First organized in 1988, the Humane Society for Campbell County (HSCC) worked with the county in caring for animals at the Yellow Branch Animal Control Facility. This facility was a dilapidated barn with no heating or air conditioning and no plumbing. Chain link runs were installed in old cracked and pitted cement floors as holding pens for animals picked up by the county. HSCC volunteers helped care for the animals that the county sheltered by providing food and bedding, as well as feeding, cleaning, and finding homes for the dogs and cats. The HSCC volunteers did their best in difficult circumstances, at the time, this was not the type of shelter that would encourage county residents to visit much less adopt a pet. Fundraising was a major part of the Board and volunteers’ efforts. Eventually enough money was raised to finally work with the county in building a new shelter for the animals. The HSCC raised $10,000 and the county provided enough matching funds to build a small, cinderblock facility that was new and clean, with indoor/outdoor runs for the dogs, and a separate cat room.
Due to lack of volunteers and funding, HSCC relinquished control of the animal shelter to the county in 1999. Some of the HSCC volunteers continued to help work with the animals as much as possible, but there was not a formal board for the organization at that time. It didn’t take long for the county to outgrow the shelter, which has only 17 dog runs and 20 cat cages. With only one or two full-time animal control officers employed by the county per year at the time, care for the dogs and cats that passed through the shelter was minimal. Animals were overcrowded, and were not held long before being euthanized.
In August 2000, the HSCC was reorganized. At that time, an average of 269 adoptions had been coordinated at the Campbell County Animal Control Facility. In the year 2001, there were nearly 1,200 adoptions of dogs and cats. The increase in adoptions is credited to the HSCC website and the opening of the PETSMART Adoption Center.
In 2004, over 1,500 animals were adopted or transferred to other rescue organizations. We can attribute our success to the dedication of our Board and volunteers, the support of our citizens, the emphasis on spay/neuters, the addition of a foster program, and a transport program.
The battle to beat pet over-population is not over. The war is still raging and the HSCC is on the front lines in Campbell County doing everything possible to bring awareness of the pet overpopulation problem to the citizens of Campbell County. Educating the public, through our programs, and through spay/neutering will help to accomplish this goal.
~ Courtesy of Kathy Bryant