OHIO VALLEY — To help aid in the never-ending problem of pet homelessness and overpopulation, one nonprofit group continues to take on the challenge of providing aid to injured and ownerless animals.
According to its Facebook page, the Friends of Gallia County’s Animals is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) volunteer organization “created to promote positive and healthy animal/human relationships. We plan to develop a network of foster homes for both the domesticated and farm animals.We also plan to conduct fundraising events for emergency vet care, foster parent support, and awareness activities. Our goal is to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of homeless animals and promote responsible animal care.”
The group currently has around 30 members, with 10 of those members fostering animals of all kinds; however most of their take-ins are cats and dogs. The group was founded in 2009 and received its governmental nonprofit status in 2012.
According to group member Susan Green, funding has always been an obstacle for them as they can carry a veterinarian bill at any time ranging around a few thousand dollars. This has yet to stop the group from the challenging task of caring for their wards.
In 2014, the group took in 552 dogs from shelter, 360 from owner releases and 38 strays. In 2015, 466 dogs were collected. Of those dogs, 62 came from the shelter. All the others were strays or owner surrenders. They also took care of nearly 100 cats.
Many of the group’s adoptions come from out of county or out of state. Green said it was difficult at times to place animals locally.
“We send a lot of dogs to the north (in rescues) usually. The north (states) have mandatory spay and neuter laws,” Green said. “To be a breeder it’s expensive. You have to buy a kennel. They just don’t have the number of dogs there born that end up in shelters.”
New England states will often have a higher demand for dogs to be placed in new homes.
Green described a desire to see more local residents spay and neuter their animals to prevent overpopulation of pets. She said some of the group’s goals in 2016 would be to find more donors, foster homes and always to increase their home placement rate with their ward animals.
“That’s why I have to keep helping them. They have no voice and I do,” Green said. “This is never going to end. There will always be people like us, even when we’re dead and gone, there will still be people trying to help animals.”
Green mentioned that in some communities, adopting dogs from shelters and rescues had become somewhat trendier and that had helped the cause of finding animals homes immensely in recent years.
If individuals or groups wish to get in contact with the Friends of Gallia County’s Animals, they can contact them through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/friendsgca?fref=ts.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.