BUCKHANNON – The Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility and LUV 4 Animals are always looking for volunteers and support – and they could especially use it right now with packed kennels and canceled fundraisers.
The president of LUV 4 Animals Desiree Poling said the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility only has 16 dog kennels and about 20 cat cages.
“It’s crazy the number of animals that come through there, especially cats,” Poling said. “I can’t remember the exact number of cat cages available, but I think it’s only like 20 something, and hundreds of cats come in.”
She said one of the facility’s biggest problems right now is animals that are there due to court cases being held up due to COVID-19.
“Six or more of our 16 kennels are court case animals that have been there since March,” Poling said. “When animals like that come in, that’s even less space for them to have and I understand with COVID, the court cases got backed up but this happens all the time. There’s been many times where there’s been animals in there for months – there’s a cat that’s been in there for a year and a month.”
She said LUV 4 Animals volunteers try to go up to the facility and give the cats and dogs attention, try to get their pictures and put that information on their Facebook page. They also send the information to no-kill rescues so they might take some of the animals.
“We also try to raise money to get them ready for going to a rescue,” Poling explained. “It costs them $150 to get an animal ready to go to a rescue. They have to have a health certificate that says they can cross the state line, you have to have rabies shots, most require you make sure they’re heartworm negative, so we try to raise money to get to take that responsibility off the rescue because everything is already so expensive.”
She said LUV 4 Animals already had to cancel their second biggest fundraiser, Paws in the Park due to COVID-19.
“We just paid down a $1,000 vet bill at one of our vets and we just paid off $400 at our second vet and now we have a cat who’s going to have an amputation at a third vet,” Poling said. “We’re so grateful and lucky to have that tool, to allow us to open accounts and pay them, because they know we’re good for it, and we’re just super grateful to have that relationship with [local vets]. It eventually gets paid.”
LUV 4 Animals posts updates about their animals, and their PayPal information for anyone who would like to donate to help. Poling said another way people can help is to volunteer to foster animals from local rescues such as Aaron’s Hope for Paws.
“Karen Anderson does great work, and she takes so many of our cats and kittens for us and she’s been a godsend,” Poling said. “You can reach out to them and say, ‘hey, I want to foster for you,’ and then the more fosters she has, the more cats she can take in. That’s typically a long-term foster situation, like you’re saying, ‘I will take this cat or kitten until you find a home for it.’”
Poling said people may also contact LUV 4 Animals to be a short-term fosters for animals who are being transferred from the facility to a rescue. She also said if a person can’t foster, volunteering to go up to the facility and giving the animals attention goes a long way.
“Even if you just get one dog out or you pet one cat, you made that dog’s day, you made that cat’s day,” Poling said. “It also helps socialize the animals and help our other volunteers.”
Want to help? Contact LUV 4 Animals through their Facebook page to get started.