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Pender Commissioners don't approve animal shelter security cameras

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –- Pender County leaders say they have been working for months to get security cameras installed at the animal shelter. They say most of the buildings that are county-owned have these types of camera.

Although leaders have been working on this issue prior to last month's allegations that shelter staff were stealing donations and neglecting the animals, the accusations definitely gave the issue a push according to Chairman George Brown.

During Tuesday night's meeting, however, County Commissioners did not vote to approve purchasing security cameras and a door access control system.

Two commissioners left the meeting early, leaving only three commissioners to vote. As Chairman, Brown cannot make a motion or second it so he could not cast a vote.

"I would have supported the cameras," Chairman Brown said.

David Williams was one of the Commissioners who left the meeting before the vote. Before leaving he announced to the room that he was in favor of passing the motion.

"But when you aren't here, you can't make the vote, and it doesn't count," Brown said.

If Williams had stayed to vote and possibly seconded the motion, Brown could have voted, and installing the cameras at the animal shelter may have passed.

"They should have put it off or done something, anything but just throw it out," Celenda James said.

Brown said that because the motion to install additional security at the shelter did not pass tonight, it does not mean that it will not pass in the future.

Aside from the cameras, the Board of Commissioners voted to approve an advisory committee to the shelter. The committee will make suggestions to the Board on policies and procedures.

"They'll take a look at everything and assist us in at least trying to have a good department out there, something that we can be proud of and that will protect the animals,” Brown said.

Commissioners say they have been working on stabling an advisory committee for a while, and it did not come into fruition because of the ongoing investigation at the shelter.

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