This weekend renovations will begin at the Stokes County Animal Shelter to address problems identified during a recent state inspection of the facility.
As a result the shelter will be closed from July 6 until July 20, but County Manager Rick Morris said no animals will be killed to vacate the facility to allow repairs to be made.
“Any animals still in the shelter when it comes time to do the work will be kept in the outside kennels,” he said Monday, noting those kennels can house between 12 to 14 animals. “We are not going to be killing animals for the purpose of clearing out space. We will be following the normal euthanasia procedure. Under that, we keep strays for 72 hours before we euthanize them if they are not adopted out.”
Morris noted that the county had had some success in recent days finding private individuals who can house some of the animals currently in the shelter while the construction takes place. Last week many local Facebook pages were filled with worries that the county would kill any animals still in the shelter at the time renovations began, a concern the animal shelter quickly addressed on it’s own Facebook page.
The county animal shelter failed an inspection last year, partially due to pealing paint and enamel in the indoor kennel areas.
“They will be stripping the floors and the walls up to a certain point and then putting a special epoxy coating on them to keep the kennels clean and disease free,” said Morris. “We have two weeks scheduled for the work, but if they finish earlier we will move the animals back in as soon as it is safe for them.”
He noted that animal control would still be performing its normal enforcement duties during the closure.
Morris added that the best way to avoid euthanizing animals was to make sure that pets were properly spayed and neutered.
“We have incentivized that with the fee structure,” he said. “We are also working with Candice Lloyd and the state to try to help people who are financially challenged to get that done. If people don’t pay and neuter their pets it creates more and more numbers and that has all sorts of outcomes when they go to the shelter. Our objective is to adopt out as many as possible.”
He also noted that the Supporters For New Stokes County Animal Shelter are working hard to raise money to build a new no-kill animal shelter at the old prison camp property in the Meadows community.
“Once that is built it will make it a better situation for adoptions to occur,” said Morris. “My vision and my hope is that we will adopt almost all of the animals out through there and we will only deal with problem animals at the existing shelter.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.