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UPDATE: Neighbors Speak Out about Animal Shelter Conditions

By: Rahel Solomon, Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Rahel Solomon, Jennifer Rizzi Email
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UPDATE 9/24/13 @ 11:25 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ)-- Animal lovers sounded off Thursday night at the Board of Directors meeting for the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.

“My dog died, I'm out all this money and I think something should be done about it,” Stephanie Barnett said.

Barnett told WSAZ.com several weeks ago she adopted a Jack Russell Terrier named Lady from the shelter but said she had to put Lady down because of a respiratory illness.

“After 400 worth of vet bills I still had lost my dog and I was completely heart broken because she was a sweet little girl ,” Barnett said.

Board members insist changes are underway, including the hiring of a vet tech who is scheduled to begin work Monday.

At Thursday’s meeting, board members apologized to Barnett and agreed to let her adopt another dog because of Lady's death but Barnett says she doesn’t know if she should.

“I'm kind of hesitant to adopt another dog because I don't know if the same thing will happen,” Barnett said.

A special consultant hired by the shelter was also present at Thursday’s meeting. The consultant is expected to provide a full report to the board on recommendations of how to better operate the shelter.



UPDATE 9/24/13 @ 11:25 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Directors at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association say they're making major changes to stop the spread of disease among animals there.

Employees say several cats came down with a contagious upper-respiratory infection.

They also say two dogs have died in the past two weeks from distemper, and others are fighting kennel cough.

"It's my goal that the staff has enough time to recognize the disease and pay closer attention to the animals they're taking care of," said Chelsea Staley, interim executive director.

Staley says all sick animals are now being quarantined and cared for by special staff members who stay there exclusively.

She also says new drop-offs are separated until they're checked and vaccinated.

"We're vaccinating everything the second it comes in," Staley said. "We're also changing all of our cleaning protocols."

Staley says she plans to double the amount of staff members working the kennels, and a new veterinary tech will start work Monday to monitor the animals.

The shelter hired outside consultant Jackson Zee to come in and evaluate the facility at a special meeting last week.

Directors say they're dealing with an extreme influx of cats right now and need people to adopt them.



UPDATE 9/24/13 @ 2:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Several cats at the Kanawha-Charleston Animal Shelter are suffering from an upper respiratory illness.

A spokesperson with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department tells WSAZ.com the illness has affected several cats, but she didn't know how many.

The illness is highly contagious and spreads through the air.

At a special meeting Friday, board members unanimously agreed to hire outside consultant Jackson Zee. Board members say the animal shelter has been at full capacity for months, and board members tell WSAZ.com they are worried about the health of the animals.

The shelter says Zee will have to come up with a solution to protect the other animals from this illness. Right now, no dogs have been affected by the illness.

However, the shelter also confirms that two dogs have died from distemper. This is also a highly contagious respiratory disease.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Major changes are underway at the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association.

At a special meeting Friday, board members unanimously agreed to hire outside consultant Jackson Zee.

The animal shelter has been at full capacity for months, and board members tell WSAZ.com they are worried about the health of the animals.

“We're very aware that there are things that need to be improved, so we want someone to be able to come in and point those out,” Board Vice President Debra Graham said.

“Everything we do at the end of the day is about the animals, and that's [Zee’s] ultimate goal,” one board member said during Friday’s meeting.

Zee will visit the shelter for 10 days as part of the agreed contract. The shelter will pay Zee $1,500 for a consulting fee.

“It's going to be a win-win situation for the shelter,” Graham said. ”We're going to get valuable advice for a reasonable price.”

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Thursday, Sept. 26. Zee is expected at the meeting.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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