Cash from dead cats

Published 5:43 pm Sunday, November 1, 2009

JACKSON — A small amount of revenue for Northampton County is coming from an unexpected source.

Recently, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved a contract between the Health Department and LBS Biological Inc. for the collection of the bodies of cats that have been euthanized at the county’s animal shelter.

Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins brought the decision paper before the board. The contract provides basic service from LBS in the form of the company collecting the bodies of felines that are euthanized at the county’s animal shelter.

The company is in the commercial physical and biological research industry and will use the bodies for research experiments.

Jenkins said LBS will pay Northampton County $4 for each body and also provide a container to store the dead animals until they are picked up.

“How are these animals disposed of now,” asked Commission Chair Robert Carter.

Jenkins said they are taken to the landfill and buried at a depth of three feet as state regulations require.

Commission Vice Chair Fannie Greene offered a motion to approve the contract; it was seconded by Commissioner Chester Deloatch. The motion passed without objection.

Carter asked how many cats are euthanized monthly in the county.

Jenkins said he was not sure, but could gather that information and send it to the commissioners through email.

Jenkins added the county does have an active adoption program through the Health Department and Animal Control.

“The first thing we do is encourage adoption,” he said. “However, we can only keep them for so long and this is where this (contract) kicks in.”

Greene asked how long the animals were kept before they are euthanized.

Jenkins said he believed the minimum required by law is three days.

“If we have space available, we’ll keep them for a week and the length of time we are able to keep them depends on how full our facility is,” he said. “We do encourage adoption.”