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A Helping Hand

Tucker County Animal Shelter receives van

June 8, 2013
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

A local facility has received two donations that will make their service to the community easier.

The Tucker County Animal Shelter received a much-needed vehicle and a new building, giving the facility additional valuable space.

"We receive lots of donations from Zita MacInanti, a special investigator with the Washington, D.C., ASPCA, said Cathy Parsons, Tucker County Animal Shelter director. "She shares the overages. All we have to do is drive to Hagerstown to pick up the supplies."

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About 30 dogs come into the Tucker County Animal Shelter facility each month.

Parsons said on one of her trips to pick up some necessities, MacInanti said the ASPCA had a van to give away, and said Parsons should put the Tucker County Shelter's name into the running of those shelters who need a new vehicle.

"We were notified that we won the van," Parsons said. "Our old vans have many miles. This van, a 2003 all-wheel-drive Aerostar, is perfect for this area, since the shelter is located on a hill."

Parsons said the van is equipped with cages, and it is all steel in the back, making it easier to clean.

"All you have to do is clean it out and hose it out," Parsons said. "This van is better for the animals because it has a separate air conditioning unit in the back especially for the animals. The ease of cleaning this van also makes it more sanitary and better for the animals, and this donation saved the county thousands of dollars on replacing one of our well-used vans."

Students from the Kenneth "Honey" Rubenstein Center in Davis came to the center and helped get the grounds ready and set the building.

"We are grateful for their help," Parsons said.

Parsons said the shelter sees an average of about 30 dogs coming in each month.

"The good thing is, we usually have about 30 dogs going out each month, too," Parsons said. "The minute the dogs come in, we post photos of the dogs to help get them adopted. We are a small shelter, and space is tight. It is best to get the dogs matched up as quickly as possible."

Each animal taken into the Tucker County Animal Shelter is spayed or neutered before it moves out to its forever home. Workers at the shelter take notes to see how the animals socialize with one another to help place animals in the best situation.

"Some animals do not like being around children, and others do not like being around other animals," Parsons said. "These are key points to tell folks when they are choosing a pet to adopt."

Parsons said she is grateful to the Tucker County Commission for their support, especially Commissioner Lowell Moore.

"They are very generous and help us out so much," Parsons said. "I do not know what we would do without their support."

Items the shelter is always needing include dog and cat treats, dog and cat toys, bleach, Lysol, 32 gallon garbage bags, Dawn dishwashing detergent, scoopable cat litter, paper towels and laundry detergent. Parsons said the shelter also needs financial support and volunteers.

"We are looking for help walking the dogs," Parsons said. "Church groups, kids and other organizations are always welcome to come and help."

Each Wednesday, students from Q. and A. Associates in Canaan Valley help out at the shelter.

"This is not only good for me, but you help out the animals," said student Clayton Carpenter from Canaan. "Animals deserve to be treated kindly. They deserve to get outside and breathe the fresh air."

At the end of the tour through the shelter, Parsons was on the floor petting one of the newest additions to the Tucker County Animal Shelter, a very thin, quiet, tabby cat.

"He has just come to us and he will go to the vet tomorrow for evaluation," Parsons said as she strokes the animal. "I am just keeping my paws crossed that he isn't leukemia or AIDs positive. His name is Charlie."

Parsons, once again, asked people to put her out of business.

"Please, spay and neuter your pets," Parsons said.



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