The Transylvania Times -

By Mark Todd
Staff Writer 

County, Animal Groups Meet


County officials and members of local animal rescue groups appeared to reach a general consensus Tuesday after a meeting at the conference room at the county administration building.

They talked about the future of the county’s 50-year-old Animal Shelter on Ross Road and the soon-to-be-constructed new shelter on county owned land in Calvert, near Rosman.

Over the past week, a controversy flared about the county’s decision to temporarily remove animals and reduce holding times, which were already longer than the state requires.

This was done at the old shelter because of an outbreak of whooping cough. The situation has since improved.

The Ross Road shelter is too small, has inadequate ventilation and no isolation space for sick animals, county officials say.

County Commissioners Mike Hawkins and Larry Chapman, Operations Manager David McNeill, Chief Animal Control Officer Chuck Byrd, and leaders of three rescue organizations attended the meeting.

The rescue leaders were Kathy Bub of Friends for Life Forever Farm, Evelyn Bridges and Connie McNab of Charlie’s Angels, and Becky Ecker of TAAG, known as the Transylvania Animal Alliance Group.

Ann Holhouser, a veteran veterinarian from Brevard, who was assisted by Clyde Brooks in inspecting the shelter, was also in attendance.

Also there was Nita Hunt, who with Brooks co-chairs an ongoing private fundraising campaign to build the new shelter known as Friends of the Animal Shelter.

Following the meeting, Bub, of Friends For Life Forever Farm, said, “Mostly, I just wanted to listen, but felt the need to tell my opinion. I firmly believe if anything is to get done, it will be by those of us that first and foremost, care about the animals.”

The possibility of leasing space from Scott Wood, who is a member of the family that owns the old Boyd General Motors car dealership in Pisgah Forest on Old Hendersonville Highway, was discussed at the meeting.

This appears unlikely to be pursued, based on what members of the county staff said, because there are plans to break ground for the new shelter in the late spring and open it by late fall in a period spanning nine months.

Bridges and McNab of Charlie’s Angels had questions for county officials and made suggestions for present and future shelter management, as did Ecker of TAAG.

The possibility of using the growing number of volunteers who work for the Sheriff’s Office, as well as trust-worthy inmates to help at the shelter, was also discussed.

During Monday’s county commissioner meeting, Sheriff David Mahoney said his volunteer pool has grown from less than 10 in 2006 to more than 60 today.

Also on Monday night, commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the town of Rosman through which the town will provide water and sewer to the site, reducing potential construction costs.

The town will receive 1.2 acres of land near the same property as well as $45,000 in utility impact fees. Assurances have also been given that the county will treat animal hair on site so as not to harm the Rosman wastewater plant.

The estimated value of the traded land is $22,450.


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