Horrified by State Laws, NCSU Graduate Saves Hundreds of Stray Dogs and Cats :: WRAL.com

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– Within a year of its founding, Kathleen Murphy saved 400 dogs and cats Rusty’s Rescue Ranch with his college roommates. She would save hundreds more, but it would never be enough.

The 22-year-old graduated from North Carolina State University and works full-time as a biochemist, but has dedicated her life to saving animals.

“When I started doing this, I was in school full-time and working,” Murphy said. “There is always time, you just have to be dedicated.”

Rusty’s Rescue Ranch, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in 2020, but Murphy has spent her life rescuing homeless people. In her childhood home in Statesville, her parents were known for taking in strays and unwanted pets.

“My parents’ house was a dump,” Murphy said. “People would drop strays off at their house and tie them up on the porch. We usually had about seven dogs at a time.”

Because they couldn’t keep them all, Murphy and her parents got veterinary help for the dogs and cats and tried to find them new homes.

While she was in school, Murphy worked as a veterinarian at a local animal hospital. She brought animals left outside her house to the clinic. When the clinic was full of stray dogs and cats, she tried to find new owners.

Murphy has always been an animal advocate.

After founding Rusty’s Rescue Ranch, she caught the attention of a county commissioner after taking a photo of a dog chained outside a home with no shelter or water. No one helped, so she posted the photo on social media.

She also helped solve a hoarding case where a backyard breeder kept 60 dogs in kennels outside. She helped find homes for 30 dogs.

Rusty’s Rescue Ranch is currently raising money to open its own kennel. Until then, dozens of volunteers and foster carers take dogs and cats from the “kill list” at animal shelters and care for them in their homes until they find new families.

Murphy receives dozens of phone calls and Facebook messages daily.

“My Facebook page is all dead dogs,” she said. “These are all dogs that are likely to die at the shelter.”

Kathleen Murphy

Whether it’s calls about dogs chained up and left in 100-degree heat without water or reports of pets being beaten by their owners, Murphy has had to step up because she’s seen it all.

Murphy said North Carolina has the 3rd highest number of deaths in pet shelterstrailing Texas and California, which partially top the list because of their size.

Breeding restrictions and an emphasis on spay programs could help, but little is being done.

North Carolina is one of the few states in the country that does not regulate so-called “puppy mills.” It has also been the site of many large busts of puppies.

“We’re not a big state,” Murphy said. “Our raw data shouldn’t be compared to Texas and California, but we don’t have laws. We have nothing that protects animals. In other states you must have a license to breed dogs, you cannot keep your dog on a leash outside. hours a day … none of that applies here. Dogs don’t have to be fixed, so any dog ​​can come and make more dogs.”

When it comes to laws protecting animals and pets, NC lags behind other states, largely because of the importance of commercial farming to the state’s economy.

WRAL Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie said the last major animal protection law passed in this state was back in 1977, which set very minimum standards for humane treatment, and for people who breed dogs in NC , there are practically no restrictions.

House Bill 930, which would establish minimum animal care standards for commercial dog breeders, was introduced years ago, but the Senate has not acted in 2014.

Republican Sen. Bill Rabon, a veterinarian representing Braunschweig County, was one of the lawmakers who opposed the bill, which some said could be too easily interpreted to apply to livestock rather than just dogs.

“It can’t spill over into the $80 billion livestock industry in this state — more than the other five leading industries in the state,” Rabon said in 2014. “A LOT of money is involved here.”

Since then, many similar bills have been introduced, but none have reached a floor vote.

It is often the dogs in shelters that appear aggressive or have behavioral issues that are the first to be euthanized when more space is needed. But as Murphy explains, many of these animals were mistreated or never had the chance to experience anything other than cage life.

“That’s why Rusty takes on so many difficult dogs,” she said.

Rusty’s Rescue Ranch is named after the Australian Shepherd that Murphy’s parents once brought home.

Rusty spent his whole life in a cage and was not used to being around people. His record has two bites. One day he became agitated and attacked Murphy, who had to be sent to the hospital. Rusty was taken in by animal control and euthanized.

“He was psychologically out of sorts,” said Murphy, who called animal shelters that take in dogs with behavioral problems. “But he hadn’t bitten anyone in two years and I wanted him to go somewhere safe. If he bit someone again, that was it for him.”

Rusty’s Rescue Ranch’s mission is to save dogs and cats, especially those at risk of never finding a family.

Adopt, donate or volunteer

Rusty’s Rescue Ranch needs monetary donations and foster parents who are interested in caring for dogs and cats in their homes. The rescuer will pay for food, water, supplies and medical care for the adoptable animals. You can make a tax-deductible donation online.

There is a great need for adoptions, especially cats, Murphy said. Animals six months of age and older are spayed/neutered and microchipped, as well as given vaccinations, heartworm prevention and flea and tick medication. Younger puppies are adopted with a $150 voucher to pay for spay surgery.

You can see adopted dogs and cats or make a donation online. Interested adopters must complete an online application.

August is the month of shelter cleaningwhere shelters and rescues offer adoption specials.

Clear the shelters 2022

Horrified by State Laws, NCSU Graduate Saves Hundreds of Stray Dogs and Cats :: WRAL.com

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