Too Many Animals and Not Enough Homes?

Too Many Animals and Not Enough Homes?

Or too many emails and phone calls … we can’t process them all. 

That’s the excuse that shelter operator Melinda Barefoot gave when questioned as to why families and individuals cried foul to the local television news. They had been unable to adopt or rescue animals at the Johnston County SPCA in North Carolina and they were really annoyed: 

Baucom found a dog he wanted to adopt on the Petfinder listings of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Johnston County, but said he was told that he could not see any of the dogs until his application was approved.

So, he filled out an application, marked the dog he liked and waited.

“They never acknowledged my application at all,” Baucom said. He assumes it was denied. 


The Johnston County SPCA’s website says that their adoption policies are “strict but fair” but unfortunately the “strict but fair” policy combined with a lack of response to potential adopters has forced Mr. Baucom to turn to a pet store for a family pet. He and his children are now proud parents of a shih tzu puppy they purchased and have named Hero.

Barefoot, who has independently operated the shelter for 26 years, says she has received 2,000 e-mails since December regarding animals and has limited help to process applications and requests. As reported by Kelcey Carson for WRAL

While board members and Ms. Barefoot defend their actions by claiming that they are protecting these animals and the shelter itself from people and organizations seeking to harm animals or take over the SPCA, their efforts are literally killing the animals they have claimed to protect.

According to state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services records, Barefoot reported taking 179 cats and 505 dogs into the shelter in 2007. Of those, she adopted out 70 cats and 255 dogs. She euthanized 75 cats and 115 dogs. WRAL

While other southern shelters are proactively working with rescues, transporting animals to other areas for adoption and enhancing their adoption programs, this shelter seems mired in a swamp of paranoia and fear.

And that paranoia and fear is governing their decision making process ultimately resulting in the killing of animals.

At what point do the board members stop turning a blind eye? At what point does someone recruit a volunteer or two to respond to some of these emails and actually get animals out alive?

It’s time for this board of directors to feel the love. 

Please feel it soon.

The community is out there waiting for you to tap into their power and the animals are paying the price.

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One Response to “Too Many Animals and Not Enough Homes?”

  1. This kind of thing represents gross managerial and governance incompetence as well as paranoia. If they truly believe that “protecting” the animals, a worthy goal, demands screenings that they don’t have the staff to complete, then it is precisely the job of the management to recruit volunteers, have a fundraising campaign, persuade the board to invest in some helpful software, or all three of those things. If the current manager doesn’t have the problem-solving ability to evaluate and pursue those paths, then it is the board’s job to find someone who does.

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