Northampton County Sheriff’s Deputy Launches Bid to Revamp Animal Shelter

Deputy and Health Department Director Vow to Stay Overnight in Kennels if $20,000 Is Raised in Facebook Fundraiser for Expansion Effort

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2019

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Jackson, N.C. – To help animals in rural Northampton County, sheriff’s deputy and K9 handler Kevin Byrum has launched a campaign aiming to raise $20,000 by May 12 to update facilities at the Northampton County Animal Shelter, which is managed by the Northampton County Health Department and operates with very limited funding. If the effort is successful, Byrum has pledged to spend a night in a kennel at the shelter—and Andy Smith, the director of the Health Department, has offered to join him.

“The shelter desperately needs to expand [and] I want to help the dream of expansion become a reality,” writes Byrum. “The shelter only has eight kennels and is maxed out on many occasions. My birthday is this month and I’m asking for donations for the shelter. No amount is too small or too large.”

“Spaying and neutering is the key to keeping animal shelters from bursting at the seams, and an updated facility would do wonders in helping the homeless animals who are already there and in need of loving families,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA wholeheartedly supports this compassionate community effort and gives kudos to Deputy Byrum and Andy Smith for offering to put themselves in the dogs’ place for a night to raise not just funds but also awareness.”

Byrum’s long history of animal advocacy includes helping PETA rescue two dogs: One was found tethered to a plastic garbage can in freezing temperatures with no food, water, or shelter, and the other had four broken toes and had been abandoned at a rural property in a filthy, unused silo. Both dogs have since recovered and been adopted into loving homes.

But not every dog is as lucky as them: Each year in the U.S., millions of lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters, and more than half of them must be euthanized because there aren’t enough homes for them. That’s why the Northampton County Health Department asks all families to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered—which is the only way to stop the companion animal overpopulation crisis at its roots—and to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters, rather than buying them from breeders or pet stores, which contribute to the problem.

For more information and to make a donation, please click here. All funds raised will go directly toward improving the shelter.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind