Wilkes County Animal Shelter denies killing animals because of partial closure

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WILKESBORO, N.C. — Friday’s partial closure of the Wilkes County Animal Shelter has raised concerns for the welfare of animals at the facility.

Social media posts about the closure, like the one below, claimed there was euthanasia in store for animals left at the shelter Friday.

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Wilkes County Animal Services Director Junior Simmons called the idea false.

“No animal will be euthanized because of the repairs that we’re doing here on this building in the next two weeks,” said Simmons. “I really think the frustration is because people didn’t ask enough questions.”

“I think we contacted rescues and contacted people to let them know we were going to be operating at half capacity and at that point they assumed that we would be euthanizing half the animals,” said Simmons. “It’s not something they contacted me about — that’s what they should have done rather than going to social media right off the bat.”

In response to the social media posts, there has been a rush on adoptions at the facility. Between those and rescue groups coming more than 30 animals have left the facility in the last few days leaving just the quarantined animals plus one dog and one cat as of Wednesday evening.

Simmons has also made arrangements to have veterinarian offices in the area take overflow animals if there are any in the two weeks the facility will be half closed for construction.

“We’ve been planning on painting the walls and getting rid of the cracked paint and chipped paint as the state requires us to do,” said Simmons. “Your chips and cracks in your paint can cause bacteria and viruses such as parvo to get into those crevices and then you can’t get rid of it with disinfectants and things of that nature because they can hide and are harder to get to so they want everything sealed properly.”

The facility is set to reopen on Feb. 15. Until then leaders will ask pet owners wanting to turnover pets to hold off until the building is fully open again.

“For an animal that is at your home and you’re just wanting to get rid of him you can no longer take care of him we’re going to ask you could you take care of him for two more weeks,” said Simmons. “During renovations, if there’s a dog at the park or some other kind of animal emergency animal control will be able to respond and take that animal to the facility. This closure will only affect the voluntary release of animals.”

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