Categories: dog ownership

Director, Unchain Cumberland County (NC)

by Shelby Townsend
(Fayetteville, NC, USA)

Animal rescue is my purpose; my life’s work. I will do whatever it takes to ease the suffering of the animals I love so much. My greatest effort is for “backyard dogs”. On August 1, it will be illegal to chain a dog in Cumberland County, NC. I worked long and hard for that ordinance, often feeling very alone, but never giving up. I have learned that many people are sickened and disgusted by the cruel treatment of animals, but very few of them are willing to step up to the plate and speak for those who have no voice. They fear failure, ridicule, reprisal, loss of friends, even violence against themselves and their families. Fortunately, I’m not real concerned about what animal abusers and naysayers think of me.

“The Big Fix” is a ten page document that describes the many ways we can stop companion animal over-population and stop the daily euthanasia at our shelter. Nine thousand animals were killed by lethal injection at our shelter last year. Five thousand of those were cats. Half of the cats were feral. In Cumberland County (NC) feral cats are included in the “nuisance animals” section of our statute. It is illegal to trap, spay or neuter, notch ear, and return to the colony.

I’m trying to get permission to do a “study group” with two colonies in our county. I have volunteers for both colonies. I need funding for that life-saving program.

I am sole owner and director of Unchain Cumberland County, tax exempt under “Rules of Organization”. We help with spay and neuter through SNAP-NC, fences, shelter, rabies shots, food, just whatever it takes. Our money comes from yard sales, raffles, donations, whatever we can do to raise the money to pay for the needs of the animals. If The Big Fix is to be successful, we need a sponsor or a grant. Please help us, if you can.

(The Big Fix document may be viewed at (Note: at Nov 2016 this link is broken) after July 26. We are updating at this time.

Thank you so much for all you do.

Shelby Townsend
Unchain Cumberland County
910 425-0967

Comments for
Director, Unchain Cumberland County (NC)

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Feb 25, 2012 not illegal
by: Anonymous

it is not illegal in cumberland county to s/n/r
they have snap at pet supermarket for thisw reason.

Feb 15, 2010 You are wonderful!
by: Dorothy

I moved here in 2007 from Ms, I lived in Hoke County for 3 yrs. now live in Cumberland Co. I volunteered for MARL there, That was our shelter. We had the same problem with careless animal owners.
I have a problem with those people, which is why I now have own 10 dogs and 2 cats, which I used the program to get fixed. It makes me SO MAD when I see chained animals, or animals running loose.
I admire you for your work you are doing with these animals.

Jul 29, 2009 Donation
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Pictures of Cats org made a donation to this organisation. Well done Shelby.

Jul 23, 2009 Heartfelt thanks…
by: Shelby

Thank you so much for your kind words and support.You are right to be concerned about animal activists you don’t know asking for donations, and I’ll gladly give references for Unchain Cumberland County (Shelby Townsend) Call Cumberland County Animal Services 910 321-6828 that’s Ann, or call The Fayetteville Observer 910 323-4848 and ask for Kim Hasty, Nancy McCleary or Tim White. They will tell you that we are for real, and that we find a way to help all who ask. Thanks, again! Shelby

Jul 21, 2009 YOU ARE GREAT

You are great to be doing the work you are doning i live in illinois and we have a spay and stay program where i live it is truly great i am using my extra income right now to get one of the females fixed in my neighborhood she recently weaned 4 kittens (landlord found homes for them) but she has stayed near by and i’m taking her on sunday to get her fixed they are a great organization and they work with local vets and they do a high volume spay and neuter day they provide traps ,worming, flea bath, ear mite check, rabies and distemper. all for a low contribution.

also the county where i live offers low income spay and neuter certificates if you qualify (most everyone qualifies) and they offer a low cost vaccination clinic once a week if all states would offer these programs maybe so many wouldn’t meet that awful fate you described i actually cried when i read your statistics its so sad

Jul 21, 2009 Great work Shelby
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Wonderful work you do Shelby ! I wish I could help financially but we support so many animal charities here in England,it’s impossible.Our local Rescue Centre has 300 residents at present,from goldfish to horses and everything in between.

Luke you,I’ve fought animal abuse for many years and been called allsorts of horrible names, you get used to it don’t you !

Since I found out that the cruel declawing of cats is still legal in the USA and done routinely, and started campaigning for a ban, I’ve been called a PETA freak, a moron,and worse (unprintable)lol Even had a threat from someone in the USA that they’d come and’get me’
I’ll send your link to the animal loving contacts I’ve made in the USA in the hopes someone there may help you a bit.

Keep up the good work !

Jul 21, 2009 Thank You
by: AMY

I agree with you whole heartedly! I commend you on your efforts to help as many animals as you can. I myself am not in a financial way to be able to help, but will pass on this post to see if I can find people who can. Good Luck and best regards in all you do!

Jul 20, 2009 Way to go (but)
by: Margaret McCann

I think that your idea is fabulous. I have visited U.S.A. on numerous occasions, to Houston Texas mostly (family) I note that in every endeavour of animal relief people are willing to go along until a donation is asked for. If you contact me personally and I think you are genuine, I may give a SMALL donation, pennies in fact, because i give to so many charities it could only be pennies, but as they say in Scotland “many a mickle macks a muckle” By the way, I’m not from Scotland.
Kind regards, Margaret.

Jul 20, 2009 Thanks for sharing
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Thank you very much for sharing Shelby. I’ll see what I can do to help a bit.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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