Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility director Jan Cochran addresses the commission at its July 29 meeting.

County agrees to extend Animal Control Facility’s Saturday hours, nix Sunday hours

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission on Thursday approved a request to change the hours for the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control facility.

Jan Cochran, director of the Lewis-Upshur Control Facility, attended the July 29 Upshur County Commission meeting to request that the current Sunday operating hours be removed and two hours be added to Saturdays.

“We started opening one Sunday every month before COVID, but after discussion with some volunteers, we kept the hours going because we thought we would get more traffic, and in the time [since] we have changed the hours, we have had two people come in that weren’t volunteers,” Cochran said, “and we haven’t even had that many volunteers in the year-and-a-half we have been doing this.”

Cochran noted the Sunday hours were added with the stipulation that the additional hours would be reviewed to see if people were taking advantage of them at a later date.

“We were supposed to evaluate this a while back, but we decided to extend it because it seemed like COVID was pretty much over, so we wanted to see if more people would come in, and still nobody,” she said.

Cochran asked the commission if the facility could open two extra hours on Saturday instead of opening one Sunday every month.

“We’re already staying until noon (on Saturday), so let’s just go ahead and stay until 2 p.m. on Saturdays,” Cochran said. “Most people are off, and that gives them a chance to come in, especially if they aren’t early birds and you can’t make it before noon. Right now, our employees are getting out at about 12:30 or 1 p.m. anyway.”

Cochran explained if their regularly posted hours do not work for someone’s schedule, they can always make an appointment with the facility.

“We also still do the evening hours by appointment, but you actually have to be interested in an animal; you can’t just be looking. If you want to look, go to our website, see if there’s anything you are even interested in and then we’ll be more than glad to meet you,” Cochran said. “Usually, on Sunday, that’s when a lot of people from out of state would come in to see us, and we just tell them to make an appointment, so we can have an idea of what time they’re going to arrive.”

“We’ll even do that for owners who found out their dog is there, and they need to come and get them, too,” she added.

Cochran said Saturdays can be busy on occasion, but Mondays and Fridays are the two busiest days for them.

“Some Saturdays you don’t see anyone and then some Saturdays, people are waiting at the gate for us to open; you just never know,” Cochran said. “The two busiest days are Mondays and Fridays because people don’t realize we’re open on weekends, or they don’t call and think we’re closed.”

The extended Saturday hours will begin Saturday, Aug. 7, making their regular hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their website can be found here, with profiles of their current animals ready for adoption, found animals and their current hours.

Prior to adjourning, the commission also:

Approved a request from Judith L. Williams, director of James W. Curry Public Library, asking for approval of the expenditure of $175 payable to Skateland for rink rental on Tuesday, Aug. 10 for a grand finale event for the “Tails and Tales” 2021 summer reading program.

Approved correspondence from Thomas J. O’Neill resigning as a community member of the Upshur County Fire Board. This term is set to expire on June 30, 2022.

Approved Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility volunteer Katrina Grose.

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