Columbus Co commissioners defend animal shelter director who eut - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Commissioners defend animal shelter director who euthanized 13 dogs

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Rossie Hayes, the Director of the Columbus County Animal Shelter, said  he euthanized 13 dogs last week in an effort to prevent his department from violating state laws. Rossie Hayes, the Director of the Columbus County Animal Shelter, said he euthanized 13 dogs last week in an effort to prevent his department from violating state laws.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Rossie Hayes, the Director of the Columbus County Animal Shelter, said  he euthanized 13 dogs last week in an effort to prevent his department from violating state laws. 

Now, many animal rights advocates are asking county commissioners to change policies at the shelter, and commissioners are speaking out. 

Many commissioners in Columbus County believe Hayes was in a situation where he would have been criticized no matter how he decided to handle things.

Since this story first aired on Friday, commissioners said they've received hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls from people who live outside Columbus County, adding that Hayes has even received death threats because of this.

According to commissioners, when it comes to euthanizing animals, workers at the animal shelter wait longer than the 72-hour time requirement by the state, which they say causes the shelter to fill up. 

"All those dogs that were at the pound they were on Facebook with pictures trying to be adopted," said Ricky Bullard, a county commissioner. "So he decided to put these to sleep instead of putting the ones that were on Facebook asleep."

"Well, people from out of town don't know what's going on inside the county," said Edwin Russ, a county commissioner. "I don't know where they get all their news from. Facebook maybe good for some people, but Facebook is not good for. I'm not on Facebook and don't care to look at Facebook. But the way we're handling our dogs and cats, I think is more than what other counties are doing."

Commissioners say they're always willing to listen to other ideas, but they say that since they do have a low kill rate, they have not talked about making any policy changes. 

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