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Montcalm County to Review Shelter Practices
Real progress or just putting off the inevitable?

In front of a packed house on Monday, the Montcalm County [Michigan] Board of Commissioners voted to temporarily extend a controversial animal shelter contract for six months and to appoint a “blue ribbon" committee (apparently free from animal rights activists) to review shelter practices. As we blogged earlier in January, the County is deciding whether to renew the Montcalm County Animal Shelter's five-year contract with a Class B Dealer currently responsible for “disposing” of unadopted shelter dogs and cats. The company, R&R Research, either euthanizes the animals by placing them in barrels with carbon-dioxide gas (why not by injection?) or selling them to research facilities.

Those fighting the contract see the review panel as “a diversionary tactic,” an attempt to buy time for the public outcry to die down before approving a five-year renewal. The only way to keep the commissioners honest is to keep up the heat. Watch scenes from the hearing and testimony from R&R Research’s Jim Woudenberg. Keep track of events in Montcalm or find out how to get involved, visit the Concerned Citizens Coalition.

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Submitted by Jeanne Urbanski | January 30 2009 |

As a board member of Concerned Citizens Coalition - Montcalm I want to thank each and every one of you who has contacted our commissioners, transported or rescued a dog from our shelter or helped our cause in any way. This is a tough fight. For over 30 years our commissioners have voted to allow a class b dealer to take live animals in exchange for free carcass hauling. Dogs who find themselves in our shelter, through no fault of their own, often have only two choices: death by suffocation in a CO2 barrel or death at a research facility. Adoption rates at this rural shelter have historically been very low. Recently rescues have been taking a number of dogs, but they cannot all be saved. My hope is that rescues can find a way to continue the magic that they do for 6 more months. The word is now out about Montcalm County but continued support is needed to keep up the momentum. Help us to put an end to the contract with the class b dealer. Become a voice for our shelter dogs.

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