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Humane Society Handled 654 Animals Last Year

Cheryl Watts of the Halifax County Humane Society reported to the county supervisors at their meeting Monday night that the organization handled 654 animals in 2009.

Watts said as of the Jan. 1 of last year, the humane society had 35 dogs on hand. During the year, owners surrendered 28 dogs, and the society received 278 dogs from another facility for a total of 341 dogs handled over the year.

Watts said 18 dogs were adopted during the year, 27 were transferred to another facility, 275 were transferred to an approved out-of-state facility, 12 died in the humane society’s facility, eight were euthanized and one dog escaped from the fenced kennel.

The humane society handled 311 cats during 2009, according to Watts. Of that total, 196 were surrendered by their owners, and the humane society received 115 from another facility, she said.

Watts said 295 cats were adopted, six were transferred to another Virginia facility, and 10 died in the humane society’s facility.

The humane society received two horses from another facility, and Watts reported those horses were adopted. Of the 395 animals received from another facility, Watts said the majority came from the Halifax County Animal Control facility. Others came from the Lake Country SPCA, Amherst County Humane Society and the South Hill SPCA, she said.

Other facilities that received animals from the local humane society included the Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia, Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue, K9 New Life, National German/Pinscher, Pet Adoption League, Friends of Homeless Animals and BREW (Beagle Rescue, Education and Welfare), Watts said.

The humane society spokesperson said because the organization fosters animals in individuals’ homes and doesn’t have a central facility, it is not allowed by law to take in strays. Instead, they must go to the Halifax County Animal Control facility so possible owners will be able to locate them.

Watts said although the 654 animals the humane society worked with in 2009 was a smaller number than the previous year, it was able to increase efforts with spaying and neutering. She said the county’s homeless animal problems will never get better without a “much more aggressive approach to spaying and neutering.”

She said, “if you all, as a governing body, can come up with any solutions for advancing pet spaying and neutering by our citizens, it would make a huge difference.”

Watts said Halifax County Animal Control has worked cooperatively with the humane society, and she praised Chief Warden Todd Moser and his staff for their hard work in dealing with the county’s problems and their willingness to work with the humane society.

She said the county’s animal control department dealt with over 2,200 animals last year with many “not having the outcome we would all like.”

Watts said the humane society now has a toll-free telephone number that citizens can call to get information and access different lines to leave messages about specific concerns.

“We hope the public will use this number and not call humane society members at home and particularly not at work,” she said. “Hopefully the public can get answers they need and also find out how they can help us.”

The Halifax County Humane Society’s toll-free number is 866-553-7365.