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Humane Society Questions Cumberland Animal Control Euthanizing 50 Animals

Posted August 8, 1999

— The Humane Society publicly questioned Cumberland County Animal Control'sdecision to quickly destroy nearly 50 house petsbelonging to one woman.

Animal Control says it was a health and safety issue. The Humane Society disagrees and says the pets could have been placed in no-kill shelters.

"I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I am humiliated," says Joyce Costin, who was talking about the euthanizing of Daisy McDougal's 47 cats and three dogs.

Costin was part of a standing room only crowd voicing their concerns and complaints to the county's Animal Control board.

Many on hand said Animal Control is too quick to euthanize when other options might be available.

"It just seems to me that they just did not give this poor lady enough information, directive or guidance," Costin said. "I mean there are facilities that would have helped her."

Despite all the criticism, Carlton Person, director of Animal Control, says euthanizing the animals was the right thing to do.

"It was handled appropriately. We gave the lady 10 days to do something with her animals," Person said. "The landlord was the one who gave her the choice. She could either get rid of her animals or move out."

Lynn Stone has a unique perspective on the controversy. She sits on the Animal Control board and helps run a county no-kill shelter. Stone agrees with euthanizing McDougal's animals.

"They're all breeding and probably generating all types of diseases, and they were probably all unadoptable," she said. "Just like they said, they were unsocialized."

The Animal Control board says it will take Monday night's comment into consideration. They say they will eventually formulate improvements on the polices, and that those changes will then go before the county commissioners.


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