GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County K-9 Shelter started its summer employment youth program June 8.
Gallia County Jobs and Family Services sponsors the program, typically hiring teenage workers to aid animal shelter efforts from June to Oct. 31.
Laurie Cardillo, Gallia County dog warden, hired Michael Fisher, 16, and Kalie Masters, 17, both of Gallipolis, to help manage the shelter facilities as well as the animals in its care. Fisher is known to play the positions of halfback and safety for the Gallia Academy High School Blue Devils. Kalie Masters is known for playing softball as a shortstop and left-fielder. This is her second summer with the program and she will be going into her senior year at Gallia Academy High School.
Cardillo noted that both of her workers have “great work ethic” and she believes they will become vital assets to the Gallia shelter’s animal handling team.
A job fair was conducted June 2 through JFS at Ariel Theatre. Cardillo noted among tables set up at the job fair with Gallia County Economic Development, the French Art Colony and Gallia County Children’s Services, her workers were able to apply at the canine shelter table.
“Michael impressed me coming out of the gate. He’s very well-mannered. He just had a spark to him,” Cardillo stated. “He’s got spunk.”
Cardillo noted that she was already familiar with Masters’ work ethic and felt it prudent to bring her back on board her crew. She also stated it was typical for her to hire two or three workers for the program’s duration. She hired Fisher and Masters out of 10 to 15 applicants.
“They’ve already caught on to the routine in the shelter. They handle the big kennel by themselves. They take the dogs in and out. They tie them out for a while. Sometimes they get to walk them,” Cardillo said. “
Masters stated she liked working at the shelter.
The canine shelter follows a routine every morning. Workers sign in and start cleaning kennels once dogs have been pulled from them. Afterwards, they move on to cleaning the puppy room. After kennels have been cleaned, the dogs are fed and constantly kept stocked with fresh water. Dogs are taken outside as time allows to get them outside of the confines of a kennel.
“I still need to train the kids in the office,” Cardillo said. “Given enough time, I think they might even be able to go out on (dog) pick-up calls with me.”
Cardillo said the teenagers are considered employees of the county shelter. If an issue occurrs at a work site, they would be eligible for worker’s compensation.
For more information, call the Gallia County K-9 Shelter at (740) 441-0207.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.