By: Tom Breen
KINSTON, N.C. — Every day, hundreds of animals are taken in trucks, vans and cars from overcrowded Southern shelters, where euthanasia rates sometimes reach 70%, to states in the North, where puppies and kittens are not as plentiful.
It's a labor of love for those whose main goal is getting the animals off death row, but it can also have a dark side ranging from unscrupulous operators looking to make a quick buck to well-meaning incompetence.
Animal advocates say the transports are here to stay, thanks to a supply and demand imbalance between the South and the North, where spay and neuter programs are far more widespread. These advocates want to create standards to ensure pets aren't taken from overburdened shelters to an even worse fate.
"If you could take a truckload of dogs and cats up to Connecticut, and somebody is going to pay you $100 a dog, you're going to get as many animals as you can on that truck," said Kimberly Alboum, director of the North Carolina chapter of the Humane Society of the United States.
"It's quite a market at this point, and it's really creating problems as far as unscrupulous transporters and unscrupulous rescuers," she said.
The worst-case scenario for Alboum is a situation like the one described by police in North Carolina's Rockingham County last October. Sheriff's deputies charged Thomas and Amber Adkins with misdemeanor animal cruelty after finding around 90 dogs on the couple's property..." More