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Cumberland official: Teach responsible pet ownership in school

Posted April 30, 2013

About 75 percent of the 1,000 dogs and cats that the Cumberland County Animal Shelter takes in each month are euthanized.

— Saying the kill rate in area animal shelters is "extremely high," Cumberland County's animal control director called Tuesday for people to learn the responsibilities of pet ownership in school.

The county animal shelter takes in about 1,000 dogs and cats each month and euthanizes about three-fourths of them, director John Lauby said. The euthanasia rate nationwide is about 80 percent, he said.

“It’s a terrible problem," Lauby said. "My people have to make the decision every day to put healthy animals to sleep because there’s no place for them.”

Part of the problem in Fayetteville is the transient, military-based population, he said.

Cris Berry-Caban, chairman of the Cumberland County Animal Control Board, agrees, saying younger people tend to act more irresponsibly with pets.

"It’s very prevalent to dump the animal on the side of the street and let it fend for itself, be it cats or dogs,” Berry-Caban said.

Cumberland County animal control officers get about 250 calls a day about dogs on the loose or attacking other animals or people, Lauby said.

John Lauby, Cumberland County animal control director Animal control director blames transient population for stray pets

He said teaching people how to be responsible pet owners early on, including neutering or spaying animals, might cut down on the number of strays going into shelters – and not coming out.

"We need to start an education program in our school system," he said. "That needs to be going. We need to get that started and up and running, and we need help with public service announcements."

Berry-Caban said he’s open to the idea of a pet responsibility program in schools, but Cumberland County Schools would need to grant permission and a curriculum would need to be designed.

“It’s not something that can happen immediately," he said.


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  • sweetlyght May 2, 2013

    Umm... no. not everything is a school issue.

  • kal May 1, 2013

    In the OCS for children with mild mental disabilities we use to touch on this information. Now with Federal changes it is more important these students learn about mitosis, slope, parabolas, which we know they will all use in their everyday life so it has to be more important than learning about the responsibilities of pet ownership, scams out their that take advantage of these type people, etc. No Child Left Behind is leaving most children behind.

  • yinyangtkdgirl May 1, 2013

    When did we as a nation lose the ability to be responsible or accountable for our own actions?

  • Sherlock May 1, 2013

    Why not, the teacher are not teaching anything they can use in life. Kids can not even give change for anything you buy without having a computer do it for them and then they have trouble.

  • josephlawrence43 May 1, 2013

    Oh great--just something else to take time away from the teachers doing what they are supposed to do-teach. Like morality, ethics, manners, respect, proper pet ownership is something that is the responsibility of the parents not the school.

  • OneLove May 1, 2013

    Umm, they're trying cut MULTIPLICATION TABLES from ...teachers don't have time to teach responsible pet ownership. Parents these days are LAAZY!

  • kermit60 May 1, 2013

    mfarmer1: sure some parents may commit crimes against animals. Some parents don't teach their kids respect or responsibility. Some don't feed or keep their kids clean properly either. Some kids can't even dress themselves without help or go to the bathroom. Maybe we should have classes on all these things also. Maybe parents should just be responsible for having the kids and then turn them over to the state for kid training.

  • kermit60 May 1, 2013

    Sure, why not? Let's add another task that teachers need to cram into there already over tasked day. What does he recomend be cut to make the space. While we are at it maybe we should teach kids everything else that irresponsible parents don't but should be. An absolutly senseless idea.

  • 426X3 May 1, 2013

    Parents or so-called responsible adults are the ones who need to be educated. End of story.

  • nomo05 Apr 30, 2013

    This is a good start. The kill rates at all our nearby shelters are shameful. Further steps that would help with this problem could be: requiring licenses of all breeders that sell pets, requiring licensed breeders to only sell spayed or neutered pets, and having businesses like WRAL not posting ads for backyard breeders and puppy mills. See the classified if you want to see part of the problem. We cannot possibly home as many animals as there are killed in shelters weekly in this state.