Humane Society filled with cats and dogsRoscoe has a new home. The 2-year-old corgi mix became the companion of Paul Orner Thursday night at the James River Humane Society. Roscoe had been a resident of the shelter since October when he was found along a highway near Edgeley.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Roscoe has a new home.
The 2-year-old corgi mix became the companion of Paul Orner Thursday night at the James River Humane Society. Roscoe had been a resident of the shelter since October when he was found along a highway near Edgeley.
“My last dog was about 20 years ago and he died of old age,” Orner said. “I’ve been in apartments where I couldn’t have a pet but now I’m where they allow a pet with a doctor’s order. My doctor wrote a letter saying I should have a pet to help with my depression.”
But Orner looks at the companionship of a dog as a two-way street.
“The dog can keep me company and I can keep him company,” he said.
Anyone looking to adopt an animal from the Humane Society is required to fill out an application and go through a screening process, said Kris Meidinger, dog manager. There is also a $100 adoption fee that covers the altering or neutering of the animal and current vaccinations.
And the Humane Society is literally full of animals waiting to be adopted. Even before Roscoe was out of the building another dog was brought into the shelter keeping all 12 pens full, said Skip Olson, Humane Society president and volunteer.
Cats are also in ample supply for those who are interested in adopting.
“We’ve got 36 cats,” said Sheila Marsalek, cat manager at the Humane Society. “That’s way more than normal and more than the 25 we have room for.”
Marsalek said many of the cats were dropped off at the Humane Society as kittens this fall.
“We’ve had 16 kittens and two mother cats dropped off since Oct. 17,” she said. “And adoptions have been slow. We only had three adoptions during November.”
Many of the kittens are at least partially black giving the Humane Society cat rooms a Halloween look in December.
“About 14 black or black and white cats,” Marsalek said. “It is unfortunate, they are hard to give away.”
Olson said calico and Persian cats are easier to find homes for.
“Solid blacks are tough,” she said. “People prefer a little color.”
Along with good homes for the pets in their care the staff of the Humane Society is also looking for supplies.
“Cash is good,” Meidinger said. “But we can also use almost any kind of donated pet supply. We need chew bones for the dogs, we need bleach or anything else people use to clean, we need people’s rejected rugs and towels.”
Even with many donated items the Humane Society has a $90,000 per year budget, Olson said.
“We get a lot of generous donations from the business and private community,” she said. “And we hold a whole lot of grill outs and bake sales. We average between two and three fundraising events every month.”
The Humane Society will also be fundraising for a new construction project.
“We’ve been given a donation for the start of a building,” Olson said. “We are looking to put up a building to be used for winter exercise for the dogs and possibly for an isolation area.”
Olson said currently dogs are only out of their small indoor pens about four hours per day. If they had an indoor exercise area for the dogs they could spend more time out of their kennels during the winter.
“We’re looking at a building about 36 feet wide by 40 or 50 feet long,” she said. “It wouldn’t allow us to house more animals, just provide better care.”
The Humane Society is currently trying to get enough petition signatures to place a half mill county property tax for the Humane Society on the June primary election ballot.
“We need to collect 1,200 signatures to but it on the ballot,” Olson said. “It would raise about $12,000 per year for us and would cost $2.25 in taxes on a $100,000 home.”
Olson said a similar measure was tried about 15 years ago and failed by about 1 percent.
The care provided for the dogs and the fundraising efforts require a lot of volunteers. Olson said the organization has one part-time worker who handles morning chores at the shelter. All other efforts are volunteer.
We have six families who do volunteer chores with the dogs,” Meidinger said. “And there are about 17 people who volunteer with the cats each week. It usually takes about two hours for evening chores every night.”
Along with money and supplies, the volunteers at the Humane Society have one other request.
“We want people to be responsible,” Olson said. “Have your pet spayed or neutered so there aren’t so many animals in need of homes.”
The James River Humane Society is a no-kill shelter meaning animals brought in to the shelter stay there until they are adopted. Lists and photos of the animals available can be seen at www. petfinder.com
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org