No Room at the Inn

Big doings going on at the Wake County Animal Center (WCAC) for the next 90 days. The county approved a remodeling project for the older section of the shelter and they will start full swing on December 29th. The big part of the project will be turning the Dog Stray (DS) room into the Dog Quarantine (DQ) room.

So what are these two rooms and why the change? Currently DQ has about 30 kennels to house bite-case and protective custody dogs. Protective custody cases can take a while to resolve – just ask Boots and Quinn who were born and grew up in DQ; now in foster and available for adoption. And when there is a raid by animal control on a hoarding, cruelty, or fight ring and there isn’t enough room in DQ, then room has to be found elsewhere in the shelter – no matter what. When the renovations are complete the new DQ room will be able to house 52 dogs, accommodating more than 20 additional dogs.

Next, the old DQ will be refreshed and become the new DS, which will then stand for Dog Sick room. The foster program does a lot to get sick animals out of the general population. The new DS would be strictly dedicated to these dogs. And the increased space in DQ would allow dogs awaiting rescue or behavior assessment to be housed there away from those nasty germs.

Preparations for this project has been an all-hands-on-deck affair because for the renovations to begin all the dogs currently in DS have to be relocated. Because these dogs are sick or awaiting rescue they will be moved to Dog Room E (DE) … which means all the dogs in DE need to be relocated and the WCAC is already at capacity with more dogs arriving daily. Joanne Duda has been feverishly processing new foster families. Please consider applying, if you haven’t already, by clicking here. And, in addition to working with our rescue partners, Cindy Lynch has been in contact with local boarding facilities to see what kind of space and deals she can find. She’s found space for at least 40 dogs at this point.

Staff have been given direction from above that no dogs will be euthanized for space during the construction, but those of us working for the animals at the county shelter live with a constant, troubling fact – dogs are always coming in whether they are picked up as strays, seized in cruelty cases, or just plain surrendered by their owners. It’s been a lot this year and there has been no easing up. Room has to be made for these incoming dogs no matter what, no matter how hard staff tries to find other options, no matter how much it tears out their hearts. We estimate that during the coming days of construction we will need to move on average 11-18 dogs PER DAY out of the shelter – that is what keeps us up at night.

You can help; each little thing adds up to a whole that can make miracles happen, and this is the season of miracles. As I mentioned earlier you can foster animals, and you can encourage your friends and family to adopt from the WCAC (just not as a surprise Christmas gift) and donate to our WCAC Boarding volunteer run fund raiser at (click to donate). Additionally, repost or link to bios on and Friends of WCAC FB page.

Spotlight on Midnight

On Saturday I had a couple of hours to help some of the volunteers with a holiday photo shoot. Alicia brought in this beautiful boy, Midnight WCAC ID: 90605. Apparently he doesn’t show well in the kennel, but he was a good sport and a real sweetie.
He’s such a beautiful black Shepherd it’s hard to believe he’s been at the WCAC for 84+ days. He’s a little over two years old and a great size at 53 lbs. He has enjoyed Dogs Playing for Life® playgroups but he can get overwhelmed by more aggressive dogs, even though he plays a little rough with the girls. Proper introductions and small playgroups will be the most successful for him. He thrives on human attention and affection and has become a volunteer favorite despite his kennel attitude. He needs a home and a family of his home.

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Shannon Johnstone took him out for one of her Landfill Dogs photo shoots. Besides some great photos of this beautiful boy, she also found him to be great on a leash – she said he would make a great running partner as he matched her pace – speed up or slow down, Midnight adjusted pace accordingly.

He’s so special he was one of the stars of a local news story.

Midnight’s TV Debut

Stop by the WCAC at 820 Beacon Lake Road, Raleigh, NC any day of the week between noon and 6:00 p.m. to meet Midnight and all the other wonderful animals. Give this shy pup a chance to warm up to you and he’ll curl up in your lap and revel in head skritches.

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