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The Dispatch - Serving the Lexington, North Carolina Area
Banks was arrested on Nov. 4, following a month-long investigation by the Davidson County Sheriff´s Office and Eve Roser, a former volunteer coordinator at the county animal shelter.
...That option gives hope to Roser, who has continued to follow the case and formed the Triad Animal Rights Alliance in response to Banks´ arrest in November.
"It´s very sad and disappointing that the charges were dropped," she
said." ...But I´m looking at this as more of a setback than an end.I´m hoping Ann´s celebration is temporary and short-lived." Roser
would continue to work with the sheriff´s and district attorney´s offices on the investigation."I´m going to do everything in my power legally to pursue this until there´s no further I can go," she
One setback to the investigation, Roser
said, was that Banks´ case was passed along through four different detectives at the sheriff´s department, one after the other, instead of being assigned to one person.If one detective had handled the case from beginning to end, Roser
said, the outcome of the investigation might have been different.
Rescue kennel comes under fire
"The state does not have a true definition of what ‘no-kill' is," said Eve Roser, the former volunteer coordinator with the Davidson County Animal Shelter and the founder of the Eve Roser Animal Rescue.
said the National Humane Society
and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals say that a legitimate rescue, "no-kill" facility will "turn away any animal that you knowingly cannot find a home for.You would guide that individual to wherever they should go."
The bottom line, Roser
said, is to ask why would people go to BARK
and pay to leave an animal when a call to animal control could have the animal picked up and delivered to the county shelter free of charge.
"What would be the reason?"she
asked."Because they believe that ‘no-kill' means that."
Technically, "what Ann is doing is not illegal," Roser
does question the tremendous number of animals killed.She
questions how many of those animals were healthy, adoptable animals or ones that would have made suitable companions.
"You can't tell anyone there were 5,077 vicious, aggressive, sick animals," she
also said, as a licensed animal rescue shelter, Banks is obligated to provide regular veterinary care for the animals under her care and points out that it is against the law to knowingly adopt out a sick animal.
has heard "so many horror stories, all affiliated with BARK," that she
knows - and has proof - that "regular veterinary care" is not being provided.
A veterinary technician with whom Roser
deals regularly, Amy Knable, paid $40 to adopt two kittens from BARK
"She (Banks) knowingly adopted out a sick animal," Roser
also suggested that a review of the 911 Center's event log documents in "Ann's own words describing what needs to be picked up."Calls for animal pick-up are dispatched through the county's 911 Center.These animals are then taken to the animal shelter.
Fifty-five pages of recorded calls shows that more than 400 calls were made for animal pick-up from May 1999 to this week at BARK
.There are countless calls for animal control to pick up sick cats, dogs, puppies and kittens, more than one animal at a time, and/or vicious, aggressive dogs.
Other calls are more specific.
The group has been with BARK
since its eviction from its previous location in High Point, Roser
In the middle of all this controversy is the Davidson County Animal Shelter, which is under the direction of the Sheriff's Office.
said Banks made a conscious choice.
has the option of putting those animals in the general population area," Roser
said."By saying they're sick or aggressive, it eliminates the option of adoption."
Wood also indicated that despite the animal shelter's reputation for euthanizing stray animals, she
, Varner and their volunteers "work hard to get these little critters a home."This includes spaying/neutering and all current shots.
added, they are candid with owners about the likelihood of an animal being adopted.
Rescue kennel owner arrested
The arrest comes as a result of a month-long joint investigation by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office and Eve Roser, the former volunteer coordinator for the Davidson County Animal Shelter and founder of Eve Roser Animal Shelter.They looked into allegations by witnesses that Banks allowed animals to lie in cages and become malnourished and die or witnessed seeing animals shot to death at the kennel and starved to death.
Candlelight vigil remembers lost animals
Eve Roser (fifth from right) with the Triad Animal Rights Alliance asks those in attendance at a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening on the Old Court House steps to raise their candles in memory of the animals that died at BARK.Photo by Bobbie Jamison/The Dispatch
Standing in front of a banner that read "in memory of the 5,292+ animals killed by BARK & Project Smiley," Eve Roser
, one of the group's founders, said the 12 core members came together due to their "disbelief, outrage and extreme sadness over the actions of Ann Banks and Brenda Bishop."
Banks operated Banks Animal Rescue Kennel (BARK) and Bishop operated Project Smiley.For a time, the two worked together.
"It will never bring any animal back, but it can help to begin to mend the broken hearts caused by the betrayal," said Roser
of the vigil.
BARK presented itself to the public as a "no kill" facility, but accepted the surrender of thousands of animals that were later euthanized by the Davidson County Animal Shelter over the past two years.Public outcry followed the revelation that Banks had been the source of so many animals destroyed at the shelter.The county commissioners have since enacted temporary regulations while a review committee works on an animal ordinance.
Banks was arrested Nov. 4 and faces 10 felony counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of possession of Phenobarbital.The alliance planned the vigil to coincide with a scheduled court appearance by Banks Tuesday, but Banks' case was continued until Dec. 2, at which time the state will present its case to a grand jury.
In an interview after the vigil, Roser
said the shelter staff told her
about the high number of animals brought in by Banks.Roser
worked there from November 1999 to May 2000 as a volunteer coordinator.By obtaining public records called intake tickets, she
calculated 5,292 to be the number of Banks' animals killed between January 2000 and September 2002.
emphasized that the Triad Animal Rescue Alliance
is not a rescue organization, but is working to change laws, starting at the county level.The group will focus on issues such as spay-neuter requirements and licensing of breeders.
"We want North Carolina to be an animal-rights state," Roser
said the group has no plans for another public meeting, but she
announced an adoption fair for the 21 animals released by Banks' father when the kennel was closed about 10 days ago.The adoption fair will be held Nov. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Guil-Rand Veterinary Hospital
in High Point.Adoption fees of $95 for dogs and $75 for cats will include spaying or neutering and all required vaccinations.
Animal rescue kennel owner arrested
Banks was arrested Monday after a month-long investigation by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office and Eve Roser, the former volunteer coordinator for the Davidson County Animal Shelter and founder of the Eve Roser Animal Shelter.
said Banks' kennel was "fraudulent from the beginning."
"People were so happy to believe that ‘no kill' meant no kill," she
said reputable rescue kennels do a screening process before they even take your animal and know whether they can feasibly find them homes before taking animals in.
Deputies also recovered about 30 animals from Banks' Southbound Street kennel and took them to other facilities to be examined and treated if necessary.
Residents will be given a chance to claim their animals by calling the Davidson County Animal Shelter and identifying them.
said pet owners who take animals to rescue kennels need to investigate those facilities before surrendering animals.