I was in attendance for the No Kill Columbus GA meeting at the public library in Columbus, GA on May 20,2012. During this meeting, the ugly truth about what happens to cats that come into this facility finally came to light, and it was disturbing, to put it mildly.
The cats at this the facility have less than a 20% chance of making it out alive. I’m not talking about feral cats, because there are many, many cats that come through this facility that are not feral and have been very obviously someone’s beloved family pet. These cats hardly ever make it out of building. They are killed via IP :
injection of 20% Pentobarbitone solution
• Slow acting
• Takes longer to take effect than IV injection: 15–30 minutes (dependent
upon the species and size of the animal)
• A larger dose may be required than if given intravenously
• May be used when collapsed or poor venous access precludes IV injection
• May not be suitable for the euthanasia of larger animals
• The use of pre-euthanasia drugs may prolong the time until death
• May cause irritation to the peritoneum, particularly with
• Can be combined with a local anaesthetic to reduce the risk of irritation
• Animal may become distressed when it starts to lose consciousness
• May be a practical alternative when IV injection is difficult e.g. for
fractious stray or feral cats, neonatal kittens and puppies. It is advisable to
return cats to a secure cage after injection as they may become distressed
while the drug takes effect
This is the method being used on the animals here in Columbus, GA. All cats are killed in this manner, puppies and kittens too. It is simply horrifying to know that this is considered acceptable. It puts the animal in distress and is far from a quiet peaceful goodbye. It’s cruel in and of itself to subject and animal to 15-30 minutes of defecating and urinating on themselves, seizing, writhing in pain, and convulsing. Sometimes internal organs are damaged, spleen and intestines are perforated, in the process of killing them. As if this isn’t bad enough what happens next is even more disturbing!
Once the cats are killed they are ALL (except those who are “damaged”) then sold to a company called Bio Corp which provides carcasses for dissection and research purposes. Bio Corp pays the city for these animals, the going rate is roughly $3-$5 per cat. If you do the math it’s a nice chunk of change, when there is an 85% kill rate at this facility for cats, feral or domestic. They make a profit on killing cats in Columbus, GA. To profit from killing is sick and twisted. But what’s even more disturbing is where the money goes. The money does not go back to the shelter, the money goes to the city “slush” fund.
So none of the adoption fees paid by the public to adopt these animals, nor the profit they receive from the sale of these animals, is put back into the shelter in any way. There is no incentive to improve or change practices because the city will lose money. Money for the new “projects” funded by the city is BLOOD money. Money is being made off the stray, lost, and feral cats in the city. How can this be ok? How is this even morally acceptable? Where is the accountability? Where is the transparency? Why was it required that we file an open records request if they have nothing to hide? If they support their methods why was it so hard to get them to release this information. The answer is quite simple, they don’t want the general public to be aware of what is really happening at this facility because they know it would not be deemed acceptable.
So here we have it; A city that has the means and the ability to become the first No Kill Community and pave the way for Georgia, but has repeatedly refused to fully implement the No Kill Equation. The city officials have not even required the implementation of their own Save A Pet program which is loosely modeled after the No Kill Equation but IS NOT the No Kill Equation. There are countless examples just in the past week of their lack of concern for not only doing simple things such as posting the gender or age of an animal on their page, but their inability to operate a camera effectively.
The Save A Pet Program is not working and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson would really appreciate it if we stopped bugging her. There are far worse shelters than hers and we need to go bother them. Well, we’re not going away. The only way we are ever going to be able to change things, is by exposing the ugly truth about this city and it’s practices. We must educate the public on how to handle a feral cat problem effectively, and we must change the city ordinance which deems cats a nuisance, affording them no protection at all. We must also insist on transparency. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Is this where you want your tax dollars spent???
If this information disturbs you, DO SOMETHING! Contact the Mayor’s office, the City Manager’s Office, the City Council members, write a letter to the editor of the newspaper, make your opinion heard. This is going to be a long road, but it can be different. We can make it different. We must get louder. We must push forward. Innocent lives are counting on us to be their voice. Join us in the effort to make Columbus the first No Kill Community in Georgia. It’s time for change! Why not here, why now? Visit the No Kill Columbus GA website to learn more about what you can do to help.