Animal shelter stops controversial euthanization practice

Two dogs at an animal shelter
April 20, 2010 5:57:35 PM PDT
After its nationally publicized method of euthanizing animals became a topic of debate on Governor Beverly Perdue's Facebook page, the Robeson County Animal Shelter has stopped the practice of "heart sticking" to euthanize animals.

According to The Robesonian, the Robeson County Health Department agreed last week to euthanize intravenously rather than using heart sticking. That procedure involves puncturing a sedated animal's heart with a needle containing sodium pentobarbital.

Health Director Bill Smith called for the change last week after meeting with animal rights advocates and state Rep. Pat McElraft, who is sponsoring a bill to outlaw heart sticking in North Carolina.

Intravenous euthanasia was scheduled to begin Tuesday at the shelter where about 4,000 animals are euthanized each year.

Last month ABC11 Eyewitness News reported that thousands of angry animal lovers had taken their complaints about the shelter to Governor Beverly Perdue's facebook page.

Their outrage stemmed from a 13-year-old video that is on YouTube. It shows animalsat the shelter being euthanized.

When ABC11 interviewed shelter director Jeff Bass in March, he said that the shelter currently sedates and then euthanizes its animals.

Perdue responded to the complaints saying her office would investigate the claims.

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