The resignation of two Stokes County Animal Shelter employees last week has forced the county to modify what animal control services it will be offering for the foreseeable future.
“We are basically going back to where were during the time that the shelter was closed,” said County Manager Rick Morris. “It will be that way from now until the new animal shelter opens in the Meadows community.”
He said the county would only rehire one of the two vacant positions, converting that position to an administrative person to answer the shelter phone and help with dispatching calls.
“We are not going to staff back up to keep it operational,” said Morris. “We don’t feel that we have the resources or the facilities to meet the current requirements to take all of these animals in and do adoptions and all of that stuff.
“We are getting inspection after inspection from the state,” he added. “We have a requirement that for every 10 animals that we have there we have to have an additional person there during the entire time it is open. We just can’t meet all of these requirements. We are not going to try to do that and expect a different outcome.”
The shelter will now only be used to house animals the county is statutorily required to accept.
“If it is cruelty case where evidence is involved, we will put them in there,” said Morris. “If it is bite we will put them in there. If it is rabies then we will put them in there. We will also possibly be taking in injured animals, but beyond that no animals will be going in there.”
Morris said the changes would require county residents to take more responsibility for their animals.
“People are going to have to take personal responsibility for animal situations unless the general statutes require us to deal with them,” he said.
“For all practical purposes these changes are in effect immediately because we only have two people working there,” he added. “It will be a formal decision with the approval of next year’s budget.”
Morris said the shelter is currently full and staff are working to adopt out the remaining animals.
“I don’t have any plans to kill any of the animals,” said Morris. “We are working through the process of adoption to get them out of there.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.