First Posted: 1/15/2011
Apparently Ms. Barrett has failed to keep up with what has occurred in Robeson County for many years pertaining to the animals. Not only was it requested several years ago that the "Pound" should be at the facility the Humane Society had deeded to it by the City but it has also been requested on several occasions (dating back to Mr. Elliot when he was County Manager, Ken Windley and more recently Rick Harris and the Board of Commissioners that the County should take over the jurisdiction of running the Robeson County Animal Shelter — the latest request being last September or October when I explained to them that the "Health Director’s plate was full with all the other responsibilities he has and it would be best to have Animal Welfare placed under the County. Mr. Woods stated "that was a legal matter. However, they did appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to review the issues I presented to them and consequently changes were implemented. As far as the privatization of the RCAS, it should be very obvious there would be many problems and it certainly would not be the answer needed in our County to resolve the many animal issues we are confronted with. The facility which now belongs to the Humane Society would have been a perfect solution for our animals; and it is also my understanding the City is financially responsibile for certain areas at the Humane Society Facility, which the tax payers are paying – Accordng to the Deed, the Humane Society paid $1.00 for the facility and to my knowledge this was never presented to the citizens of Lumberton to vote on or voice their opinions; according to many citizens who call me the Humane Society always tells them "they are full"; apparently they also use the County facility to have animals euthanized – this information was given to me by the previous manager of the Robeson County Shelter – the reason being "it is cheaper for them" There is no simple answer but it is for certain what is occurring now is not the answer and it certainly would not be the answer to "privatize" until there is ASSURANCE there is money already available to take care of the facility for at least a year – everyone knows relying on "grants/donations, etc. does not work and it should be obvious the financial burden would return to the County. Hopefully the Commissioners are aware this would be a FATAL mistake if this is approved without the assurance the money is "already in the bank" and proof be presented. The animals have suffered long enough and, as the person who has been "THE VOICE" for the animals in this County for many years and who has made certain things have changed over the years, I am TOTALLY opposed to the privatization and it would be a total disaster. There will be information available in the near future as to the ones who are attempting to accomplish this and will be shared with the County Commissioners, Health Director, City Officials and the citizens of Robeson County as soon as it is available but in the meantime I encourage they NOT allow this at this point and time until all evidence can be presented. Some have asked me "why Ms. Barrett has not privatized the animal shelter in the County she lives in, which is Forsyth County and why there is so much interest in Robeson County – I certainly do not have that answer but it is a good question. I am once again requesting that the Animal Welfare be placed under the jurisdiction of the County Officials until all the issues can be resolved.