Overcrowded shelter

The quarters are getting a bit cramped for animals at the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley’s shelter on Mount Tom Road, which has prompted shelter manager Steve Herron to encourage more animal adoptions and foster care.

“We currently have close to 50 dogs at the shelter, which is getting overcrowded, so we’re offering a discount for adoptions,” he said. “And we’re always looking for good foster homes where dogs or cats can go to make room for other animals at the shelter. The total number of animals at the shelter and in foster care is currently around 100.”

The number of animals at the shelter balloons during the spring and summer as people are outdoors more often and stray dogs and cats are more visible.

Herron said the shelter maintains contact with 42 animal rescue groups that often help take the burden off of the local shelter by finding folks who want to adopt a pet or provide a temporary foster home.

“But right now, during the warmer months, the rescue groups don’t have as many foster homes or people willing to adopt because so many people are busy during the summer,” he said. “So those rescue groups get more animals than they can handle, too.”

Herron said the rescues haven’t stopped completely, but there are fewer taking shelter animals at this time.

Shelter tech Ted Laskowski said both puppies and adult dogs are available for adoption or foster care.

“But there are more adult dogs than pups,” he said. “We’re close to capacity and are using floor cages to make room for all the dogs that come in.”

Herron said the regular price to adopt a dog runs around $125, but through the end of this month the cost is $60 for dogs at the shelter that are spayed or neutered. If the animal has not been spayed or neutered, the cost is $90, but that includes a certificate to help with those costs.

“Cats can be adopted for $5 if they’re spayed and neutered,” he said. “If not the cost is $20, but that entire amount is basically refunded through a certificate to get the animal fixed.”

The local shelter loses money by offering discounts, but Herron said it’s a way to save animals from having to be euthanized.

“It’s very rare that we have to put a dog down, unless the animal is dangerous or very sick,” he said, noting that many locals have been good about adopting dogs or providing foster homes.

Herron added that those who cannot adopt or foster an animal may want to sponsor an adoption by providing the funds for someone else to adopt a dog or cat.