RCACP volunteers calling for the executive director's resignation

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ROANOKE (WSLS10) - Volunteers at the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection are calling for the pound's executive director to resign. This follows a temporary shutdown of the volunteer program last weekend.

"We as volunteers are asking for change," said Delores Joiner, a RCACP volunteer.

Thursday night at the regional animal shelter's executive board meeting, volunteers heated over the volunteer program shutdown and what they call "unnecessary" euthanization among other issues, are now calling for David Flagler's resignation.

"People that met the other day [at the board meeting], they're the ones that decide if I'm the right person for this position," said Flagler. "If I'm not the right person then it's in the best interest to find somebody who will better serve the community."

Now, Flagler is in the hot seat. The board made a motion for an internal investigation to look at euthanasia decision making practices at the pound.

About three years ago, a similar situation arose where animals were being more commonly euthanized. Flagler said, then, it was because of overcrowding. Now, Flagler said animals are euthanized when they show aggressive behavior.

"One of the speakers [at the board meeting] spoke of 15 animals and named all of them," said Volunteer Sandy Rodabough. "All 15 were named as aggressive dogs, but now they're all adopted."

Flagler said the shelter's euthanasia rate has improved from several years ago. Now, about 10-percent of all dogs and about 30-percent of cats at the pound are euthanized.

Despite the good work, volunteers said the list of issues go on.  Volunteers say the pound does not have a full time veterinarian or foster program. Some say they feel under appreciated.

"He is taking credit for the work that the volunteers have done," said Joiner. "We are the ones who contact rescues, we are the ones that get the animals released."

The executive board says the 30-day investigation will start Monday.