Serving the hairiest among us – Winchester Sun

When Best Friends Animal Society ranked Kentucky as, sadly, the no. 10th state in the United States for deaths in pet shelters, it may have sent shivers down the spine of animal lovers across the Commonwealth.

However, Clark County Animal Shelter seeks to continue to make a positive name for itself throughout the community and to be an exception to this rule by serving Clark County’s furriest residents.

“We accept any Clark County or Winchester pet, whether stray or abandoned by its owner,” said Clark County Animal Shelter manager Addie Wills. “We welcome an unlimited number of animals. That’s what an open-admission shelter does.

Right now, that equates to nearly 40 dogs and nearly 100 cats.

The animal shelter – which is funded by the county – has a staff of four full-time workers, as well as a host of volunteers.

Staff and volunteers perform a number of duties ranging from animal care at the shelter to animal control services available 24/7 to ensure the safety of the area’s animal population.

It can be a rewarding experience.

“The best part of the job will always be the success stories, Wills said. “When we see an animal arrive that we know needs more than some others… Then we see it go through that process of healing and coming home, those are always our favorite stories.”

However, as with any position, there can also be difficult times.

Although euthanasia is extremely rare, it may be necessary if factors such as very bad medical conditions are at play, and dealing with animals in avoidable scenarios can be emotionally inconvenient.

“I would say the hardest part is the avoidable situations that we see,” Wills said. “We try to help people find affordable pet care in situations where their pets are in need.”

To address these issues, learning materials are readily available locally, for example on the organization’s website, www.clarkshelter.org.

For adoptees, an interactive Home to Home program allows people to list pets locally so that those wishing to adopt can observe the animal before bringing it to the shelter.

“We always encourage people to do some research before handing over the animal,” Wells said.

Additionally, and not least, a low-cost neutering and neutering clinic and a vaccination clinic are available.

“I strongly believe that the only way to keep more pets out of the shelter is to prevent them from occurring through accidental litters,” Wells added. “I am a big supporter… And [we] want people to know they are available.

The shelter can be reached by phone at 859-737-0053.