According to an October 24 investigative report by CBS46 News, Bartow County Animal Control in Cartersville, Georgia is putting down animals who have rescues coming for them. This article will cover some but not all of the allegations made against the shelter.
CBS46 spoke with Assistant Director Tommy Gentry who stated
“We try our best to hold everything we can.”
While Gentry claims to hold animals, it was learned many of the dogs and cats are euthanized when they test positive for diseases such as FeLV/FIV and “needing” immediate euthanasia before pickup.
Sparrow Marcioni with Cat Rangers rescue group says this is wrong. For the past two months, her group hasn’t been able to rescue from the Bartow County shelter. Eighty percent of the time the cats rescued by Sparrow are sick and the county isn’t vaccinating animals on intake.
Now it appears the animals aren’t being vaccinated at all with Gentry explaining his logic
“It takes so long for the vaccine to become effective. We’ve had different vets tell us you’re wasting your money doing it.”
Gentry admits animals are euthanized by mistake. All it takes for a mistake that ends with the death of a cat or dog is for a card not to be placed on an animal awaiting a rescue pick up. Click here to see screenshots in a Bartow County Records album made by Arlene Woods that back up the accusations by animal advocates of unnecessary euthanasia.
A cat advocate named Amber summed it up well on the Bartow County Records album explaining how a mild upper respiratory infection can get an animal put to death
“It was killed due to sickness — that could be that it sneezed, had a goopy eye, was thin, the list goes on. I for one would like the vet that kills, to put a diagnosis on the paper — a reason he thought it was okay to kill an animal.”
The law is on the side of the shelter. The Georgia Department of Agriculture confirmed animal control can’t keep sick animals in the general population. The shelter has the right to put down any animal they feel would risk the health of others in the overcrowded shelter.
Animal advocates are calling for several changes, including
- a TNR program. There are currently no programs for trap neuter and release. Feral cats in large numbers are being killed daily
- vaccination upon intake. Studies confirm that “Shelters that only vaccinate some animals, or none, or that fail to vaccinate prior to or at the instant of intake are not just increasing the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, they’re guaranteeing them”
- better communication and partnership between the shelter and rescue groups
- better training for shelter staff to ensure cats and dogs awaiting rescue are carded
Bartow County says their euthanasia rates have improved over the last five years and they’re making progress. When CBS46 was at the shelter they saw cages so full animals were being turned away.
Marcioni tells of what recently happened to cats that Cat Rangers committed to saving
“2 litters of kittens and one adult cat that was euthanized 48 hours after us making a commitment.”
A list of Bartow County offices can be found here. Change usually starts with attending county council meetings and speaking before the board. These are usually kept to a three-minute maximum.
Check out this article for more information on core vaccines being given on intake.
Those personally following this shelter are asked to give any additional information available in the comment section
Note: This article was written at the request of those following the Bartow County Animal Shelter who want better conditions for the cats and dogs at the shelter. We all know they can’t save them all, but there appears to be a lot of room for better management.
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