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Reality Check: Animal Drop

The director of the Rutherford County Animal Shelter says complaints on Facebook about their animal drop boxes are misleading and untrue.  Lt. Leon Godlock says the drop boxes don't allow for multiple animals in one kennel and have a self locking trap door to protect the animal's safety.

People began repeating posts on Facebook that the shelter was "dropping" dogs and cats into a "hole" and dumping animals on top of other animals.  Godlock says that's just not the case.  He says the animal drop box is really "a drop building" with three kennels that have individual self locking trap doors.  One is for cats and the other two are for dogs.  He says the only way more than one animal can wind up inside the kennel is if someone is surrendering numerous animals or someone else with a surrendered pet shows up at the same time as another person. 

Godlock says the drop boxes are first come first served.  He says without them, people violate the law and abandon their pets, leaving them in air tight boxes outside their gates, chaining them to their fence or even tossing puppies over their barbed wire fence.  He says this is a much safer way to surrender an animal.

The State Agriculture Department, which licenses shelters, say there is no law against using an animal drop box. However, fewer counties are using them than in years past.

The neighboring Community Pet Center, which adopts out the animals from the shelter, says the state always passes the shelter's inspections. If they stopped doing that, maybe they could raise the money to build a bigger and better one. 

In the meantime, the shelter says the drop box is the safest way to surrender an animal after hours. It's the only time they're open for use.

By Frank Fraboni


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