POINT PLEASANT — For the second time in recent memory, social media has brought the Mason County Animal Shelter into the community’s collective conversation.
This time, one of the comments getting back to the Mason County Commission was the shelter had no heat. On Monday, County Administrator John Gerlach and Commission President Tracy Doolittle said this was not true and the shelter was climate controlled and currently 68 degrees inside.
Gerlach pointed out the animals are not kept in a barn but a climate controlled building that in 2017 was the recipient of a Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation Grant, along with a private donation by resident Rusty Nott, to put in drop ceilings to keep temperatures at the shelter warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The total cost of the project was $5,165 with Nott contributing $2,600 and the Claflin Foundation funding the remainder. The project was completed in September of last year.
In addition to the “no heat” rumor, the commission learned a GoFundMe page had been set up for the animals at the shelter to buy food and other supplies. Gerlach said the commission has received a grant from the Claflin Foundation as well, which provides food and other supplies for those animals at the shelter. Groups and members of the public also periodically donate supplies and food to the shelter. In short, Gerlach said, though donations of supplies are always welcome, he stressed the needs of the animals are currently being met by the county. As of Monday, Gerlach said there were four dogs and multiple cats at the shelter in need of adoption.
Gerlach also said there had been offers to bring straw to the shelter but since the shelter is climate controlled, they didn’t have a use for it, as the dogs sleep on raised beds. There is an outside exercise area at the shelter which is fenced in for the animals to get some time in the open air and exercise when possible but they are otherwise housed inside with heat or air conditioning depending on the season. This fenced-in area was also provided by a grant from the Claflin Foundation.
Gerlach said the commission encourages people to come visit the shelter. Doolittle also added she wanted the public to know volunteers are welcome at the shelter and encourages anyone who wishes to do so to drop by from 1-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the shelter.
The commission is currently taking applications for the position of dog warden and part-time employee at the shelter. Applications will be accepted until noon on Thursday.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.