Dr. Debbie Cowan, Stokes Animal Shelter Advisory Council chair, reported Tuesday morning that the county will lift its ban on adopting out dogs without vaccination records.
Cowan said this will go into effect on Wednesday.
County Manager Rick Morris confirmed this decision and said other changes will go into effect soon at the shelter, such as changing hours to accommodate more extensive cleaning of the shelter through the week.
According to Stokes County Animal Shelter staff, the shelter hours for the public will be limited to 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective May 20. There will be no Saturday hours. Cowan said staff will use weekday mornings and Saturdays to thoroughly clean the building.
A few weeks ago the shelter had to euthanize about 30 dogs and limited adoptions as staff tried to curb the spread of parvovirus, a disease that is highly contagious and deadly for dogs. The county manager made the final call not to adopt out any dogs that do not have up-to-date vaccination records. Dogs brought in without records were held for three days then euthanized. That policy will no longer be in effect.
With fewer dogs at the shelter over the past few weeks, Cowan said people were able to give the shelter a thorough cleaning. But daily cleaning of the shelter will be necessary in an effort to keep the old facility clean, Cowan said. The shelter needs volunteers to help clean the shelter throughout the week since the shelter has a small staff, she added.
Though the ban is no longer in effect, Morris stressed, “We cannot guarantee the health of the dog.”
Outdoor runs will soon allow dogs to be moved outside so staff can clean and disinfect the kennels without spraying the dogs, thereby limiting the spread of disease. Cowan said the outdoor runs have now arrived but rain has been a big hold-up with the need to pour concrete. She said this should take place in the next few weeks.