According to a petition on Change.org, the director of a North Carolina shelter who began her job in January needs to make immediate changes to prevent the unnecessary killing of adoptable dogs and cats. The concern comes after the director allowed the killing of several dogs and cats with “euth holds,” meaning a rescue had stepped up to save them.
“I think once all of the changes the county has already started to implement are consistently applied, the community’s opinion of the shelter is really going to change. I think that’s already started, and I think we can make it stronger.”
Apparently, Dr. Blankenship has forgotten this promise, as is shown with a healthy dog named Big Fluffy being killed. On April 24 at 4 p.m., Big Fluffy, who had a “Do not euthanize” hold placed on his since a rescue had committed to take him, was killed.
Recently a rescue was five minutes late and they had already killed the dog they were to pick up. Another rescue had four dogs they wanted to pick up one Friday, but this person wouldn’t let them since they were going to be a little later than 4 p.m. getting there. Dr. Blankenship signed off on the order to kill them all.”
In a May 9 article by Denise Carey-Costa, Denise writes
“Faith Wright, director of Operation Dog Tag put in a Do NOT Euthanize (DNE) on 04/08/15 on dog number 715. It was acknowledged by staff member Annie Thomas and Faith was assured the dog would be safe. That night, dog 715 was singled out and killed. The same thing occurred on 04/24/15 when Faith put in a DNE request at 2:30 pm on 4 dogs. At 4:46 pm she received a call from Dr. Kristine Blankenship advising she was late and the dogs would be killed. Faith talked to Blankenship for 37 minutes and could not convince her to change her mind.”
Several cats also lost their lives on April 24, so this isn’t a dog issue or a cat issue, it’s a problem that shouldn’t be happening on a weekly basis.
Like with many rural shelters, the Gaston County Police Department is over the shelter. Police Chief James Buie stands behind Dr. Blankenship and her kills. He wrote in an email saying
A licensed and credible veterinarian brings a wealth of knowledge in the best practices for the care of our animals in Gaston County. In addition, we believe having Dr. Blankenship on our team will only enhance trust within our communities and our citizens.”
Continuing to kill adoptable animals will no longer be tolerated or accepted. Is it really such a strain on the lives of Gaston County Animal Shelter to remain open an extra five minutes to save an animal, or in the recent case, several animals lives?
The Gaston County community needs someone who is innovative and dedicated to finding alternative solutions to killing healthy and adoptable animals. They also need someone dedicated to their position, and not just punching a time clock.
A shelter director should care about the dogs and cats in the facility. The Gaston County community will not stop until Dr. Kristine Blankenship has made serious changes, and the broken system is repaired.
Dr. Blankenship should be willing to make changes in her new policies to become more rescue friendly (which Gaston always was) and let rescues do what rescues do save animals.
More on the policies and procedures of Gaston County Animal Control, including statistics, can be found by clicking here (a PDF document will download). This is a very important read, as the Placement Partner Policy and Procedures, the section is so anti-rescue that it would allow a foster enjoying a glass of wine with dinner to have a dog or cat seized by Gaston County, as searches at any time would be allowed.
Continuing to kill these animals, with bonafide rescue commitments and with promise to hold until next business day will no longer be accepted or tolerated
You can read more about Big Fluffy and other dogs killed at Gaston County Animal Shelter on this Facebook page dedicated to his memory.