By Hali Emmons, columnist – “Waggin’ Around the Valley”
2020. Need I say more? What a year for everyone, humans and animals alike. The pandemic’s effects could be felt through almost every business, workplace, home, and everyday life, including us here at the Page County Animal Shelter.
We were closed to the public for nearly 90 days between the start of 2020 to now. While we were closed, our staff worked tirelessly to care for our animals, contact rescues for help placing them, and clean our whole facility top to bottom. Being closed hindered our small community from adopting, but gratefully we have many contacts for rescues up and down the East Coast who helped many of our animals get placed into wonderful homes.
Last year, we had 625 dogs and cats come through our shelter. That doesn’t sound like a lot to some people, but trust us, with our small facility, it can be overwhelming at times.
For 2020, we had a 94 percent save rate! This number is how many animals we were able to adopt or move out to a rescue. This is a HUGE success for our shelter. As of just 2013, our save rate was only 43 percent.
With the help of local animal organizations, rescues across the nation, and community volunteers, we have changed the lives of generations of animals here in Page County. We could not achieve any of this success without the help of local organizations like the Page SPCA, Page Paws, and Cat’s Cradle that help decrease the homeless animal population.
TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) programs established by Page Paws and assisted by Cat’s Cradle have dramatically reduced the community cat population over the last few years. This helps keep unadoptable and unsocialized cats out of the shelter to be euthanized while giving them a more comfortable outdoor life without repopulating.
The program does its best to keep up with the sheer number of feral cats in our area, but it’s not perfect. Volunteers are always in need of assistance from community members willing to step in and assist with TNR around the county. You can contact Page Paws at (540) 244-7711 if you would like to volunteer and help with animal projects across the county.
The numbers don’t correctly reflect all the hard work and dedication that local volunteers put into helping us save and rehome the disadvantaged animals in our county. From driving from their work or homes to help transport animals, calling local contacts to help place animals into vetted homes or rescues outside of the shelter, or coming to the shelter multiple times a week to meet and promote our animals, their efforts are so deeply and profoundly appreciated more than they could possibly know.
While this has been one of the most challenging years to date, we have been so overwhelmed by the community’s support during these difficult times. We are incredibly appreciative to everyone asking if the shelter needs donations, if we needed any fosters, or just asking how everything is going. It’s so heartwarming that even when people at home are having some of the most challenging times personally, they still are willing to reach out and see if the animals are doing alright.
The animal shelter is back open to the public, and we’re here to serve the community as best as we can. We are open 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays (closed 12-1 for lunch), and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
Our available animals are posted to our Petfinder page, or you can call us at (540) 778-2101 to learn more about a particular animal.
Come find your purrfect companion today!
Contact the Page County Animal Shelter at (540) 778-2101
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