WRAL Investigates

NC shelter with highest kill-rate fails more inspections

Posted March 1, 2013

— 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.

Montgomery County animal shelter Animal shelter conditions show little improvement

“This dog must be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible,” inspector Jay Blatche wrote, noting that the dog had been there at least 12 days. Upon re-inspection a week later, the dog was gone.

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.


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


This story is closed for comments.

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  • feistyredhead2001 Mar 4, 2013

    SHUT IT DOWN !!!!!! What is wrong with people now a days.. be RESPONSIBLE for your pets and we wont have this problem. But the cities need to be RESPONSIBLE for these shelters too.

  • illegalsgohomerevised Mar 4, 2013

    Sounds like they also need a new county manager with that attitude! New animal control officers too, if you aren't willing to feed the animals while there and clean their pens. That's part of your job......yes, even on the weekends. You eat on the weekends don't you? I'll bet you flush your commodes too.....these animals can't flush theirs.......duh! I have seen way too much of that type of "mentality" among shelter workers. Seems we may need to think twice about who gets jobs there. They seem to want a pay check and not do much work other than slaughter the animals, to get that check.

  • waterlogger Mar 1, 2013

    Don't blame the shelter. Blame irresponsible pet owners. I mean how much money are they supposed to spend on animals that will never be adopted? If more shelters euthanized at their rate maybe we could get some control over these unwanted animals. Sad...sure, I love dogs and cats, that's why I take care of mine. I am certainly not going to take care of yours because you don't care. That may be a terrible thing to say but who has the time or money to take care of every unwanted animal? And for those of you who would like things to change then go get a job there or donate the money and time they need to help these animals. If you are not willing to do that then your opinion means nothing. Just my .02

  • Scubagirl Mar 1, 2013

    I was so hopeful before when they first covered this. Things did seem to be headed in the right direction, at least from what we were told. That does not seem to be the case sadly. I'm thinking the 'different mentality about animals' is mostly the shelters' thinking.
    30 degrees inside and NO HEAT????? this whole thing just makes me so mad and sad.....

  • rodeogal24 Mar 1, 2013

    so upsetting. Poor helpless animals being subjected to torture before being euthanized.:(

  • kohammer Mar 1, 2013

    What does Montgomery County Manager Matt Woodard mean by the statement that there is, "a different mentality about animals among people in his county"? Different in that they don't understand that animals have the same basic needs as humans? They need healthy food, clean water, and adequate shelter, just like we do. I wouldn't call that "different"; I would simply call it ignorant.

  • carrboroyouth Mar 1, 2013

    this is sick.

  • Terkel Mar 1, 2013

    Oh, well, if it's a "different mentality" it's OK because all cultures must be CELEBRATED!