Montgomery County Animal Control will celebrate a decade of serving the county with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24. The celebratory event will feature door prizes, snacks and refreshments. The open house will also give the community a chance to tour the animal shelter and learn about volunteering with Animal Control. There will also be educational materials for kids.
The Montgomery County Animal Control Facility opened on Aug. 24, 2009, at its current location at 11252 North 9th Avenue in Hillsboro. While based in Hillsboro, the shelter serves all towns located in Montgomery county. Facility Manager and Animal Control Warden Amanda Daniels and her staff work tirelessly to care for the animals temporarily housed at the rescue shelter. Animal Control homes lost, abandoned and rescued animals. Those that are not reunited with their owners are available for adoption. The animal rescue's mission is to provide care and increase awareness of in-need dogs and cats.
In addition to rescuing stray and abandoned animals, the shelter is tasked with carrying out welfare checks and enforcing state and local laws. While they primarily work with cats and dogs, the shelter has seen a variety of animals come through their doors in the last ten years. The shelter also offers programs to assist low income families with getting their pets spayed or neutered and other animal needs.
Animal Control's staff is aided by their steadfast volunteers, Friends of Montgomery County Animal Control. The volunteer group works alongside staff members to find adoptive homes or rescue groups for the dogs and cats temporarily living at the shelter. They also provide transportation to veterinary appointments and most importantly, the volunteers help walk and socialize the animals.
Daniels who has been volunteering with the shelter since it opened in 2009 and has been in her position as manager for the last five years, stated that the volunteers are an invaluable resource to the shelter.
"Our volunteer base is crucial in helping to keep the animals socialized. They give them the much needed attention and love they are seeking, which helps prepare them for successful adoptions. I can not say enough good things about our volunteers. They provide transportation to appointments, clean kennels, do laundry and give baths, all out of their love for the animals we serve."
Animal Control also collaborates with Coffeen, Beckemeyer and Hillsboro Junior High Schools to provide service opportunities for area students. Through the Reading to the Rescue program select students visit the shelter each month to read aloud to the animals. This program allows the students to hone their reading skills and provides the dogs with some much appreciated attention from the youth. Volunteer opportunities are open to all who are interested, despite age. In addition to donating time, Animal Control gratefully accepts donations in the form of money, food, treats, blankets, sheets, towels, cleaning products and toys.
Along with serving the animals of Montgomery County, the shelter provides a valuable service to the residents as well.
"While we do get a few neglect and abuse cases, the majority of animals we see are strays that never had homes. Most people think of Animal Control in terms of our service to animals but we serve the people too," said Daniels. It is very stressful for the average person when a stray animal turns up on their doorstep. The natural instinct is generally to care for the in-need animal, to clean them, feed them and protect them. However this can be a burden, especially when that person already has pets of their own. Animal Control serves as an outlet for people to bring stray and abandoned animals and know that they will be well cared for and placed in loving homes. We take the burden off of the individual and give them peace of mind."
As a result of their volunteers' support, Montgomery County Animal Control is able to reunite or re-home most animals within three weeks of their arrival and maintains a less than 5.8 percent euthanization rate. Animals are only euthanized in cases of severe injury and illness, where they are not expected to recover.
Each of the animals that pass through the shelter are vaccinated, medically treated when needed, spayed or neutered and microchipped before they move on to their forever homes. The shelter helps pay for these services through adoption fees. Adoption fees for dogs typically range from $80 to $90, depending on the age of the dog. Adoption fees for cats range from $20 to $50, depending on age and other factors.
In honor of their tenth anniversary, the shelter will reduce adoption fees during the open house. These fees include costs for vaccinations, microchip and spay or neuter appointments.