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Volunteers provide needed help to shelter

AmeriCorps workers also collect supplies
Jan. 21, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

HUNTINGTON -- About a dozen AmeriCorps volunteers from Cabell County spent all day Monday walking dogs, cleaning cages and hauling supplies into the Huntington-Cabell-Wayne Animal Control Shelter.

The volunteers came together on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to fulfill one of their local service projects and provide a hand to an understaffed shelter on the holiday.

Without the volunteers' help, there only would have been four staff members on Monday to clean cages and feed the animals, said Stell Bogle, a worker at the shelter. Walking dogs likely would have been cut out entirely, she said.

"During the past year, we've seen a large increase in people volunteering here, but it's dropped off significantly with the cold weather," Bogle said. "The time that these volunteers are spending here and the supplies they collected for us are crucial, but we need help like this nearly every day."

AmeriCorps volunteers collected pet food, newspapers, bleach and other supplies in advance of the day of service and brought them to the shelter. Petland in Burlington, Ohio, also assisted with donations, said Stephanie Caccomo, an AmeriCorps volunteer.

"It's been interesting to say the least," she said. "The cages have to be cleaned constantly and the dogs need fresh air. I've definitely learned a lot and I think some of us will continue volunteering individually."

Bogle said the shelter currently needs volunteers to help finish the enclosure of the outside dog kennels. The frame has been built but the roof needs to be completed, she said.

With temperatures expected to dip into single digits Tuesday night, the shelter was making plans to house as many dogs as possible indoors, Bogle said.

"We're doubled up in all of the inside cages, but there are some dogs that will have to remain outside because they don't get along with other dogs or because of space," she said. "We're not just going to leave them in the cold. We're stocking all of their houses with extra hay."

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