GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia Canine Shelter recently partnered with another shelter in Canal Winchester as part of a four county initiative in southeast Ohio to relieve rural canine shelter crowding conditions and to find new homes for man’s best friends.
According to Gallia Dog Warden Laurie Cardillo, Gigi’s Shelter for Dogs is assisting Gallia, Lawrence, Scioto and Jackson Counties’ rural canine shelters. She said for roughly half a year, Gigi’s Shelter and the Gallia shelter had been discussing arrangements.
Gigishelterfordogs.org says Gigi’s Shelter seeks to make county partnerships to regularly visit rural shelters to provide “supplies, vaccines and coaching based on the unique needs of each facility.” Dog populations are observed and then brought back to the shelter in Canal Winchester for adoption preparation, put through health exams and stress reducing programs in an attempt to get dogs ready for adoption after a 72-hour period.
“They’re kind of a go between for rural shelters and what we call rescues,” said Cardillo. “It’s been great to have them here. They usually come every Thursday and their biggest pull yet here has been 12 dogs. It started as four or five dogs….We’ve been very fortunate.”
According to the shelter’s webpage, Gigi’s Shelter was founded by George and Tina Skestos who were inspired by a conversation with Rachel Finney, CEO of Columbus Humane, to get the program started. Columbus Humane works with Gigi’s Shelter to find the dogs homes.
Gigi’s Shelter says it focuses on efficiency, disease control, stress reduction and high quality of life.
The Gallia shelter is considered a source shelter and among its rural partnerships, Gigi’s Shelter also partners with the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. The shelter plans to expand its rural partnerships.
Cardillo said it wasn’t uncommon for urban areas to have a high demand for dogs but fewer dogs to meet that demand. Rural areas typically have an excess of homeless dogs. Gigi’s Shelter seeks to serve as a vehicle to provide homes for such animals and alleviate rural crowding conditions.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.