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Cumberland County Residents Speak Out Against Embattled Animal Shelter

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY — The fight over the treatment of animals at the Cumberland County Animal Shelter continues.

At a meeting of the animal control board Monday, a number of residents came forward with concerns about the treatment of animals at the Cumberland County Animal Shelter.

"This dog had been at animal control for three days without receiving veterinary care," says Linden Spears of a little, wounded dog named Chance. "We picked him up and my hand went into the three-inch hole in his armpit. You picked him up and your hand comes away bloody."

Last week, Spears adopted the dog at the Cumberland County shelter. She rushed him to a vet where his leg was removed.

"Clearly the dog was in pain," says Spears. "Broken limbs hurt, and he shouldn't have spent three days sitting on a cement floor competing with other dogs in a shared kennel for food and water."

Spears brought her concerns to the group that oversees the animal shelter. Board member John Lauby says the board is working to make changes, but one at a time.

"The other counties in this state as large as we are have three times the staff and five times the money to work with. So we're short on staff, we're short on funding, we're short on facilities," says Lauby.

Spears says she will be watching and waiting for changes at the shelter.

"We have had 20 years of promises. We want to see proactive solutions to those problems, not Band-Aids," she says.

At its meeting, board members only recommended that all animals being admitted to the animal shelter first be checked by a vet.

The board did vote to allow the public to view all the animals at the shelter -- not just the ones available for adoption.