Brandy Adkins of Scott Depot plays with Dixie and Rube, Walker Coonhounds who are mother and son. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
By Betsy and Ron Allen
The Putnam County Animal Shelter is filled with dogs and cats needing new homes. Due to the downturn in the economy, many people have been forced to surrender their pets because of financial reasons. As of right now, there are over forty dogs and thirty cats and kittens in the shelter.
Last year, there was a greater number of cats in the shelter at this time of year, but this year, the dog population is up. Many of these pets have been there for months. While the Putnam County Animal Shelter is a kill shelter, many times animals are not euthanized unless space to house them becomes limited. Finding these cats and dogs permanent homes is a critical matter.
Around six to eight loyal volunteers dedicate several hours a day to work and play with the animals. They try to make sure that each dog has time to exercise and socialize with both people and other dogs. There is a mile-long trail behind the shelter, and many volunteers enjoy taking the dogs on walks through the woods. “It is very therapeutic,” says Brandy Adkins of Scott Depot, a volunteer. Many of the dogs are leash trained and enjoy going on walks.
Charlotte McClanahan, owner of Alpha and Omega Dog Training, comes by several times a week to work with the dogs.
In addition to the regular volunteers, high school students often come to the shelter to get credit for community service projects.
While many of the dogs in the shelter are mixed breeds, there are also purebred dogs. Purebreds in the shelter right now include Walker Coonhounds, pit bulls, and a husky. The majority of dogs that are surrendered to the shelter are unneutered males. Little dogs usually get adopted faster than the larger ones.
To encourage adoption and make the process more affordable, businesses can sponsor an animal. The cost for sponsorship is $40 for a dog and $35 for a cat. When an animal is sponsored, customers can adopt it for free. Customers have to pay a deposit if the animal is not spayed or neutered, but this deposit will be returned when the customer gives the shelter proof that the animal has been sterilized.
The Putnam County Animal Shelter is located at 12908 Charleston Road in Red House.