I am a former South Carolinian, now living in the great state of Tennessee where we abhor practices like those in Chesterfield County. I will not be so naive to say it never happens in TN, but it sure happens a lot less! We have made much progress in the years since I have lived here (since 1969) and TN is noted as one of the few Southern states that has made positive progress in the treatment and care of our companion animals.
I cringe everytime I read another story like this one, coming from the state of SC. It perpetuates the myth (myth?) of the “good ole boy” and the “rednecks” in SC. There are so many good things to like about SC that it is a shame that stories like this are also true.
The state as a whole needs to implement stronger legislation for our companion animals and to enforce those laws. Laws are no good if not enforced. Dog fighting, cock fighting, puppy mills, should all be outlawed and those laws strongly enforced with arrests, felony (not misdemeanor) charges, prison (not jail) time, hefty fines and anger management classes.
In Tennessee the HSUS (Humane Society of the US) has been to TN more times in the last year than any other state in the union. By invitation. We are NOT the worst, but our county officials are beginning to see that cruel acts will no longer be tolerated. Not staffed adequately to plan and execute seizures of such operations, TN officials are calling on the experts at HSUS to help run the seizures. United Animal Nations (UAN), a group of which I am a member, comes in at the same time, to run the sheltering operations, to assure that all vetting is done and proper care is given to the animals so that they may be sent to member humane societies around the US for adoption. They do all this with help from groups such as PetsMart charities which assists with food and crates. SC could do the same.
The Veterinary Association has recently come out with their recommendations for euthanasia of domestic pets at county shelters, and lethal injection is the ONLY authorized method now. Who is the vet who oversees euthanasia at Chesterfield? Is he/she aware of their professional association’s recommendations? If not, it is their duty to do so! Even if the vet is not “in house”, but a consulting vet, they must follow the rules and not tolerate or condone other “procedures,” including gassing, shooting, heart stick, etc.
I thank you for your continuing coverage of these heinous acts! And until strong laws are made and enforced in SC and the shelter vets (including consulting vets) obey the recommendations of their professionals, SC will continue to be at the bottom in humane actions for companion animals.
Emilie, Brentwood, T.N. (formerly of Greenville, S.C.)