Upset about animal rules

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: Re: “Agreeable animal welfare changes” article by Laura LewiseeTo say I am shocked and heartsick does not begin to express the views of myself and many others I know who are concerned about the welfare of animals.

In my opinion, members of our state General Assembly, the Brunswick County Board of Health and Brunswick County Animal Services have taken giant steps backward.

Richard Cooper, director of Brunswick County Animal Services, objects to phasing out the use of gas chambers by the year 2012. An immediate phase-out would be the appropriate direction.

Reportedly, 30-35 percent of the animals are “eligible” to be euthanized. Lucky them—to be put to death by uncertified technicians who will no longer have to score even 80 on a euthanasia exam or have to pass a practical exam.

Mr. Cooper also finds it agreeable to eliminate the description of “humanely euthanizing” to simply “euthanizing” and changing the terms “proper and lawful disposal” to “disposal” and “properly anesthetize” to “anesthetize”.

The same Mr. Cooper sends his employees to a state school so they can gain understanding. It would be most interesting to know what kind of state school this is and exactly what kind of “understanding.”

I have seen and heard about some of the horrific methods used in other counties, but I had hoped, and believed, Brunswick would advocate a more civilized era for those that cannot speak for themselves.

As for employee safety, we are all aware of the availability of tranquilizers, sedatives, muzzles, etc., the employees could use to deal with difficult animals.

As far as further stress is concerned, euthanasia is certainly preferable to a group kill where the animals claw and attack each other and their cries can be heard as they struggle to keep alive while dying to this obsolete, antiquated procedure.

Your policy to gas all feral cats in this manner causes me to wonder. How do your folks get the animals in the chambers without handling?

Have you noticed all the dedicated, unpaid, humane groups of people who manage to capture, treat, inoculate and spay or neuter feral cats to help deal with the homeless animal population?

I am thankful animal services was compelled by law to improve their facilities and use sealed concrete areas with air conditioning.

People of Brunswick County must unite and help provide better care and overall treatment of the less fortunate animals in our county—to do otherwise is unconscionable.