Local shelter on scheduled to open by late May

The new Craven County Animal Shelter, although delayed by about 20 days due to rain, is on scheduled to be completed and open by the end of May.

That was the report from Craven County Assistant County Manager Gene Hodges to the Craven commissioners Monday night.

The new $1 million facility, paid for with capital reserve funding, will increase the shelter’s capacity for holding dogs from 32 to 124. The official name of the shelter is the Craven Pamlico Animal Services Center, 1639 Old Airport Road.

It will also allow the county to increase the time it can keep animals, although Craven is under state regulations and in some cases, such as court-ordered holding, the period can be indefinite.

Hodges told the board that the extra space was much needed for the housing of dogs, along with cats and other animals.

The board was told that with its current size and the local animal control needs, the facility is very often at capacity.

County Manager Jack Veit said afterwards that the county had been looking into the expanded facility for several years.

When the commissioners approved the new facility last July, they were told that nearly 10 animals a day are euthanized at the center, largely because of space constraints.

The facility provides a number of services, including rabies control, removing unvaccinated and stray animals and hosting rabies clinics through local veterinary offices, along with quarantine.

It also provides public education through lectures, written material and individual consultations.

Pet adoptions are also provided for a fee with certificates provided for rabies vaccinations and population control.

Hodges said that the old facility will be refurbished once the new building opens and it should be operational by sometime in August.

Hodges said that because of the “mucky” soil composition in that area, “tremendous amounts of fill were brought in and compacted.”

The building is constructed of metal, with the vertical construction to begin within the next few weeks.

For information on the shelter, call 637-4606 or email animalcontrol@cravencountync.gov

Charlie Hall can be reached at 252-635-5667 or 252-259-7585, or charlie.hall@newbernsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @CharlieHallNBSJ