Atmore Animal shelter needs your help

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, June 15, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
The Atmore Animal Shelter needs your help.
During the summer months large numbers of animals are picked up and with the limited resources at the disposal of the shelter many animals have to be put to sleep.
"In April and May, mostly May, we probably picked up 55 animals and we look for there to be 60-65 in June," Rhonda Kelmer with the shelter said. "That seems to be our busiest month and most of it is kittens. We try to adopt out everything that is sweet and healthy, but if the shelter is full we have to put some to sleep."
The majority of the animals are stray cats.
"We pick up mostly cats and kittens that we have picked up last month and this month," Kelmer said. "Cats and kittens are harder to adopt out because there are so many of them."
The shelter has also taken care of calves, chickens, pigs and lizards.
"We had a snake call the other day, but we just released him somewhere," Kelmer said. "We've had a couple of big lizards and we just had to find homes for them."
The shelter is vastly overcrowded and space is even more limited thanks to Hurricane Ivan.
"We have 13 runs and we can put some outside," Kelmer said. "Most of our outside runs were destroyed by the hurricane. We have 22 dogs here right now and we have about 24 kittens and about 12 cats. We're actually pretty full right now; we'll have to start doubling up or moving some around before too long. Pet Station in Foley has been real good about taking animals and puppies and kittens for us, but they are packed full right now."
All pets are spayed or neutered before they can be adopted.
"The adoption fee is $75 and the dogs are vaccinated, checked for heartworms and neutered and spayed for that," Kelmer said. "The cats are checked for leukemia, vaccinated for the year and neutered and spayed for that. That's not even covering all our expenses. We don't want to make the price too high or anything, but that's not covering what we put out."
The shelter would not be as overcrowded if everyone got their pets spayed or neutered.
"Get your animals spayed and neutered please," Kelmer said. "We hate putting them to sleep as bad as you hate hearing about it. It's not an easy job deciding who is going to live and who is going to die."
The shelter also needs help in some other ways.
"We encourage everyone to come and adopt from us," Kelmer said. "They just have to call and make an appointment because we don't have anyone to sit down here, but they're welcome to come down and look. Cash donations are appreciated. We have a very limited supply of funding."
Lori Armenti, who works with Kelmer at the shelter, also said they need help with several odd jobs around the shelter.
"We need someone that can put up a screen door, someone who is handy," she said as she pointed to the shelter's cat adoption room.
Anyone who is willing to donate their skills, time or pet supplies is encouraged to call the shelter at 368-0859. If there is no answer, please leave a message.

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