Finding a good home

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Atmore Animal Control Officer Kristie McGhee shows a new furry friend to Jessica Nelson, center of Brewton, and Trinicka Dailey, of Atmore, Tuesday at the City of Atmore and PCI Animal Control Department.

Almost a month after cutting the ribbon on the new Atmore/PCI Animal Shelter on Cindebrand Road, animal control officers Susanne Sirmon and Kristie McGhee are already making a difference for animals and residents across the Atmore area.

In the short time it has been opened, Sirmon said the shelter has already been the temporary home to around 100 animals and new homes are being found everyday.

Despite helping homeless animals find new homes Sirmon said the primary function of the shelter is removing dangerous and stray animals from the Atmore and Poarch areas for the protection of residents.

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“We’re here for the safety of the public,” Sirmon said. “But we like to do for the welfare of the animals in the most humane way we can.”

So far, Sirmon said, around 11 or 12 successful adoptions have been carried out by the shelter, not including adoptions in early January, and those adoptions all included vaccinations and a spay or neuter procedure.

Sirmon said the fee for adopting a male or female dog is currently $65, while the fee for adopting a male or female cat is $35. Those prices, however, include vaccinations and the spay or neuter procedure.

“We think it’s pretty good,” Sirmon said. “The vets are coming off a third (of the price), the city is more less assuming a third and you’re adopting a third. Every time you’re adopting, that money is going back into the pot for another one to be adopted. So we’ll be holding fundraisers and working on grant money to try and help pay and put into that pot.”

As the shelter looks to improve services in 2012, Sirmon said workers will purse grant money and other opportunities in order to add to what the shelter can handle.

“The only thing that we’re not able to do at this point in the game is test for heart worms in the dogs and test for Leukemia in the cats,” Sirmon said. “That’s what we hope to obtain this year, for 2012. Kristie and I are looking into grants and hopefully we’re going to get some help that way.”

As of right now Sirmon said the majority of the animals in the shelter came from being picked up during a call, but she said residents can drop off animals as long as they can produce a valid identification.

The Atmore/PCI shelter services the Atmore city limits as well as the Poarch area and can be reached at (251) 368-0859. For more information on animals available for adoption visit the shelter on Facebook.