Northampton pets collected by PETA

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2005

JACKSON – Apparently, Northampton County is among the stops made by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) officials in regards to picking-up stray dogs and cats.

During Wednesday’s arrest of two PETA workers for illegally dumping dead dogs into a commercial dumpster in Ahoskie, law enforcement officials made reference to PETA possibly collecting animals in Northampton County as well.

Yesterday (Friday), Northampton County Health Director Sue Gay confirmed that at least one PETA representative collects stray dogs and cats from the county’s animal shelter on Tuesday of each week.

&uot;There were two people from PETA that came here on Tuesday of this week,&uot; Gay said. &uot;I don’t know for sure of their names. I don’t know if they were the same ones arrested on Wednesday in Ahoskie.&uot;

Gay said that normally only one PETA official comes to Jackson to pick-up the animals. She said that person is only known as &uot;Jessica.&uot;

&uot;I can say that the young man arrested in Ahoskie did come to Jackson about two weeks ago,&uot; Gay noted. &uot;Bill (Person, Northampton’s Rabies Control Officer) said he was introduced to a young man by the name of Andrew Cook. The young man was riding along with another person, but I don’t know who that person was.&uot;

Cook, of Virginia Beach, along with Adria Joy Hinkle of Norfolk were charged on Wednesday with 31 felony counts each of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts each of illegal disposal of dead animals after they allegedly placed some of the dead animals into the Ahoskie dumpster.

Gay said that PETA has worked with Northampton County for approximately one year in removing dogs and cats from the animal shelter.

&uot;They came in after expressing their opposition to the method we used to euthanized the animals,&uot; Gay said. &uot;We, like so many animal shelters, use gas to perform that task.&uot;

She added that it was to her understanding that PETA promised to take all the animals back to Norfolk for medical assessments by an on-site veterinarian.

&uot;From what we were told, those that PETA deemed in good health would be put up for adoption,&uot; Gay said. &uot;Those not in good health, thus resulting in a high risk that they would not be adopted, would be euthanized.&uot;

Gay pointed out that all stray animals brought to the shelter were held, by law, for 72 hours in order to give their owners a chance to reclaim their pets. After those 72 hours have past, Gay said the animals were put to sleep.

However, the Northampton animal shelter does receive requests from individuals wishing to adopt a dog or a cat if that animal goes unclaimed.

&uot;We still must wait 72 hours in those cases,&uot; Gay noted. &uot;We then contact the person that has shown an interest in adopting one of the animals. If they do adopt, we have the animal vaccinated for rabies and then recommend to the new owner to have their pet spayed or neutered.&uot;