying and neutering are the best answer to solve this problem. Gassing seems inhumane as well

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph sums up the problem and the only viable solution perfectly. Short sighted goals make for short sighted results with the problem not being addressed and therefore never solved. For a county that touts a progressive agenda for the future, this situation is not only an embarrassment, but suggests that Union County is not as "progressive" as it might want people to believe.

Unknown said...

I moved,to NC thinking only SC gassed animals....well gee what a surprise. This has to stop but I don't know where to begin.
I actually had one official tell me that gassing is kinder than.
carefully administered lethal injection.Also kinder than shooting the animal in the head.
I suggest that he climb into the box with the pets about to be gassed.
The 24/7 vet hospital made ie clear he was not interested unlessI currently had a pet to be put down.