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McGMCACTripThis is the first of a series of blog posts highlighting efforts in Montgomery County:

November 23, 2013 marked the occasion of Fabulous McGrady and Friends’ (FMFF) second trip out to Montgomery County Animal Control in Mount Gilead, NC.  Our first trip actually took place on May 4, 2013.  Back in 2012, MCAC was the focus of a report by Raleigh NC-based TV Station, WRAL, which noted the shelter’s high euthanasia rate and conditions that were in great need of improvement.   When we heard about their needs, we knew that this was a shelter where we wanted to get involved and help!  Change begins with people coming together in a POSITIVE way and being willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work to accomplish a goal.  While we want you to know what FMFF has delivered to MCAC, we think it’s more important to champion the efforts that are going on a LOCAL level to get things moving in a positive direction. 

FMFF, Supporting Positive Change One Truckload at a Time:

FMFF’s relationship began in mid April 2013 after a phone call from our founder to Mr Leon Everett, Lead Animal Control Officer at Montgomery County Animal Control.  Mr Everett noted that their biggest need was food.  The more food they had, the more time they could give animals to find the safety of rescue and/or adoption.  All shelters budget for a certain number of animals to be in the shelter a certain number of days.  There is not a lot of “wiggle room” in a budget if your shelter is suddenly inundated with strays or owner-surrendered animals .  Think of it like your own family consisting of a 2 parents and 2 kids then suddenly you find yourself with 12 children to feed—the budget doesn’t go as far as you planned or as it used to go.  With this information in mind, FMFF set about doing a food drive for MCAC.  With the aid of McGrady’s Facebook page, we were able to spread the word to many in the Charlotte Metro area.  However, the biggest help with the food drive was our booth at the Black Dog Awareness Day and Dog Walk event in Charlotte, NC, where we received MANY donations of bagged dog and cat food!  Food Drive McG

We have come to realize that when we tell Animal Control Officers that we’ll be out with a “truckload of food” that they think we mean a few bags.  We know that they don’t expect the amount we’re bringing and so that’s part of the fun in letting them drop the tailgate on the truck!  When Mr Everett dropped the tailgate to reveal the 969 pounds of food we’d brought, he made our day by noting that this was “like Christmas” for the shelter and immediately calling the County Manager excitedly to let him know what we’d brought!  THIS was all the thanks we needed and let us know that such assistance truly matters not only for the animals to have a longer chance but ALSO for the staff to let them know that they have public support in a position that is not often appreciated.  


We reached out again in early November 2013 to check in and see if there were any new needs.  We learned that the shelter had built multiple new kennel runs to meet the standards for cross-contamination prevention.  The shelter needed dog houses and tarps as well as food.  Say nphoto (13)o more!  We sat to work oMCACSuppliesn a drive for plastic insulated dog houses, tarps and food!  All total we were able to bring 6 doghouses (1 donated Igloo, 3 purchased XL-sized Igloos and 2 purchased large Petbarn style dog houses), 9 large tarps, and 595 pounds of food.


 While we are VERY happy to help, we want you to know what’s happening on the local level there and how YOU can help!



All Change is local….

The WRAL report did help make several young, enthusiastic Montgomery County residents and regional rescuers aware that this shelter was in need!  Since the report, Jennifer Deese has volunteered to set up a Facebook page for the shelter where she photographs animals on a regular basis and updates their status.  This has resulted in several people seeing the animals and coming to adopt directly from the shelter itself.   There have also been several people who have driven long distances to adopt animals from the shelter directly (and the Animal Control Officers have come on their off-hours to meet them/make the adoptions possible).  After being made aware of the need for rescue help, several rescue groups have started actively pulling animals from the shelter as well (but MANY more are needed still).    Part of  any solution to lowering euthanasia rates is Spay/Neuter, our next blog post on Montgomery County will be featuring 2 ladies who have taken on the VERY important task of making affordable Spay/Neuter quite accessible to Montgomery County residents of all income brackets!  We can’t wait to tell you what they’ve ALREADY accomplished since their inception in early 2013!


All the above efforts together have resulted in a (drum roll, please)…reduction in the euthanasia rate this year from the 2012 rate of 98% down to approximately 60% at the present time.  However, this could be lower if there were MORE people working to help the shelter connect to reputable rescues, more volunteers helping the shelter, etc.  Some of the biggest challenges for the Animal Control Officers are the number of animals allowed to roam stray by their owners (with no ID or microchip in place), the lack of usage of spay/neuter resources, and the lack of vaccinating animals for Rabies. 

Slow and steady positive change:

Our second trip to MCAC was focused on providing dog houses and tarps for kennel runs that were being built to prevent cross-contamination from kennel run to kennel run, one of the problems for the shelter on recent USDA inspections.  The shelter has already installed much-needed sliding doors to serve as windbreaks as well as a perimeter fence.  There have been discussions about and some fundraising for a new Montgomery County Animal Shelter.  We will highlight those efforts once we learn more details from persons handling that end of things.


 Currently, Montgomery County Animal Control consists of 2 Animal Control Officers (ACOs).  These officers work swing shifts and cover a county of 492 miles with a population of over 27,000 people.  Not only are the ACOs responsible for cleaning the shelter and feeding the animals, the 2 ACOs are responsible for the investigation of and participation in court cases involving Animal Cruelty; picking up stray and owner-surrendered animals; and verifying Rabies vaccinations (especially in the event of rabid animals being found in the area).  The ACOs are also available to meet adopters by appointment.   Many rural counties in the Carolinas were heavily involved in textiles and other product manufacturing.  The taxes paid by those large employers and their employees were the backbones of county budgets for decades.  Everyone knows what has happened to manufacturing jobs in the US as a whole since the globalization of manufacturing and outsourcing began decades ago.  With the shuttering of these facilities and the loss of those jobs, the counties find themselves struggling to find other sources of revenues.   At the same time, those county residents who once had well-paying manufacturing jobs find themselves suddenly in need and struggle not only to feed their human family members but the furry family members, too.   Suddenly rural Carolinas counties have found themselves with not only slashed tax bases but more residents in need.  Rural county governments find themselves laboring hard to meet constituents’ needs not to mention those of Animal Control or the animals within the county itself.    In the case of every rural county were we’ve had the honor of helping, we’ve found that there is desire for positive change but the monetary resources just simply aren’t there to make it happen.  That’s were POSITIVE outside help can make a huge difference. 

Help IS appreciated…

In our years of dMCACThankyouoing rural anThankYouCardMCACimal shelter assistance, these were the first 2 formal notes of thanks that we have received from any County governments/government officials.  We think that these say volumes about the fact that positive help is wanted AND appreciated.  We are honored to have been able to have helped these past 2 times and look forward to helping more in the future until there is no longer a need. 






How YOU Can Help!:

Current shelter needs are:

-Dog and Cat Food (Dry preferably)

-Kitty Litter

-Large Tarps (9 x 12 feet or larger)

-Squeegie Type Mops with long handles (they have their own cleaning solutions so that isn’t needed)

-several large airtight food storage bins for keeping donated dry food fresh


Shipping Address for donations is: 

Montgomery County Animal Control, 102 East Spring Street, 3rd Floor, Troy, NC 27371 (please use ONLY this address for shipping as there will be someone there at all times to receive the donation.  This is NOT the shelter’s physical address but rather the County office that will receive the donations and get them to the shelter).

 If you’d like to reach out to the shelter directly to find out their most current, pressing needs or to inquire about helping in a positive fashion, please call 910-572-3067.  If there is no answer, leave a detailed message and the ACOs will return your call!  Your POSITIVE and supportive input, ideas and help are SURE to be appreciated. 













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