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House Co-Speaker Wants To Change N.C. Animal Laws

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — State House Co-Speaker Jim Black has pledged to push for a commission to reform animal control laws that have resulted in a statewide euthanization rate more than double the national average.

Unlike a group created last year that never met, the new commission will hold hearings and propose legislation, said Black, D-Mecklenburg.

"If there are better ways of doing things, we need to uncover them," Black said. "I'm going to see that this receives attention."

"Hallelujah, any response from government legislature like that, we welcome because we've been fighting this battle for decades," said Mondy Lamb of the Wake County SPCA.

Despite an aggressive spay and neuter program at the Wake County SPCA, hundreds of cats and dogs are euthanized each month.

During the month of May, 33 percent of the animals brought into the SPCA of Wake County were put to sleep. The number is even higher in other counties -- 41 percent in Orange, 55 percent in Johnston and almost 70 percent in Durham.

The SPCA says it is not a shelter problem, but a community problem that can be solved first with pet owners.

"It's a matter of the people saying, 'Yeah, spaying and neutering is a big issue.' We're concerned with and we want our tax dollars going to the animals of our community," Lamb said.

The SPCA of Wake County said rural counties have higher numbers of animal control calls than other counties, which is why North Carolina rate of euthanasia is higher than the national average.