COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Animal shelters are supposed to be a temporary place for dogs and cats, but the shelter in Columbus County is looking more like a permanent home.
According to Rossie Hayes, Director of Columbus County Animal Control Services, two pit bulls have been at the county's animal shelter for more than a year.
Hayes says the dogs were brought in when their owners were charged with animal cruelty, and now, they have to remain there until the case goes to court.
"I cannot put them up for adoption until I hear from the DA," said Hayes.
Since the pit bulls have been there for this long, it creates new work for the shelter employees, which in turn puts a strain on his department of four employees.
"It's a state law...if they're here that long, we must walk and exercise them," he said. "If they get sick, we have to take them to the vet. Also, they were here over 15 days, so I had to get rabies shots."
Those aren't the only dogs at the shelter due to pending court cases.
Hayes says they're keeping 14 dogs in six kennels, and the owner of those dogs was also charged with animal cruelty.
Those dogs have been in the shelter since September.
The owner of those dogs, goes to court on Monday.
As for as the pit bulls, Hayes doesn't believe the owners will be able to get the dogs out.
"You think about it," said Hayes. "Two dogs at $8 per day, you're looking at 13 months. How much money is that going to be?"
We called the district attorney's office in Columbus County and were told someone will be contacting the animal shelter. Plus, they'll look into speeding up the case involving the pit bulls.