By Jeff Gilliland – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Highland County Humane Society Animal Shelter is out of space, and at least one board member is calling on the community to help.
“Many mornings at the Highland County Animal Shelter as the staff arrives for the work day, there are boxes of kittens, puppies or dogs tied on the gate. I understand your frustration, your anger that your cat/dog is full of babies and you already have 10 animals,” Humane Society board member Sue Smith said in an email to The Times-Gazette. “I totally understand your problem and the HCHS is an animal shelter. At this time, we are full! There is no more room at the inn! Our facility is small and we have cat cages filled with unwanted kittens and runs full of dogs and puppies. We love them all, but cannot take any more.
“Your best bet is to have the males neutered. They are the cheapest to have done. Of course, if you can have the ‘momma’ spayed that will ensure your problem is over. The people of Highland County are the best and I am sure you understand our frustration as we are a no-kill shelter.”
In an effort to help the alleviate the problem, Ventura Feed Supply Store, 402 N. West St., Hillsboro, will host a Humane Society pet adoption event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
Smith said there will be dogs, puppies, cats and kittens that can be adopted on-site at the event. She said there will also be a photo board of other animals at the shelter that can be adopted, plus games, a bake sale and more. The cost will be $60 for female dogs, $50 for male dogs and $10 for cats. All animals will be dewormed, have their shots and will be spayed or neutered, if they’re old enough. If they’re not old enough, Smith said spay/neuter vouchers will be available.
Starting in January, Smith said there will be an “I can” truck that will visit the Highland County North Joint Fire and Ambulance District in Leesburg regularly to spay or neuter animals. She also said the Humane Society has a “pet pantry” at Samaritan Outreach in Hillsboro where people can obtain pet food.
Smith said the shelter currently has 15 to 20 cats. She said it has 18 “dog runs,” but 28 to 30 dogs currently. She said one run has a mother and four puppies, another run has four puppies that are four to six months old, and another run has two German shepherds.
If the shelter has no space for new dogs it receives, it works with dog rescues organizations and also contacts local veterinarians, Smith said.
“I don’t think people understand,” Smith said. “They think that because we’re a no-kill shelter we should be able to take all these animals. We wish we could take them all, but we can’t. We just don’t have the space right now.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.