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Craven County cuts ribbon on new animal services center

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) - Craven County cut the ribbon on a new animal services center Monday.

They began construction in October 2016, costing the county about $1.5 million.

The county renovated the existing shelter and added on to it, expanding their capabilities to deal with unwanted animals in Craven County. 

"We tripled our dog space, almost doubled our cat space, to provide them with a better, conducive environment for the adoption of pets,” said Jack Veit, Craven County manager. 

Veit said they decided to update the center because the existing facility was aging and cramped due to high numbers of turn-ins and abandonments.

"As we look at our numbers, we are certainly seeing more intake,” said Veit. “It gives them more space. It gives them more area to work in, it gives the animal more comfort."

County health director Scott Harrelson said not only did they add on more space, but they also added additional staff to improve conditions at the shelter.

New features include a visitation room.

"Once someone is interested in adopting an animal, they can come and spend time with it before they make that decision,” said Veit. 

They also added a triage room to assess incoming animals, along with enhanced quarantine space, upgraded climate control, improved flooring and walls.      

The goal is got visitors to adopt.

"Anytime you can make the environment better to adopt an animal and work on an animal, it certainly helps in the process,” said Veit. 

The shelter can also now take in small animals like ferrets and guinea pigs. 

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