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Area residents and agencies joined together this week to help the Bedford County Animal Shelter and the animals housed there.
Work under way at the shelter could have potentially led to some animals having to be euthanized, had the animals not been adopted or taken in by other agencies this week. “That didn't happen. That's ancient history,” noted Scott Polinek, facilities manager for the shelter. “Everybody in the area has really stepped up to help us out.”
Some 38 dogs and puppies found new housing this weekend: some even got some new owners. On Saturday, the shelter held its first ever Furtastic Festival, a massive dog and cat adopt-a-thon, that also included numerous events and activities. Fourteen of the dogs found homes through that effort and then earlier this week the Campbell County Humane Society took more than 20 puppies. “We were able to exceed our expectations,” he said. “We have made space with those adoptions in case we get some overflow.”
The shelter is getting a new floor put down, to help make it easier to clean. Cat cages are also being replaced and the drain troughs are also getting covers. Polinek said he is also getting a price on what it would cost to get sides on the dog kennels, providing for less stress on the dogs and helping keep the runs clean.
Polinek said he was pleased with all of the agencies that came together to help out, which also included All-American Mutt Rescue, which took several of the dogs, and the Bedford Humane Society.
Saturday's events included the Riverside Clinic offering rabies shots for animals and a spay/neuter clinic. He said that combined effort works toward the goal of trying to get people to adopt animals from shelters and to spay or neuter their pets.
While work at the shelter is being completed, Polinek said steps have been taken to care for any new animals brought to the shelter. “We're anticipating overflow,” he said, adding that the hope is area residents will continue to help out. Portable kennels and some small dog houses have been supplied by the Bedford Humane Society. “Hopefully we can get our renovations done and keep adopting animals,” he added. “We've made space with the adoptions in case we get some overflow.”
Work at the shelter is expected to take two weeks.
Polinek said he was pleased with the first Furtastic Festival and expects the next one to be even better.
While there is no charge for adopting a shelter animal, adopters must obtain rabies vaccine for their new pets and county tags, and will need to spay or neuter the pet within 30 days if they are not already fixed.
Polinek advises potential adopters to think carefully before choosing a dog. “It’s a commitment for 10-plus years. The dog needs proper attention and different breeds have different personalities. It is the duty of the people to feed the dog properly and to socialize with it.”
His ultimate goal is to “maximize our ability to adopt animals,” he says.
The shelter’s Web site is also being upgraded to feature more pets. In the future, he hopes to develop links so that people can register as volunteers or make donations.
Additionally, he wants to create a tracking system to determine if adopters have completed their requirements. He’s also talking to area trainers to see if the shelter can offer periodic dog obedience sessions.