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Lincoln adopts no-kill plan for animal shelter; dozens protest shelter policy in Rowan

Lincoln County commissioners voted Monday to adopt a no-kill policy at the county’s animal shelter.

It would be the first government-run animal shelter in North Carolina with such a policy, according to a group of Lincoln County residents that lobbied county commissioners for the change.

Meanwhile, dozens of protesters called Monday night for Rowan County commissioners to end the use of the gas chamber to euthanize dogs and cats at the county shelter.

In Lincoln County, commissioners voted to move toward the No Kill Equation, a nationally recognized approach aimed at saving 90 percent or more of healthy and adoptable animals.

“We are excited about leading the way in the state of North Carolina, through our commitment to become a no kill municipal shelter,” said Alex Patton, chairman of the county commissioners. “It is the right decision and one shared by the majority of our citizens.”

A group of community volunteers has pushed for the program and promised to help animal shelter officials increase the number of adoptions. In addition, the county will try to increase its low-cost spay/neuter program and its effort to reunite animals with their owners.

The county said it will seek alternative funding through donations, grants and sponsorships to help with its publicity efforts.

“We are already implementing various parts of the No Kill Equation and have over 1,000 volunteer hours committed per month to put toward this effort,” said William Edmiston, a member of the citizens group.

The Rowan County protest took place during the county commissioners’ meeting in Salisbury. Organizers of the effort submitted a petition to the board, asking for an end to the use of carbon monoxide at the shelter. They said the petitions contained more than 9,000 signatures.

Commissioners said they will study the request.

In recent weeks, both Alexander and Iredell counties announced they will stop using gas chambers and instead switch to a system of injections to euthanize dogs and cats at the county shelters.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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