ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Animal Shelter will expand its operating hours beginning on Monday, Aug. 3.
The new shelter hours were adopted by the Bladen County Board of Commissioners on Monday night. The new hours are: animal drop-off Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.; adoptions Monday through Friday noon to 5 p.m.; and animal pickup Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The shelter is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
“We’ve been discussing it for awhile. Basically, we wanted to have more times available to the public for adoptions and for drop offs. ” said Shelter Manager Karen Suggs.
Suggs added that the shelter has been recently undergone renovations and the shelter staff is trying to get those renovations completed. The renovations include new kennel floors in the dog area.
“Before we had plastic grading and now we are going to concrete,” said Suggs.
She said that, about six to eight months ago, the cat room was updated to include more kennels and a larger space that can hold as many as 12 cats. Suggs described the area as a play area for the cats.
“The kittens love it,” said Suggs. “It has been a wonderful addition to our cat room.”
She added that the adoption rates for the shelter are good and that in addition to members of the public adopting animals, there is a local group that also pulls animals from the shelter.
Suggs said that there is an adoption event planned for Thursday, Aug. 20, at the State Employees Credit Union from 1 until 4 p.m. She said the shelter staff will take a few dogs and cats and there will be a reduced adoption for that event only. The fee for adoptions at the event will be $15 for cats and $25 for dogs, which covers the cost of vaccinations. There will also be microchipping available for $15, said Suggs.
Suggs said folks who are thinking about adopting a pet should think about several things. Suggs said if you have a pet already at home, you need to consider if there is any aggression. Suggs said, for example, if your pet is a dog, is it aggressive towards other dogs. Suggs said to also think about the shelter animal you are considering and how it will fit into your family. Once the decision is made to adopt, Suggs said if you already have pets at home, introduce the new pet slowly.
Suggs said that folks also need to make sure and spend time with the new dog or cat daily. She said they also need to consider if they can afford proper veterinary care if the new pet should need it later on.
Sometimes a person’s situation changes and they decide they need to surrender their pet to the shelter. Suggs said that folks can call the shelter and they will come pick up the animal or folks can drop off their pet at the shelter. There is no fee involved in turning an animal over to the shelter. Suggs said the owner will need to bring photo identification and proof of ownership, unless the animal is a stray.
Folks who have questions about adopting a pet from the shelter can call 910-862-6918.
—Erin Smith can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.