Franklin County Animal Control filling to the gills
by Carrie C. Causey
LOUISBURG — The cacophony of cat meows, barking dogs and crowing roosters is prominent the moment one steps out of a car in the Franklin County Animal Control parking lot.
With more than 40 dogs and 40-50 cats — in addition to the 120 unadoptable roosters being housed as evidence in crime in the back — Animal Control is nearing its capacity and looks to residents to help find homes for furry friends.
Franklin County Animal Services Director W.T. Bartholomew said it’s that time of year when litters are born in need of care.
“All of the shelters in the surrounding counties are full,” he said, adding he’s heard some are even turning people away.
So far, Franklin County has been willing to say yes where others can’t.
“We try to help where we can,” Bartholomew said. “We are in a situation where if they come in, they have a good shot of being adopted, so we have taken on the problems of other counties.”
In June, adoption rates again reached triple digits. The facility continues to set new adoption records since its transition from being an independent group to being umbrellaed under the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Last weekend, the animal shelter hosted an adopt-a-thon where “a bunch of kittens were adopted,” Bartholomew said.
Earlier, a pitbull dog made a new best friend. Bartholomew said they didn’t notice when a young girl got into a cage with pitbull puppies and picked out one. It turns out, the youth, who had some of her fingers amputated, pulled out a puppy who also had part of its paw amputated and it was love at first sight. The two went home together.
To keep costs as low as possible, the Franklin County Animal Shelter offers animals for $25 each.
While they are happy to be filling homes, Animal Control faces the common problem of too many animals having kittens and puppies being born because they aren’t being spayed or neutered — an issue that occurs with household pets as well as strays which roam in the neighborhood.
On its website, the Franklin County Animal Shelter recommends residents call animal and veterinary hospitals, contact Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) of North Carolina, the Franklin County Humane Society SNIF’s program, Safe Haven For Cats in Raleigh or The Franklin County SPCA’s SNIP program in order to get it done. For more information about each agency, visit www.franklincountync.us/services/animal-control for links to websites.
As the next budget year approaches, Bartholomew said they are looking into other options for the shelter, including offering to euthanize sick pets for a fee, charging for owner-surrendered animals from other counties and starting a database of those who habitually drop animals off.
“If they run at large and are in heat without being spayed or neutered too many times, the owners will be put on a list to not be able to surrender animals,” Bartholomew said.
Animal Control is also being more adamant about cutting down on cruelty. Recently they went to a home where a dog was tied up with no food or water. It fell over and later died. That owner may be charged with felony animal cruelty.
Trying to keep a handle on the criminal aspect with the adoption is sometimes too much.
“When you focus on one, the other lacks. We are trying to give both our full attention,” Bartholomew said.
To see some of the animals available for adoption, visit Franklin County NC Animal Shelter on Facebook or go to franklincountync.rescueme.org.
Adoption hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the Animal Control Building, 351 T. Kemp Road, Louisburg.