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Wake animal shelter names interim director

Posted February 8, 2012

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— Wake County officials named an interim director for the county's animal shelter Wednesday, two weeks after Director Dennis McMichael announced his decision to step down.

Matt Roylance, who currently serves as deputy director of environmental services for the county, will take over the reins at the Wake County Animal Care, Control and Adoption Center on Saturday.

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.

He will also play a role in the recruitment and hiring of a new animal shelter director. Roylance has worked for the county for six years.

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  • rsinford Feb 10, 2012

    McMichael was a good man who tried his hardest to make positive changes that both the county and the local rescues were unwilling to help implement. The policy in question was in place well before he came on board and he immediately tried to make changes. If you don't want animals put to sleep, work to end backyard breeders and create more cheap spay/neuter programs don't just sit and your computer and complain.

  • lilrednekgrl Feb 9, 2012

    Trap, Neuter, Release Program Sounds Cool..... Right? Whos Going to Feed these Animals After Being Released, Whos going to be Responsible When they Attack Kill/Bite... And How Are they Going to be kept up on Vaccines Like Rabies to prevent the Spread of Rabies/Disease??? Sounds like a Set up for Disaster to Me......

  • HereswhatIthink Feb 9, 2012

    @timbo11.0... There are many people who routinely feed feral cat colonies making sure they have access to food and water. For those of us that do, we want to make sure the cycle doesn't keep repeating itself by having them humanely trapped, spayed/neutered and then released. Afterall, they didn't asked to be dumped out like trash. All animals are cute in my eyes and I don't like to see any of them suffer, be shot, hunted, or killed. But there are many feral cats around and if it wasn't for TNR programs there would be thousands and thousands of new kittens born each year. This is one way to help stop this from happening.

  • Rocky2.0 Feb 9, 2012

    TNR kills more native species. Keep in mind, cats are an invasive species.

    I don't quite get how so called "animal lovers" justify saving one animal so it can go and kill so many others? Are not rabbits and squirrels cute too?

    Sad, really.

  • HereswhatIthink Feb 9, 2012

    I sincerely hope and pray that someone will take over that does the right thing for these animals. Someone who cares and wants to make a difference. I hope they will implement a Trap, Neuter and Release program. Someone needs to be responsible and help control the feral cat colonies by spaying and neutering the cats and then returning them to live the life they've come to know. If there were responsible pet owners out there we wouldn't need programs such as this. My prayer is that someday people will stop treating animals as property, stop throwing them away like trash and step up and be responsible, loving pet owners.

  • HtheQueen Feb 9, 2012

    I'm hopeful that this interim director will be able to make some positive changes that would save lives such as the relationship building, TNR & review of policies mentioned.

  • Rocky2.0 Feb 8, 2012

    "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."

    That's too bad. I thought releasing stray animals in the wild was illegal in Wake County?