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Pender deputy defends how animal shelter is run

READ MORE: Pender deputy defends how animal shelter is run

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- We've reported before about problems at the Pender County Animal Shelter. Now shelter volunteers are unhappy with the facility's management, and they blame the sheriff's deputy now in charge. Lt. Keith Ramsey says he's just following protocol.

"No animal is being mistreated here," Ramsey said. "We feed and water daily, we clean the pens daily."

We received an e-mail from a shelter volunteer who said the facility run by Ramsey was not being handled properly. That volunteer provided a list of grievances, including that the shelter has failed to properly clean the dog kennels, which resulted in some animals suffering chemical burns. The volunteer says the animals are generally mistreated and if the volunteers don't advertise the dogs, the animals will be euthanized.

Ramsey denies the allegations and says the shelter tries to help dogs get adopted.

"I personally think that we go above and beyond the 72-hour time limit that we have to hold an animal," Ramsey said. "We've had animals here for a couple of months, and if we feel like they're adoptable, we're going to try and hold on to them for as long as we can."

Regular volunteers did not return our calls to talk about their concerns, but a one-day volunteer we spoke with says she has worked with the shelter manager Darlene Clewis before and has only seen positive things.

"I worked with her on and off for three years, and I can tell you she has the utmost regard for the animals," volunteer Sheryl Key-Moore said. "She is totally a professional as far as animal care and animal care rights go, and I can't believe they would allege such allegations against her."

The shelter has been under the control of the Pender County Sheriff's Office for about a year. Lt. Ramsey says the shelter is preparing additional kennels and plans for the facility to have 50 kennels inside and out by the end of next week.

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