Local News

Wake SPCA takes nine dogs from troubled Clayton shelter

Posted March 7, 2012 3:35 p.m. EST
Updated March 8, 2012 5:58 a.m. EST

— Nine dogs from a Johnston County shelter where the owner is facing allegations of neglect were moved Wednesday to the Wake County SPCA.

Concerned citizens took to Facebook to raise questions about care for animals at the Johnston County SPCA in Clayton. A former employee has alleged that owner Malinda Barefoot neglects animals and does not put enough of them up for adoption. The facility is open only by appointment.

Anna Vaughan, who did community service for about a month at the Johnston County SPCA, said the facility smelled bad and wasn't clean.

"I could see she really cared about the animals, but she just didn't keep it clean enough," Vaughn said.

Barefoot, who plans to retire in June and close the shelter, said she has devoted nearly three decades to animals at the shelter and would never neglect them.

"This is a vendetta. The animals are fed and watered every day, and I'm back every night," Barefoot said.

Still, Barefoot and the shelter's Board of Directors asked the Wake County SPCA to step in and help.

It wasn't clear whether the Wake shelter would take in more animals from Barefoot's facility, but the nine dogs that arrived Wednesday were being held at a kennel on U.S. Highway 70.

"I would characterize them as healthy dogs coming from a shelter," Hope Hancock of the Wake County SPCA said of the dogs on Wednesday. 

Hancock said the dogs will undergo a series of tests before they can be eligible for adoption. 

"We look at the animal from a health perspective. We look at the animal from a behavior modification perspective and take it from there," Hancock said.