HUNTINGTON — After more than a year of hard work from a dedicated director, a new medical director, shelter employees and countless volunteers, the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter can now be considered a no-kill shelter. Shelter officials say the shelter needs the community’s support to continue the good work.

A year ago, the shelter had a 46% live outcome rate. Today, 98% of the animals that enter the shelter leave the shelter, said shelter director Courtney Proctor Cross. The only animals being euthanized are those who come to the shelter too ill or too injured to recover, or too aggressive to be adopted. The shelter will also continue to provide euthanasia services to those in need, such as if a sick dog’s family can’t afford to put the dog down at a vet. But Cross said they are even asking those families if they can take the pet to a vet and see if they can recover with proper treatment, and working with rescues to pay for that treatment.

“Teamwork has been wonderful and the outcomes have been what we all dreamed of,” Cross said.

The progress could not have been made without the help of volunteers and donations, and the shelter is in the middle of a donation drive to keep the shelter moving forward.

Bucks for Barks is continuing through Nov. 2. The raffle has a grand prize of $5,000, second place getting $3,000 and third place getting $1,000. Raffle tickets are $100. The winners will be announced Nov. 2 at the shelter’s fall open house.

The raffle proceeds will go to paying a salary to the operator of the cat room, along with supporting the continued vaccination and medical care of all animals that enter the shelter.

All animals are now spayed or neutered before they are permitted to leave with adopters.

“It’s not something we’ve been able to do in the past, but now that we have a medical director we can,” Cross said. “We are using donations to treat for fleas, ticks and internal parasites, and we vaccinate everyone on intake. All of that is really expensive.”

This year, the shelter also got Dogs Playing For Life training, which teaches how to use playgroups to assess dogs’ behaviors and reduce things like kennel stress.

Cross said everyday, the majority of the dogs get to play in playgroups, and the ones who don’t get along with others get one-on-one exercise time with volunteers.

“It helps them socialize and gives us an opportunity to get videos of the dogs interacting with other dogs, which is good for potential adopters and for rescues,” Cross said. “It’s helping us get more dogs into rescues and getting them adopted.”

Cross, who left teaching to run the shelter, is also doing outreach in the community, currently working her way through the elementary schools to teach students about pet care and the importance of spaying/neutering. She is going to work with high schools to bring students into the shelter and is working to develop a plan for the middle schools.

Tickets for the raffle can be purchased at the shelter, or by contacting Cross at 304-544-5891 or on Facebook.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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