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Dear NC resident,

Here is YOUR chance to let Gaston County Commissioners know that the humane community of NC will no longer stand by and permit Reggie Horton to operate a "pet killing factory" as if the animals belong to him personally. The animals at Gaston County pound are public property and he is accountable to the public. The below post is from NC resident Marilyn Whitney. I am submitting our comments as should you, in written form, as well as speaking them at the meeting. The link below is to the Gaston County Commissioners, their addresses, emails, and even home phone numbers. I urge everyone to send their experiences with Mr. Horton and his staff, the conditions of the animals they have pulled from Mr. Hortons "shelter," why you will no longer pull animals form there, how local rescuers are afraid of being "blacklisted" if they speak up, etc. Do it now or forever hold your peace. Let' s let Gaston County know that this fight has just begun. By taking similar actions we changed one of the worst of the worst shelters in all of Lousiana, in Lafayette. It took us only two years, but they now have a full time vet for the first time in history, are building a new shelter, inviting volunteers, published their first ever medical protocol manual, and getting rid of the gas chamber in July 2009. If you are REALLY ready for the same types of changes in Gaston and other counties of NC, then start with this meeting !


Garo Alexanian

PS- Don't forget that Feb is around the corner for our visit to the state capitol for the end the gassing, heartstick, gunshot legislation.


On Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 6 PM in the Commissioners Room of the Gaston County Courthouse located at 325 North Marietta Street, in Gastonia, North Carolina, there will be an open meeting between the commissioners, Reggie Horton (the director of the animal control facility in Dallas) and the Gaston County Animal Task Force Advisory Board. The public is invited. The kennel problems are on the agenda to be discussed and reviewed. This is due to the recent Gazette articles (see attached) and the facility’s failed inspection that was conducted by Sherry Swain on November 12, 2008. Multiple infractions on the state inspection form are included but not limited to: inadequate water & food receptacles, flooring is damaged and unsealed, corroded steel w/ sharp edges, sick animals not being vetted, dog w/ obvious neck bite wounds dripping blood on kennel floor and over crowding in individual kennels (see attached report). The director’s immediate response was changing the euthanasia times from 5 to 4 PM thus allowing for an additional euthanasia at 5 PM if there were too many animals. County Manager Jan Winters also stated in the last article (attached) that animals are held for 72 business hours at this facility and if over crowding persists, he can change that to 72 hours to comply with the state mandate.

Change is imperative and that is why we are asking you to attend this meeting in support of positive changes. Nothing else is required from you. The commissioners will ask how many people are present regarding this kennel issue and then all you have to do is stand up. You do not have to say anything. BUT you need to be there because numbers impress the commissioners. Petitions don’t! People giving an eloquent speech don’t ! NUMBERS AND A LARGE CROWD COUNT AND GET ATTENTION !!!!! Many people are in opposition to these changes and improvements because they want to keep the facility exactly the way it is. They will be attending in large numbers so they can keep things operating the same way.

Therefore, if you want change at this facility, you must come to the meeting and be counted. If changing the physical environment for the animals is important to you, then you must attend the meeting ! If changing the management environment at the facility for the animals sake is important to you, then you must attend the meeting ! It has been a long time since the commissioners were interested in discussing anything in regards to the problems with the kennel facility. This is our golden opportunity and all of us must make it count. If we don’t get a large turnout of people in behalf of the animals at this meeting, then we have not only condoned what is happening but also we have added to the problems because we did not speak up when we had the chance. Further, we don’t know if the commissioners will allow any more time given to this problem in the future. Remember, our tax dollars are funding this facility so we do have a vested interest in how the facility is being handled !

So if you have ever had problems regarding this kennel facility in any way, please come to this critical meeting and be counted. Animal advocates need to show the commissioners that we are serious about getting these problems addressed and that we will continue to draw attention to these problems until those changes take place.

Let’s make this opportunity count ! Please let me know if you plan on attending.

Thank you.
Marilyn Whitney

Garo Alexanian
Companion Animal NetworkTV

Companion Animal Network (“C.A.N.”) has advised, among other municipalities, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New York State Senator Frank Padavan, and numerous other public officials on animal control policies and has been acknowledged by the New York City Council with Resolution #985 for educating its members on the animal control problems of New York City. C.A.N. was the architect of the reforms in animal control which came about as a result in New York City, which consequently brought $15 million in grants to its animal control services.C.A.N. has been honored in New Orleans for its continuing post-Katrina support programs for Louisiana municipal animal pounds
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