What is involved in keeping a no-kill shelter-based rescue going? (How many adoptable dogs are in your program? Where do your dogs come from?)
Running our adoptable, no-kill shelter-based rescue is done through the collaborative effort of our board, employees, volunteers and community. Relationships are vital to the success of any shelter-based group; we are successful because we partner with other rescue groups, participate in the "Cell Dog" program at 3 prisons in our state, and constantly strive to have healthy relationships with local businesses and other non-profits. Rescue is successful only when everyone comes together to achieve our mission.
Last year we did over 2,100 adoptions (both dogs and cats) and so far this year (through April) we've taken in 337 dogs; 232 have been adopted through our shelter and 55 have been adopted through the efforts of other rescue groups.
What are some of the things your group is known for?
As the only adoptable, no-kill facility in our county and surrounding area we are known for that and continue to educate our community on what "adoptable, no-kill" means. We have a phenomenal veterinarian on staff, and she, along with her techs, provide excellent care to the animals that come into our Shelter. Dogs that once may have had to be euthanized due to major health issues or injuries can now often be saved and ultimately adopted to forever homes.
Describe some of the more challenging moments in rescue and how you/the other volunteers got through it.
Some of the most challenging moments for our employees and volunteers is when we take in animals who have been victims of physical abuse and/or come from a hoarding case. We partner with our local humane officer and dog warden to often provide housing and rehabilitation for these dogs. Hoarding cases have proven to be so difficult, yet so rewarding at the same time. We have one volunteer, Gloria, who has made it her mission to work especially with these dogs, even taking them home to foster for periods of time. I am sure she would tell you that it's difficult and often heartbreaking work, but watching the transformation of these dogs is truly remarkable. Without her, and others like her, many of these dogs would be sad statistics rather than happy endings.
I would highly encourage anyone who is thinking of getting involved at their local shelter or rescue group to do it! The most common reasons or excuses that I hear from people is that it’s too hard to be around the animals in the Shelter, that it’s sad, they’ll want to bring them all home, etc. I’ve heard every excuse….and even used them myself in the past. After 10 years of involvement personally, I can say that all of those are reason TO volunteer. Once you spend some time, especially at a facility as wonderful as ours, you’ll see that it’s not a sad place, but a place of hope and healing for so many animals and that there are far more happy endings than sad ones. And without volunteers, Shelter’s like ours wouldn’t have near the success that they do.
As a private, non-profit organization, the Animal Shelter Society exists to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of homeless animals in Muskingum County through the dedicated efforts of employees and volunteers and the generous support of our caring community.
We will strive to accomplish our Mission by focusing our efforts on:
- The efficient and effective adoption of homeless animals to responsible owners;
- The diligent promotion of spay and neuter to curb the population of unwanted animals;
- The recruitment and training of knowledgeable staff, dedicated volunteers and community supporters;
- The continuous public education programs on the prevention of cruelty to animals;
- The prudent stewardship of the Shelter's tangible and intangible assets