Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter in need of volunteers

The Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter seeks volunteers while housing approximately eighty cats and one hundred dogs. The shelter just ended their cat season, in which an abundance of strays were given to the shelter. They were able to supply homes to seventy cats.

“In order for this to be a good shelter, you have to have volunteers,” Martha Cummings, volunteer of twenty years, said. “I hope the public will step up and come down and volunteer, it doesn’t have to be everyday, but even once or twice a month.”

The shelter does not put any animals down because of space, which creates an even higher demand for help.

In the past they were put down but now they are not, unless due to extreme illness,” Cummings said. “Six to seven years ago they were putting six thousand animals down a year, and nobody said a thing, and I want people to care now, I want them to take pride in their animal shelter.”

Former music professor at Marshall University, Linda Dobbs, said, “It’s contagious because you want to do what you can to help, and I had to set aside time once I quit teaching in order to take part in helping the animals. There is a desperate need for volunteers, all of us have lives, and folks like Courtney Cross and the nucleus of rescuers are looking for people to foster the animals, and volunteers through social media and fundraising.”

Courtney Cross, newly appointed director of the animal shelter, said she has always had a passion for animals and this job is like a dream.

Cross said volunteers are needed for all animals in the shelter all the time.

We need volunteers to walk dogs everyday, the shelter opens at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but if I’m here I’m more than happy to have people come walk dogs at anytime,” Cross said. “And the cats are completely on volunteer basis, and need help as well.”

Cross said to eliminate diseases and contamination the shelter has created a procedure that all volunteers must abide by and practice.

“We vaccinate every animal as soon as they come in,” Cross said. “And every volunteer will be trained at first on how handle the animals, on a procedure that we are following to eliminate illness in the shelter and to cut down on any contamination. At the shelter we want to protect them from bad things happening to them, and give them shelter, and help them be adopted to a loving home or sent to rescues, while having their vetting completed. And help lost animals be reunited with their family.”

Cross said the shelter hopes to raise money to improve conditions and hire employees to help the animals.

Our humane organization we formed in order to be able to help the shelter is WWVARA, which is in the process of raising more money, to hire a kennel tech and eventually hire someone to be a kennel worker for the cats,” Cross said. “My goal is to have a medical director and vet tech, who will weight the animals on intake and vaccinate them so the office worker doesn’t have to do that and enter the data into our system.”

Currently, the shelter is working on a new program with the animals: a new life in New England, where they take seven dogs from the shelter to the northeast where they will be adopted. The two main rescue groups that work with shelter are Advocates Saving Adoptable Pets and One by One, which raise money to help take care of a lot of the vetting and medical needs and help connect these animals to rescue and new homes through adoption events.

Volunteers may contact Courtney Cross at 304-544-5891, or can register at the Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter.

“Animals mean love and the fact that they love you and we can love them, and they need us means we need to step up and speak for them, because they can’t speak for themselves,” Cummings said.

Lillie Bodie can be contacted at [email protected].