FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2007
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division
State reaches agreement with All Creatures Great
and Small to improve conditions, remove animals
RALEIGH – The state has reached an agreement with a private Henderson County animal shelter that state veterinarians say will put all the animals in better circumstances. [View consent order]
The consent order, which was signed Thursday, calls for All Creatures Great and Small to work diligently to improve conditions at the Hendersonville facility and to release 350 animals to a state-designated animal rescue organization to relieve crowding.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been working with All Creatures Great and Small for more than five years to get the shelter into compliance with state animal welfare standards. Overcrowding at the outdated shelter created unhealthy conditions, causing concern about the provision of the animals’ basic needs, such as food, water and veterinary care.
The department filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in August to gain custody of the animals and has been working with ACG&S since that time to come to an agreement on how to help the animals and bring the shelter into compliance.
“This agreement has been a long time coming, and we believe that by working together, we have found the best way to reduce the number of animals at the shelter and put those left at the shelter into better conditions until they are moved to a new facility,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
This court order further holds ACG&S accountable to an agreement with the city of Hendersonville to vacate the shelter by March 14, 2008. ACG&S has plans to build a new facility outside the state. The consent agreement with NCDA&S aims to reduce the number of animals that will need to be transferred to the new facility and improve conditions for the animals living in the shelter until then.
- The main points of the consent agreement are:
ACG &S will allow NCDA&CS veterinarians and animal health technicians access to the animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week to inspect the animals for proper care. The shelter also agrees to follow any directives for animal care.
- ACG&S is barred from accepting any more animals into the facility. Any animals that are dropped at the shelter must be transferred to the Henderson County Animal Shelter or another certified animal shelter immediately.
- ACG&S is prohibited from moving any animals to an alternate facility prior to relocating the shelter. Animals should only leave the property if properly adopted or for urgent veterinary care.
- ACG&S agrees to assign ownership of 350 animals to a designated organization, which will be named later.
- ACG&S will actively pursue adoption of all remaining animals at the shelter prior to relocation.
- NCDA&CS has the option of determining veterinary care for any animal at the shelter. ACG&S will be responsible for any expenses for veterinary care.
- ACG&S must bring the facility into compliance with state animal welfare laws as rapidly as possible.
This consent order was approved by the ACG&S board of directors and NCDA&CS and signed by a district court judge. Failure of ACG&S to follow this consent order would be considered contempt and subject to judicial oversight by the district court judge.