Deputy county manager addresses concerns after Guilford County Animal Shelter director resigns

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Guilford County Animal Shelter is back in the spotlight again after years of issues. This time, the shelter's director resigned after the county received a penalty from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Wednesday for keeping 12 dogs outside in the heat.

Deputy County Manager Clarence Grier is temporarily in charge of the shelter. Grier said that Drew Brinkley, the former director of this shelter, resigned to pursue better opportunities, not because of the more than $2,000 fine for leaving out those 12 dogs.

Grier also said that the issue with the 12 dogs was resolved immediately so he’s hopeful they can negotiate away the fine.

Right now, the county is looking for an interim and/or permanent replacement for the director job.

“We will make it a nationwide search and we will be proactive and diligent about making sure we find the right individual so we don't have this conversation again,” Grier said.

Brinkley started working at the shelter less than a year ago. Before that, another director resigned. In 2015, the county took over the shelter after allegations of animal cruelty against its previous operator, United Animal Coalition.

”Yes, there have been mistakes made but we have employees who care that work hard,” Grier said.

Grier also said that while the county searches for a new director, it will be proactive about some of the community’s concerns, like making sure the dogs available for adoption are properly promoted to the public.

“This is a community problem, not just a shelter problem,” Grier said. “We take in about 100 animals a day, about 10,000 a year. There are some programs about spay and neuter that we need to get implemented and community issues that need to be addressed.”

Grier says what the community can do to help is make sure their pets are spayed or neutered. People can also adopt of foster animals here to make more room for others.