Killed too soon: Sampson County Animal Shelter fined $4,800 by state of NC for multiple violations

According to a March 23 report on, Sampson County Animal Shelter faces a $4,800 fine issued by the state of North Carolina after 15 animals were killed too soon, including eight cats. The state required a 72-hour holding period.

Please click on the link below to see the condition of one of the dogs.

One of the dogs with a leg wound – Photo: News Observer

A 27-page report delivered to Sampson County Manager Edwin Causey by the Animal Welfare Section (AWS) of N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Veterinary Division on March 12 stated a February 23 inspection found dogs that were emaciated, missing or didn’t have veterinary records.

Causey stated in an interview with

“To be perfectly candid, I was extremely surprised, because the report — I’m not saying it was not factual — was inconsistent with what I would’ve expected to be my ongoing operations at the animal shelter. We immediately began to look into it.”

Confirmation that much of the information found during the investigation is true, Causey says he will be meeting with shelter veterinarian Dr. Beth Turner next week to address the situation.

AWS Animal Health Technician Pat Sholar performed inspections on December 6, January 11 and February 23. They also made a follow-up visit on March 1 to address a specific complaint where eight cats were put down. All were listed as being feral and had no paperwork. Half of the cats were put down the next day and the other half were killed within an hour of intake. Click here for a very detailed article on what was found (opens in a new window).

Map showing Sampson County, NC
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The article states “N.C. General Statute states that proof of ownership for an animal and signed written consent to the disposition of the animal have to be obtained to euthanize an owner surrender prior to the end of the 72-hour period.” NC law wasn’t followed and the animals in the care of this shelter either suffered or were killed.

Part of the report is a warning to the Sampson County Animal Shelter that

“If the violations which resulted in the assessment are of a continuing nature, NCDA&CS reserves the right to assess additional civil penalties in the future or take other enforcement action against you. Continued or future violations … will be considered a willful disregard or violation of N.C. Animal Welfare Act.”

NewsReporter stated “The fine includes $100 per violation of the 72-hour minimum holding period; $1,000 for failing to adequately feed the Doberman and Great Dane; another $2,000 for failing to provide veterinary care to the two dogs; and $300 for failure to provide care to the Doberman as directed by a veterinarian.”

The shelter could lose their license as well as face a $5,000 civil penalty fine per violation if they fail to rectify the current situation. The charges include 15 animals, and inadequate feeding, lighting and veterinary care for animals and that 24 animals were denied proper access to toys, human and same-species interaction, and space other than their primary enclosures.

Sampson County has 60 days to pay the penalty or to file an appeal on the case.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

1 thought on “Killed too soon: Sampson County Animal Shelter fined $4,800 by state of NC for multiple violations”

  1. Good reporting Elisa. And bad, VERY bad attitude and behavior Samson County Animal Shelter – or rather CHAMBER OF HORRORS! How about the individuals involved be personally accountable and punished and NOT just to the tune of losing their jobs. I wonder if those fines are taken out of the the shelter’s annual budget whereby it only hurts the welfare of the animals, not the pockets of the operators. The very fact that they acted as though they’d get away with not suffering and personal loss might indicate that maybe that is the case, and so there’s not much of a disincentive to act right. Anyone know how that works?

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