“There’s no excuse for what happened” philanthropist of Rowan County shelter responds to failed inspection


“There’s no excuse for what happened,” the philanthropist who donated $1 million for a new cat wing at Rowan County Animal Shelter responded August 3 in an interview with the Salisbury Post.  National Cat Reporter covered the August 23 failed inspection by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Division here.

Reporter Josh Bergeron with the Salisbury Post is always ready to track down information regarding the Rowan County Animal Shelter, located in Salisbury. He recently spoke with Christine Morykwas, who paid a contractor directly for the construction of the new cat wing. All Rowan County had to do was promise to keep the shelter clean for the animals it cares for. After failing the state inspection, Morykwas is reconsidering future investments. She told Josh

“I don’t regret it, but I’m saddened by what’s going on. It would convince me not to invest anything else.”

The Rowan shelter failed an inspection in 2014 but wasn’t penalized. It’s unlikely the 2016 inspection will result in a penalty. The Department of Agriculture reports punishment won’t be handed down unless problems continue at the shelter. Rowan County has seven days to respond.

The addition of the cat wing created space for twice as many cats as the old space held. This created more work for a shelter with a high turnover rate.  County Commissioner Craig Pierce says improvements for the shelter are being discussed, including removing a gas chamber used to kill animals and raising the adoption fee to cover the cost of vaccinations. The shelter is also looking into new software so better records can be kept.

Pierce says the cleaning procedures asked for by Morykwas have been followed. If this is true, why did the state inspector find such nasty conditions in the cat wing? Perhaps Pierce should visit the shelter and see conditions for himself, or tell the truth as to how the cats are REALLY treated at this shelter. Pierce said the alternative for the cats is to euthanize stating

“If all we had to do was euthanize the animals, we could have the cleanest shelter ever. It’s a trade-off.”

Is is really so difficult to store food and bedding in containers to protect the cats? How difficult is it to wipe down a cat cage? Perhaps an overhaul is due?

Your comments are welcome, especially from those who are in the Salisbury area and have first-hand information on how the shelter is run and whether everything possible is being done to save the cats from being killed.

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