Animal Shelter closes until July 1

Published 4:17 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

A few cases of canine parvovirus, commonly known as parvo, and overcrowding has led to a temporary closure of the Humane Society of Chilton County.

Shelter staff will be doing a deep clean of the facility to keep the parvo from spreading.

The shelter will reopen on July 1.

Renee Helms of the Humane Society of Chilton County said there were two cases of parvo at the shelter, but some animals that had already gone to fosters were discovered to have the virus as well.

The virus can be extremely contagious, and precautions are being taken to keep the virus from spreading to other animals.

A June 21 post on the organization’s Facebook page stated, “Please do not bring your pets to the shelter until we reopen. We have to close to deep clean due to Parvo cases. This is not unusual with as many animals as we have coming in daily. Keeping animals well is a daily struggle in such a small building not designed to totally keep intakes separate from others. We are diligently working to reopen.”

On June 19, the organization had made a post on its Facebook about not taking animals that owners brought in because the shelter was over capacity.

“We ask for your patience and understanding when we are closed to intakes,” the post stated. “Our staff has been cursed several times lately by individuals upon their being told we cannot accept animals at this time. We are so sorry to be in this position; however, our staff does not deserve to be cursed.”

However, the shelter had remained open.

“We usually wait until the last minute when we can’t take anymore,” Renee Helms said.

President Lee Helms said possible solutions were a major discussion of the meeting on June 20.

“We are going to continue to try to find relief,” he said.

Throughout this time, the Humane Society has stayed true to its goal of only euthanizing sick and aggressive animals.

Shelter director Jennifer Fesmire said on June 21 that the shelter had 82 dogs and 88 cats in a facility equipped to adequately care for 55 dogs and 30 cats.

Thirty animals are scheduled to go to a rescue organization on June 28, but the Helms said this will not solve the problem.

Unlike previous years that have brought an influx of puppies and kittens, Renee Helms said it has been an influx of animals of various ages.

The Humane Shelter urges all pet owners to have their cats and dogs spayed or neutered.

More people willing to foster animals until they can go to a foster or be adopted would be helpful, according to Renee Helms.

Those who are interested can message the Humane Society of Chilton County on Facebook for more information.

Also during the June 20 board meeting, the board voted to change the summer hours for the facility once it reopens. The changes were made because of the summer heat. After July 1, the shelter will be open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those needing to bring animals in can do so until 2 p.m. The Shelter will also be open the first and third Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those needing to bring animals in can do so until 1 p.m. Closed on Thursday and Sunday.