Columbus County Animal Shelter Defends Operation

MAY 8, 2006 -- Columbus County officials are responding to comments from animal rights groups. The groups claim Columbus County Animal Control is euthanizing dogs too soon and in an inhumane fashion.

The Columbus County Animal Control Center kills all their animals in the gas chamber. However, the Humane Society says they're doing it illegally. Officials at Animal Control said they are not breaking any laws and they believe the gas chamber is humane.

County Manager Jim Varner and Director of Animal Control Rossie Hayes said they will not consider intraveneous drugs to euthanize animals.

They have been under a lot of scrutiny lately for putting too many animals in a gas chamber at one time, and using gas to kill older animals, puppies and kittens, and sick, injured and pregnant animals. A veterinarian at the Columbus County Animal Hospital says that is not against the law.

The North Carolina general statute says animal control centers must put animals to sleep by following guidelines from three animals rights groups. Members of the Humane Society say they are not following the guidelines.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer