Greene County Animal Shelter shutting down temporarily

POSTED: 6:44 PM Sep 10 2013
SNOW HILL, GREENE COUNTY -

The Greene County Animal Shelter is slated to close next week.

One of two animal control officers there is out on disability. The other one, Gayle Joyner, handed in her notice on September 6th, leaving the county with no one to respond to animal complaints.

At last check, there were 18 dogs and 20 cats at the shelter that will be in need of new homes.

“She's doing everything. She's the shelter attendant, animal control officer. She's everything currently,” health department director, Michael Rhodes said.

At Monday night’s board of commissioners meeting held at the Greene County Community Center the commissioners heard three options of what to do with the shelter: they could close it for good, turn it over to the Sheriff’s office or they could close the shelter temporary until they can hire and train an animal control officer.

The commissioners opted to close the shelter down temporarily while they search for a new animal control officer. However, it may take several months before a new employee is hired.

Rhodes said with the shelter closed, the only thing the health department can respond to is animal bites. All other animal complaints will have to be put on hold until they have a new animal control officer.

Rhodes said it’s not just the county shelter that is losing employees.

“About thirty employees, county employees, have left in the last couple months. And that is a very large percentage when we only have about 170 employees,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said it comes down to pay. With low wages, they are not able to get trained workers to stay working for the county over the long haul.

“I'm hoping in the future the county commissioners and the county manager will look at our salary scale and raise it accordingly to along with counties around us. That's my hope,” he said.

NewsChannel 12 tried to contact interim county manager, Richard Hicks, to get his take on the shelter closing and the recent loss of county employees, but he didn’t return our phone call.

If you would like to adopt any of the cats or dogs from the animal shelter, the cost is $55 for adult animals and $20 for animals four months and younger.