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SHELTER TOUR: Leadership Pike program visits Animal Shelter

Leadership Pike toured the Pike Animal Shelter Wednesday to learn more about the shelter and the work it does.

Jacob Fannin of the City of Troy, who has stepped in to direct the facility, and Jigkinya Majors, day manager, showed the group around the facility, explaining the work and the daily challenges of running the shelter.

“Many people don’t understand how full we are,” Fannin told the group. “We can’t take sick or injured pets if we can’t take care of them with an in-house vet; that’s just the reality unfortunately.”

Fannin explained that Pike County, like many areas across the U.S., has more stray dogs and cats than a shelter can handle due to a lack of spaying and neutering by pet owners.

However, the animal shelter does everything it can to avoid euthanizing animals, holding dogs for up to 120 days before they are forced to take action.

“We work with rescue projects and do everything we can to keep that from happening,” Fannin said. “It’s not a common occurrence, but it does happen. When a dog is getting close to it’s time, we put it out there on social media and try to bring someone to come adopt it so we don’t have to do that.”

Some other shelters in larger cities such as Mobile have to euthanize animals much more routinely. Mobile’s shelter euthanizes about 15 dogs every three days, Fannin said.

Part of the problem is that overcrowding the facility or bringing in sick animals can create an unhealthy environment for the animals, Fannin said, so the shelter has to be careful about how it manages intakes.

The best things people can do to help the animals at the shelter are adopting and fostering the pets, Fannin said. The shelter is also in constant need of supplies and volunteers. And all pet owners should make sure to spay and neuter pets to help curb the problem of stray animals.

Fannin told the group about the shelter’s many programs, including the popular rent-a-dog program that allows people to pick up a dog for free and return them before the shelter closes each day, giving the dogs a chance to get socialized and out of the kennel for a day.

Another new program that the shelter is providing is sponsored kennel runs.

“We’re offering a sponsorship of all 18 of our kennel runs to businesses or individuals,” Fannin said. “The sponsorship is $400 a year and ensures that at least four dogs are adopted out of that kennel run each year.”

With 18 kennel runs, that’s 72 dogs that are ensured veterinary care and a new home if all are sponsored.

Fannin said the kennels can be sponsored by businesses or even in memory of a loved one.

Items on the supplies wish list include:

• Clorox

• Dawn dish detergent

• SOS pads

• Lysol spray

• Laundry detergent

• Paper towels

• Latex gloves

• Purina Dog Chow

• Purina Puppy Food

• Purina Chicken and Rice Dog Food

• Collars

• Leashes

• Blankets

• Old towels, sheets and rags

• Toys

• Food and water bowls