ST. PAULS — And then there was one.
His name is Knox.
At the Robeson County Animal Shelter, located at 255 Landfill Road in St. Pauls, he is referred to as a storm dog because he was rescued during Hurricane Matthew along with nearly 200 other animals. Knox is the last of the storm dogs and Oct. 15 will mark exactly one year he has been at the shelter.
Knox is German shepherd mix. At around 2 years old, he is an adult male dog with a light brown coat. Knox was rescued at a field near 311 Park St. in Lumberton.
The county is required by the state to hold stray cats and dogs at least three days before they are put down, but the local Health Department uses a five-day waiting period. Knox is still at the shelter because of a promise made to the Robeson County community that they would keep all animals rescued from the storm until they had a safe home to go to.
“Owners had a lot to be worried about. We didn’t want them worrying about their animals, too,” said Jason Allison, Animal Shelter manager and coordinator. “We did try to keep our word.”
During the two weeks after Hurricane Matthew devastated the area, the shelter was overwhelmed with an influx of animals. The shelter usually takes in only cats and dogs, but during the storm goats and even chickens were taken their for shelter. The shelter normally has 115 stationary pens to hold the animals. At least 50 makeshift pens had to be made in the days after Matthew.
“The fact that some families were displaced made it harder to retrieve the animals and some were strays,” Allison said.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and a Louisiana boat rescue organization assisted with most of the animal rescues. The county shelter served as the command center where all the animals were dropped off. The shelter was able to keep up with all the animals using a number identification system.
“Our shelter was sort of the base command during the storm. The ASPCA came in and they were a tremendous help,” Allison said.
After the storm, adoptions and reclaims started happening relatively fast, except for some animals, such as Knox.
Knox can be aggressive and doesn’t do well around children. But he’s good on a leash and will work well with adults. Knox is energetic and would enjoy living with someone who enjoys playing and exploring, as he does.
“He’s hyper. He’ll fetch a ball and everything,” said Isaac Chavis, a shelter staff member.
Adoption fees for storm dogs are waived. There are no charge or reclaim fees for owners. Knox has received his five-way vaccine and his rabies shot. The only requirement to adopt Knox is to ensure he is neutered after adoption.
The shelter hours are Mondays through Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. The Robeson County Animal Shelter participates in foster care and adoption programs. For more information on adopting Knox and putting him in a happy, safe environment, contact the shelter at 910-865-2200.
“He’s a great dog, and we just want to find a nice home for him,”Allison said.
Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at 910-416-5865.