Federal, local law enforcement investigating county animal shelters

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Federal and local agencies are investigating the Guilford and Davidson County animal shelters, both managed by the nonprofit United Animal Coalition.

UAC’s President Carolyn Cudd told FOX8 they are cooperating with investigators but couldn’t offer any comments while the case is ongoing.

She emphasized both shelters are operating as normal for now.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Lexington Police Department as officers executed a search warrant at the Guilford shelter last week. However, there is no public record of that search warrant available yet in Davidson or Guilford counties.

Commissioners had a closed-door meeting about the allegations last night. Hank Henning and Jeff Phillips tell FOX8 the details are limited right now. There are accusations of animal abuse and drug-related violations.

“We are prepared to take any steps to ensure health and safety of the animals there, including the possibility if necessary of severing relations with UAC if there’s any action found that was detrimental to the animals,” Phillips insisted.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is involved. The DEA issues and oversees controlled substances such as euthanasia medication at shelters. The DEA did not return our calls Friday. The precise violations they are investigating are unclear.

The NC. Department of Agriculture is also helping investigate. They oversee shelter conditions and sanitation. A spokesperson tells FOX8 the case has been in the works for several weeks and that it was too early to say whether either shelter would be shut down.

“Animals and the community rely on that shelter. They can’t just shut it down and do an investigation. We’ve got to take the right steps,” Henning added.

Commissioners have received complaints before about the treatment of animals and transparency concerns with UAC.

In the newest contract with UAC, commissioners demanded better transparency and included a clause where they could terminate the contract for any reason with 90 days notice.

Guilford County Shelter Director Marsha Williams was in tears Friday but said she wasn’t allowed to comment yet.

Both counties’ district attorneys are also aware of the investigations but couldn’t comment.

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