New adoption kennel up and running at Boyle humane society
Published 6:23 am Sunday, January 8, 2017
The Danville-Boyle County Humane Society is quickly settling into its new kennel facility, but those involved in the day-to-day business say there is much work yet to be done.
Wednesday, volunteers and board members busily worked in different areas of the shelter. The new kennel area for adoptable dogs is a wide open space; pens are lined against one side, affixed with guillotine doors operated by large, hanging bones.
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“This is so you can let them out without going into their cages,” board member Jeff Marcum says as he pulls down on a white, plastic bone, lifting the hatch door in the rear of a pen, allowing the dog outside.
Across the kennel, multiple rooms branch off — including a private area where visitors can spend time getting to know a dog away from the pack; a treatment room used for various medical reasons; a grooming room; a nutrition room; and the animal control area. There’s an isolation area, as well as a drive-in garage used to unload dogs in bad weather or at night.
“They can pull in here so the animals don’t run off, and it’s weather-protected,” says volunteer Bettie Poland. She may have rotated off of DBCH’s board — after three terms and working tirelessly with former executive-director Kathy Nelsen to develop the new facility — but she’ll probably be a volunteer for life.
“I just figured it was time to drop off and give others a chance who want to serve,” Poland says. The changes seem to have been amazing, she says. The presence of diseases in dogs has decreased; multiple jobs may now be done more efficiently since they’re not sharing the same spaces; and — most importantly, she says — dogs are getting adopted.
One problem the crew has noticed is when visitors come through, the dogs still “talk” quite a bit to get attention — and the reverberation of the barking can get hard to handle while working in the facility.
Fizzy Ramsey, the board’s new president, has been in contact with an engineering professor at UK who will be hopefully be helping them figure out a better soundproofing system.
As we walk through, dogs eagerly jump up on their gates, sticking noses through, licking fingers offered and barking.
Katie Turbyfill, director of Happy Paws spay and neuter clinic, says the change is amazing. “It really is just a brighter, more open space.”
Happy Paws offers spay/neuter services to low income individuals and is part of the DBCHS umbrella, which includes Mutts with Manners, a program pairing dogs with prisoners in order to train them for adoption; and the PetSmart Program. Turbyfill says more than 800 dogs were adopted from Boyle County through PetSmart in 2016. “They’re all great programs, and the change here will probably make a huge difference in adoptions, too.”
“I’ve noticed more adoptions of teenaged and adult dogs,” says employee Barb Beaney, who is the board’s treasurer. It’s always nice to see the older dogs being taken home to be loved instead of just “the tinies,” as she calls the pups. “The ones who were previously always overlooked are getting adopted more now. And the dogs just seem to be happier. And I love hearing visitors say what a pretty place it is.”
But with a pretty place comes upkeep. Beaney says more volunteers are always needed. “Once we get everything in order, we’re going to do some changing in the way we handle some things, make things a bit more structured. We’d love to have more people who can commit to help us on a regular schedule, so we’d love to hear from anyone interested.”
Beaney, who was also closely involved in working with Nelsen, says how a community takes care of its animals tells a lot about it.
“This undertaking was huge. We felt the support from the community, and it shows in the results.”