Animal shelter’s practice not one to be alarmed about

By John Peters

August 2, 2013

Earlier this week, we reported on a long-standing practice by the Surry County Animal Shelter of selling cat carcasses to Carolina Biological Supply.

That practice has some in the county upset, and we would count ourselves among those numbers, but for a different reason. We find it shameful that so many cats are sent to the shelter, where the sheer volume of animals and short supply of money to take care of them inevitably means a high kill rate.

The fact that the shelter then sells a limited number of the bodies to Carolina Biological Supply should not bother individuals. In fact, given the reality that there are going to be animal carcasses from an operation like this, the practice of selling those bodies, and using the proceeds to help fund shelter operations, is probably a wise decision by county officials.

We have gone on record before with, and still stand by, questions regarding the sometimes seemingly secretive operations of the county health department, and its seeming reticent to work with members of the public regarding ways to cut down on the number of animals euthanized at the county shelter.

We believe there are problems within that department, but this is not one of them. The fact that the department makes a few thousand dollars from some of the animal carcasses, which then alleviates the shelter of the expense and time involved in otherwise disposing of them, is not a bad thing.

If folks have a major problem with this practice, we would suggest they work harder, or recruit other people to help, at efforts aimed toward keeping animals out of the shelter. The way to end this practice of selling carcasses to a biological supply company would be to end the supply of carcasses.

We’re fairly certain everyone involved, including those who work at the animal shelter, would like to see such a resolution.