Lincoln County promises to improve animal shelter

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) — Lincoln County officials have promised improvements at its animal shelter after being fined for the deaths of nearly 200 cats earlier this year.

Multiple media outlets reported the North Carolina agriculture department fined the animal shelter $7.500 after an investigation showed the extent of an unreported disease outbreak between May and October.

County animal services director David Workman says the shelter has struggled with overpopulation and the cats were living outside in close quarters, which contributed to the spread of a respiratory illness.

Workman says the shelter has changed policies and procedures.

Patricia Norris with the agriculture department says she hopes the shelter can comply with state regulations soon. Norris says shelter operators are supposed to contact a veterinarian if a disease outbreak last longer than 30 days.