FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, FEB. 4, 2008
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
Jennifer Nixon, public information officer
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 609-4521 (cell)
Great strides made at shelter over the weekend in Operation MoveOut
RALEIGH – Final preparations are under way to reopen a Hendersonville animal shelter to the public for dog and cat adoptions on Tuesday at noon. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services took over operation of All Creatures Great and Small on Friday, and assumed the care of 155 dogs and 25 cats in an effort called Operation MoveOut.
In just three days, a cadre of volunteers from across the country has made great strides in improving conditions at the animal shelter, which was closed for ongoing violations of the state’s Animal Welfare Act.
“Volunteers have been working ‘round the clock to get these animals into better situations,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am thankful for the support of the local community and also the many national organizations who have stepped up to assist us in this effort.”
Over the weekend, volunteers cleared rooms and rearranged the shelter with the aim of getting as many dogs inside the shelter as possible. Many dogs were housed in outdoor kennels without protection from the elements other than plastic dog crates. Nighttime temperatures frequently drop below freezing, and snow and rain are common this time of year.
Volunteers from local agencies, including Asheville Humane Society and Animal Compassion Network, are working alongside volunteers from the California-based United Animal Nations’ Emergency Animal Rescue Services and The Humane Society of the U.S. out of Washington, D.C. They all have the same goal in mind: to provide the best possible care for the animals until they can be adopted.
The effort has been aided by PetSmart Charities, whose “Rescue Waggin’” came to town with enough dog and cat food, crates, bowls, toys and other necessary supplies to outfit the operation. Many people from the community also have been dropping off supplies to aid the effort. Towels and blankets that can be used as bedding are still needed.
Local veterinarians and students from the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine spent the weekend assessing the health and temperament of the animals, as well as
treating animals with previous injuries or illnesses. Each animal will undergo a basic veterinary exam, which includes vaccinations, including rabies, and will be microchipped. Veterinarians will try to identify any health problems so that potential adopters will be aware of additional care needed. Animals that are adopted by an individual will be sent to the Humane Alliance in Asheville to be spayed or neutered. The Humane Alliance will also alter as many animals as possible before they are taken by rescue organizations.
Animals with known behavioral problems will not be available for adoption by the general public, but will be placed with humane organizations experienced in dealing with animals that need further training.
An adoption team will work with potential adopters to assure that families adopt a dog that will be suitable to their lifestyle. “These animals deserve the best possible chance at a happy life, and we will work with adopters to try to ensure the animals don’t end up back at another shelter,” said Dr. Jennifer House, an NCDA&CS veterinarian in charge of operations at the shelter.
For more information, please go to www.ncaws.com and click on “Operation MoveOut” or call 1-866-546-0021. Rescue organizations need to be pre-approved before coming to the shelter. The adoption form can be downloaded from the Web site. The shelter will be open to the public daily from noon to 5 p.m. Rescue organizations will be allowed during extended hours with prior notice. Monetary donations to help offset costs of this effort can also be made through the Web site.
Editor’s Note: Photos of Operation MoveOut can also be downloaded from the Web site.