Dogs looking for new homes – again Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 12:29 pm Updated: 12:30 pm, Fri Sep 16, 2011.
Dogs looking for new homes – again Jefferson Weaver The Pender Post
A number of dogs taken from the Columbus County Animal Shelter by a rescue group may be returning to their hometown.
Peter MacQueen of the Eastern North Carolina chapter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said the dogs are currently housed at Dr. Cynthia Burnette’s Animal Hospital in Burgaw. Burnette has boarded and kept the dogs for several months while an out-of-state animal rescue group attempted to find them homes.
Many of the animals required extensive medical care, and Burnette is reportedly asking Melissa Impens and Pennash Columbus County Animal Control Rescue (CCaC) to pay thousands of dollars for the animals’ care.
Another Pender County vet clinic, Rocky Point Animal Hospital, recently began adopting out animals left behind with past-due bills from CCaC. That facility is working with the Sunburst Foundation to screen potential new pet owners.
A woman who answered the phone at Burnette’s office Wednesday said there was no truth to rumors that the dogs would be put down by Friday if they were not adopted. She did confirm that Burnette’s staff is trying to find homes for the dogs. She refused to comment further, and said Burnette would provide additional comments later.
CCaC is a chip-in organization, which uses Facebook and other social media to raise money to rescue shelter animals. Columbus County is often targeted by such rescue groups because unwanted animals at the shelter are regularly destroyed if adoption efforts fail.
Steve Throneburg of Pender County Animal Control said he had heard Burnette may turn the animals over to the shelter there, which is a limited-kill shelter, but he had no details.
Columbus County Animal Control Supervisor Rossie Hayes said Wednesday he had not heard that the Columbus County dogs may make a return trip to the same shelter they were taken from earlier this year.
“I know nothing about it,” he said. “We’re tight on space, though, so I am not sure what we would do. I am not really sure I can do anything.”
MacQueen said Burnette has refused offers from“legitimate” rescue organizations like the national HSUS to allow them to take the dogs. Burnette is reportedly trying to sell some of the animals, all mixed-breeds, for $305 to $500 each to recoup some of her costs in caring and boarding the animals.
“She said no,”MacQueen said.
This isn’t the first time CCaC has been in the spotlight for its rescue efforts. The group is currently involved in a legal fight with a Columbus County family over a dog named Smokey that was picked up at the shelter and adopted, even while the family was attempting to recover the dog. Teresa McPherson and her husband offered to pay Smokey’s bills at Burnette’s office but were refused.
Animals pulled from the Columbus shelter by the CCaC were also confiscated from a Pitt County woman’s home recently.
According to published reports, around 50 animals were seized as part of an animal cruelty investigation.
The Humane Society of the United States, working with Pitt and Beaufort animal control agencies, seized more than 50 dogs, ducks and chickens, and two hybrid wolves at a woman’s home in Pitt County.
Officials said the animals were living in poor conditions, some were emaciated and others had minor injuries and sores. Some could not be socialized and had to be due to temperament and physical condition. No charges have been filed in that case. The owner of the home was reportedly active with CCaC and many of the dogs came from Columbus County.
MacQueen said his organization cannot afford to pay the bills at Burnette’s clinic, but is willing to adopt the animals and find homes for them to avoid their being returned to an animal shelter, where they might be killed.
“It would be a shame when there are legitimate rescuers out there willing to help for these animals to be killed over money,” he said.
Hayes said if the dogs did come back to Columbus County, “we’ll do all we can to place them.”
“It’s a shame,” he said.