Troy, N.C. — Despite efforts to improve conditions at Montgomery County’s animal shelter, which has the highest kill-rate in the state, the latest inspection reports show animals are still suffering and living in unacceptable conditions.
The WRAL Investigates team first reported on the shelter last November and found that it euthanized nearly 1,200 animals – 100 percent of cats and 98 percent of dogs – brought there in 2011.
Inspectors called the shelter’s conditions “deplorable” and noted that it did not have any walls to protect the animals from the weather, the dogs and cats weren’t being fed and cages weren't cleaned for an entire weekend.
The shelter failed 11 of 14 inspections last year and has failed two so far this year, according to state records.
Inspectors visited on Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 and noted that the shelter had “no way to maintain heat” and that animals were living in 30-degree temperatures. One inspector saw eight puppies that appeared to be very cold and another dog that was shivering and suffering from an infection in its right eye.
When WRAL visited the shelter in November, some improvements had been made, including the addition of retractable walls to help protect the animals from the wind. Months before, the animals were exposed to the elements.
In an interview last November, Montgomery County manager Matt Woodard cited funding problems and a different mentality about animals among people in his county. On the day the WRAL Investigates team visited, animal control officers found a Labrador mix dumped at the shelter with its legs wrapped in duct tape.
Less than 1 percent of the county's $29 million budget goes to the shelter. It receives about $95,000 a year, which pays for two full-time workers, trucks, fuel, power and equipment. Woodard said more permanent improvements were on the way, but those enhancements hadn’t happened as of Friday.
The inspector who visited on Feb. 1 said he met with Woodard, who once again said improvements were coming, including better drainage and heated floors.
The Montgomery Humane Society, a nonprofit that isn't affiliated with the shelter, has been raising money to build an adoption center next door. After the WRAL Investigates' story aired in November, viewers donated more than $2,000 to the group.
Nearly 225,000 dogs and cats were euthanized at public shelters in North Carolina last year.
- Find out how many animals were euthanized in your county
- Read shelter inspection reports from all 100 counties
HOW YOU CAN HELP
To help Montgomery County build an adoption center, make check payable to:
Montgomery County Humane Society
1150 Okeewemee Road
Troy, N.C. 27371
To learn more about spay and neuter programs:
Contact Penny Page with the veterinary division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
To learn more about organizing and volunteer efforts:
Contact Kim Alboum with the Humane Society of the United States-North Carolina Chapter