Cold Winter Causing Local Animal Shelters To Dish Out The Dough

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- From people to pets, the cold weather has left its mark on our area. A local animal shelter says it's claimed lives of at least three dogs in Wayne County and cost them a lot of money in heating bills.

Executive Director of the Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter Jim Cumm says they've investigated the three deaths in Wayne County.

While the ultimate cause of death was the cold, Cumm says the dogs weren't cared for like they should have been.

He says officers have been absolutely overwhelmed with the number of calls they're getting from concerned neighbors. "I would say the volume of the calls has tripled, especially of animals out in the cold, than what I saw last year. We had just a couple of cold days last year. This year we've had several weeks," says Cumm.

The Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter covers the largest area in the state of West Virginia. They serve both Wayne and Cabell counties and also have an officer in Lincoln County.

Cumm says they take in between 30 and 60 dogs a month from Lincoln County.

Increased man power isn't the only bill animal shelters are having to deal with. Cumm says the animal shelter has paid $2,000 each month in heating since December just to keep conditions bearable for the people who work there.

"We don't really have reserves, but it's drawing on our resources just to pay the electric realtor to keep the facility warm," Cumm said.

He says this winter proves that they need to update and upgrade their heating and cooling system and next years budget will have more money designated towards heating the building.

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