Local News

Wake animal shelter interim director hopes to hire new leader

Posted February 10, 2012

— The new interim director for the troubled Wake County Animal Care, Control and Adoption Center said he plans to stay in the position no more than two or three months and that he hopes to find the best person to lead the organization.

Matt Roylance, who currently serves as deputy director of environmental services for the county, will take over the reins at the animal center on Saturday.

Wake County officials named him the interim director on Wednesday, two weeks after Director Dennis McMichael announced his decision to step down.

McMichael, whose first day on the job was Nov. 7, resigned last month to move his family back to Pennsylvania.

His three-month tenure was mired with controversy, after the shelter killed an 8-month-old dog named Sassy the same day the animal appeared on the WRAL News at Noon as the featured "Pet of the Day." 

McMichael said that public outcry over the center's euthanasia policies did not contribute to his decision to step down.

County officials said Wednesday that, under Roylance's leadership, the shelter would review its euthanasia policy and protocol, move forward with a trap, neuter, release ordinance and develop partnerships with local foster and rescue groups.

"There's a lot of passion here, and people care very deeply about what we do here, and that can be very challenging at times, but that can be helpful at times, too," Roylance said.

Roylance says he's looking for someone who can "manage the relationships" and is not only knowledgeable about animals, but also excels at managing a budget and staff.

Roylance said he and county leaders will work on getting an outside, independent review of shelter operations – from the euthanasia policy, to the budget, to community outreach. But, he says, there will be no major policy changes until a new director is in place.


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