CLAYTON — Nine dogs, including two beagle puppies and six larger breeds, were transported March 7 from the Johnston County SPCA to the SPCA of Wake Countys holding facility in Garner to await adoption to permanent homes.
Deborah Steely, the manager of the SPCA of Wake Countys intake facility in Garner, and SPCA of Wake County behavioral specialist Molly Stone, helped facilitate adoptions of dogs and cats from the Johnston County SPCA, which is closing its doors by June 1.
With approximately 100 animals in the shelter, including cats and all sizes of dogs, the shelter is focusing its efforts on finding homes for all animals before the doors close.
The Johnston County SPCA director of 29 years, Melinda Barefoot, announced her plans to retire at an SPCA board of directors meeting last week.
Having hoped to retire since 2010 citing personal health concerns, Barefoot said she found it difficult to leave the shelter. She, her husband Wayne Barefoot, one paid, part-time employee, and one 20-year volunteer, run the shelter day-to-day on a budget board members say is less than $50,000 annually.
The board of directors voted last week to close the shelter, after Barefoot gave notice of her retirement.
The shelter is no longer taking in rescues from the Town of Clayton, with which it had subcontracted as an animal control resource for decades. The town contributed roughly $12,000 a year in financial assistance to the shelter.
However, one large shepherd mix was left in a crate at the edge of the shelter property on Durham Street in Clayton late last night, and the SPCA of Wake is facilitating eventual transport of that dog to their shelter.
Steely indicated multiple times as dogs were being walked out to the SPCA van that the Wake County SPCA intends to come back to Clayton and take more dogs next week.
The SPCA of Wake County is a no-kill private shelter which is not associated with the ASPCA or the Wake County Animal Shelter. The organizations public realtions representative, Mondy Lamb, emphasized that the organization was invited by Barefoot and the Johnston County SPCA board to collaborate on adoption efforts.
Barefoot was honored as the 2011 chamber of commerce citizen of the year in January. The award sparked a wave of public scrutiny over the shelters management and adoption numbers, leading to questions about her management at the shelter and allegations of animal neglect.
Read more in the Sunday Clayton News-Star