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Shelter policies need to change

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GUEST EDITORIAL

Mandy Price-Moin of Durham, N.C., is a Galax native who volunteers with animal rescue operations.

Would you be upset if your family pet was put to death before you found it or someone else had a chance to adopt it?
I know I would be. In fact, I’m furious because this is happening in my hometown at the Galax-Carroll-Grayson Regional Animal Shelter.
I live in Durham, N.C., now but come home regularly to rescue pets and find them homes. Within the last month alone, two of us have found homes for seven dogs from the Galax shelter.
Toby would have been our eighth rescue.
I had an adoption lined up for Toby, a Golden Retriever mix, but he was put to death last weekend after little more than a week at the shelter.
Putting dogs to death has apparently become the norm in Galax, versus finding homes.
It is not about space. There is plenty of room at the shelter.
Toby’s family could not care for him. My friends saw a picture of Toby on my Facebook page and wanted to adopt him.
I called the shelter, asking them to hold Toby. But, they euthanized him.
Toby is not the first to die this quickly, but if we do something he will be one of the last.
The shelter does not accept volunteers, but this is very common in other shelters.
We should demand that the shelter allow volunteers to help.
The shelter should contact rescue centers, the Twin County Humane Society or make an effort to find homes. This does not happen, either.
The Humane Society helps families that cannot afford to feed their pets. This should be addressed during owner surrender, to help people keep their pet. But, it is not happening.
Instead, it is death row.
I have compared statistics between Galax and Martinsville, a city of comparable size. The difference in annual euthanizations is shockingly higher in Galax  — more than 3,000 on average.
You can help save other dogs like Toby by adopting a shelter dog or cat, by volunteering to foster animals until permanent homes can be found and by asking the City of Galax to put better policies in place to make adoption easier and give animals more time to find homes.
Please help me stop the needless deaths of so many sweet and innocent pets. Get involved.