ASHE COUNTY-Not all tails are wagging in West Jefferson as one local animal rescue has indicated it will no longer pull dogs from Ashe County Animal Control after their operators were denied first pick of a fresh litter of puppies.
In an email from County Manager Sam Yearick to the entire board of commissioners, Yearick stated Animal Control Director Joe Testerman informed him on April 25, that Second Chance Dogs of Ashe stated they would no longer work with the shelter.
Animal control allows rescue agencies to pull adoptable animals from the shelter at no charge, Yearick said in his email.
Jacob Giles, of Second Chance Dogs, became upset after another local rescue pulled a “very adoptable litter” of puppies in mid-April, Yearick said to the board.
“Jacob (Giles) evidently felt that his organization should be afforded first choice over pulling animals,” Yearick wrote in the email. “Animal control’s policy is to work with any licensed rescue organization on a first come, first served basis. Second Chance Dogs Rescue may change their mind, but I wanted to make you aware of this issue in case you’re asked about it.”
Second Chance, however, said the incident with the puppies was the latest misstep with animal control that has ultimately resulted in the rescue severing all relations with the county’s animal shelter.
In a letter written to the Post by Petra and Jacob Giles, the operators of the rescue said that until recently, they enjoyed a good working relationship with animal control.
“After the first year of working with AC our relationship became one of which AC would regularly call us as soon as they would get a litter of pups and let us take the pups home to our house without having to stay at AC for any amount of time,” the Giles family wrote. “Sometimes they would even bring dogs to our house or we would have them drop off the dogs at our local vet for treatment and we would pick the dogs up at the vet later in the day. When people would ask about surrendering a dog AC would often just give them our telephone number and they would call us and surrender the dogs to us. Everything became pretty much routine and we developed a healthy relationship with mutual respect.”
When asked for comment on Second Chance’s decision to stop pulling dogs, Testerman reiterated the department’s policy of adopting animals out on a “first come, first served” basis.
Testerman agreed that animal control has enjoyed a good relationship with Second Chance until recently.
“I appreciate what they are doing,” said Testerman. “They’ve pulled a lot of dogs. They are a good rescue, but the local rescues have always butted heads and not worked together. We don’t want to get in the middle of their squabbling and arguing.”
Testerman said the absence of Second Chance will make it harder to find suitable homes for the dogs that are brought in, but said his department has always had to euthanize some dogs because not all the animals can be rehabilitated.
“We’ve always had other rescues working with us too, but it’s definitely going to be harder to get as many (dogs) out because they were pulling high volumes every week,” said Testerman. “I don’t know of any other rescue that can keep up with that pace.”
Testerman said he would not turn the rescue away if they decided to resume a relationship with animal control.
“They quit us,” said Testerman. “We didn’t run them off.”
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.