YADKINVILLE, N.C. — Blood on the walls, excessive amounts of feces, and poor ventilation — these are just some of the problems the state found at the Yadkin County Animal Shelter.
The state’s inspection, which took place on Nov. 6, found that the shelter was in violation of seven categories. They were deemed “not acceptable,” and are as follows:
- Daily waste removal
- Thermometer present
- Indoor ventilation
- Waste removal two times a day
- Clean and repair the building/grounds
- Number of employees
- Daily observation of animals
The state explained the violations in a narrative, citing that there was a buildup of hair/debris in the main cat room that appeared greater than 24 hours old. They continued to state that cats were exhibiting signs of upper respiratory infections and that some of the animals were not isolated when showing such signs.
The walls inside the cat enclosure were soiled with dried blood, the state said. There was dried blood present at the time FOX8 visited the shelter.
Other findings included excessive amounts of feces in the cat colony room and that ventilation in the room was covered by hair and not functioning properly.
“It’s very upsetting because you think of that place as a shelter for animals who may be spending their last few days of their life — probably the warmest days of their life,” said Alice Singh, a long-time advocate for the animals in the shelter. “I feel sure that people don’t want to know that there’s blood on the windows or filth on the floor.”
It is important to note that November’s disapproved inspection came on the heels of two approved inspections, in August and October. Therefore, any documented issues must have presented themselves between Oct. 9 and Nov. 6.
Yadkin County Chairman Kevin Austin says it’s up to the county manager and the county manager’s staff to oversee shelter operations, yet blames the “disapproved” inspection on the employees hired to work the shelter Monday through Friday.
“That would be purely employee performance — something that we are committed to dealing with and I think we are dealing with it,” he said.
As for the number of employees at the shelter, Austin noted that the county employs two full-time staff members at the shelter, on top of the animal control personnel designated by the sheriff’s office.
“There was one employee there the day of the inspection, but we have two staff; we had one who called in sick,” he said.
Jessica Wall, assistant director of Yadkin County’s Human Service Agency, says the shelter operations are based off of state requirements.
“We’re meeting those requirements, we’re meeting what needs to be done and even in a lot of instances, we’re going above and beyond,” she said.
As for the “excess feces” and dried blood in the cat enclosure, Wall also cited employee performance.
“There might be that here’s not enough attention to detail, but if that’s something that’s happened, it’s been brought to our attention, we’re going to address it, and it has been addressed. Those issues have been corrected,” she said.
Some of the violations, such as poor ventilation and the lack of a thermometer in the cat enclosure, had been fixed at the time of our visit.
“We’re working through those problems, and we’re sure we’ll have smooth shelter operations in the future,” said Austin.
The county is awaiting the results of their next inspection.