Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pender sheriff asks SBI to look into animal shelter allegations

Pender sheriff asks SBI to look into animal shelter allegations
By F.T. Norton

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 5:01 p.m.

State investigators are looking into allegations of criminal wrongdoing at the embattled Pender County Animal Shelter, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

According to the Jennifer Canada, assistant public information specialist for the N.C. Department of Justice, at the request of the Pender County sheriff, the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting “a preliminary inquiry to determine if a criminal investigation is warranted.”

The shelter in Burgaw has been under fire recently by animal rights activists who allege it is being mismanaged, animals are being mistreated and shelter staff are stealing food and items donated to the animals.

Since 2007, the shelter has received a number of unsatisfactory reports during state inspections, N.C. Department of Agriculture inspection records show.

Most recently, an inspection March 11 found among less egregious violations, there were seven cats in a pen with one litter box, holes in the kennels were large enough for animals to stick legs through and get injured, cats were being housed in traps-cages without litter pans and 18 cats had received no medical care for matted eyes and nasal mucus, resulting in them being euthanized, the report said.

A reinspection Monday found the shelter had corrected the majority of the errors, to include getting vet care for sick or injured animals and providing appropriate housing and litter boxes for cats.

“Cleaning was ongoing during this inspection. Grounds were cleaner and more organized today,” the report states.

The next inspection is April 25.

F.T. Norton: 343-2070 

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