POMEROY — This past February, the Meigs County Commissioners opened the New Meigs County Canine Adoption and Rescue Center, a 2,400-square-foot building located at 33133 Hiland Road in Pomeroy.
This building replaced the old shelter at the Meigs County Fairgrounds.
The construction of the building coincides with the Sterilize and Vaccinate Everyone program that began in late fall 2015. This month, the Meigs County Humane Society received a $5,000 grant from the Petco Foundation for SAVE, which will benefit the dogs and puppies adopted from the new facility.
According to Dixie Circle Sayre, president of the MCHS, “The teamwork between the MCHS and the county commissioners demonstrates the commitment of both entities to the welfare and well-being of the dogs in this county.”
She explained that SAVE was launched because not all new owners offered a half-off sterilization voucher for a newly adopted pet would follow up in time and too often pets were allowed to breed.
“The dog warden, assistant dog warden, humane agent, and members of the MCHS all found this extremely frustrating, for we certainly do not need additional dogs and puppies in this county,” she said.
Vicky Baer, coordinator of SAVE, as well the MCHS spay/neuter project, noted that, “SAVE ensures that every dog adopted from the shelter by an individual residing in Meigs County is sterilized and vaccinated before the dog leaves the dog shelter. Once the potential owner visits the shelter and selects a dog or puppy, the adopter pays the adoption fee.”
“The dog warden or assistant dog warden takes the dog to the vet to be sterilized, and the new owner picks up the now-sterilized dog,” Baer said. “If a puppy younger than six months is adopted, then the adopter still pays for sterilization, and shelter personnel check back with the owner when the puppy is of age to make sure the puppy is sterilized.”
Baer noted that since September 2015, MCHS has paid one-half the cost on 90 surgeries for dogs adopted from the shelter.
“This most welcome Petco grant will take some of the burden off the MCHS so that we can assist owners with sterilization costs of their cats and dogs at home as well as help owners who need help with veterinary bills,” she said.
Baer explained that MCHS, which has no shelter of its own, has been working in partnership with shelter personnel for several years, offering half-off spay/neuter vouchers to new owners, providing equipment and training, as well as physical upgrades, and paying for at least three dogs each month brought to the shelter and are in need of veterinary care before adoption.
“These last years working with the county commissioners, who also recognized the need for a new, up-to-date county facility for dogs, has borne fruit at last, and we are delighted with the results,” she said. “It has been a productive, pleasurable experience working with the commissioners, and we are so very grateful for this Adoption and Rescue Center.”
Sayre noted the Adoption and Rescue Center is “a far more welcoming temporary home for dogs, one that county citizens can be proud of, ” and emphasized that a separate room for puppies is particularly important so that the often-debilitated puppies and mothers are not exposed to diseases brought in by other dogs and are not disturbed by the noise of neighboring dogs.
She added that the county paid for the shelter through county funds, and the MCHS members provided input and supplied some new equipment — 24 masonry kennels and doors providing privacy for the often frightened dogs housed in the facility. The MCHS also paid for the Cage Bank for the puppy room. Anonymous donors contacted MCHS to offer funds earmarked for the shelter. MCHS’s contribution for the new facility came to $16,093.
Residents seeking assistance from the MCHS for their animals must show proof of low income, such as a food stamp or Medicaid card, Social Security Disability, or unemployment verification at the Meigs County Humane Society Thrift Shoppe at 253 N. Second Ave., Middleport, or they can call 740-992-6064.
Occasionally, the MCHS will also supply dog houses and raised dog beds to needy owners. MCHS, in conjunction with the county, employs a part-time humane agent who addresses all concerns about cruelty, abuse and neglect. Those calls should go to 740-992-6060.
The Thrift Shoppe also serves as a clearinghouse for animal welfare issues in the county.