North Carolina's All Creatures Great and Small: A 'No-Kill' Shelter Expose
North Carolina's All Creatures Great and Small: A 'No-Kill' Shelter Expose
Shelter or Prison? Investigation Legacy of Abuse Photos What You Can Do Support Our Work

Update: Shortly after the public release of PETA's undercover investigation into All Creatures Great and Small, the animals languishing in the shelter are finally getting the help that they have desperately needed. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has launched Operation Move Out to transfer the remaining animals—almost 300 of them—out of this facility and into preapproved animal sheltering organizations and is closing ACGS for good as a result of ongoing, persistent violations of the Animal Welfare Act. For these dogs and cats, the hellish nightmare is over. However, your voice is still needed to tell Henderson County District Attorney Jeff Hunt to file criminal charges against the operators responsible for the animal suffering at All Creatures Great and Small.

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A Legacy of Abuse

While PETA's recent undercover investigation revealed a horrific disregard for the welfare of animals imprisoned at ACGS, violating the law is par for the course at this facility. In August 2001, ACGS failed an inspection by the state and was subsequently ordered to close because of severe crowding, unsanitary conditions, and other violations of North Carolina's Animal Welfare Act. In August 2004, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA) ordered the facility to cease operations within 30 days. But facility operator Kim Kappler appealed the order, leading to years-long negotiations with the NCDA and a settlement agreement that did nothing to secure the welfare or safety of the hundreds of animals who were languishing at ACGS.

After PETA presented the results of its most recent undercover investigation to officials with the NCDA, the state moved to dissolve the settlement agreement and filed a complaint in state court for violations of the N.C. Animal Welfare Act and the N.C. Nonprofit Corporation Act, seeking permanent custody of the animals.

Even after repeated warnings, announced inspections by the NCDA conducted in April and June 2007 found that the facility was woefully inadequate in almost every area, including its failure to provide animals with basic adequate care such as shelter, water, and proper space.

Unfortunately, since the initial filing of the complaint in September 2007, the state has taken no action to move its case forward, allowing ACGS operators to continue keeping animals in substandard, illegal conditions and even moving animals out of the facility to "store" them at other locations. For animals imprisoned at ACGS, every day is a living nightmare.

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