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Pender County leaders taking action into animal shelter

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Pender County authorities say they are taking action and looking into the complaints that were made about the animal shelter Monday night. They plan to make major changes to help safeguard against similar problems down the road.

County Manager Mickey Duvall says he heard there were problems when he came to Pender County last year, but there had been no formal complaints filed. Duvall says until a formal investigation is launched, there is no way to know what is true and what is not.

He requested the Sheriff's Office investigate the complaints. "That was in a public setting with the names of folks that brought these names and addresses and that's what it takes to launch a full-scale investigation and we're doing that now," he said.

Allegations include theft of county property, misuse of donated materials, abuse of animals and other misconduct. Duvall says commissioners have already started looking into the allegations. He says he and the commissioners take this matter very seriously. "We continue to be sympathetic to those emails. I think the county commissioners have taken certain action based on those emails as far as moving it to me on an interim basis to put some policies in from an administrative standpoint," he said.

Duvall says if the commissioners choose they will move the management to the health department for a day to day oversight. He says he never heard of anything on this level and is taking immediate action. "I think we can come out of this thing with a better shelter and we're all here for the animals out there and to make sure that they're cared for and get adopted. The ones that are adoptable get adopted and placed in good homes," Duvall said.

Duvall says they are working to fix the situation for the animals and to keep the integrity of the county.

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Woman (dirt bag)

The woman behind it all should be charged.. Let's see if that is what happens... You can't keep covering it up. You have more than a few peole that have stepped forward. She has been in charge there for more than 17 years, so do the math.. look at everything that has gone missing.. and the treatment of those poor animlas.. She is NO better than the Tara Johnson (Leland) the person that was charged in Brunswick County a few weeks back. She should also be charged... She commited a FELONY.. (felonies)

Pender County Animal Services

I agree; animal abuse is wrong whether it's in a public or private setting. Charge her...

Pender County Manager's Response

Numerous e-mails have been sent to Commissioners George Brown and Jimmy Tate complaining of the conditions at the shelter. Why did they not turn them over to the Sheriff for investigation, or if they did, why didn't the Sheriff respond? And why would you continue to allow the same people(suspects)to continue to work? Most municipal employees are usually put on paid leave or unpaid suspension until the allegations are either proved or disproved. To allow them continued access just gives them more time to try to cover their tracks and muddy the waters. Please Commissioners, step up to the plate and do what's right for the animals, and make a clean sweep of the employees that are there. I'm sure there are plenty of volunteers that would be happy to step in and make sure the shelter is run properly until new employees are located. I would personally be happy to do so, as would my wife.

Pender County Animal Services

Commissioners...please do the right thing here. I am a volunteer at Citrus County (FL) Animal Services, working specifically with the cats, and cannot even imagine not dealing harshly with anyone who mistreated any of the animals in our care at the shelter. Anyone who is remotely suspected of mistreating animals in the shetler's care, misusing donate items, or in any way doing the wrong thing when it affects the shelter animals should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law...again, please do the right thing.