Thanks to the Fayetteville Observer for this article.
State tells Haven to get rid of 800 animals
By Jennifer Calhoun
RAEFORD The founder of North Carolinas largest no-kill animal shelter said the state is asking her to get rid of 800 animals and construct two buildings to house the rest.
Linden Spear, founder of Friends for Life at the Haven, said the states latest requirement is a flip-flop from last years orders asking her to increase the size of her kennels and line them with concrete or gravel.
Spear said she had already bought $150,000 worth of kennels and gravel to complete the upgrades, which were to take place soon.
But now the state wants the animals housed inside, according to a letter Spear received about six weeks ago from the state Attorney Generals Office on behalf of the Veterinary Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Spear estimated the two buildings would cost more than $2 million. The letter did not give a time period for Spear to comply.
Every time we try to work with them, they change the rules,” she said. Theres nothing in writing that lets them do this.”
The state Attorney Generals Office referred questions about The Haven to the Veterinary Division. Officials with the Veterinary Division could not be reached for comment Friday.
The shelter, located about five miles west of Raeford, houses about 700 dogs and 450 cats. Spear collects the animals from public shelters and people who can no longer keep them.
The shelter has performed about 20,000 spay and neuter procedures since it opened in 1996, Spear said. It holds adoptions every Saturday at Petsmart in Fayetteville. More than 600 animals have been adopted from The Haven this year.
Spear lost her state license to operate the shelter in 2005, and The Haven has been in a gray area ever since, she said.
We are trying to remodel, and were trying to comply,” she said. But it has been very, very expensive.”
Now shes not sure what to do, she said.
Spears lawyer has asked the state to go into mediation regarding the matter, but the state has not responded.