Economy woes hits local shelter hard

Wanda English Burnett

With the economy downturn, pets are often put on a back burner as families struggle to keep their heads above water.

Often pets are left behind as homes are lost in the mortgage crisis, or simply abandoned along the roadways as people find buying pet food and vaccinations too expensive. Recently, some dogs were dumped over the fence at the Ripley County Humane Society, which is illegal.

Ripley County is not exempt from these problems, which has left the local animal shelter with a full house. “We are definitely at capacity and have a waiting list for more to come in,” DeDee Holliday, president of the Ripley County Humane Society told The Versailles Republican.

“I’ve never seen it like this - every pen is full,” noted Sandy Hollowell, manager at the no-kill shelter.
Some people may feel the price of adoption is high, but in reality, it’s almost half what it would cost to get a pet otherwise.

When you get a pet from the local shelter, they come with all their shots, they are spayed or neutered, and are complete with a micro chip.

Still, if adoption is too much for your budget at this time - there is another option. You can foster a pet for free. “We even supply the pet’s food,” noted Janet Orr, who enjoys her job working with the animals.
Both Orr and Hollowell noted the foster program is an excellent one, benefiting both the caregiver and the pet. It gets the pets into a home and allows people to have a pet - even if only for a while.

The only hitch is if while you are fostering a pet and someone sees it online and wants to adopt it, you have to give it up. Of course, there’s always the option of adopting it yourself!

The animals at the Ripley County Humane Society shelter are well taken care of and waiting for a loving home to be placed in. As you visit, there are row after row of a variety of beautiful dogs with each one beckoning you to look their way as they vie for attention. There is also a nice selection of cats to choose from.

Holliday noted that they will be having reduced adoption rates on some of the animals at the shelter and welcomes those interested to stop by and check them out.

The shelter is located at 1202 W. CR 150 N between Versailles and Osgood off US 421. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call for an appointment at 689-3773.
The operation is feeling the economic crunch as prices escalate and donations are down. Holliday encourages the public to remember the pets at this holiday season. “We are always looking for volunteers,” she concluded.

Whether you can give financially, volunteer your time at the shelter, foster or adopt a pet - everything is appreciated by this group who are dedicated to helping helpless animals.

Above: The invitation to come in and check out these new lab puppies at the Ripley County Humane Society shelter has already been filled by the cat in the photo who seems to be saying, "What's going on here?" There are many pets available to adopt or foster at the local shelter located off US 421 between Osgood and Versailles. Below: A more adventurous puppy climbs aboard a sled.