ST. PAULS — Morty, Keaton, Matty, Leno, Alfie, Preston, Floyd and Rocco have all been rescued for a second time.
Heidi, Knox, Hansel, Evita, Ace, Benson, Quake and Ryder are still waiting.
They are the eight dogs remaining from 16 or so that lost their homes to Hurricane Matthew, and have since been living at the Robeson County Shelter that is run by the county. Although the shelter does euthanize animals because of the sheer number that end of there and limited space and resources to provide for them, county Health Department officials and Jason Allison, the manager of the facility, have decided to keep the animals as long as possible to try to find them homes.
They are mostly lab and shepherd mixes. Six are male, and Heidi and Evita are females.
According to Bill Smith, director of the Health Department, the dogs were identified early on as having been separated from families during Matthew. Smith said that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal early on paid for food and veterinary care for the animals, but has since left.
“Sometime after they left, all dogs became housed at the animal shelter,” said last month. “A decision was made to support them as long as possible. One reason this was possible is because, historically, the animal population is lower in the winter, so some space was available. Unfortunately, as we near spring, the warmer temperatures will heighten the pressure to reduce populations at the shelter. We have ongoing inspections by the Division of Animal Welfare so crowding is not possible.”
The county is required by state law to hold stray cats and dogs at least three days before they are put down, but the local Health Department uses a five-day waiting period.
The Health Department became aware that last year The Robesonian twice published a photo gallery of all the animals at the Robeson County Humane Society and that a high percentage of them were quickly adopted. The request was made that the newspaper publish the photos of the 14 Matthew rescues to see if they might be saved, and the newspaper did so on Feb. 2.
The Robesonian decided to publish the photos of the dogs again today; included are two, Heidi, a shepherd mix, and Evita, a lab mix, who were not included in the February story and for which we do not have a photograph.
The county shelter is located at 225 Landfill Road in St. Pauls. Its phone number is 910-865-2200. Visit or call if you see an animal that you believe would help turn your house into home.
Editor Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649.