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Animal Shelter Faces Expansion Problems

Posted June 26, 2007
Updated June 27, 2007

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— The state's largest no-kill animal shelter is under pressure to upgrade its facilities or get rid of some of the hundreds of dogs and cats awaiting adoption.

Friends for Life at the Haven houses about 1,200 animals, said Linden Spear, who founded the shelter in 1996. A couple of years  ago, state regulators said the shelter didn't meet minimum standards and revoked her license.

Spear was ordered to build kennels lined with concrete or gravel -- not just dirt -- for the animals. She said she has erected chain-link fences and spent $80,000 on gravel to build the kennels.

"These kennels are about to be doubled in size," she said.

But Spear said said regulators seem to be making more demands as time goes on. A Feb. 27 letter from the state Attorney General's Office to her attorney stated that two planned buildings at the shelter would be adequate for only 400 animals.

"Unfortunately, the Department (of Agriculture) is well aware that your client has held a population of well over 1,000 animals for quite some time,” the letter said.

"I do not believe we have too many animals here," Spear said, adding she worries about the fate of the 800 animals the state said can't stay at the expanded shelter.

Brian Long, a spokesman for the Agriculture Department, said the state isn't trying to force Spear to get rid of her animals.

“The facility she has is still not adequate to hold that large number of animals,” Long said. "We are willing to talk with her about options to balance that equation a little better."

One option is that Friends for Life at the Haven stop taking in new animals until Spear gets the population down to what the state deems a manageable level, he said.

Spear said the shelter has a high adoption rate, arranging 850 adoptions so far this year while taking in 900 new animals.

“The animals we take in, we get them healthy, we get them adoptable,” she said.

The shelter has at least 100 volunteers and a small paid staff to clean and care for the animals. It is funded exclusively by donations, and Spear has appealed to the public for help to come up with the money needed to comply with the state's requests.

A fundraiser is scheduled for July 7 at the Stonewall Fire Department on N.C. Highway 20 south of Raeford.

55 Comments

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  • gryhoundpoet Jun 27, 2007

    HEATHER, YOUR EXPLANATION OF WHY 'DEATH'--EUTHANASIA IS SOMETIMES MORE HUMANE IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY. THANKS FOR EXPLAINING IT SO WELL. I, TOO, HAVE SEEN ANIMALS 'GO CAGE, KENNEL CRAZY'-- IT IS HORRIBLE. UNTIL OUR SOCIETY 'REALLY GETS IT' WE WILL HAVE TO USE EUTHANASIA AS A MEANS OF POPULATION CONTROL. I HOPE TO SEE IT ALL CHANGE ......... IN MY LIFETIME. I AM CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC.

  • gryhoundpoet Jun 27, 2007

    HOORAY FOR THE STATE OF CA.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • OLD PIRATE Jun 27, 2007

    State hasn't done a very good job keeping people from over populating, why should we let them get into the pet picture.
    In fact they pay for more people! This lady would be rich if these were kids.

  • pari passu Jun 27, 2007

    People can't turn their back on this situation. Please help out as much as you can by contributing or adopting a pet!

  • Bodhi126 Jun 27, 2007

    speaking of which, look under hte nations section of the home page...California is looking at spay & neuter as being manditory!!!

  • Bodhi126 Jun 27, 2007

    Allot of people don't understand that no kill doesn't mean that no animal gets put down. Terminally ill and aggressive animals will be put down at most no kill shelters. It typically means that once hte animal is deemed adoptable that they are staying there UNTIL they are adopted without a time limit (like 30 days at Wake Cty Animal Shelter). This lady needs enormous donations like the Wake SPCA received to open thier facility. I hope people come together to help her out. Mind you I said TYPICALLY, not all No Kill Shelters are the same but that is the general idea that they remain adoptable until they ARE adopted. I know of animals that had developed behavior problems after they weer made available and theya re treated on a case by case basis, and yes, some of them end up being put down (at these no kill facilities). So it really depends on where you are. Nothing is ever a guarantee for these animals, and like most people posted...SPAY AND NEUTER!!!

  • Heather Jun 27, 2007

    urkiddinme - Thank you! Someone who understands.

  • pirate lady Jun 27, 2007

    Post about worse things than death is actually from Pirate Lady. URKIDDINME and I work together and we don't always log off like we're suppose to. Sorry AM!!!

  • leftygal Jun 27, 2007

    Our area has a no/low cost spay/neuter program for people that have little income, it is called "THE $20.00 FIX," based in Raleigh,NC, just go to animalkind.org
    I hope this may help save some of our little friends, and take the worry of cost away from some pet owners.

  • urkiddinme Jun 27, 2007

    @ Heather...BIG, BIG animal lover here. I've rescued many an animal from the side of a road including a mama dog and 6 puppies. I have even taken a stray to the vet just to ask him to put the poor sick animal out of it's misery. There are worse things than death and people who don't believe that have their heads buried in the sand.

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