4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, September 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com
County Animal Shelter Lets
Personal Vendetta Overrule
Good Sense, Rejects
by Scott D. Yost
You might think
that, if one of
the largest and
in High Point had
collected a great
deal of pet food,
animal toys, electric
fans and other needed
items for the Guilford County
Animal Shelter, the shelter
would take those items.
But when First Baptist Church of
High Point told the Animal Shelter the
good news, the shelter rudely told
the church that it did not want the
items and it would not participate in
a connected church-sponsored bless
the animals celebration and adoption
event meant to help shelter animals
Church member Art Cole, who was
handling the effort for First Baptist
Church, said the church had collected
donations and was planning to do
more to help the shelter in a big way.
And he said he was absolutely stunned
at the reception he got when he called
the Animal Shelter on Friday, Sept.
8 to let them know the church had
gone to major retail outlets and gotten
donations of pet food, toys and other
items to give to the shelter as part of a
Sunday, Oct. 1 Blessing of the Animals
celebration to honor St. Francis of
Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
In addition to rejecting the
donations, the shelter told the church
that it would not send any shelter
animals to the event for adoption by
Cole said that, in preparation for the
Oct. 1 Blessing of the Animals event,
he had gone to PetSmart, Home Depot,
Lowe’s and Wal-Mart, in Greensboro
and High Point, and collected a large
number of items for the shelter. He said
he and others at the church thought the
shelter would be thrilled by the news of
the donations and the event that was to
help get the animals adopted.
“We had 60 to 65 large bags of dog
food, chew toys and other toys, a Wal-
Mart gift certificate and about a dozen
12-by-20 box fans for the breezeways,
since it can get up to 110 to 115
degrees in the shelter,” Cole said.
He said the church also had
members interested in adopting
animals and making other donations
at the Oct. 1 Blessing of the Animals
celebration, and event organizers
wanted to bring nine or 10 shelter
animals to it.
Cole said he spoke with Volunteer
Outreach Coordinator Nancy Fauser,
who handles events coordination for
the shelter. He said that, when he told
Fauser of the church’s donations and
of the event, she was insolent.
“She said, ‘We don’t know you – we
don’t know anything about you and we
don’t want it,’” Cole said.
He also said she stated that the
shelter would not provide animals for
Cole said Fauser told him, “We don’t
do that; Sunday is a family day.”
He said he told her that this was “a
family event” and that he pointed out
that the Animal Shelter had two other
recent events scheduled on Sundays.
“I said, ‘So, you don’t want the
donations?’” Cole said.
Cole said he was told in no uncertain
terms that the shelter did not.
He said that, after the conversation,
he consulted with a minister and pastor
at the church.
“They said, ‘Art, you have to inform
them that we were founded in 1850
and that we are the oldest church in
High Point,’” he said.
Cole said a church pastor then
phoned the shelter and was also
treated very rudely.
Cole said the minister told him that
the response was, “I don’t know you
– you could be anyone.” He said the
shelter worker asked the pastor if she
was ordained and she said, “Yes, I
“Well, anyone could get ordained
online for $5,” the shelter representative
said, according to Cole.
When asked about her conversation
with Cole and the shelter’s rejection
of the donations, Fauser, said, “I am
going to refer you to Clarence Grier.”
Cole, a dog owner who has adopted
dogs from the shelter before, is retired
from sales and marketing for Rice
Toyota and now works as a marketing
consultant in the automobile industry.
He said he and others at the church
were absolutely flabbergasted by the
response they got.
“I was broadsided by this,” he said.
He said his only experience with
the shelter in the past is that he has
adopted dogs from there and said he
didn’t have any axe to grind with the
Cole said that, after the shelter
informed the church official that the
shelter wanted nothing to do with the
event, he, Cole, called the Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of
the Triad (SPCA).
He said the people at that
organization were very nice and were
thrilled with the donations and the
chance to find homes for animals in
Cole said an SPCA representative
he spoke with told him that the
organization had another event
scheduled the day before the church’s
celebration, so the SPCA staff would be
tired, but they would still be delighted
Cole said he notified the corporate
donors that the donations were going
to the SPCA rather than to the Animal
Shelter as they had originally been
told, to make sure that they didn’t mind.
Grier is the deputy county manager
and the county administrator who
oversees the shelter and who runs it
when, as now, the position of Animal
Services director is unoccupied. The
last director, Drew Brinkley, resigned
in August after the shelter was fined
for violations in animal care. (Grier
told the Rhino Times this week that
Brinkley’s resignation was in no way
related to the fines or to the violations.)
Cole said he had tried to call Grier
to express his disbelief and ask how
church members and church staff
could be treated so rudely when trying
to help the shelter.
“I left a message for Grier, told him
it was urgent and told him who I was,”
He said Grier returned his phone
call while he was at an honors dinner
and couldn’t answer the call, but Cole
says he called Grier as soon as the
dinner ended and asked Grier to call
him back and said he included in the
message that he was free the rest of
the night and the following day.
“I’ve not heard from him,” Cole said
on Friday, Sept. 15.
When the Rhino Times spoke with
Grier, he said he was going to call
Cole back and discuss the matter.
When asked about why the
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