The Athens County Dog Shelter has become a popular place lately. Popular for dogs, that is. And, although the number of dogs brought into the shelter increased, the shelter continues rescuing as many dogs as it can. However, the dog shelter has other duties than to just rescue dogs.
The dog shelter shelters animals that either the staff finds or people in the community find. These animals could be the beloved pet of someone or a stray.
Once a dog is brought into the shelter, it is processed by the Dog Warden, Jeff Koons, and then one of two things will happen depending on whether or not the dog has a tag.
“Any dog without tags, we hold [them] for three days. The first day, we don’t count. We bring it in and three days after that, they are available the fifth day,“ said Koons.
If the dog does have a tag, however, the process is a little different.
”Any dog with a tag, a dog tag in the state of Ohio, we hold for 14 days. Contacting their owners either by phone or letter. After those 14 days are up, if they don’t come and claim it. We put it up for adoption.”
When a dog isn’t claimed, the Athens County Dog Shelter’s second duty comes into play. It goes from rescue shelter to adoption agency.
“We always tell people it’s like buying a car,” said Koons, in terms of adopting a dog. “You have to make sure it’s the one you want.”
And, to ensure that it is the dog someone might want, the dog shelter has an adoption room for people to play with dogs and get to know them. Koons said they also allow people to bring in any pets they already have at home. That way, owners can make sure that their new dog will get along with any other pet(s) at home.
The same idea also applies to children or other family members. The shelter encourages all family members to come in and interact with dogs just to make sure everyone is comfortable with it.
After a customer is sure that they’ve picked the right dog, the adoption paperwork is filled out and the dog is free to go to its new home.
As far as the number of dogs adopted goes diversely, every day is different for the shelter.
“Well, yesterday we adopted nine. Just any day is you know, there is not a normal day. But, we try to average about three a day over a month’s time,” Koons said.
If a dog lover wants to spend time with the dogs but not adopt them, they can become a volunteer. Volunteers can help out with caring for, exercising, and playing with the dogs.
Another volunteer opportunity that’s not quite as hands-on, is just to donate basic pet supplies. The shelter can always use adult dog and puppy food, cleaning products, collars and leashes, towels, and first aid items.
The dog shelter is open Monday through Saturday, advising volunteers or anyone looking to claim their dog, adopt a dog.