In other words, Picture Parade Four Hundred and Seventy-Eight.
Introducing A guest post (sort of) by Cara Sue Achterberg.
Read this! It tells the story of the volunteers who spend their time at the Animal Control centre in Bernie County.
Animal Control And/Or Care
Bertie County is a small county most people pass through on their way to vacation on the Outer Banks. The county’s tiny shelter is the next to last stop on a road that ends at the regional jail. The shelter sits on a property prone to flooding, and although the county has had plans to move it, the folks we talked to were skeptical that the collection of sheds, trailers, and kennels would leave the spot it has occupied as long as anyone can remember.
Bertie County Animal Control in Windsor is a municipal, open-intake shelter comprised of ten kennels on a concrete pad with a roof, plus two quarantine kennels, and three puppy runs.
There is no heat or AC or walls, for that matter. The day we arrived, county maintenance workers were busy wrapping plastic around the kennels to try to give the dogs some protection from the cold.
The county has two full-time Animal Control officers and one part-time ACO, but the care of the dogs is done by Josh, a full-time kennel tech. The county pays for Josh (and a part-time person who comes in once on Saturday and Sunday to feed/clean), plus the ACO salaries, and the property utilities, but everything else is left up to the Bertie County Humane Society.
Beyond the $2000/year the county gives the Humane Society, they must raise the money to pay for everything else – veterinary needs, vaccinations, spay/neuter, food/treats, transport to rescues, beds, heartworm preventative, flea/tick treatment, dewormers and anything else.
Pretty much every dog that comes in is heartworm positive. As Vicky, a volunteer who used to be the kennel manager at the shelter, told me, “If we get one that’s negative, I go buy a lottery ticket!”
Vicky was at the shelter that day to give rabies vaccines to Cooper and Spot, two young dogs at the shelter. (NC is the first state I’ve discovered that doesn’t require that rabies vaccines be given by a veterinarian.)
We learned about Bertie County after we connected with another of their volunteers, Gina. Gina lives two hours away, but she is a tireless advocate for the dogs and the shelter. She networks the dogs to rescues, arranges for veterinarian appointments and transports, even finds donors to pay for heartworm treatment. Gina is one of those rescue warriors with a heart that just slays me. It’s inhuman how many hours and how much work she puts in to save these dogs, many she has never met.
Gina has been involved with BCHS ever since she discovered how many dogs were being killed in Bertie County. She began pulling dogs to foster within her rescue operation and eventually called on other rescues to get involved. Because she lives so far away, she depends on Diane, who lives in Bertie County and is the president of the Humane Society, and Vicky, who used to be the kennel manager at the shelter and still volunteers her time there.
There were only six dogs (and lots of cats) the day we visited thanks to Gina’s work to find rescues to empty the shelter just before the holidays and the bitter, record cold that came. The shelter normally handles about 100 dogs a year.
Because of the number of photographs, beautiful photographs I would add, this is today’s Picture Parade.