Preston County Animal Shelter to Close, Re-open April 1 - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Preston County Animal Shelter to Close, Re-open April 1

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The Preston County Animal Shelter has temporarily closed, according to the Preston County Commission.

"It is important that we close down until April 1, 2013 to give us time to re-group," said Commission President Craig Jennings.

The commission said there is a need to re-organize, according to a news release.

Jennings said for a month the commissioners, commission staff and the employees at the shelter have been working to keep the doors open, care for the animals, and search through paperwork. Based on the numbers reported by former Shelter Manager Courtney Austin to commission in January, "It is our understanding that there is a significant difference in the number of animal adoptions and the money that has been collected associated with the adoptions," Jennings said.

Paperwork that can validate Austin's numbers also can't be located, according to Jennings. The commission has asked Austin, through her attorney, to help provide the documents but it hasn't received a response, according to the news release.

"Our plan is to have an organized, effective operation back in place when we reopen the doors on April 1," said Jennings.

The commission said it hopes to meet soon with an organization that has said they are collecting funds for the animal shelter, but until then, ask that monetary donations be made to the shelter in the care of the commission.

Jennings said "commissioners are concerned that at no time has the commission approved, endorsed or authorized the Friends of Preston Animals and Friends of Preston County Animal Shelter to collect money on behalf of the animal shelter."

"The groups are telling people that they are collecting money for the Shelter, however, we haven't met with the groups and we have not received any money from either group," Jennings said.

According to Jennings, community members have told commissioners that they have given money to these groups and are asking the commission about their donations.

"Donations to the animal shelter have always been important to the operation of the facility and we certainly would like to meet with these groups and anyone else who would like to partner with us so we can all start working together," Jennings continued.

Jennings said those who want to donate to the animal shelter should contact the commission at 304-329-1805 or stop by the office at 106 West Main Street, Suite 202, Kingwood, until the commission meets with the groups.