Following a fine (see details below) by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Veterinary Services (“the Services”) the director of Columbus County Animal Control, Rossie Hayes (a man, incidentally) will retire in September 2015. Hayes’s tenure as director appears to have been unhappy and unsuccessful.
For instance, in December 2013 Whiteville Daily News reported “13 DOGS ARE DEAD AT THE HANDS OF ROSSIE HAYES and not justifiable!”. At that time a $4,000 fine was issued. So, similar problems as described below occurred back in 2013 which were described by the Whiteville reporter as failure to adhere to “basic kill procedures”.
It was reported that on October 16, 2013, Mr. Hayes authorised the killing of 13 dogs who were made homeless on the passing of their owner. Most of the dogs, if not all of them, were up-to-date on shots and had not been evaluated when they were euthanized. I can’t verify this report but it does square up with recent developments.
I suspect the latest procedural failings were the last straw for the County Manager Bill Clark.
The Fine – 2015
As I understand it, North Carolina state law requires that animal shelters have to hold a shelter animal for a minimum of 72 hours before considering euthanising him to satisfy the possibility that the animal has an owner searching for him.
Columbus County Animal Control has been fined $5,000 by the Services after violating this simple and common sense rule. Apparently two pit bull dogs were impounded. One was recovered by her owner. The other was killed within the 72 hour time frame and there were no extenuating circumstances such as the dog being aggressive or seriously ill.
In addition, six cats were given inadequate veterinary care.
The fine can be appealed. It seems that the fine accompanies an obligation by the offending shelter to improve procedures and develop polices.
I have to say that common sense dictates that a shelter should hold an animal for a reasonable time (72 hours is reasonable) before killing him/her. There seems to have been a lack common sense in this case or it was a mistake.
It is good that Hayes is going. What is bad that it took so long judging by the failures over a considerable period of time. Shelter managers have to have compassion and genuine concern for the sanctity of the lives in the shelter. Everything should be done to preserve life. This must be hard sometimes. The best shelters find ways.
Source (my thanks to Elisa Black-Taylor on the Examiner.com: Columbus County Animal Shelter fined for……