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County shelter gets $15,000 donation

Dogs that are abandoned out in the county don’t have much of a chance.

There is no animal shelter to house them so they are taken to a local veterinarian, kept a specified time and, if not adopted, they are euthanized.

That’s why the Humane Society of Pike County is working so diligently to raise funds to renovate the facilities that the organization received through the Delores Hutter bequest for use as an animal shelter and refuge.

And, state Sen. Wendell Mitchell said that is also the reason that he has been and continues to be a strong supporter of the efforts of the Humane Society of Pike County.

Mitchell was in Pike County Tuesday morning to present a check in the amount of $15,000 to the animal protection society.

“I’m proud to be a small part of the efforts of the Humane Society of Pike County to turn this wonderful property donation into an animal shelter that will be a safe place for little ones that can’t help themselves,” Mitchell said. “This is the second opportunity that I’ve had to be a part of their efforts and that’s very meaningful to me.”

Harry Sanders, county administrator, said the proposed animal shelter would mean the difference between living and dying for many abused and abandoned animals.

“Right now, there’s not a shelter for the dogs that are picked up out in the county,” he said. “This shelter will have an impact on what the county is doing for animals. It will mean the difference in life and death for many of them.”

Hutter’s bequest was made to the Humane Society of the United States and the national organization donated 12.5 acres that included a caretaker’s house, two barns and several outbuildings to the Humane Society of Pike County to be used as a shelter/refuge for abandoned and abused animals.

“What’s so incredible about the donation is that the 60 surrounding acres belong to the Humane Society of the United States and have been designated as a wildlife refuge,” said Susan Jinright, society treasurer. “That means that the shelter will always be located in a beautiful, wooded area and there will be a large outside area for the animals to exercise. It’s an ideal place for an animal shelter.”

The property is located in Pike County District 4 and Commissioner Ray Goodson said the shelter will benefit the entire county.

“The property is just below Brundidge and it’s easy to find,” Goodson said. “A shelter is needed and it will be a great thing for all Pike County.”

Jinright expressed appreciation to Mitchell for his longtime support of the Humane Society of Pike County and said that the funds that he has secured for the society will go a long way toward the renovations to the barn that will shelter abused and abandoned animals.

Funds from the Bass Trust, Wal-Mart grant and the Hope Gano bequest have been placed in a CD designated for the shelter.

“We are also one of the agencies that receives funding from the Pike County Commission and we are very appreciative of the commission’s support,” Jinright said. “Those funds are used for our spay and neuter program, feral cat program and in-school educational programs.”