WRAL Investigates

Wake SPCA rescues 14 animals from high-kill shelter

Posted December 6, 2012

— The Wake County SPCA took 14 dogs this week from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Troy, which has the highest kill rate in North Carolina. The nonprofit said it can take in dogs and cats to help them get adopted, but the shelter needs state lawmaker intervention to fix the problem.

A WRAL investigation last month revealed that the shelter euthanized nearly 1,200 animals – 100 percent of cats and 98 percent of dogs – brought there last year, according to state records. The shelter has also failed 11 of 14 state inspections for "deplorable" conditions.

Mondy Lamb with the SPCA of Wake County decided to help. 

"We wanted to reach out to Montgomery County and get a handle on the problem first-hand," she said. 

Wake SPCA rescues 14 animals from high-kill shelter Wake SPCA rescues 14 animals from high-kill shelter

Lamb and her team visited the shelter and returned to Wake County with 14 animals to be put up for adoption. She described a complicated set of challenges in Montgomery County – a "have not" county with bare bones financial and community support, plus no real system to adopt out animals.

"Anyone who accuses them of simply not trying, it's simplistic. It's not understanding the problem, and it's actually offensive," she said.

After WRAL Investigates' story aired, viewers donated more than $2,000 to the Montgomery County Humane Society to help build an adoption center next to the shelter. But more money is needed to make that happen. 

The SPCA and other groups are working to get more animals out of the Montgomery County shelter, but Lamb said a long-term solution will have to involve state lawmakers. 

"By no means did what we did fix the problem," she said. "All we did was take 14 animals."


Word of WRAL’s story has stirred up tremendous emotional reaction from the public. WRAL reached out to Montgomery County manager Matt Woodard and offered to help promote an adoption clinic for the animals. Instead, Woodard asked that people who want to help should coordinate through the Montgomery County Humane Society, either by donating money or adopting animals.

To adopt an animal from the SPCA of Wake County, visit their website at www.spcawake.org.

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

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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  • reeync Dec 7, 2012

    The conditions for the animals at the Montgomery County shelter have always been deplorable. I've been in this county for 25 years, and at various times the humane society here has tried to make a difference, only to be ignored by the county commissioners. Although this is a poor county, the lack of funding to improve things is not because the money isn't available. From what I've seen, it seems that the general attitude of many people, especially those who could make a major difference, is that animals are expendable and their suffering doesn't matter. If the shelter has failed to meet regulations, why hasn't the state done something about it? Do the regulations have no teeth, just words and a shaking of a finger at the people who should be fixing things?

    Another problem, which isn't addressed here, is the fee for spay/neuter...a lot more than what some other vets charge in other counties. How can people afford it even if they want to be responsible owners?

  • Dynol Yn Cael Ei Dec 7, 2012

    Thank God for the SPCA. Thankful that they not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk - unlike the HSUS.

    Praying they can save many many more from Montgomery County, and that all find homes QUICKLY.

  • Bnice2 Dec 7, 2012

    driverkid3 - I'm the opposite. I will never "rescue" an animal ever again, even though, now I know their tricks and know what they want to hear so that I can get whatever pet I'd want. It doesn't pay to be honest with them. And the shelter and SPCA prefers to give the "good" animals to "rescue" groups who farm them out to "foster" parents.

    I have often thought this very thing happens, and if you are "in" with the rescue groups, you get first choice. I have adopted shelter dogs/cats in the past and have had both good and bad results. Hit or miss. I do think spay/neuter is the only answer. Animals don't know about "abstinence", so what if there where a cheaper option given as puppies, like an animal IUD?

  • mlamb Dec 7, 2012

    oops -- and to your second point. It's completely different. Wake County spends over $2 million each year to round up and shelter animals and at the time that article was done, they had significantly declined in their successes, despite having the means to do so. They weren't going from bad to bad they were taking a step back from where they had been. Their policies and procedures have changed for the better since that time. But knowing exactly where to help Montgomery Co. is difficult. They have no computer, no internet access. This is just something we haven't seen before in terms of other help we've able to provide to other counties. The problem needs multiple players in the solution. I hope we can be one of them. As a non-profit in these times it's difficult enough to run the programs we have now.

  • mlamb Dec 7, 2012

    Yes the state has legislated enough -- and it's good legislation. They passed an unfunded mandate, which worked well in bringing counties up to code that could and just hadn't or simply wouldn't. But now it's been 6 years and some shelters haven't. It is my suggestion that perhaps they don't have the tax base to go to for that money AND the state money that is already available for poor counties isn't accessible to the absolute poorest ones. I'm not advocating for more legislation -- just to fix a glitch in the system that is only just becoming clear. Could the S/N funding be expanded to perhaps allow for making it possible for counties to bring themselves to a point where they can have the infrastructure to apply for the preventative money? I don't know, but that's the kind of connection I was trying to make to start the conversation.

  • ncrebel Dec 7, 2012

    We are putting a bandaid on a major problem. Support mandatory spay/neuter for all companion animals. Report suspected backyard breeders and puppy mills. Report dog fighting. Call your representatives and demand they address this problem with animal welfare. Then we are being proactive, not reactive.

  • ConcernedNCarolinian Dec 7, 2012

    Updated: October 19, 2011

    SPCA, county shelter disagree on euthanization policy

    In January, the county animal center euthanized 131 dogs, or about 18 percent of those brought in. By August, that number climbed to 327 dogs put down, or nearly 42 percent of the intake. Just-released September numbers show 281 dogs euthanized, 40 percent of intake.

    "I would use the word 'tragic' for what's happening," said Lisa Kroll, the SPCA's associate executive director.

    Hope Hancock, executive director of the SPCA, says she attributes the increased euthanizations to "a void of leadership" at the animal center.

    Wake SPCA - where is your "void in leadership" comment for Montgomery County officials?

  • ConcernedNCarolinian Dec 7, 2012

    MLamb - I'm glad you made an appearance here in the comments. The state has legislated enough; they've legislated that shelters be brought to some legislated code, and you're saying the county doesn't have enough to do it. You're also saying that there's spay/neuter funds from the government, but the county can't get the money because there is no structure. So when are you going to stop saying that the government is the answer in this situation? Your 3rd comment states, "We need the state to intervene ..." Apparently the state isn't worth much in this situation.

    I'll ask again: Why can't your successful SPCA start raising money for these horrid shelters? *YOU* have the resources, public voice, and knowledge to do so. The solution to the problem IS NOT complex. It's a matter of *just doing it*. In the past, you've criticized WCACC for a much lower euthanasia rate, yet you aren't willing to look at the people who run Montogomery's pound and criticize them.

  • JAT Dec 7, 2012

    anotherbabyboomer - yep, i totally agree. these do-gooder types loves to stand in judgment over people. Pets are animals not children no matter how you dress them up and talk to them. Used to, everyone's dogs stayed outside. But they apparently have no issue with people who crate their dogs in tiny enclosures all day. I just don't get it but it really seems to make them feel better about themselves for some reason.

  • marciamal1 Dec 7, 2012

    Terribe that these puppy mills think of $$$ instead of the dog's life. I pray that these puppies/dogs can find the love that they deserve in families taht adopt them. They need to have a Merry Christmas too! As for the ones out there that run these puppy mills, have a heart and stop treating these animals like this.