The clock is ticking and time is running out for a local animal shelter covered in crisis. On Wednesday, the Mason County Commission will take over the shelter replacing the no kill policy with a license to euthanize. That's why a national campaign is underway to save the animals.
It started out as a curious walk through the Mason County Animal shelter. Jeanne sayre and her husband had seen the pitiful images on television showing extreme overcrowding. Within minutes of their visit, these dog lovers were hooked.
“She grabbed us--we started volunteering and we’re going to adopt her,” said Jeanne.
The sentiment was the same around the country as word spread through emails and over the internet.
“The rescues have come in from PA, NC, NY, Cincy, everywhere,” said Chris Holley, Shelter Supervisor.
The number of dogs is down to 100 and no cats. That’s a big difference from just two months ago when we visited. Then, this shelter was full with nearly 500 dogs and cats. Inside, the cages were full. Outside, cages lined the property. That's when the the county commission stepped in and said enough! Based on a recommendation by the Humane Society of the United States, they set a deadline for county takeover of this privately run shelter. This week, a new policy takes effect. It's one that allows for euthanization for severely sick or dangerous animals. And a new limit of no more than 50 dogs at any one time will be heavily enforced.
We spoke with Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley this afternoon. He says while the county has hired two people to take over management of the shelter on Wednesday, they don't plan to immediately euthanize anything. They say any animal earmarked to go out on a rescue will be safe. From there, they'll take their time assessing the situation before making any determinations. Mr. Handley says he hopes they can maintain a low animal population and remain a no kill shelter.