Tugging at heartstrings

The Wood County Humane Society is again seeking the valued help of the community.
The shelter is currently filled beyond capacity; its yearly budget is spent in the first six months, and
it is facing the possibility of having to turn away animals in need.
Hogan, Bogie and Nala are three current residents who need a foster home. The three dogs are being
treated for heartworm. In addition to the expense incurred by the shelter, it is not good for the dogs
to be surrounded by numerous other dogs barking and carrying on.
"They require 30 days of cage-rest and quiet, so we’d like to find foster homes for them," said
Jamie Fairbanks, interim shelter manager. "It’s much easier for the dogs."
Hogan and Bogie are both St. Bernard mix breeds; while Nala is a Chow mix. All three were abandoned,
including two of them left at the shelter’s door.
"It’s a very expensive, very time consuming treatment," Fairbanks said for dogs who are
heartworm positive.
Those dogs range in age from 2 to 6 years old.
Each dog is required to take two treatments at $400 per treatment. Fairbanks indicated the treatment is
poison for the worms, but also will drain the dogs.
Aside from these three dogs and more than a dozen other shelter-mates, in the last two months the Humane
Society has taken in more than 90 kittens, bringing the total to more than 140 felines in residence at
the Van Camp Road facility.
"It’s a cramp on my staff, it’s hard to care for 90 young ones, especially when more than half of
those are still being fed formula because they don’t have a mother," Fairbanks said.
He indicated they are caring for more animals than normal, he believes at least in part, due to the
economy.
"We’re a no-kill facility," he affirmed. However, he said if they don’t get some help, they
will likely have to turn away animals they would like to help. "We do our very best to take in any
sick or injured animal."
They also are often called on to take cruelty, neglect and abandonment cases by local law enforcement
agencies.
"Without the public support, we will not be able to take in all these animals," he noted.
Fairbanks and the staff also offer a reminder to all residents that when it is very warm outside to
provide plenty of food, water and shade for the dogs.
"It doesn’t take very long for a dog to get overheated," he said.
The shelter will generally take any domesticated animals including birds, snakes, ferrets and rabbits.
They currently have some hamsters on hand.
To help alleviate some crowding at the facility, Fairbanks said they are currently offering two specials.
Those who buy one cat, can get a second cat for free. Also, in celebration of the July 4 holiday, they
are using the stars and stripes theme to offer half-off on any tiger-striped cat.
Normal adoption fees are $80 which includes each animal having all its shots and being spayed or
neutered.
"We’ve gone ahead with the heartworm treatments, we’re just hoping the community can help us
out," Fairbanks stated.
Donations can be mailed into the shelter at 801 Van Camp Road. Those donating can indicate the money be
used for the heartworm cases or for general animal care. Online contributions can be made using a PayPal
account through the shelter’s Web site, www.woodcountyhumanesociety.org.
 
Dogs with heartworm at Wood County Humane Society. 7/1/09 (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)