Resignations of numerous staff at the Craven-Pamlico Animal Shelter on Old Airport Road have left the shelter undermanned, and as of Monday it is without any director.
Director Anthony Thomas turned in his resignation on Saturday, effective Monday morning. Thomas took the job on June 20. Craven County Human Resources Director Amber Parker declined to comment on why he resigned.
In an interview with the Sun Journal in June, Thomas had stated his aim of lowering the euthanasia rate for animals and to institute “Operation Curb Appeal” to draw more people to visit the shelter and adopt pets.
While a new director is sought, Environmental Health Director Ray Silverthorne is overseeing operations.
The county newly created the shelter director’s position, and Thomas was the first person to serve in the post. He oversaw both shelter operations and animal cruelty investigations with the county.
Over the last few months, the shelter has been losing many of its employees to resignations or health, with one leaving in May and two in July, according to shelter supervisor Trinity Hollister, who quit her post on June 21.
The only shelter employee who was employed as such before late April has also turned in her resignation effective Aug. 10, leaving animal investigator Danielle Jersey, who began on April 25, as the longest-standing employee, said Silverthorne.
“It will be a total turnover before it’s over with,” Silverthorne said. “The thing that I’m working on now, primarily, is just trying to get people in there, to get some staff hired.”
He admitted there has been a morale problem, but “I think once more people are hired, it will be much better.”
Currently the shelter is seeking to hire two attendants as well as replacing Hollister and Thomas. Silverthorne said he is also seeking more volunteers to help at the shelter, but added “I don’t even know who’s going to be overseeing the volunteers at this particular time.”
He said that although the shelter is understaffed, he expects to keep it running on its current hours without any shutdowns — other than one day of staff training that is set for Aug. 17. “I’ll be utilizing the existing staff out there to cover as best we can,” he said.
The shelter is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Interested people can apply for open positions through the shelter, located at 1639 Old Airport Road.