05/11/05 — Shelter’s gloom: Animals’ surroundings don’t facilitate adoptions

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Shelter’s gloom: Animals’ surroundings don’t facilitate adoptions

The pictures tell the story — damp and musty conditions, crowding and cracked concrete.

The Wayne County Animal Shelter is definitely not one of this county’s showplaces, and those who are calling for its replacement are right on target.

There are some who say there are more important places to put the county’s tax dollars right now. And, although they might be right, the situation at the shelter must be considered among the county’s top priorities in the coming years. Even if this is not the year to come up with a real solution, it is definitely time to start exploring options.

There are many reasons why this county should push forward on plans for a new shelter, but the most important is that keeping animals in this sort of situation means they almost assuredly will not get the exposure they need to get adopted. Few families or individuals will brave the depressing and gloomy conditions at the shelter to go look for a new family pet, and even if they did, it would be hard for them to imagine a dog from that environment in their home.

Local humane societies do the best they can to rehabilitate these animals and to get them out of the shelter conditions, but there are a limited number of volunteers willing to foster dogs and cats while they wait for homes.

The animal control workers also work hard to try to place their charges. They try to keep the animals healthy in what can only be considered the poorest of conditions.

So that means there will be hundreds of animals each year who will be euthanized without a real chance at a life with a family.

Some of the best pets in the world come from animal shelters — some in even more disrepair than Wayne County’s facility. If you are looking for a new pet, you probably won’t find a better or more loyal friend than a rescued dog or cat.

So, until Wayne County officials come up with a plan, residents might have to ignore the conditions and the smell at the shelter, and think about the life their family might be saving.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before the problem is solved.

Published in Editorials on May 11, 2005 11:05 AM