Temporary restraining order issued against Robeson animal shelter

A lawsuit and subsequent temporary restaining order have been filed against the Robeson County (NC) animal shelter.

News 14 Carolina reports the restaining order bars the facility from engaging in acts of animal cruelty and from euthanizing animals held for adoption. The lawsuit also challenges the shelter’s policy of keeping half of its kennels empty, so that the staff can move the animals around during cleaning procedures.

The restraining order will hold until May 7, when a hearing is scheduled in the Robeson County District Court.

There are more details in this story from the Robesonian.

According to recent news stories, the county decided to halt the use of its heart stick and will use lethal injection to euthanize homeless pets. This was a positive step in the right direction, but I was troubled by reports that sedation would not be used.

Sedation must be used prior to the lethal injection. Again, I must stress how sad it is that homeless pets are dying in any numbers in shelters, as the people and entities who are creating the problem – such as those who refuse to spay or neuter and puppy mill operators – are not held responsible.

If the shelter is holding half of its kennels open as a regular practice, this policy must be changed. I’ve visited a number of area shelters over the years and I’ve not noticed a similar practice to this one. The typical complaint is a full house, without a vacant spot for another dog or cat.

No wonder this shelter is being billed as high-kill, if the management is holding half of the kennels vacant as a standard practice.

It’s the same agrument I’ve used against shelters who use gas chambers or heart sticks. There are states where these methods have been outlawed by legislation – and in North Carolina, a vast majority of the state’s 100 counties use only injection. So for a particular county official or shelter manager to suggest it can’t be done at their shelter is nonsensical.

If other shelters across the state are managing to keep kennels clean without holding half vacant, then Robeson can use similar practices. Maybe it’s easier to hold half vacant, but if it means more homeless animals will survive and find homes, a little less easy and a little more work is justified.

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