FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Forsyth County plans to open the shelter on Sturmer Park Circle in Winston-Salem around the beginning of April.
After months of negotiation, the Forsyth Human Society and Forsyth County have dissolved a five-year contract.
Deputy County Manager Damon Sanders-Pratt told FOX8 the decision to part ways from the contract happened in Dec. 2022.
“It was good while it lasted, and an impasse has been reached,” Sanders-Pratt said.
On April 4, the building at 5570 Sturmer Park Circle will be open to the public for full service. It will be a separate entity from the Humane Society which will put owner surrenders in a small part of its building on Country Club Road.
“Now, animals will come into Country Club at the humane society and leave the adopted from Country Club also. They will come into the Sturmer Park location at the county shelter and also be adopted out of that shelter,” Sanders-Pratt said.
Before the building opens publicly to animal services, they will need to hire 14 people to fill the vacant spots.
The Animal Services Department will begin with fifteen employees. Four positions will transfer back from the sheriff’s office, and 11 new county positions and the Animal Services positions will include one director, one assistant director of shelter care, one office administrator, four office assistants, one rescue/adoption coordinator, four health and wellness techs, and three animal care techs.
Last week, the county announced the hire of Kirsten Briggs as the new director of the shelter.
“We’re looking forward to working with her to becoming a partner in the community to be able to support her. Our goal and our desire are the county needs to be successful,” said Mark Neff, president and CEO of Forsyth Humane Society.
Neff said the humane society will still offer the same services but will do intakes of pets with owners only at the facility on Country Club Road. No strays.
On Thursday, Forsyth County Commissioners voted unanimously on $664,345 for upkeep and to begin the hiring process of the new animal services department.
The new Animal Services Department in Fiscal Year 2023 will require a board appropriation of $541,384 from the fund balance and a transfer of $122,961 from the personal services budget of the sheriff’s office.
In September, the humane society and Forsyth County commissioners started negotiations for more funds to continue services. Under the now former contract, FHS got nearly $600,000 yearly to run animal services for the county.
On Oct. 1, the Forsyth Humane Society provided Forsyth County notice to terminate a five-year agreement to provide custody and care services to dogs and cats.
On Dec. 15, commissioners agreed on an offer of $1.2 million but were denied by the humane society. Forsyth County will resume all immediate provision of services beginning April 1.