Dogs, cats and books

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015

WINDSOR – Both Bertie County’s two-legged and four-legged residents are in good shape.

That’s according to a report to the county’s Board of Commissioners at their Nov. 2 meeting from both the Albemarle Regional Library and the county’s Humane Society.

Teresa Cole, Director of the Albemarle Regional Library System which serves Bertie, Hertford, Gates, and Northampton counties, gave a brief project update to the Board. She informed the Board of the positive, healthy statistics of the libraries in Bertie County regarding use and number of citizens served.

“I’ve seen a lot of opportunities that I think we can all work together on,” Cole said. “It’s a mutual endeavor because it’s your public library, it belongs to you; we just operate it for you because you receive state funding.”

Cole pointed out that citizens not only use the libraries for checking out books, but public computer access, and literacy programs, children’s story times, and job seeking help is also provided.

She said there will be a new program to give updated statistical information on the library’s use.

“It will allow us to know if we’re helping more people, or fewer people,” she explained. “Without that we can’t know if we’re doing effective work or not.”

On the county level, Cole discussed grants and donations that the Library Board has suggested using with the possibility of either renovating Windsor’s Lawrence Memorial Library or the addition of an entirely new library.

“It was felt after the second flood that you really needed a new library,” Cole said. “We’ve discussed maintaining the building, as per our agreement with the county. The existing money is nowhere what’s needed for a new library, but it can help maintain and repair the existing library; somewhere in the future, though, that may change.”

Lastly, Cole was excited to announce that due to some additional funding received on the state level, the various public library systems in the state would benefit as well. Bertie County will be receiving an additional $28,000.

“We can make this go a long way toward making this work for a lot of people,” Cole indicated. “Our Summer Reading Program is designed to help students not lose that reading skill they acquired during the school year.”

Commission chairman Ronald “Ron” Wesson said he hoped the new data would assist the Board in considerations for future funding.

Led by Commissioner John Trent, a member of the Library Board, the Commissioners commended Cole for her diligence and dedication to the libraries of Bertie County, but also requested that they consider assisting the Roxobel-Kelford Library in the West Bertie area.

Also appearing before the Commissioners was Dianne Cowand, President of the Bertie County Humane Society. Cowand provided the Board with a brief update regarding the latest programs and initiatives at the animal shelter, including the discounted spay and neuter program, and she encouraged all Bertie County citizens to consider utilizing their services even if they do not adopt a pet from the shelter. She also thanked the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office for the county’s two Animal Control Officers.

“They had 326 dogs brought in this year,” Cowand said. “And as far as I know we’ve only had three put down. We deal with rescues from Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia. We also have Freedom Rides for adoptions.”

She stated that importance of appropriate animal care regarding population growth as there are more animals than potential pet owners.

“Cats can have as many as three litters a year, where dogs usually only have two, so in six years that could be 67,000 dogs in the community.”

Lastly, Cowand thanked the Commissioners for their support, and asked for their continued support to keep the shelter as functional as possible.