Protest over Unnecessary Killing of Animals at Gaston County Animal Control


by Denise Carey-Costa

Recently over 28,000 people called for the termination of Kristine Blankenship from her position as Director of Gaston County Animal Control Division in North Carolina. These were all signatures on a petition that was launched when word got out that a dog known as “Big Fluffy” was killed although he had a rescue to pick him up. Apparently, this was not an isolated incident and may dogs and cats have been killed while having rescue holds on them. Since then close to 7,000 supporters joined the Facebook page “Justice for Big Fluffy and Friends.”Gaston County Animal Control

There have also been countless news stories, and a protest due to what the majority deem the needless killing of healthy, adoptable animals, including many with confirmed rescue holds. Since taking over as Director, Dr. Kristine Blankenship has made a shelter that was already horrible even worse with her refusal to work with rescues, her lack of compassion, and her need for control, and it is the innocent animals that are paying the price with their precious lives.

In an attempt to deflect this negativity Gaston County Animal Control decided to change their name. According to their page The Gaston County Police Department’s Animal Control Division has changed its name to reflect its new direction. The new name, Gaston County Police Department Animal Care and Enforcement Division”, emphasizes first and foremost the department’s commitment to the care of animals in Gaston County as well as the enforcement of animal welfare laws and ordinances that are targeted toward irresponsible pet ownership

However, according to an inside who has been following the goings on at Gaston County very closely the name may have changed but the attitudes remain the same. According to a female who pulls for various North Carolina rescues, a kitten she picked up had its tail cut off. The poor thing was terrified when the rescuer tried to administer medical care to the injured kitten.

For the month or so Blankenship has withheld information on the animals from the volunteers who run the page promoting the animals for rescue/adoption. It was also discovered that that they will now have their own page vs. the volunteer one, and that people will be unable to comment on it. Many people view this as Blankenship not wanting anyone to have access to the records of all her kills or exactly how many animals are coming in.

Local residents and people around the world are angry at the events unfolding in Gaston County and they are demanding reform and that Blankenship be removed from her position as Director. Although concerned citizens have been reaching out to those in authority, everyone has passed the buck and said that they don’t have the authority, etc. The commissioners, the city manager, etc. They won’t even respond to people’s emails.

So after saying enough is enough and frustrated at the lack of response they were given, locals staged a protest in front of Gaston County Animal Control on June 20th, 2015. Animal lovers from all over, young and old, women and men, of all creeds and races arrived in Gaston County. The media was in attendance.

Clearly the people have spoken. Yet, not a single elected official seems to care.

What is it going to take for someone to say enough is enough and actually care about the welfare of these animals at Gaston County? Clearly nothing has changed other than to create smokescreens in an attempt to quiet an angry public.

To learn more about what is going on at Gaston County Animal Control or to sign the petition to have Kristen Blankenship removed from her position visit:

Facebook page: Petition:… Thunderclap:

This story is reposted from with the author’s permission.



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