Athens Co. Dog Shelter Suspends Owner Surrenders

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CHAUNCEY, Ohio (WOUB) — The Athens County Dog Shelter has suspended owner surrenders as of March 16, the county dog warden said.

Detective Ryan Gillette said owners who wish to surrender their dogs should contact the shelter.

“We would try to accommodate you, we are just not taking them immediately,” Gillette said

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Humane Society of the United States say they do not have evidence of pets carrying or transmitting the disease, despite some media reports.

Gillette said the shelter decided to suspend surrenders “with reports being varied on dogs contracting virus (and) carrying virus.”

Marishka Wile, president of the Friends of the Shelter Dogs volunteer group, added that a freeze on owner surrenders reduces the number of dogs in the shelter.

Anyone wishing to adopt a dog must knock at the doors of the shelter, as they have been locked. All adoptable dogs are profiled online. Potential adopters can make an appointment by calling the shelter at 740-593-5415. Shelter staff also ask that anyone who needs to purchase a dog licence does so online: click here.

Gillette said Friends of the Shelter Dogs has kept the dogs busy with daily walks. Wile said volunteers and shelter staff have always maintained high cleaning standards at the shelter.

“We are all working together to make sure the dogs are affected as little as possible,” she said.

FOSD and the Athens County Humane Society have also set up a pet food donation program for any county resident who is having trouble affording food for their companion animals.

Wile said that last week, she and the vice-president of FOSD had been talking about how to get pet food to families in need. She said the executive director of the Athens County Humane Society contacted her later that same day.

“We didn’t want anyone to have to re-home their beloved pets because they can’t afford to feed them in this crisis,” she said.