The Transylvania Times -

Animal Shelter Given Good Report - Brevard NC


A state official has said Transylvania County residents can "take pride in their county Animal Shelter" and that the shelter is "providing an "excellent service to the community."

These comments were made by Dr. Patricia Norris, the director of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Animal Welfare Section, after she visited the Animal Shelter on Nov. 24.

As previously reported, Norris' office had cited and fined the county for $10,150 for unauthorized euthanasias at the shelter.

From Sept. 1, 2014, to July 21, 2015, there were 205 cases of euthanasia performed by staff members who were not certified. The county has since taken a number of steps to correct these issues and conduct an overall reorganization of the shelter and implement new standards and procedures.

The county also invited Norris' office to the shelter to conduct a program review.

In a Dec. 9 letter to County Manager Jaime Laughter, Norris said the shelter was "clean and a pleasure to visit."

"The staff was professional yet friendly and the animals appear to be well cared for," Norris said.

In the review, there were also several recommendations for "minor changes" to the shelter's policy and procedure manual, specifically developing written standards for foster care providers and approved rescue organizations. Norris' letter also included suggestions the county may want to consider as the shelter program expands and grows.

Norris said other shelters have implemented similar suggestions.

The suggestions included:

•Creating a formal foster care program.

•Creating a program for rescue organizations.

•Developing a more formalized training program for its staff and volunteers.

• Creating a feral cat area. Having these animals in a low-traffic area, such as the current sally port, with adequate ambient temperature control, is a good solution.

Norris said Laughter and staff discussed possible future programs and expansion of current programs.

"Their conservative approach and concern for overreaching in the pursuit of worthwhile programs that will benefit the community is commendable," Norris said. "The shelter is providing an excellent service to the community. While increasing this service is a good goal, care should be taken not to expand too far or too fast at the expense of the current programs."

Laughter is scheduled to talk about the Animal Shelter and Norris' findings during tonight's Board of Commissioners meeting.


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