BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Euthanized cats in Bladen County will now end up in classrooms and labs.
County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday night to support the sale of cats to a biological supply company. The latest and final vote comes less than month after members of the Bladen County animal control board support the measure by a 4-1 vote.
"There can be some good that can come out of this, because they can be used in high school, or college, or veterinary school to help the students learn," said Wayne Stewart, Director of Bladen County Health Department.
The company will buy cats from the shelter after they are euthanized for $4 each.
"They're being buried in the landfill as it is, so if they can be used for some good purpose you know, and they're going to pay a little bit, that would help reimburse for handling the problem, so I think it's real good," said Billy Pait, chairman, Bladen County Commissioners.
Some animal lovers like the president of the Humane Society of Eastern North Carolina are concerned about the idea.
"I'm disappointed because they didn't do any background investigation or research about the problems that are involved," said Peter MacQueen.
MacQueen believes it will motive animal control to pick up more cats and kill them for profit, a claim county officials refute.
"We don't want to have to pick them up," said Stewart. "We don't want to have to euthanize any cats, we want to try and find homes. We've come a long way in the last year and a half at our shelter, so our adoption rate is way up or euthansia rate is down."
Bladen County Animal Control has a policy to keep cats for at least 5 days, so that they have a good chance of being adopted or reclaimed by their owners.
The biological supply company will not buy any kittens. All deceased cats will have to be at least 14 inches in length.
All the money from the transactions will go back into the animal shelter.