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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Shelter still in need

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On behalf of the Clay County Humane Society, I would like to extend my sincerest heartfelt gratitude and thank you to everyone in our community for their overwhelming response and unrivaled generous support to the shelter during our recent devastating crisis.

The orphans at the shelter are safe and out of danger because of the caring people in this community. It was you who made it possible. I thank you.

I would also like to say a special thank you to Schurrick Heating and Cooling for donating all the time and labor installing our new pumps. What a wonderful gift.

The excellent service and financial savings they provided us was a true blessing and we can never thank you enough.

The pumps are in and working great and with the funds we saved from labor costs, we were able to purchase a new security system and four new cameras.

With the summer months upon us, the number of pet orphans being brought to the shelter has risen tremendously.

Even though our adoption rate is higher the past couple of months than it has been throughout the past year, the high volume of pets brought in has quadrupled the norm. The facility is over capacity and we are having to put people on a waiting list before we can intake anymore pets or try to get our fosters to take in another orphan.

At current, we have, on any given day, approximately 80-plus dogs and 50-plus cats in-house. That is not including the fosters we have out or the dogs away in the training program.

We provide for the medical and basic needs of the orphans in long-term foster care.

Normally, we have only two or three staff members on hand each day to handle all areas of the shelter, which is quite difficult in itself. Cleaning kennels and feeding is a full days' job, on top of that, we have to handle customers, man the phone, go on runs, do medicals, transport to the vet's office, do laundry and dishes.

To better facilitate our duties and time, we will no longer be accepting pet intakes throughout the day. You'll need to call and make an appointment to bring pets in and we will be scheduling appointments from 4-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. In emergency cases, please contact the shelter manager.

With this high number of intakes, our resources have become depleted quickly and we are finding ourselves in need of many items, such as:

* Dog food/puppy food (currently, we are keeping about a week's supply on hand),

* Dog treats (about four or five small boxes on hand),

* Rawhide (none -- our dog's favorite, good for them and helps prevent stress and boredom. One rawhide three times a week equals 320 per week),

* Toys, especially stuffed animals, are always in need,

* Heart worm medication (80-100 doses per month used). Mosquitoes are the carrier of heartworms and we are having a serious problem with them, as well as flies, ticks and fleas. Heartworm positives has risen the past several months,

* Flea and tick medication -- advantage, K-9 advantix, frontline, revolution, program, etc. -- One treatment works for a month. (If you purchase for more than 100-pound dogs, we can use one application on two or three smaller dogs; more cost efficient. We have zero inventory),

* Equine fly spray,

* Cats are currently not in dire need of food for a few weeks,

* Scoopable cat litter is always needed,

* Dish soap (three large bottles per week),

* Bleach (seven to 10 gallons per week),

* Paper towels (three to 12 packs per week),

* Laundry soap (three large bottles per week),

* Fabric softener sheets (two boxes per week),

* Ziploc sandwich bags,

* Dog kennels/panels/gates to enlarge existing kennels and add more kennels,

* Fencing and posts, and

* Cables and chains and yard anchors to be able to rotate more dogs during cleaning.

Wish List

Anyone with an extra or old one of these items willing to donate or for sale cheap:

* Wagon (yard or kids) to haul water, food to outside kennels, exercise runs,

* Dishwasher,

* Industrial size washer and dryers -- like the extra large size at a laundry mat, hotel, school, etc., and

* Large industrial power washer (much needed).

Volunteers are desperately needed.

There are so many ways you can help. If you can spare just an hour or two a week, it would make a great impact on the enrichment of the lives of the orphans at the shelter. It is imperative to provide human companionship, interaction, and contact with dogs to maintain healthy human socialization skills, trust and proper behavior. It is equally important for dogs to have quality time with other dogs to help maintain their dog socialization skills and minimize depression, stress, and kennel aggression.

Our orphans rarely are given the opportunity to spend quality time outside of their kennels with humans or other dogs. Unfortunately, our staff doesn't have time.

Youth groups, 4-H, girl/boy scouts, church organizations, senior citizen groups or any group wanting to do a community outreach program: Please consider volunteering at the shelter. It will provide education, promote awareness and teach children compassion and proper care and responsibility of companion animals. Community service workers are always welcome.

Dog enrichment -- providing these stimuli will improve health, mental health and adoptability of orphans.

Dog walkers -- desperately needed (four volunteers, three hours a day, three days a week, preferably every day),

Reading program -- read to each dog inside his kennel for 10 minutes. (Four to six volunteers, one or two times weekly).

Playtime -- play with dogs in play pen, fetch, tug of war, Frisbee, etc. (Two volunteers, two to three times weekly).

Take dogs on an outing, to park, work on lunch hour, nursing home, outside market, etc.

Experienced volunteers can help teach basic commands and good leash etiquette to improve adoptability.

Other ways to help:

* Answer phones and take messages,

* Do laundry and dishes,

* Bathe and groom pets,

* Have a digital camera -- take pictures for website, transport and adoption flyers,

* Write pet biographies,

* Help plan a fundraising event, adoption event or food drive,

* Design adoption posters and place in local businesses,

* Help with a cleanup project,

* General cleaning -- clean bathrooms, mop floors, clean windows, dust, take out trash, clean break room, etc.,

* Green Thumb -- get starts of plants and do some landscaping, and

* Transport and pick up orphans at vet office.

Anyone wishing to volunteer, in any capacity, please contact Darlene Hayes at 812-986-2834 or e-mail at Darlene@ccrtc.com, to specify what job you are interested, what days you can work, the times available, how many hours and your contact information. On Facebook, join the group and visit my page Friends of Clay County Humane Society.

Most importantly, remember to adopt your next companion from the shelter. Do not buy from breeders or pet stores, as approximately 60 percent of them will eventually end up in a shelter.

We have so many amazing, loving orphaned pets just waiting for a family to love and cherish. Many who have spent a year or more on average, dreaming of the day someone like you will walk through the doors and see just how unique and special they are and walk them through those shelter doors for the last time. Come out and meet us.

Your input is always welcome so please feel free to use the contact information above to send suggestions or ideas on ways to improve our shelter or solve issues so that we may provide better care for our animals and serve our community more efficiently.

Again, I sincerely thank you all for your unwavering support and compassion for this organization and the companion animals sheltered here.

God bless you all.