By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
People who have dogs and cats they either find or cannot keep are being asked to call the Mercer County Animal Shelter ahead of time to make sure there is space for them.
As of Monday, the shelter had 160 dogs and cats, about 10 animals above its usual limit, said Director Lisa Williams.
“That’s comfortable. When it gets above 150, that’s kind of pushing it,” she said Tuesday.
There have been cases when the shelter has had to turn away dogs and cats. In those instances, the shelter’s personnel try to see if there is space available at another facility or put the people with animals on a waiting list.
“What we’re doing is this — we are not accepting them if we don’t have space. If we don’t have space, we’re taking their names and putting them on a list, and as we have space, we’re calling them in. I can say the public has been really good. As we get space, we call them and they bring them (animals) in,” Williams said.
The shelter also has a new procedure for ensuring that adopted animals are spayed or neutered. Dogs and cats that are old enough for the procedures are spayed or neutered before they go to their new homes, Williams said. The cost is paid with the adoption fee.
In the past, the shelter would make a veterinarian appointment after a new owner adopted an animal, and that owner would be responsible for keeping the appointment; however, this did not always happen, Williams stated. The appointments, made two or more months after the adoption, were not always kept.
“Now we take them to the vet ourselves,” Williams said. “They come, pick out their animal, they pay their fee, and we make their vet appointment and then we take it and drop it off at the vet the next day. And they come pick it up.”
People who adopt puppies and kittens go on file, and the shelter’s personnel call them when it is time for the spaying or neutering.
“We try to get two or three phone numbers so we can track them down if they don’t show up,” Williams said.
Anyone who wants to bring a dog or cat to the animals shelter should call 304-425-2880 to make sure that space is available.
— Contact Greg Jordan at