Columbus County fined more than $6,000 for animal shelter violations

Columbus County fined more than $6,000 for animal shelter violations

COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Columbus County was fined $6,100 last month for violations at its animal shelter, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division.

In a letter dated Jan. 22, Animal Welfare Section Director Patricia Norris alerted County Manager Mike Stephens of the violations and the fine.

A large portion of the fine - $3,000 - was for “failing to provide veterinary care for a seriously injured dog, Pax, for 16 days and then not providing the veterinary care as directed by the licensed veterinarian.”

According to the report, an animal health technician conducted an inspection of the facility on Jan. 3. During this time, the inspector observed a lab-mix dog named Pax, who was not bearing weight on his right rear leg. Pax was brought into the shelter on Dec. 18, 2019, but wasn’t taken to a veterinarian’s office until Jan. 3.

The examination revealed that Pax had a fracture of the right femur and needed immediate surgery.

Medical logs viewed on Jan. 3 showed that no pain medications were given to Pax on Jan. 2. During a followup inspection on Jan. 6, logs showed no pain medications were administered on Jan. 4 or 5.

Also during the Jan. 3 inspection, three shelter cats were found behind the building in small transport carriers.

After originally stating that she didn’t see the cats behind the building that morning, a shelter employee emailed the inspector four days later and said she placed the cats in the carriers behind the shelter on Jan. 3. She said she was supposed to call the farm that was taking the cats but forgot to make the call. The employee stated she put the cats behind the building “so the Shelter Director would not see them and be angry with her failure to make the call.”

More information on the violations can be found here.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website, the shelter has received multiple warnings and civil penalties over the last 10 years. The previous warning was issued in October 2017.

More on these previous infractions can be found here.

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