WWAY TV 3
Many people are calling for changes at the Columbus County animal shelter. They are upset that workers gas unwanted pets, sometimes in groups of ten or more at a time.
County officials held a press conference Monday about the state of affairs at their animal shelter.
The administration building for Columbus County is in downtown Whiteville, b ut the debate is all about a rural road where the animal shelter is and the treatment of dogs and cats at the facility.
County leaders say they've been blasted by the press on the phone and via e-mail. Now the county says it wants to set the record straight. The panel says gassing will continue at the shelter.
They say it's humane, less costly than injections, legal and most importantly -- l ike having two school districts -- it's what works here.
Columbus CountyManager Jim Varner said, "Two schools districts. You go to a lot of counties and they only have one. Does that mean we're wrong and they're right? You do what your community expects. We have two school districts. We treat our animals, put them down in a different way. That doesn't make them wrong and us right. We do what we've been doing. It's within the law."
And a big reason the county is sticking with this system is economics. They say using a gas chamber is cheaper than using lethal injection.
The decision is already drawing fire from local animal rights groups.
Columbus County has always gotten a lot of criticism for our animal shelter. Varner said in an earlier statement that there is no way to make everyone happy on this issue and he's right. I don't know what's best for the shelter. It sounds bad the way it's stated in the papers and on TV, I'll ride out there the end of the week and check it out for myself.