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    Madison Co. shelter encourages more adoptions, pet ownership responsibility

    By Kayleigh Randle,


    In Madison County, shelter officials hope you can help find the many animals at the shelter a new home. Dozens of dogs and a handful of cats are straining the operation.

    Now, the Madison County Animal Shelter is in desperate need of donations and adoptions, given the small amount it receives.

    “We have in house right now probably about 90, so it’s a big number," said Jill Williams, the Madison County deputy judge executive. “More animals require more people, more food, more cleaning, all those things that go along with making a clean, safe, healthy environment.”

    Williams says the majority of its animals aren't rescued but rather owner-surrendered. "So they may be adopted, but then they get returned for whatever reason. It could be a college student, it could be that their landlord, uh, they moved, and their new landlord does not allow animals."

    She believes educating owners would help keep the shelter at a lower capacity than it sits at now.

    “We have a lot of work and education to do on pet ownership," Williams explains. “The importance of spay and neuter. Whether that be — what it really means to care for animals. In theory, a dog may be cute and cuddly as a puppy, but it grows up to be a dog and that requires time and effort and energy.”

    The shelter says it does its best to fix its animals before adoption but also offers vouchers to new owners to encourage them to get them fixed. It also makes sure each animal receives its base vaccinations when it first enters the shelter.

    “Animals can be incredibly great additions to your family and I think being a responsible pet owner is being prepared for that," Williams says. "We always encourage people to adopt instead of shop.”

    If you would like to help the shelter out with physical donations like food, litter, blankets, towels, or grooming tools, you can do so through its Amazon wishlist or drop them off at the shelter. You can also make a monetary donation on its website .

    Williams says it's in the process of building a new shelter, so the extra space will allow for a more healthy and clean environment than a 40-year-old building may have.

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