Animal shelter to change euthanasia training after public outcry - | WBTV Charlotte

Animal shelter to change euthanasia training after public outcry

(Source: Alex Giles) (Source: Alex Giles)
CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Cleveland County resident Jackie Harrison has three dogs of her own and they’ve all been rescued.

When Harrison found out that live dogs were being put to death for euthanasia training in Cleveland County, she made it a mission to get that practice changed.

“It’s just needless and pointless and so I felt that it needed to be put out there and the community needed to know,” said Harrison.

The next training session was scheduled to take place next week.

Harrison posted about it on Facebook and encouraged others to contact the Cleveland County Animal Control shelter and take a stand against the euthanasia training.

“I’ve had to have my own dogs euthanized because of old age illness, those type of things. It’s not always necessarily how they’d like you to think,” explained Harrison.

The shelter got the message. They announced on Facebook that they will postpone the training planned for next week.

They also stated that North Carolina state protocol for euthanasia training will be changed. Mannequins will now be used instead of real dogs for the training.

“Bad on us for not ever thinking about that. Until it came to light, that was the standard, that was the policy, and that was the protocol,” said Sam Lockridge, Cleveland County Animal Control Coordinator.

Harrison was pleased to learn about the training changes.

“It makes me happy for the dogs. I can’t say that it doesn’t because at least they’re not going to die needlessly,” she explained.

She said it shouldn’t have taken such an outcry to get this result.

“You don’t want them to postpone this because we’ve put pressure on them as community and with the media. You want people to do ethically the right thing because it is the right thing and that’s who they are,” said Harrison.

Lockridge said that in the past only two or three dogs were euthanized for these training sessions and they were dogs that were eventually going to be put down anyway.

The Facebook post from Cleveland County Animal Control states that the county has made it a goal to eventually make the animal shelter a “no kill” shelter.

Lockridge said they are also building a low-cost spay neuter clinic right next to the building. He said anyone wishing to give a donation to help fund the new facility can contribute to the Ronnie Hawkins Foundation.

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