Furry Friends

Tucker shelter finding animals homes

The Inter-Mountain photo by Bayli Helmick This holiday season, the Tucker County Animal Shelter is promoting adoptions and fosters through ‘Operation Home For The Holidays.’ From left are Tucker County Animal Shelter employee Elli Reynolds, holding Ginger, Tucker County Animal Shelter Director Cathy Parsons and transport and rescue driver Donna Helmick, holding Hailey.

Editor’s note: The Inter-Mountain’s annual Comfort and Joy series will continue in each edition leading up to Christmas.

PARSONS — The Tucker County Animal Shelter is doing its part this holiday season to make sure that all animals have a warm, safe and loving home for the holidays and into the New Year.

The no kill shelter never turns away any stray animal, and believes that every animal deserves a loving home.

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for the shelter, as it promotes discounted adoptions, community support and donations along with fundraisers and events.

The shelter is currently working on Operation Home For The Holidays, attempting to find a home for all of the animals in the shelter, which has been promoted on its Facebook page.

Due to the influx of adult cats in the shelter, fully vetted adult cats will be available for adoption for $10 until Jan. 1.

“We have a lot of adult cats that are loving, lap cats that need a loving home,” Cathy Parsons, director of the Tucker County Animal Shelter, stated.

Operation Home For The Holidays not only affects adult cats in the shelter, but also promotes the need for foster homes for shelter animals.

The shelter currently oversees five foster dog families and two foster cat families, looking for more fosters applicants for both dogs and cats.

Parsons also noted how Operation Home For The Holidays is working to find homes for all animals in the shelter, even if they are temporary.

“We are still in need of foster homes. We hope that those not adopted will at least enjoy Christmas in a warm and happy home,” she said. “The shelter is always in need of foster families, to provide animals with a comfortable home until they transition into their permanent home.

“Fostering is an incredibly generous way to help the shelter on a short-term basis,” volunteer Sydney Pringle stated.

The shelter supplies the foster homes with all the supplies needed to care for the dog or cat, including food, medication and vetting, and transportation when needed.

“We don’t ask anything from our foster families except love and care,” Pringle stated.

To apply to be a foster to a dog or a cat, contact Pringle at tuckercountyanimals@gmail.com or Parsons at 304-478-6232.

If fosters cannot find a cat or dog that matches their lifestyle, the shelter encourages interested fosters to apply as soon as possible and wait on standby for a dog or cat that fits their needs and interests.

The shelter currently houses 65 kittens and cats and two senior dogs, all up to date on their vaccinations and spayed/neutered, who are ready for adoption or fostering.

Due to the shelter never turning away a stray animal, it is currently in need of donations toward vet bills for the dogs and cats at the shelter.

The shelter is also responsible for housing neglect cases until they are litigated, which is a strain on the set budget because of veterinary expenses.

Accounts can be paid at the Appalachian Animal Hospital and All Creatures Great and Small on behalf of the shelter. Or checks can be made out to the Friends of The Tucker County Animal Shelter and sent to the shelter at 586 Brooklyn Heights Road in Parsons.

Donation bins for regular supplies, such as cat and dog food, litter, toys and treats can be found at the Shop N’ Save stores in both Parsons and Davis.

Local organizations and schools are supporting the shelter this holiday season, including the Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School third- and fourth-grade classes.

The students are putting together donations and supplies for the shelter for the holiday season.

The shelter also received numerous donations through its participation in the city of Parsons Christmas Parade, collecting dog and cat food, treats, litter and toys.

The booth, which was located in the Tucker County Courthouse square, collected donations from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. under the supervision of transport/rescue driver Donna Helmick.

Supporters of the shelter can also donate their time to the shelter by volunteering cleaning, walking dogs, brushing cats’ fur or playing with the dogs and cats.

Officials encourage church, youth, classes and other local groups to volunteer at the shelter any day between the normal hours of operation from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“We always have work that needs to be done,” Parsons stated. “Children are off for the holidays, (and) they are welcome to come up and help.”

The shelter operates on limited resources and is thankful for everyone’s help this year and the holiday season, including Tucker County Commissioner Lowell Moore and his avid support in the shelter and its operations, officials said.