Clear the Shelters: Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Animal Protective Services

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:56 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Columbus County Animal Shelter has seen a lot of changes. In March, county commissioners named Sheriff Jody Greene interim director and the shelter now falls under his office.

Greene quickly started making renovations to the dog kennels, added security cameras, cleaned caked-in dust and grime, and made improvements to the reception area.

“We’ve brightened it up in here. We’re more customer-friendly. And we’re actually out in the field, in the community a lot more now.” said Sheriff Jody Greene.

The shelter recently held a rabies clinic and adoption fair. Sheriff Greene is taking proactive steps to get more animals vaccinated.

“We’re going to go out to the hunting preserves and we’re going to do rabies clinics there for the hunters. We’re focusing right now on making sure all the animals have their rabies vaccination,” said Greene.

Greene wants to continue to have Animal Protective Services more present in the community. In turn, he has seen the community respond kindly.

“We’ve had a lot of people make donations. We’ve had a lot of the community coming out being involved with the shelter. We’ve got people standing in line now wanting to volunteer which is something we didn’t have in the past. It’s helped us out tremendously,” said Greene.

One of the volunteers, Keaton Jones, has been surrounded by animals his whole life. He explained why he loves volunteering for the shelter, and recently agreed to foster a cat from the shelter.

“Just getting to see them adopted out,” Jones said. “All that hard work you know... they get to go home to something. They don’t have to be here because, as much as we care, we can’t keep them all here forever and they don’t like being around all this loud stuff. So that’s probably the best part of it, just getting to see them go home somewhere where they will be happy.”

Jones has a message about the importance of spaying and neutering animals. His frustration comes from the large number of feral cats at the shelter and the fact that they often can’t help them.

“They won’t eat, they won’t do anything. They just attack us. And we can’t exactly just set them loose again because they’re not spayed or neutered. So what they’ll do is run off and make more litters and then we’ll end up with them. And so it’s not something we want to do; no one here enjoys doing it, but sometimes feral cats just have to be euthanized either because they are way too aggressive for us to help, or they’re very sick,” said Jones.

Sheriff Greene has an open invitation for anyone who wants to see the shelter and welcomes their input.

“Please come take a look,” he says. “We’d like for you to see where we are and where we’re going. And we want input. This is new to me as well. We’ve had to do a lot of training. We reached out to the state. They came in and retrained everyone. We’re still training. It’s an ever growing thing. It’s a living, breathing experience for all of us.”

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