LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) - Lincoln County officials promised improvements at its animal shelter after the North Carolina agriculture department fined the shelter for the deaths of nearly 200 cats earlier this year.
The animal shelter was fined $7,500 after an investigation showed the extent of an unreported disease outbreak between May and October, multiple media outlets reported.
County animal services director David Workman said the shelter has struggled with overpopulation and the cats were living outside in close quarters, which contributed to the spread of a respiratory illness.
“It definitely is alarming,” Workman said. “We definitely do not like to have animals to die in the shelter.”
Workman said that fewer cats have died since October and that the shelter has changed policies and procedures. The shelter issued a new policy about carefully administering medication and keeping records following a state inspection in October.
After receiving notice about the fines in December, the shelter updated its cleaning procedures. Employees and volunteers must clean kennels and cages twice daily and not leave any animals in the cages during cleaning. Other guidelines issued by the shelter cover everything from sanitation to socialization. A new daily feeding procedure was also introduced.
Patricia Norris with the agriculture department said she hopes the shelter can comply with state regulations soon. Norris said shelter operators are supposed to contact a veterinarian if a disease outbreak last longer than 30 days.
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