It seems like every year around this time Warren County has a chronic problem.
I’m speaking of course about the overwhelming cat and dog populations at Warren County Animal Control.
If you haven’t been there recently, you might not realize the facility is full to the brim with animals needing homes. Puppies, kittens, full grown cats and dogs – they have animals from all stages of life and all of them are desperately seeking families.
More than that, they need attention. The staff at Animal Control are incredible workers and their hearts truly lie with the animals, but they’re limited in what they can do – they are only human, after all. When they have 100 animals all vying for their own individual needs, as they do now, it leaves the too-few employees struggling to meet each individual animal’s demand for enrichment. This results in animals “shutting down,” or sets the groundwork for bad behaviors from anxiety and lack of stimulation to take root. Would-be adopters then pass them up, leaving them to languish for months more.
That’s where volunteers come in.
Volunteers are able to walk the dogs, socialize the kittens and learn to care for the animals so that there can be more focused attention for each animal. Just a walk a day or some brief training can make a huge difference to a dog whose world is comprised of the concrete and wire kennel they’re kept in. Cats, too, benefit from frequent handling, which improves their odds of being adopted.
Donations of items and money are great and definitely have their place in helping Animal Control better care for the animals there – but time is invaluable and shouldn’t be diminished. There is no dollar amount that can be assigned to coaxing a shy cat or dog out of its shell so they can find their new home, nor can you place value on the joy of a dog getting one-on-one attention for the first time all day.
Foster homes are another resource Animal Control is sorely in need of as they allow the facility to make room for emergent cases without compromising space even further – with the added boon of “pre-socializing” animals in preparation for their new homes and families.
Those interested in helping the shelter with volunteer work can do so by first going to the County Administrative building (where you get your car tags) and requesting a volunteer form. The shelter is located at 169 Paws Trail, and they can be reached at 931-507-3647.
If you’re looking for a place to lend a helping hand, I implore you to consider Warren County Animal Control. It is a choice that could mean so much for the staff as well as the animals in their care.
Nikki Childers can be reached at (931) 473-2191