Changes welcome at Chilton County Humane Society

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, August 7, 2008

It’s no secret that the Chilton County Humane Society hasn’t been in the best situation for a while.

The organization has received about as much criticism as praise, if not more, from readers of The Clanton Advertiser who submitted comments on the subject.

The shelter went without a director for quite a while but has found new hope in Director Paula Jo Mattingly, who has made people aware of her intention to change it for the better.

We are not saying anything negative about the people who worked there when there was no director. We are sure all of the shelter workers have a genuine love for animals or they wouldn’t be where they are.

But without a director, the facility had no direction.

Mattingly and the humane society’s Board of Directors have indicated that they are making an effort to improve the reputation of the local shelter.

This week the board announced that the humane society would no longer accept animals that are dropped off after hours. In many cases, such animals were sick, undernourished and therefore had little chance of surviving and finding a home.

Recently, Mattingly said the shelter takes in about 550 animals per month but places only about 70 in homes.

Immediate goals to change this trend include separating healthy animals from sick ones, allowing big dogs that are healthy to stay outdoors, and seeing that every dog that comes in to the shelter is bathed.

An adequate ventilation system is another big need. This would reduce many of the respiratory diseases in the animals, which are among the most common diseases.

Educating the public is perhaps one of the most important goals. It’s easy to blame the humane society for problems, and it has certainly not been free of problems. But in many cases, people abuse the convenience it provides.

We hope the future of the Chilton County Humane Society is as bright as its leaders are making it out to be.