03/09/06 — Site connects shelter with families who want new pet

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Site connects shelter with families who want new pet

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 9, 2006 1:51 PM

Looking for a new pet but don't want to brave the rows of heart-breaking faces at the Wayne County Animal Shelter?

Now, potential adoptive families only have to turn on their computers to find out about the animals available at the shelter.

Kim Wells, the shelter's secretary, has been providing animal information to a private group that places it on the county's Web site.

By going to www.waynegov.com, potential adoptive families can choose the "Departments" link. Clicking on the "Animal Control" link leads them to the pet search option.

Providing information to the public has helped the shelter find homes for animals that would otherwise have been euthanized, Chief Animal Control Officer Jerry Pate said.

The internet option allows the shelter to avoid the problem of families who would adopt a pet, but choose not to come to the shelter because of the conditions there.

With a new shelter, Pate said more people would be willing to visit and adopt animals. There also are many programs that could be implemented at a new animal shelter to increase the amount of adoptions.

Goldsboro resident Melanie Ladd, who is also a member of Concerned Citizens of Wayne County, said a new shelter would have an adoption room where a person or a family could interact with an animal before making the decision to adopt.

Also, some of the animals brought into the current shelter are injured. Another Concerned Citizen of Wayne County member, Barrett Parker, said injured animals would have a better chance at being adopted if a treatment room were included in the new shelter plans.

Educating the public is also an important part of adoption and controlling the animal population in the county, Mrs. Ladd said.

"There needs to be a lot of educating. Things like, what a person needs to do when they lose an animal or how not to lose an animal. Spaying and neutering animals is also very important," she said.

A rotation among the county's veterinarians to spay and neuter adoptable animals would help the animals, animal control officers and the public, Ms. Parker said.

One of the most important goals for Concerned Citizens of Wayne County is to get animals out of the shelter and into homes with loving families. That is why Mrs. Ladd has taken it upon herself to do everything in her power to inform the public about the animals that are waiting to be adopted at the shelter.

In the coming months, Mrs. Ladd said she is hoping to expand the adoption program to Petfinder.com. She has already submitted a proposal to county officials to allow animals to be posted on the Web site, which would include pictures and the animal's age, breed and sex.

She said this would give the latest information to animal rescue organizations and Wayne County residents about the cats and dogs at the shelter.

"You can access a list of the animals at the shelter through the county's Web site. There aren't any photos, but it sometimes has the animal's age and other information. Petfinder.com would take it a step further by including the pet's history, the shelter's policies and the animal's age, breed and other information," Mrs. Ladd said.